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Last Active 03-13-14 8:16 am
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04.16.14 2014, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I)02.14.14 MisterTornado in 2013
11.15.13 2013, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume III) 05.25.13 2013, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume II)
03.08.13 2013, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I) 01.14.13 MisterTornado in 2012
10.31.12 2012, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume III) 08.24.12 2012, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume II)
06.30.12 2012, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I) 12.26.11 MisterTornado in 2011
11.19.11 2011, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume III) 09.30.11 2011, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume II)
08.31.11 2011, Overlooked & Unknown (Volume I)

MisterTornado in 2011
100Twin Sister
In Heaven

Lightly coated kindergarten joy | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
99Big Troubles
Romantic Comedy

Suburbian nostalgia | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwfn8AijAPs

Superhappyrobotokyoglitchpop | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
97 Dale Cooper Quartet and the Dictaphones

There is beauty in sadness | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
96Herajika Tracks
Love Universal

The lovely, tireless art of rhythm | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
95Heidecker & Wood
Starting From Nowhere

Smoother than a glass of your Pep Pep's white wine |

Post-rock in the fields of breeze | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
93East of the Wall
The Apologist

Because last 40 seconds of Whiskey Sipper |
92James Pants
James Pants

Overlooked psychedelic elevator pop | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
91Night Beats
Night Beats

Garage rock bastards | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcYdXxsdFzg

The cold resonate of echoing brass | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
89Bong Rodent
Bong Rodent

Pop-a-pill-before instrumental hip-hop | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
88Fred Falke
Part IV

Baby when I look into your eyes, I see where all the love hides |
Arabian Horse

Coastal ice-breakers on the dance floor | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
No NES For The Wicked

Power-metal NES covers, need I say more? |
85Ash Borer
Ash Borer

Burnt at the stake | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1MVMbf0lxE
84Glitter Wizard
Solar Hits

Retro grooves for a lifetime | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drbGNEqZlbI
83Other Lives
Tamer Animals

Tremont mannerisms for elegantly somber |
82The Joy Formidable
The Big Roar

Climb the mountainous indie anthems | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
81The Antlers
Burst Apart

Reflective off-road acoustics | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Useless Eaters

Hip-hop that should have reached more. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
79White Denim

White-picket fence countryisms | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
78Mikal Cronin
Mikal Cronin

Album of choice for teenage protagonists from the Goosebumps series |
New Album

J-pop for \m/'ing | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_NPPknoVqY
76FareWell Poetry
Hoping For The Invisible To Ignite

All In The Full, Indomitable Light of Hope Pt. II was one of the very best of
the year | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoXrZppEcV8
75The War on Drugs
Slave Ambient

The sprawling revolution | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMToQg0vSds

Proof Jazz is still relevant and thriving into the 21st century |
You Drive Me To Plastic

A 20-minute labyrinth of proper instrumental finesse |
Roads To Judah

The screaming banshee of the clouds | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
71Dom and Roland
The Big Bang

It's a heated all-nighter on Goldeneye 007 ... Antenna Cradle on Secret
Agent | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf5Ed2hwzXE

Drowsy hip-hop for Nintendo nostalgic gamers |
69James Blake
James Blake

Blue smoke future soul | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isIABK-0ohQ
68Dirty Beaches

The old desperado reflects in a shady old motel |
67Arctic Monkeys
Suck It And See

Proper english pub-ridden swagger | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
66Tom Waits
Bad As Me

The howlin' coyote never sheds | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
65Trash Talk

Runaway angst | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXFf2z86vbv
64The Weeknd
Echoes of Silence

Hasn't had enough time to completely sink in, but this is Abel's deepest,
most complex work to date | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebtXqt-
63Oneohtrix Point Never

Making commercialism at art form | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
62Christina Vantzou

Unrestrained ambience flows freely without temper |
61Elite Gymnastics

Slowly wavering crayola-spectrum electronics |

Score to hyperactive Mobile Suit Gundam's in the final countdown |
59Peter Evans Quintet

The lucid beauty of the trumpet in the hands of chaos |
58I Break Horses

Shoegaze for reels of vintage computer graphics |
57PJ Harvey
Let England Shake

Beautiful hums from the forgotten battlefield |

'90s winter nostaglia in corpse paint | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
55Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi

Raging moonlit power anthems | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
54The Tikiyaki Orchestra
Aloha, Baby!

Oh, the beauty of a careless tropical afternoon |
...and so we destroyed everything

A truly massive album | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGniWLIEBBI&
52 Graveyard (SWE)
Hisingen Blues

Joakim Nilsson has some of the very best pipes in rock |
51Trophy Scars
Never Born, Never Dead

Or how to expand a genre | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGj89ge8bQw
50A Winged Victory For The Sullen
A Winged Victory For The Sullen

And we went to sleep, dreaming with ambition |
49 Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Sit Resist

The lovely joy of happiness | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeH2-XA1k6Q

I have yet to completely grasp this, I can feel it |

When your side-project tops your main-project |
46Y Niwl
Y Niwl

Feel-good instrumental tropics never die | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
House of Stone

I am thoroughly confused why Sputnik was the only who praised this, let
alone listened | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ov6Cf6i5Tg
44Floating Points

One of the prettiest house records of the year |
43Beastie Boys
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Three pioneering white-boys from the 1980s continue to stay relevant in
2011, and put out one of their best in the process |
Making Mirrors

While too many pop musicians are busy trying to be something their not, Gotye
embraces his honest and charming sound, putting out one of the strongest pop
albums of the year | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3W7koH-isE
Mind Bokeh

All-over-the-place crystalline hooks and sparkled electronics warps |
40TV On The Radio
Nine Types of Light

Though slightly less than their last two albums, this is further proof TV On The
Radio is one of the most interesting bands on the planet |
39The Horrors

Nostaglia-driven revivalism | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJQk0jDZx8o
38Panda Bear

COUNTING! IT'S COUNTING! COUNTING! | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Spiritual State

Didn't miss a beat, a flawless tribute from beginning to end. RIP Jun; we lost
you too soon | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N-Y0Ztn8A4&
36Bombay Bicycle Club
A Different Kind of Fix

Get lost in the magic of harmony | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
35The Midnight Eez
The Midnight Eez

Unknown project creates flawless beats | http://www.youtube.com/watch?

The white tuxedo drenched echo of high-speed wave runners cruising through
neon-coated cities | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz7oaUUWWYk
Electronic Dream

Guilty pleasure? Fuck mental restraint, this album is full of too much quality
to be wasted on the piety fear of objection |
32Steven Wilson
Grace For Drowning

Loathed it on first listen, loved it on second; there's something here that
manages to reveal itself every time I listen to it |
31Tim Hecker
Ravedeath, 1972

He needs to legally change his name to Count Hecker |
The Hunter

\M/ | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr8tgjtSpQ8
29Toro Y Moi
Underneath The Pine

The ringing of dead malls and polaroid memories |

Fucking banger. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q1TWfQxW9k
27The Stepkids
The Stepkids

The funkiest album of the year, explanations are irrelevant beyond the funk
| http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLtt5Fi4Gbs
26Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Sun-soaked Sunday psychedelia for drowsy afternoons |
25 Raphael Saadiq
Stone Rollin'

Raphael Saadiq is on a mission (whether he knows it or not) to supply the mainstream
with the most universal music he can, through the only way he knows how; soul baby,
soul. His relativist act could be dismissed as novelty, but Stone Rollin? is proof Raphael is
indeed the real deal. He?s a man of pure, raw talent; armed with a set of golden pipes,
and an acute ear for sounds that would sound just as relevant 50 years ago as they do
today. He rarely misses a beat on Stone Rollin?, and its oh-so refreshing to see the
mainstream taking notice of his flawless singles. Raphael is like a rain-check to pop
music, because when all?s said and done no matter how far you progress, no matter
how high up the ladder you get, you can never forget where you came from. And that
baby, is universal. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHyalVRUXrA
24John Maus
We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

Soaring somewhere high above the clouds, John Maus gazes down upon the dampness
the hidden land below. His songs are in many ways a deconstruction of pop music; an
unfiltered, castaway collection of synth-pop crooners that sound neither here, nor there.
Ideas of ?80s-pop revivalism are irrelevant, for Maus? songs don?t hit the same way the
over-saturated indulgence of the day did. It?s sorrow music for the upbeat; catchy hooks
and vintage instrumentation pull the listener into something deeper, something darker
than what?s heard on the surface. Atmosphere is key here, as everything else fuels
Maus? eerie memory without an easy association. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
23Omar S
It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do It

When I began compiling this year-end list, finals week was in full throttle. In the midst
of the boiling pressure that was, during a lonesome night at an unholy hour, I began
studying for my Algebra exam. It was going to be difficult test, despite any fluffy
mental substitution that said otherwise. As time continued to tick, I began to set up;
overwhelming Algebra text-book open, 12 clean sheets of college-rule notebook paper
on side, and a finely sharpen pencil wielded. Amidst the sparkling workplace,
something was missing ?a soundtrack; noise, background, filler, something to keep
this interesting, something to fill the void. Omar S and his misunderstood It Can Be
Done, But Only I Can Do It immediately came to mind, after several respectable yet
hesitant listens. I knew something was there, beneath the shaded lull of consistently
challenging house. After a tireless night of dim-lit questions, equations, and solutions,
Omar S cradled me into a mental state I hadn?t thought possible; a cinematic night of
crunch-studying. It was motivation in numbers, guided by sunken textures, pulsating
rhythms, and the utter audible aroma that oozes out of every pour of this album. Off
the dance floor and into your mind; Omar is there waiting patiently around the corner.
| http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFJ_zkBiKaQ

How can an artist manage to spark such a wide array of noise? How can an artist manage
to spin, twirl, flatten, and crease the spark into such varied templates of mood? How can
an artist manage to control it all, as the seamless by-product of an ape-shit mad scientist
with a heart of gold? Questions loom, Scintilla remains. It?s an album driven by its own
impending doom, only to be swept gracefully by a starry cosmic force, with its feet stuck on
the ground and mind high up in the air. In the process harsh magnets crash, light explodes
into fragments, dusk-ridden beats flash a dizzy pattern, and as contraction is stretched,
pulled, and released from its throbbing mount, one thought remains; there is beauty in
chaos. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG0Xh4VY7xE
21Andy Stott
We Stay Together

If you?re ever attempting to come up with synonyms for the word ?Dark?, skip the thesaurus,
and look no further than We Stay Together. Glum, somber, arcane, deep, cryptic, abstruse,
dismal, morbid, the list goes on. You?d have to be a burning pessimist, a raging sociopath, or a
sore anti-socialist on a steady diet of low-grade soy milk to enjoy the sounds of such music,
no? How about a suburban teenager at a crossroads, or a 30-something as life begins to
regress. In other words, this is music that can be appreciated by anybody. All you need is a
little adventure in your belly and an eye open enough to see conventions flipped upside down.
And on this level, We Stay Together is a revelation. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone

Post-rock is a relatively fresh genre taking time into consideration, and like any genre,
eventually pressure has been laid on the fundamental sound to strive for further over-zealous
concept, creativity, and ambition. Call it natural evolution, but as we?ve seen in the past
decade, less and less ?groundbreaking? post-rock albums have been released, which
ultimately begs the question; how far can you take a genre? The answer lies within albums
like I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone. Nothing here is the particularly awe-
inspiring, sprawling, and climatic monsters of the late ?90s / early ?00s, though Maybeshewill
aren?t out to drill away at past glory. Here they ground themselves on shorter structure and
tighter arrangements, and as a result the band wastes absolutely no time in composing
superbly effective little nugget anthems. The instrumentation is flawless throughout;
whimsical orchestral tones in constant heat with grinding piano lines and escalating
percussion, balancing a fine line between erratic and calm sentiment. It?s why no other post-
rock album this year was better, and it?s why the genre will continue to strive long into the
future. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxrBPsPNqPM
19DJ Rashad
Just A Taste

While Clams Casino was spotlighting atmosphere, BADBADNOTGOOD were creatively fusing jazz
and hip-hop, and AraabMuzik was dipping beats in gooey trance, DJ Rashad reimaged bass-
drilling juke in what was easily the most overlooked instrumental hip-hop album of the year.
While it?s a tougher pill to swallow than the aforementioned acclaim, Rashad was completely
short changed this year after managing to seamlessly mix a unique formula of 70s soul samples,
repetitive vocal blips, project-approved g-beats, and furious low-end proficiency. Just A Taste is
the perfect merger of soulful ecstasy and gangsta prowess, Rashad tipping his cup of hypnotic
plunderphonics somewhere distant to those willing to take the first sip. |
18 Irrelevant
I'll Be OK

Slowly swaying in the view past your soaking window wipers, a hooded figure looms in the
dead of night. You?re in a make-shift downtown of rotting lofts and smoky sewer pipes,
unable to tell if the figure you plant your fragmented scope on is there to help, or hurt you.
I?ll Be OK recorded, looped, and played with emotions. Grave textures haunted long
structured atmosphere, dissonant voices echoed in despair, rhythm was molded into a mood.
Cold, bleak, haunting, beautiful, that was up to you, what wasn?t was the woven drones of
unsettling melancholy drifting throughout the album that persuaded a simple gesture, how
much can you take until your response to it all is just. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Escape Velocity

Zombi are the epitome of a modern group embracing the vintage aesthetic to electronic
music. In the land before time, there were pioneers such as Klaus Schulze, Ashra, and
Tangerine Dream embracing their work around progressive rock?s electronic rational. Zombi
compose the whirling electronic psychedelia of their ?70s kraut-ancestry in a more
controlled and simplistic linear pattern. Beyond just its primal sound, what really set
Escape Velocity apart from other electronic releases this year was its unrivaled consistency
and pacing, that any electronic musician, whether young, old, vintage, or future-forward,
should take cues from. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T_dZhO9mCc
16Fucked Up
David Comes To Life

About a month ago, you couldn?t have convinced me this album would have made it on
the list, absolutely not. It was long and those damn vocals were too abrasive. But oh
was the guitar work just lovely, and hey it was pretty catchy too. After a chance revisit to
David Comes To Life, nearly every negative I had embedded in me was replaced with
positives. It?s a catchy, powerful, sprawling, and utterly magnificent album that manages
to sound so coarse and raw, yet maintains its ambitious conceptual sprawl of a man and
woman vs. the world. Though concept or not, Fucked Up managed to put out one of
2011?s most powerful musical statements. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?
15 Causa Sui
Pewt'r Sessions 1

Pewt?r Sessions 1 breathes the same way a live album does. It sounds raw and
untamed, yet there is structure and hold to the chaotic sandstorm that is Causa Sui. It
very well could have been improvised, as there?s no doubting how high this band?s
musicianship is. In reality, nobody jammed quite as hard as Causa Sui did this year;
their post-rock leaning build-ups consistently gave goosebumps, for once they reached
that shimmering gold-plated monolithic solo 40,000 feet above consciousness, there
was no turning back. If this session is a testament of anything, it?s of a band with no
foreseeable limits, whether it was a blazingly psychedelic solo or a reflective moment in
the wind, Causa Sui were the chosen ones for those 46 minutes. |
14Apollo Brown

How Apollo Brown managed to make it all sound so simple, yet so god damn effective
from start to finish I still don?t know. Holding a simplistic approach in hip-hop has for a
long time meant a stripping of creditable, artistic merit. Apollo Brown comes out on
Clouds with every gun loaded, drum-machine and sampler in hand, with 27 loop-based
project beats, guided by whirling cosmic-lite synthesizers and sentimental orchestral
samples, that simply don?t miss a beat. If a consistent lyrical flow is what makes a
good MCee great, then the same is true for an instrumental hip-hop artist consistently
delivering quality beats. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQOCrqiM0CE
13The Field
Looping State of Mind

In many ways Looping State of Mind is the unintentional dance pop sequel to Gas' Pop. The
way the album takes lush, fragmented loops of deep sonics and almost subconscious
drones is astounding. Its subtle incorporation of nature samples, which often times is
difficult to decipher whether or not it's coming from your own backyard, creates the ultimate
effect of entranced disillusion. The Field's Looping State of Mind is similar, in that repetition
is key, though replace the deeper low-ends and nature samples of Pop with thicker beats
and subtle vocals samples. Looping State of Mind is the kind of dance album that's bound to
be a rewarding listen, as subtle complexities and woven grooves are distinguished in given
time. Ladies and gentlemen, this is real trance, not that it fits the particular genre, but the
very essence, the very definition of the word. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28-
12The Weeknd

Thursday should be heard by all current and aspiring pop artists, as a reminder of how to
get the job done. The opening two tracks embody a perfect balance of borderline
commercial appeal and Abel?s signature broken-strobe, gorgeous R&B haunt. The rest digs
in deeper and darker territory; smoky corridors of club ridden aftermath, parties where
people with persona?s like his have never ventured. To just about any other contemporary
artist, a second album within the span of a year would be a cheap victory lap from the
success of the first, but that?s not the way Abel works, and Thursday is evidence he?s an
artist first, entertainer second. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPIk8QhxZMc
Vitamins and Minerals

ArtOfficial create hip-hop that effortlessly exudes a level of confidence that was simply
unmatched this year. Featuring multiple MCee?s and a complete live jazz band, their music is
packed to the brim with saucy smooth jazz, catchy live beats, and more soul than voodoo
night in east New Orleans. Being such a huge year for hip-hop, it?s appalling to see ArtOfficial
remain so overlooked. It?s painful, it really is, because Vitamins & Minerals is the best hip-hop
album of 2011, and not enough realize how good these guys really are. |
10Elder (USA-MA)
Dead Roots Stirring

Elder describe themselves as "a sonic interpretation of the forces that surround us; the
pounding waves of ancient seas, the weight of stone colossi rising up from the earth and the
endlessness of inflamed, majestic skies." Dead Roots Stirring proves their poetic self-
description is truth. Elder's balance of doom-heavy bombast, bulky metal, and long, structured
monoliths of massive, slow-burning charcoaled incense makes for what I can only call the best
doom album of the year "The waves of ancient seas" act as the foundation in which their
songs are layered upon, "the weight of stone colossi rising up from the earth" as the copious,
blackened adrenaline of their massive guitar riffs, and "the endlessness of inflamed, majestic
skies" as the mythic, earth-toned atmosphere signaled from their self-created, smoke filled
sky above. Elder continue to push the limits of rock music, taking melodic heaviness to a
completely new level of musicianship. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wYJ_V36AC8
The King of Limbs

Radiohead are unfortunately a band that has live up to an unholy amount of hype every
time they release an album. This year we were treated with an album that seemingly came
out of nowhere; enter The King Of Limbs, arguably Radiohead's most challenging set of
songs yet. Most of this frame lies within the first half of the album, where glitchy
atmospheric rock and subtle dub electronics scatter the plot. For most, these are songs
that won't click right away. However the second half is much mellower, trading the darker
vibed textures for harmoniac acoustics and vocal delays. I was first on the fence with The
King Of Limbs for a number of reasons; it's their shortest album by far, from a production
stand-point easily is their most sunken, and it packs a lot of new modern influences with it.
So it's not much of a surprise why this album is so polarized amongst fans. Although, The
King Of Limbs is Radiohead's most cohesive work to date; its hypnotic tone glides
effortlessly from song to song. It took me 6 months to come to this conclusion, though
most great albums have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. I always
enjoyed it, but never to the extent I do now. And what's most striking of all is; after almost
two decades, Radiohead are still a fresh and magnificant band who manage to record
subtle, unique, and complex recordings to devote fans, and wide commercial audiences
8Submotion Orchestra
Finest Hour

Finest Hour is the sound of ethereal ships-in-a-bottle, once in the hands of humanity, now
guided by the free flowing fate of nature?s whimsical embrace. Voice acts as a guide of the
trumpet?s distant siren, and it?s a gracefully mellow journey to the very end. Cold resonating
brass, sweeping orchestral tones, trembling, guttural low-end, and Ruby Wood?s lush vocal
fragility escort the unrelenting beauty throughout. Taking all into consideration, it's a bold
statement to call your debut album Finest Hour, though Submotion Orchestra demonstrate their
point to a fine, glossy print with this piece of majestic finesse that may very well be their finest
hour. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFgw4OEZ2Tw
7 Rich Aucoin
We're All Dying To Live

In the process of recording We're All Dying To Live, Rich Aucoin compiled over 500 musicians,
friends, and fans from across Canada. The album acts as a musical scrapbook of his trek to
completion, sonically documenting where he?s been, who he?s met, and what?s happened to
him along the way. Aucoin is an artist who on his debut album, sounds like he wants to start
something new, something big, something universal. The evidence is all here; as it shouldn't
take long to realize We're All Dying To Live isn't your typical indie rock album. His influences
are clear; the climatic grandiose of fellow Canadian's Arcade Fire and the infectious robotics of
Daft Punk, though he translates them into a unique cohesion that bleeds throughout the
album, as a splurge of genre-melting sonic?s mold into a completely thrilling and captivating
hour of music. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uzyre6xGKA
6Leyland Kirby
Eager To Tear Apart The Stars

Leyland Kirby's drowsy orchestrations of emotional unease and underlying drone eject a
stark contrast between merciless beauty, and unforgiving hostility. Unrestrained delicacy,
a soft haze of static electricity, gorgeous piano reflections, and frail murmurs of vaporized
liquid succession harrow through the distressing climate that is Eager To Tear Apart The
Stars. ?We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and the sensation of
time. And there are but two means of escaping this nightmare: pleasure and work.
Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose." - Charles Baudelaire. There
are those who will listen and hear pleasure background ambient music, and there are
those who will listen closer, and hear mind-altering sonic perceptions of their own lives.
Both are equally acceptable conclusions to come to after listening, it's simply a matter of
finding out which side you're on. I found the latter, and as a result the album reached a
level of emotional consciousness few have ever reached. |
5The Weeknd
House Of Balloons

There's something mysteriously appealing about Abel Tesfaye. His smooth, sensual, and
haunting compositions of stripped down R&B, depicting bleak, black and white romanticism,
reflects his shattered imagination on love and loss. Structure is thrown out, continually
allowing itself enough time to properly express emotion, rather than fall victim to vacuum-
packed reflections of tired ideas. His mix of dwelling phantasm with engaging, borderline
commercial appeal is as heartfelt as it is fresh. As a result it?s not your typical R&B album,
more a scatterbrain anticipation of where it's heading. Tesfaye is indeed the real deal, and
with House of Balloons, he?s created the latest standard for R&B in the 21st century. |
4Julianna Barwick
The Magic Place

Julianna Barwick is proof there is beauty in within the simplest of things. She takes a shockingly stripped
down approach to ambient music, and by incorporating sunken choral drones, subtle acoustic delays, and
her gorgeous looped siren, The Magic Place struck a deep emotional chord within me. It?s an almost
unexplainable feeling, the feeling of being atmospherically one with your surroundings. Whether it was on
the computer or a simple walk around the neighborhood, every time I listened, The Magic Place spoke a
solemn, unforgiving message of peace; an ease of mind. Feeling was a memory, pain was an illusion, and
no matter where I was or how I felt, I was consumed in her mysterious place of majesty. |
3The Caretaker
An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

There is a scene in The Pianist where Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist in hiding during World War II,
is caught by a German officer. In the swollen tapestry of a run-down slum consists a piano, and soon after
Szpilman is caught, he?s asked by the officer to play a piece on it. It's an engrossing, utterly haunting
piece, and every time I put on An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, I'm echoed of its memory. Szpilman?s
condition is devastating and his ballad is somber, yet there?s a ghostly beauty to it all; a man on his last
leg, with all circumstance against him, releasing such a delicate elegance through the keys of music. The
Caretaker created an entire album of such quality, ultimately rivaling any ambient release I?ve ever had
the pleasure of hearing. It?s entrancing, emotional, and timeless music that anyone with two ears and a
pumping heart can get completely lost in. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjWNpwLTuxI
Old Raves End

The only place I get hurt is out there. The world doesnt give a shit about me. - Sorrow, regret, and pain;
ideas that can be difficult to express through electronic music. The operator is human, with emotions and a
pulse, the hardware is not; wired and cold, completely lifeless. A debate often sparks on whether or not
emotions can be conveyed through synthesizers, drum-machines, and laptops. The answer lies within
albums like Old Raves End. From start to finish, Swarms created a flawless emotional rollercoaster. The
tone is often faint, as cloudy textures of atmospheric low-end, descending drones of fallen reflection, and
ethereal rays of hope shine down on the foggy perspective below. Ultimately where Old Raves End
succeeds most is taking the concept of cohesion to new levels; a shining example of how to translate a
persistent, yet distinctive sound throughout an entire album on each and every track. |
1 M83
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

M83s sprawling synth-pop epic managed to bridge catchy pop-aesthetic in a seamless flow of unbridled
ambition, making it a thunderous, unstoppable pop juggernaut. If the music here is a product M83?s urge
to appeal to a wider audience, while continuing to grow increasingly more confident within his work, he
succeed in every way possible. But widening your sound doesn?t have to mean flaunting to the capital
regression of artist merit, because whether it was a whirling synthesizer portrait, a mountainous percussive
build-up, or a reflective pond of atmospheric adolescence, this was an album that journeyed into an
ambitious scope of music?s many audible horizons. M83 dared to dream big, and in the process created a
world of waning sorrow, irresistible pastoral finesse, and inspirational fireworks, exploding into an
unrelenting sense of intimate nostalgia. | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI9jSTC9vvI
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