The Aspie Fantastie

Reviews 10
Approval 89%

Soundoffs 2,312
Album Ratings 2279
Objectivity 73%

Last Active 01-05-23 6:04 pm
Joined 05-30-20

Review Comments 5,153

Average Rating: 3.55
Rating Variance: 0.47
Objectivity Score: 73%
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5.0 classic
A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory
Right outta start of the decade, A Tribe Called Quest's impressive run of two back-to-back albums with 'Midnight Marauders' coming in a little later to cement them as legends, all helped define and shape hip-hop in the years to come and to this day in many respects. Its insightful, hard-hitting lyrics accentuated by Q-Tip's sharp production are like a slap to the face and a bucket of ice cold water. It never skips a beat, it never slows down, it keeps delivering like no other hip-hop record before or since.
And Also The Trees (Listen for) the Rag and Bone Man
This is perhaps the only successful fusion of post-punk, slowcore and post-rock, a fusion the band has perfected even further on their later albums. This is peak haunting beauty, peak bleak melancholy.
Anna von Hausswolff Dead Magic
I hate to break the beautiful 444 ratings count, but I have to chime in with a sound-off, as this is perhaps one of the absolutely best albums of the 2010s. Anna brings to the table some of the most harrowing imagery and sound design that is not only disturbing, but also hella gorgeous and captivating.
Boards of Canada Geogaddi
Boards of Canada reach unheard of transcendental heights with their work and perhaps nowhere more successfully than on 'Geogaddi'. The engrossing blend of ambient, field recordings, experimental instrumental and loopy synth music here is cathartic in a near-religious way.
Donald Byrd Ethiopian Knights
Never has a halfhour run by so fast. I rarely can listen to music and not do other things, but with African Knights it is impossible to do anything else other than eternally vibe with the record. Absolutely mesmerising and incredibly lush.
Gang of Four Entertainment!
Gang of Four are the forefathers of the kind of post-punk so unfortunately misremembered nowadays. Sure, every now and again you get a band like Shame, Squid, Shopping or Dry Cleaning, but mostly the revivalists of today like the genre at its most stale, with eyeliner, synths and low monotone baritone. It's a shame, because arguably no band has as much stylistic gravitas to offer as Gang of Four do. Even if their creative genius was somewhat shortlived and almost none of their following experiments panned out, 'Entertainment!' and 'Solid Gold' still stand as perhaps the greatest post-punk essentials out there.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
In what is perhaps one of the most important albums of the modern musical era, the collective of composers, musical virtuosi and visionaries created one of the most stunning albums ever. Even if played a thousandth time, the tracks do not lose their charm, their grandeur, their magnetic beauty. It is unfortunately destined to be ripped off by too many soundalikes that fail to ever push the envelope any further.
Hako Yamasaki To-bi-ma-su
For every dour, down, depraved, sorrowful, sad and sour moment, day, period, and for every bout of deep spreading melancholia, there is an antidote. It may sound like curing depression with a smile or putting out fire with a blow, but on occasion it is very, very true. Or at least you want to believe it is. Sometimes all you need to calm down, to feel comfortable in your unending woe, to learn to relax, is a good atmosphere, the place and the time... and 'To-bi-ma-su'.
Hermit and the Recluse Orpheus vs. The Sirens
Most definitely one of the best 21st century hip-hop releases.
Jean Guérin Tacet
Jean Gurin is an extraordinary musician with a vision that is as easy to decipher as a zodiac riddle. On his magnum opus he transcends mere free jazz aesthetic (ad if that were an easy enough banal feat) and turns to improvisational minimalist electronic manipulation. That bewildering clash of worlds that were odd to begin with result in one of the most enigmatic and enchanting experiments of the 20th centuries.
Labi Siffre Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying
This album is gay: [adjective; light-hearted and carefree]. Beautifully lax in instrumental size and with compositions that soothe even the rawdiest maniac, Labi Siffre excells at capturing sounds and songs that are joyous and bright. He also is a master of spicing the songs with vaguely veiled tangible sadness and mellow sophistication.
Mazzy Star She Hangs Brightly
It is difficult to really put into words the sheer audacity this album has of being just that good with this little seeming effort. Among the best albums of all time.
Moondog Moondog
We're all a little Moondog inside. We're all a little mad and a little dreamy. We all can benefit from turning our ill minds into music. And we can all learn from Moondog's transcendental work. yadi yadi ya
Philip Glass Koyaanisqatsi
Perhaps one of the greatest soundtracks ever composed and above that a brilliantly complex musical landscape.
Philip Glass Glassworks
Glass lays out a dreamscape that can in a matter of moments turn from blissful to nightmarish.
Pink Floyd Animals
Perhaps a music lover's most cliche and obvious rating. But it is warranted. I have long been debating with myself or others what is the best Pink Floyd album and while 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Dark Side of the Moon' (and sure 'The Wall' too whatever) come up with solid arguments for their candidacy, after the ash of discourse settles I find myself more often than with the other on a personal level connecting with and listening to 'Animals'. So I suppose when comparing a colour red and a red colour, it only comes down to your personal preference. And this is mine.
Protomartyr Relatives in Descent
A riot of an album, but like in an aged, grumpy, sophisticated way. It's a riot, but with an aching back and he has to be in bed by ten, cause his AA sponsor told him so. It's a riot with unpaid alimony, but the kids are of age now, so he just lets it go. It's a jaded, mind-faded riot.
Purple Mountains Purple Mountains
An album younger than a few decades needs to really be something else for me to call it a classic, but here we are. This is about the most classic and quintessentially 2010s material that may be out there ever.
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry Talk About the Weather
I love seeing the love this is getting. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, silly name notwithstanding, out of nowhere and to no larger acclaim pulled off an album dryly hedonistic and despondent, loveable for its frankness and disillusionment and exemplifying the state of mid-80s post-punk in it best form.
Solid Space Space Museum
You cannot get any better than this... when it comes to minimalist post-punk. The underdog legends and cult classics unrivalled in their work with quirky instrumentals and beautiful song-writing.
Steve Roach Now
Although a beast of completely different kind than his breakout 'Structures from Silence' album, 'Now' is a curious effort to combine minimised electropop trends of its era and serene ambient tranquillity. I also recommend listening to the remastered extended version of this album: Tape-Recordings - Now (Extended) from 2015
Steve Roach Structures from Silence
An ambient masterpiece. An album to immerse you into a world of absolute calm and spiritual enlightenment.
Television Marquee Moon
Squeezed somewhere between the vehement punk scene that'd at the time proclaim this an "experimental album" and a world of today that has grown too accustom to such expressions that burst and drag like shrapnel slowly mutilating your innards, Television's bombastic debut is a force to be reckoned with, establishing the stylistic standard to come and still managing to sound fresher than half the shit that has come out since.
The Sound Jeopardy
An essential album for any post-punk listening party and a historic feat of music establishing the genre's standards for decades to come.
Wipers Youth of America
So Wipers all of a sudden come through with something that'll go on to define not only the more immediate side of post-punk, but also a lot of subsequent noise rock tendencies and in some respects even post-rock (like tell me that the t/t isn't a proto-post-rock or math rock cut).

4.5 superb
******** The Drink
Partially enigmatic and quintessentially British minimal post-punk in its best primal form, The Drink (aka ********, or vice versa) make music for the quirkily depressed and depressedly quirky with what is a criminally overlooked, uberoriginal approach of lo-fi samples and (I think) amplifier experiments, hazy production, potato vocal mixes, dry lyrical humour. So familiar for the larger post-punk world, but so much its own thing.
A Tribe Called Quest We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
A Tribe Called Quest's definitive comeback one-n-dun album is exactly the heavy-hitter 2010s needed.
Acoustic Ladyland Living With A Tiger
The name Acoustic Ladyland had me expect some AJJ type music, but turns out this is some of the most animalistic and wild jazz-smothered rock and punk music this side of Melt Yourself Down. I just want to trip balls on MDMA or something and listen to this.
Acoustic Ladyland Skinny Grin
Perverted lounge jazz band playing the least relaxing sax songs out there.
Agnes Obel Aventine
Where her truest, darkest colours started to take hold, 'Aventine' is Agnes Obel at her haziest and most grim.
Agnes Obel Philharmonics
Agnes Obel's first is also her most playful, most intimate record still.
Alice Coltrane Ptah, The El Daoud
Where this albums falls a little in comparison with Alice's other work (especially 'Journey') is that it takes its merry time to blossom its fruit. By no means is it lacking on any front or overstays its welcome, but its song-writing direction can, by some accounts, not be as immediate or progressing as one'd've hoped. If that is no issue (and even a casual fan of jazz most likely finds that as no issue), then what you'll find hither is a brilliant slow-burning spiritual jazz escapade.
Amanda Palmer Theatre Is Evil
At 16 songs and not a single dud, give or take songs that are merely not as great, this sure is as clear-cut definition of a 'banger album' (a totally legit label I didn't make up, I swear) as there can be. Some of the most infectious pop-rock tunes out there.
Amenra Mass VI
What by and large is the appeal of post-metal to me is that it often can transmit the emotional state of utter fury while possessing the energy levels of complete emotional exhaustion. It is something I often miss in genres like DSBM, where the two aspects are seated vice versa. And more than the lot of others, Amenra closed in on this particular state of music and perfected the musical feeling of complete emotional drain and hysteria turned to rage. I cannot place this record on a spectrum on their others, as they all - for lack of a better phrasing and in the nicest way possible - are the same. It is a tried and true musical formula that keeps on giving and I am happy (to be sad) for that.
An Pierle and White Velvet An Pierle and White Velvet
Some heavy, heavy stuff thematically, but all presented through insanely infectious prism of pop-ish music with such a lovely vintage spin, you cannot resist it.
And Also The Trees Virus Meadow
And Also the Trees have always taken a more atmospheric, acoustic approach to their brand of art-rock and post-punk and nowhere is their style more unique than on a beautifully damp and rural Virus Meadow.
And Also The Trees Born Into The Waves
On their 12th album, still very peculiarly titled And Also the Trees demonstrate absolute thematic and instrumental maturity, as well as song-writing and style most easily dissectible, yet most unlike any other currently up for observation by casual listener. With song after song floating deeper down the cold and sophisticated underwater rabbit hole of pristine instrumental arrangements and gorgeous song-writing, this is perhaps the most any band has come to inventing a sound of 'poetic ageing'.
And Also The Trees The Bone Carver
I keep beating myself over the head for not having listened to this properly when it dropped. And Laso the Trees are doubling down on their previous slow atmospheric stylings of 'Born Into the Waves', while also beautifully calling back to the goth and contemplative Bela Tarr nature of albums like 'Listen for the Rag and Bone Man'.
Anna Meredith FIBS
Anna Meredith has always been an artist more interested in bewitching harmonic insanity than in appealing to listeners' interests. Her production, instrumental preferences and writing abilities have always been mesmerising, but they reach their apotheosis on FIBS, her most vibrant, otherworldly and feral wild album to date.
Antonio Carlos Jobim Stone Flower
One of Jobim's most energetic projects to date, but given that it is bossa nova, it never becomes intense or overwhelming. It just pleasantly waters over you like a massage of good vibes.
Arooj Aftab Vulture Prince
At times of heavy deliberation this album reveals its most blissful colours. Mostly consisting of melancholic subdued pieces influenced by Pakistani music, as well as jazz, Arooj Aftab created an immaculate and detailed work, where patience and attention to detail is the key.
Arstidir Lifsins Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir
Well this is about the most slept-on album of 2020. I fear some may find it boring or confusing, what with it being an hour full of atmospheric Scandinavian folk, but oh such beauty lies within, such brilliance in the writing.
Arthhur Occult Fractures
This album is an epic journey. Cannot really say I'm blown away by the direction, influences or just the fact that this is an all too tried and true post-punk. But goddamn do they know how to shake the floor. Proggy elements strike like boxer knockout punches, the progressions spike like spears, the song-writing is not spectacular, but most certainly is cleverly devised to fit the cacophony happening around it.
As Tall As Lions As Tall As Lions
I haven't been this excited by a 00s indie rock record in quite a while.
Aspid Extravasation
Would never have guessed two things: that I would enjoy a pure thrash metal album this much, and that the album in question comes from some one-album Russian band. But for whatever reason, this kicks ass so friggin much.
whoa there, how is this shit heavier than most metal albums released that year?
Baxter Dury The Night Chancers
A swagger of sophistication in a brief half hour bout of polite bravado-filled pop ingnue that feels like a sex scene so mature in thought and technique, so precise in its aged wisdom and yet raunchy in its glamour, it must have been directed by an unholy matrimony of Nicolas Winding Refn and Tom Ford. Baxter Dury projects personal insecurity with the confidence of a man who can and will hav anyone he wants tonight.
Beach House 7
I struggle to really definitively answer the question of what the best Beach House album is, especially because I do not entirely believe in the idea of "best" (despite wielding that term willy nilly). Here's the thing, out of the whole Beach House discography, this is probably their most sonically accomplished work, consistently written, most crisp in production, and it is the most I've even felt like floating in space (probably...definitely high out of my mind).
Beach House Depression Cherry
Quite often and quite to my dismay I find myself experiencing emotion. Besides the typical confusion of what is it my decrepit mind is going through I also often become bewildered by the source of those emotions. I don't know why this album makes me feel warm and kinda sad. I don't even know if those are the emotions I actually feel. They're not entirely pleasant, but they are addictive.
Bella Boo Once Upon A Passion
For all strange shapeless house records that in collective astronomical quantities saturate the Bandcamp platform, every now and again a diamond shines through (I mean, reflects light through, diamonds don't shine). Bella Boo's atmospheric, vibin', body-moving project is just that. It has the swagger of a big name own-it-all and the lo-fi creativity I want in my Bandcamp pop darlings.
Benjamin Clementine And I Have Been
Benjamin Clementine delves into the subtle-most territories he's ever delved. With a great influence from 20th century impressionist compositions, this album can often be as bare as just Benjamin's voice laid over thin piano medley. This may be a turn off for those expecting a grandiose extravaganza akin to 'I Tell a Fly', but honestly if he'd tried to go even further in that direction, he'd run the risk of turning totally goofy. As it is, 'And I Have Been' is stunning in its simplisity and demonstrates that less can indeed be more.
Bent Knee Land Animal
"A beautiful breed / Half-whisky, half-weed"
Bent Knee Shiny Eyed Babies
This album takes the strangest hoops and yet sounds seamless in the process. At no point does Bent Knee become metal or pop and yet they somehow near both simultaneously at many points throughout the album.
Big K.R.I.T. 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time
K.R.I.T.'s biggest album, also his most conceptually fleshed-out and musically diverse. It serves as a culmination of a lot of K.R.I.T.'s efforts until that point, but also a peak, from which he unfortunately only keeps falling and falling.
Bill Evans Live In Paris 1972 Vol 3
Leave it to ol' Bill Evans to make a three part three hours long live session you can chill out to and not even realise that three hours had passed. [3]
Bill Evans Live In Paris 1972 Vol 2
Leave it to ol' Bill Evans to make a three part three hours long live session you can chill out to and not even realise that three hours had passed. [2]
Bill Evans Live In Paris 1972 Vol 1
Leave it to ol' Bill Evans to make a three part three hours long live session you can chill out to and not even realise that three hours had passed.
Binker and Moses Feeding the Machine
Two heavyweights of modern nujazz (more so Moses Boyd, I'd say) make a jazz album with bassist Max Luthert so free-flowing and dense, you'd swear it was perfectly improvised.
Black Mountain In the Future
'In The Future' is the gold standard of hypnotic psych-prog these days. Equal part homage to the sounds of yore, as well as a pulsating, energetic display of what powers are to be expected in the future.
Blu and Exile Miles
Finally, Blue and Exile reunite for an album truly worthy of their talents. A stellar conceptual hip-hop album, completely justifies its length, beautifully verbose and so subtly detailed it is infinitely replayable. Not a dud in sight and all songs intelligent and perfectly produced.
Boards of Canada Music Has the Right to Children
If one can even really call it that, this is Boards of Canada's "fun" album. I am uncertain of how to specify that definition, but my mind is blank on any other descriptors.
Bobbi Humphrey Blacks and Blues
One of the reasons why Blue Note scored big windfall in the 70s.
Bodychoke Cold River Songs
Bodychoke's last and most animalistic statement, their most challenging, industrial, and aggressive record, paints a morbid and depressed picture of a world gladly deprived of joy.
BRUIT The Machine Is Burning...
I am nothing, if not a sceptic of current state of post-rock, having heard too many releases deemed generally as breaths of fresh air and finding them mostly still variations of the same. And even I was caught off-guard by Bruit's latest. Granted, much of its sound and structure is nothing new, but the band knows it and employs these clichs with talent and skill like nobody's business. Absolutely beautiful album, unlike anything I've heard this year.
Byard Lancaster My Pure Joy
Byard's seminal album now remastered and re-released on Black Fire Records is a mighty celebration of the late saxophonist's masterful take on the styles of spiritual jazz and minimally avant-garde experiments. Beautiful and subtle all around.
Castevet Obsian
The power of Castevet is that they can turn in a spur of the moment from rough death metal to an old-school prog rock and make it work.
Cate Le Bon Pompeii
Okay, Cate Le Bon has tapped into something special here. Every song strikes with genuine naivete, often coming off as amateur work, but manages to build up the atmosphere so well and in a crafty way. Although her similar approach to progression, as well as sing-talk vocal delivery, could put some people off, it is a beautifully rewarding listen. If you get over those irks, you'll receive a solid dose of transcendentally beautiful tunes.
Celer Xièxie
I often find field recordings music dull, for obvious reasons. It is not music per se, as it is a capture of ordinary sounds transgressed into a more intricate idea of music of life. The philosophy behind it being that you can truly hear music in most daily occurrences. That - while poetic - often ended up boring me. But Celer often excelled where others failed. And here what we have truly is music in all sense of the word, even if stripped down of its most natural accessible elements. It, perhaps for the first time ever, made me view the central philosophy of field recordings with intrigue and admiration. It is beautiful in ways only Celer (and perhaps Chris Marker) can make it.
Charles Mingus Tijuana Moods
"Ysabel's Table Dance is top tier Mingus." [2]
Chicago Chicago Transit Authority
At one point Chicago the band was not a sleazy, sultry, cringy smooth rockers to woo the middle-class spinsters, but an actually talented jazz-prog-fusion band with gut and grit, instrumental palette, song-writing chops, adventurous sound.
Chick Corea Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
His hilarious moniker aside, this is a prime example of plain good old school piano led jazz. When piano sits at the helm in a jazz composition, it somehow immediately feels more relaxed, even if the tempo is upbeat and the temper energetic. Corea's magnum opus (and it can be called such, as time has shown it to be one) is a testament to laid-back jazzmanship, even though the tunes and the groove can get nasty and rowdy.
Christian Kleine Electronic Music From The Lost World 1998​-​2001
Kleine's works from a particular period of his life and the life of German electronica. It was a transitional period for plenty of European trends in electronic music. This compilation provides more than a brilliant throwback to those years, it also - thanks to its perhaps restored mastering and crisp production - is one of the best sounding artefacts of that period, not to mention a wonderfully constructed one.
Christopher Chaplin M
Grandiose, despite its inherently patient, minimal and deliberate pace. A brilliant piece that shows the power of today's avant-garde classical music.
clipping. Splendor and Misery
A space odyssey concept album that sounds the loneliest I've ever heard a rap album sound.
clipping. There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Clipping.'s most conceptually consistent and quirky (as quirky as one can be with horror themes) album that is, however, also much more poignant than one'd imagine, as it reaches for several real-life social themes outside its creepy-cum-goofy-cum-creepy vampire focus.
CMAT If My Wife New I'd Be Dead
Out of nowhere comes the catchiest genre-bending pop album I've heard in a while. I really like that country music and all its subsidiaries are being adopted this well into modern pop and rock without too much pompous cock-front attitudes and song-writing.

EDIT: I'm bumping this up now, its themes resonate so well, all the more when presented in this ironic brightly coloured musical apparel. It's a perfectly melancholic album full of hope that I really need right now.
Colin McPhee Tabuh-Tabuhan: Music of Colin McPhee
Esprit Orchestra and Alex Pauk play the shit out of Colin McPhee's work and put on an audio spectacular that sounds like over an hour of heroic themes and epic movie soundtracks. Some of the most extraordinary magnetic neo-classical works on full display here.
Come On New York City 1976-80
I love discovering these obscure forgotten bands from eras of yore. It just so happens that thematically, instrumentally and stylistically, Come On exemplify the mod awesomeness of the bygone epoch they hailed from. Late 70s punk-isms with swagger and sexy confidence you don't normally hear. And all from a band nobody has even heard (of).
Comets on Fire Avatar
'Avatar' takes adventurous and experimental turns, risks becoming too chaotic for its own good by letting itself be influenced by blues and jazz fusion in the song-writing. It's one of the best 2000s psychedelic albums and a great display of how an album can be noisy and idiosyncratic just by virtue of its sporadic song-writing.
Converge Bloodmoon: I
The COnverge/Chelsea Wolfe collaborative album (yes, it's a Converge and Chelsea Wolfe album, Sputmods) is an experience to behold for Converge's usual visceral and blistering brand of metalcore got dramatically deconstructed under Wolfe's gothic leanings. What becomes of it is a manic and often scary work that is as gargantuan as it is unforgiving.
Cop Shoot Cop Ask Questions Later
In a pleasant twist, Cop Shoot Cop are very catchy and melodic in their abrasive harsh noise punk demeanour. Not something I anticipated, but something I came to embrace. Great stuff.
Courting Grand National
Really the most unpresumptuous sleeper hit EP this year. Uses all tradition of rawdy post-punk to its best advantage.
Craig Finn A Legacy Of Rentals
Despite Craig's proneness to jolly song-writing and general lyrical wit, he could not hide just how devastatingly dreary some of these stories are. Like damn, son
Craig Finn I Need a New War
Craig Finn pulls his most straightforward but consequentially his most mature record to date in both his solo and The Hold Steady discography.
Dan Deacon Mystic Familiar
Perhaps this year's most pleasurable, beautiful and joyous albums. It always succeeds to put a dumb wide smile on my dumb wide face.
Daniel Knox Won't You Take Me With You
I was worried the loose melodies would result in an unfocused album, but multiple listens in the whole of its subtle beauty began to reveal itself. Haunting and gorgeous at the same time.
Daniel Rossen You Belong There
Display of absolute musical maturity, tackling heavy themes often regarded as mundane, but no less
difficult. Self-doubt, living in a deserted place, starting a family, and all the anxiety that can
Darama Chaal
Darama is a London producer mixing dub, funk, and plenty cool world music influences to create one of the hardest banging EP of the year.
David Ackles American Gothic
Where David Ackles' seminal balladry collection prevails over even many more regarded artists of the type is in its free flowing song-writing and unassuming lyrics. It is as if hearing a chronicle of folkloric rhymes and tales set to freed of folk achieving near spiritual heights.
Dead Neanderthals Ghosts
The 4.5's descriptive word 'superb' fits this mammoth of an album perfectly. On surface level a repetitive noisy post-rock, deep down a marvellous atmospheric beauty. A noisy jazzy rocky behemoth.
Deafheaven Sunbather
Everyone and their mum has said it, so I might as well say it too. This is pure (deaf)heaven.
Dean Blunt Black Metal 2
chillest album of the year
Denzel Curry Melt My Eyez See Your Future
Denzel Curry cannot afford releasing a decent album, he just gotta keep making banger all the time.
Denzel Curry and BADBADNOTGOOD Ultimate / Sick & Tired
I always love jazz renditions of hip-hop songs (and vice versa, when I stumble across it) and you cannot picture a better clash of talent than Denzel nad BBNG. Even if only for two tracks.
Department of Eagles In Ear Park
For as bare and straightforward this album seems at the surface, its depth and inner beauty is twice the size.
DeVotchKa How It Ends
This thing jumps so many guns it's difficult to keep track of. There is gypsy cowboy soundtrack, post-rock sap ballads, variations on Amelie theme, mariachi music and all of it is cloaked in some rock-ish overcoat.
DJ Donna Summer Panther Tracks
Some of the hardest club hardcore bangers this side of acid-tripping 00s underground house party scene.
Do Nothing Zero Dollar Bill
A serious surprise here, fun energetic and funny art-punk EP. But I do agree with dollsanndshells; why didn't they just wait a little and make it a full album, since they're still dropping songs now?
Dominique Guiot L'univers De La Mer
Yeah, Youtube does wonders lately. Can't say I would have ever stopped to listen to this beautiful guitar virtuoso album without that platform sporadic algorithm.
Dvne Omega Severer
A superfluous description would state that this is a superb prog thrash. Another rendition of that would be that this is a superb death thrash. Or that it's a superb blackened sludge. Or a few other descriptors in the similar vein. It's superb, full of dense atmosphere, rich production and stellar instrumentation. Whatever it is, however familiar it sounds, it is a superb two-tracker from a band already establishing itself as a forerunner of modern metal fusion.
Dvne Etemen Ænka
i haven't been this entertained by metal since the time a metal rod went up my ass. thanks to dvne for reigniting those memories in me
Ed Schrader's Music Beat Riddles
Here is a duo bringing new life to the ancient mod new wave glamour with their own brand of dapper swagger.
Elbow The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Elbow continue to explore the more patient, lyrically mature contents of their creativity with perhaps the best results to date in this direction.
Elbow Giants of All Sizes
This album is an extreme case of a grower. Moreover, it's the type of overlong grower than only Elbow mastered. Guy Garvey's subtle lyricism and the band's even subtler song-writing and instrumentation is at such a dialled back stage here that you might even feel total aversion towards this record at first. But like any Elbow album, it leaves a seed of appreciation. Something always draws you back and at some point, you grow to understand and love the music.
Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim Elis And Tom
Perhaps one of the most intimate and romantic bossa nova albums, considering bossa nova itself can hardly be anything other than intimate and romantic. A strange magic happens here, because you can hear even the most intimate expressions on Elis and Tom's faces as they were recording this. Think about that for a moment.
Elza Soares A mulher do fim do mundo
The queen of raunchy and edgy brasiliera music makes a surprising banger of a return with an album miles more raunchy and edgy than ever her own past work. This is some of the catchiest and dirtiest sex music I've ever heard in my life that, however, talks mostly about some serious social and political issues in an envelope of flith. Sure enough my first drag show was set to this as a soundtrack.
Emiliana Torrini Love In the Time of Science
One of the most surprisingly beautiful trip-hop albums I've heard. Expected a run-of-the-mill breathy plainness, but got a wide range of emotional wintery loveliness.
Erki Pärnoja LEVA
I most certainly have not seen this coming. Taken in separate, each song starts off - with its production and its arrangement and its chord progressions - as some run-of-the-mill unimpressive indie pop or break time commercial instrumental rock. Little did I know that Erki Parnoja, hitherto unknown to me Estonian musician, manages to expand each seemingly uninnovative idea into a big blaring beauty.
Everything Everything Get to Heaven
It's a real shame that this is not the direction future-pop took in the end and we're instead stuck with that annoying yelpy loopy shit.
Everything Everything Arc
I suppose you could call this their 'heavy' phase. A solid batch of these direct, intricately written bangers is what your adrenaline deprived life needs.
Ex-Isles Luxury Mass
In what is perhaps one of the most successful fusions of ambient and subtle folk, Luxury Mass is a delightful sip of tenderness tea. Each song attempts to break and subvert your expectations in its own unique way, always ending up mesmerising and haunting in its subtlety.
Faced Out (USA-MO) Faced Out
Heck, smooth out the production (obviously it's very low-budget) and the next record can be the new total banger that everyone will be talking about, I mean Squid are getting the play, Godcaster are getting it (locally, but still), Model/Actriz and the like are there. Faced Out can be the next. "Call It Response Pt. 2" and "Final Nail" are absolute, stone-cold bangers.
Fange Punir
Fange's most disturbing record. They truly perfected the odd ideal of "vomiting" music. The songs are relentless, ugly, putrid. And it's absolutely mesmerising for that.
Fatima Al Qadiri Medieval Femme
Enter only if you are extremely patient and willing to lose yourself in the meditative, deliberate pace of this liminally minimal album. Fatima's approach, more than ever before, is that of deconstructed melody and purposefully unfinished patterns.
This thing goes to some wild places, from idm-inspired sections to downright 8bit raves. An absolute banger.
Floating Points Kuiper
Gorgeous short synth-jazz piece, the title track is a total powerhouse.
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The LSO Promises
Can't say this is a predominantly jazz album, even though its leanings towards the genre are very strong. This is mostly a (new age-ish) neo-classical minimalist effort that exceeds any proper concrete boundaries and drives like a monster truck ahead into the stratosphere of beauty.
Flotation Toy Warning Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck
Beauty in deliberation and appreciation of the smaller detail is what Flotation Toy Warning excel at, especially on this impeccable early-noughts folk-ish pop outing.
Flotation Toy Warning The Machine That Made Us
Impeccable fusion of folk, indietronica and them feels...
Fluisteraars Gegrepen Door de Geest der Zielsontluiking
Fluisteraars are good at this. They've figured out some strange way to write their songs that sounds very much their own, while staying true to the bluntest forms of black metal tradition, predominantly the repetitive looping writing.
French 79 Joshua
Just short of purposely corny, 'Joshua' offers a wide array of catchy melodic electropop that only the French know how to make.
Gang Gang Dance Saint Dymphna
Some strange magic happens in these wonky goofy house electronics, these psychedelic riffs and psyched out beats. All chaos of song-writing has its justified place and rhyme'n'reason. Every note taken too long or too far is in its right place. Each twist and turn seeming random deserves analysis and examination, for nothing here is random, nothing here is out of place, nothing here is chaos for chaos's sake. All makes sense and all grows.
Gerry Mulligan Night Lights
I am increasingly impressed by the Youtube recommendations lately. Now they're giving me Mulligan's beautiful nighttime vibes-jazz masterpiece. Beautifully subtle, always gentle, instrumentally layered work.
Gezan with Million Wish Collective ANOCHI あのち
A stellar, even if grating jazz-pop Japanese album that is as extravagant as it is heartfelt.
glaswegians severance
One of the most exciting straightforward post-rock releases in recent memory: cathartic and engrossing, playing cleverly around genre's dime-a-dozen tropes, but maintaining pretty unique sound mix and song-writing still.
Godcaster Godcaster
Godcaster bring that hxc try-outs energy to the circus that the managers don't really like.
GODTET Meditations
The three movements on the tracklist present structurally and tonally similar creeds of meditative music, but differ in their stylistic details. Where 'I' sounds like the ethereal soundtrack to the "safe place" in one's psyche, 'II' comes off as distant and isolated, much less uplifting and lulling, though ending on a positively cathartic note, and 'III' is the loudest of the three (though that doesn't really mean much) with its plays on rhythm and much clearly pronounced percussion and bass.
Gospel The Loser
i can't with how much this slaps
Grouper A I A: Alien Observer
One of Grouper's most cosmic releases yet. Although mostly dancing on what she's been successfully implementing into her music before, this piece uses those hazy, summery elements in an immaculate spectacle of only the most calming beauty you'll ever hear in ambient music.
Grouper Shade
Hazy ambient music meets drowsy acoustic music meets beautifully soothing music meets my aoty list.
Hail Spirit Noir Eden In Reverse
Hail Spirit Noir managed to make a surprising transition from grimy Moby Dick inspired world of 'Mayhem in Blue' to Frederik Pohl-Arthur Clarke-like science fiction prog with more prominent synths. But more than the thematic change what is surprising about this album is that it changed very little in band's signature sound. The metallic drumming and ominous songwriting perhaps only differentiate themselves with lack of previously prominent black metal influence. It is all futurism and space opera now. They literally progressed.
Hareton Salvanini A Virgem De Saint Tropez
Rarely do I come across something this breezy and soothing, this brilliantly mixing lounge jazz and tropical samba/funk in the chillest way possible. And all that for just a forgotten soft-porn film from the 70s.
Harold Budd The Pavilion of Dreams
This record could be described with the word 'nocturnal'.
Have a Nice Life The Unnatural World
Have a Nice Life's sophomore album is no less cathartic than their enigmatic debut. The structural similarity is uncanny between the two records, however, if one can even truly clearly define the common structural traits of Have a Nice Life. If I can tell some differences (in progress or otherwise, up to anyone's opinion, really), it's that the sound often goes even deeper into the lo-fi fuzz, multi-layered song-writing and cryptic lyricism.
Have a Nice Life Deathconsciousness
In a stroke of genius and a burst of creative, the condescendingly-titled Have a Nice Life made an album whose distortion, emotional distantness and nauseating stylistic gravitas somehow becomes more and more poignant with further listens, no matter how many times you've heard it.
Heilung LIFA
It is rare for a band to have more acclaim for their live performance than studio albums. But hearing and -just as importantly- watching 'LIFA' and you understand why. It is one thing to listen to an album of theirs, it is another to have it translate, as it should, on stage in a magnetic unforgettable performance. This is not an album and a live film, this needs to be experienced together, inseparably.
Hermann Szobel Szobel
A beautifully versatile jazz-prog record with a lot of depth and instrumental left-turns I did not see (or hear) coming.
Hidden Orchestra Night Walks
Hidden Orchestra does a superb job at making the softest jazz and the most melodic ambient-tinged electronica compliment each other beautifully.
Hiroki Komazawa Feliz
Some ethereal and heart-breakingly beautiful pieces from a Japanese guitarist (but don't expect a lot of guitar here), plenty of dreamy atmosphere and some very distinctive ambient sound. Wonderful stuff.
Holy Ghost! Holy Ghost!
Holy Ghost! struck out on a high note with their debut (so much so that even their following work has mostly been in the shadow of this album, even though they employ all the same techniques and are still on point). This self-titled album feels exactly like a self-introduction, a statement of "who the heck they are" and "what the heck they can do" with some of the coolest beats and catchiest tunes in 2010s pop.
Horsey Debonair
Despite the album somewhat dwindling in the second half, not always confident in the stylistic shifts it chooses ("Leving Song" feels mostly like an error in the tracklist), this is by far one of the most exciting and imaginative full album debuts this album.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble This is a Mindfulness Drill...
Hypnotic is correct, seeing as with so few changes in the individual movements, HBE and their guests managed to make one of the most meditative and tender album of the year.
Ichiko Aoba amuletum bouquet
"Amuletum" sounds like the Britta Bot song from Community written for a Hayao Miyazaki film. Also this is beautiful.
Idles Joy as an Act of Resistance
What Idles achieve here is bringing the raw, but fun-loving side of punk music to the modern age with all the rigour of its political bluntness.
Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids We Be All Africans
The Pyramids are absolute legends of jazz, not only its groovy African styles. Their instantly infectious sporadic playing and religious sound has always resonated with people. To know they have returned to a career renaissance under the guidance of artistic visionary Idris Ackamoor for the new age is an idea as delightful as can be. And to know that this fusion is not just on par with, but in many regards exceeding the accomplishments of their original formation is astonishing.
IJdelheid God Must Be Love
Eerie noir folk EP borrowing themes of theology and the aesthetic of black metal (not in sound, more in spirit). Doomy in nature, everything here is beautiful and haunting. I feel like I'm being directed by a morbid David Lynch type.
Ill Considered Liminal Space
Although titled 'Liminal Spaces', this album couldn't have been farther from that definition. Its whole nature is so upfront, it forces its listeners to pay attention and subsequently give up discerning detail due to sheer overwhelming magnanimity of the arrangement and song-writing madness. Nothing liminal about this, all front and forward, erasing all background-ness.
Imperial Triumphant Alphaville
Even more than ever before, the avant-garde jazz-inspired instrumental insanity Imperial Triumphant project turns your hairs out, boils your brain and tears you up with its surprising beauty.
Injury Reserve By The Time I Get To Phoenix
this is what it feels like when you need to cry but are physically incapable of. truly the sound of struggle bubbling up inside you finally getting out in one chaotic breakdown.
Ishome Confession
A semi-mysterious project that still sparsely releases works from a woman from some Russian town who at some more or less random point came out and released one of the best examples of ambient techno music that flows perfectly, engages with a plethora of various sampling and mixing choices and still keeps a uniform structure and sound. Beautiful display of bleep bloop.
Itsuroh Shimoda Love Songs And Lamentations
Beautiful emotional folk with minimal tribal/spiritual influences, making every already touching moment all the more immersive. Itsuroh's intense song-writing can overwhelm and melt your heart.
Iva Bittova & Vladimir Vaclavek Bile Inferno
I always marvel at complex or otherworldly music variants that come at me from various corners of the world, because for however bewildering and unique they sound to me, I always realise the astonishing fact that such a music is customary in its source culture. Hence maybe Bittov and Vclavek's album (and their individual work) is not as surprising to me as to many others, given I've grown up surrounded by such experiments in folkloric folk, gypsy music and poetry. But even in such context, this still is a wild ride, beautiful and organised, poetically mighty and infectious.
Ivar Bjornson and Einar Selvik Skuggsja: A Piece for Mind & Mirror
For whatever wizardous reason, Ivar and Einar's melange of styles and influences from every conceivable direction does not result in a messy hodgepodge, but flows freely and also blusterously.
Jackson Lee The Undiscovered Self
This is what happens when deep house tries emulating disco music. (also I feel like listening to this in a dark neon-lit hall that is damp and with water covering the ground)
Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid
'The ArchAndroid' feels like a single artist's debut, but a culmination of various collectives' collaborations deep into their careers. Janelle Monae proves her ability to transcend simple genre or style, it just blasts into every direction and succeeds beyond expectations.
JARV IS... Beyond the Pale
For once in his career, Jarvis Cocker decided to push the usually overwhelming force of his own personality and style to the background and focus on an album of musical homages. Granted, the influences can be too obvious. However, the way Jarvis and co. work with them and how they turn these sounds and styles into a unified work of art is fantastic. A catchy pop kaleidoscope of melancholy.
Jaubi Nafs at Peace
Professionally constructed, beautifully played, gorgeous Eastern, Middle Eastern, and Indian fusions, dramatic melodies and rhythms.
Jessica Moss Pools Of Light
Absolutely gorgeous neo-classical record. Ambitious, but also quiet and minimal. Expansive and landscapic, but maintaining fragility and vulnerable emotionality. Beautiful through and through.
Jessie Ware What's Your Pleasure?
this album makes me feel warm and fuzzy, safe and loved
JID The Forever Story
this b slaps ahrder than i slap yo momma dayumn son
Joanna Gruesome Weird Sister
'Weird Sister' is a blissful batch of songs as gentle so rawdy and punky. This is exactly the type of indie music to make you feel cozy and rebellious.
Joao Gilberto In Tokyo
Joao Gilberto reaches new grounds of soothing music with this live bossa nova performance. Every song is blissful and enigmatic. Every guitar lick is pleasant and calming. And his singing is capable of making a baby vibe. It's a superb performance perfectly recorded and ideal for any moment you need to calm or detox.
Joao Gilberto O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor
Along the lines of exploring bossa nova, I realised that I love hearing Portuguese in music. It's a language that automatically frees you up a little, provides a refuge of calm, a warm linguistic blanket. I can barely imagine any other language that'd compliment this genre in the way it needs. Consequentially, this album is the best possible entry-level bossa nova, thanks to its accessible writing and brevity, you can offer it to anyone to listen as a perfect sample of the style.
Julia-Sophie y?
Oxford native Julia-Sophie's debut EP is a curious rendition of dream pop that masks itself behind well crafted electronic production, making it sound almost like an electronic remix of some baroque pop record. Atmosphere on here is impeccable.
Ka A Martyr's Reward
Perhaps Ka should be given some rating handicap, seeing as he is one of the best lyricists in hip-hop today. Let's at least agree that Ka employing mostly similar production tactics throughout all of his albums is at least unimaginative. However, let's also agree that to his very particular, deliberate spoken-word style delivery (although on this album we hear him go off with a bit more varied flow every now and then, this style of hazy rustic melancholy-ridden beats is simply perfect. See not the "Superb" rating as a complete seal of approval and an elevation of this record above all Ka's other projects, but more as an admission that the artist in question has once again released a beautifully poignant, lyrically dense and musically haunting album, albeit playing mostly into his own tried and true strengths.
Kairon IRSE! Polysomn
What makes Kairon; IRSE!'s newest so great - much in the same vein as all of their work - is how it smartly and carefully works with its time. See, the songs are lengthy (not astronomically, but 5-6 minute average can scare some people anyway) and however engaging their build up and start is, they possess a frightening quality of growing tiresome. But the band knows that. They juice the song-writing just enough to make it stick and engross and then proceed to change it up little by little, until the tail ends are completely different structurally, melodically or tonally, or are elevated, monolithic versions of their beginnings. As such, 'Polysomn' becomes an increasingly exciting listen and an album worth returning repeatedly.
Kairon IRSE! Ruination
Kairon's breeziest and most heavenly album, the fuzz is mostly soft and the multi-layered melodies are some of the catchiest to date.
Kashiwa Daisuke Program Music III
an absolute stunner
Kashmir Zitilites
Sounds a lot like In Rainbows in the spirit of The Bends. I can't shake off these Radiohead comparisons. No matter how great i think the album is, they just persist.
Kendrick Lamar Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers
mfs hatin just cause they were told there'd be another decade-defining classic smh
Kino (Rus) Gruppa krovi
review pending...
Kishi Bashi Emigrant
Kaoru's masterful song-writing is once again at full display in an air-tight, tailor-knit EP that leaves no room for missteps.
Klaus Schulze Cyborg
I find it interesting that "Cyborg" be this overlooked (on Sputnik and elsewhere) while "Irrlicht" (arguably Schulze's magnum opus) is revered and renowned to such and extent. This album radiates so much hallucinogenic energy, it practically projects an experimental film it might be scoring right into your head.
Koreless Agor
I love how distant and alien this sounds.
Leonard Cohen Thanks For The Dance
Leonard goes out still haunting us with his poetry and soul shattering depth of his voice. He also goes out, as he has throughout his life, being haunted by the ever ironising frailty of his persona and the weight of his past loves. A final beautiful feat of minimalism to farewell one of the greatest wordsmiths of all time.
Lesni Zver Lesni Zver
All-over-the-place in the best way possible, some spoken-word parts, straightforward jazz, some fun jazz fusion and funk passages, plenty of weirdness subtly sprinkled across the 52 minute runtime, just perfectly enough to keep it wild and engaging.
Lewsberg In This House
In every crevice, in each detuned guitar lick, at every snarky word said, this album seeps some poorly latent sadness.
Liars The Apple Drop
I was expecting pretty much nothing, after their last two letdowns, but lo and behold this is their most exciting album since 'Mess'. At the same time it's their most predominantly ethereal and melodic work in a while. It also marks a step in a completely new direction, atmospheric and patient. I'm glad they found this new flavour to their music and I am anticipating with great impatience what they will come up with in the future, provided they pursue this sound further (as they should, I believe). From the negatives I'd only point out the misplaced falsetto that almost always sounded funny rather than endearing and tore me out of the experience.
Life Without Buildings Any Other City
There seems to be an tendency of critique towards music by art students. I am on the fence about it; sure, if all originality of your work comes from something taught to you (as in you can craft a 'good' or 'experimental' album like a math equation), it might take away from the authenticity. Then again, shouldn't proper musicians be adequately educated? idk. People's issue here seems more like that the band applies their art education to make some more head-scratching music. And thinking the experiment is actually worthwhile kind of makes one feel tricked by the art degree. Not sure where I'm going with this. I like it, don't @ me
Little Simz Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
watch her go double platinum with no features
Lone Echolocations
Lone's almost LP-sized EP is also some of the most concise and easy-flowing acid house you'll find out there.
Loscil Monument Builders
A great feat of 'Monument Builders' is that it is clad in gradual unease. At every turn one expects some menace. As if there was supposed to be a motion picture attached, where everything goes to terrifying trouble very soon.
Lost Horizons In Quiet Moments
This is a strange moment when I rate an album the highest there is and its average rating is at a risk of dropping. Shows how good it is, but I also certainly make no illusion that everybody will be as enthralled with this as I have been. It takes patience and it takes familiarity with Bella's historic core line-up and the contexts they represent, I fear. Not that the immensely compelling writing doesn't have the sway for any disinterested listener. Its core audience still lies in those who are probably already atop a wave of interest towards the style and the label.
Low Hey What
how does an album sound this hostile while displaying this gentle a work with melody?
Lula Cortes and Ze Ramalho Paêbirú
I can't say that this is a jazz record combining elements of some musical style unknown to the western ears. The little research I did doesn't seem to suggest so. But it sure feels like. Like a shaman of foreign tongue in a land unknown to you lulls you into a whirlpool of near ayahuasca cosmic enlightenment. Thoroughly fascinating listen.
Maarja Nuut hinged
Maybe I'm just a sucker for ambient pop and especially Maarja's crushing melancholy seeping through every tune.
Magazine Secondhand Daylight
Magazine's no less superb and more or less overlooked sophomore effort sees the band perfect the groundwork established in their debut, enriched with some of their catchiest melodies.
Magazine Real Life
At what is perhaps the greatest testament to the disarray, both emotional and sonic, that post-punk found itself in come late 70s, Magazine strike both the most memorable and the most abrasive that the genre has to offer in this yet undeveloped stage of its existence.
Major Parkinson Blackbox
So apparently this is Major Parkinson going in a more accessible direction (speaking as a Major Parkinson novice, this is my first exposure). Sounds to me a lot like Leonard Cohen doing some fire electronic King Crimson covers. Take that analogy in the best way possible and then add some. Cause this shit fire.
Makthaverskan För Allting
Makthaverskan, a name I dare not even attempt to pronounce out loud, are the one bright shiny example in recent memory of a project successfully fusing hazy dream pop (and some shoegaze) with post-punk and making it both blissful and heavy. One'd think that it'd be easy, given the styles' similarities, huh.
Mamaleek Come and See
Idiosynchratic metal genre fusing album. I am unfamiliar with Mamaleek's previous work, but if it is as deranged and dramatic (with industrial tinges) as this, they're in for one of my new faves.
Maria Teresa Luciani Suoni Di Una Città
I like these kinds of background stories to records. An unearthed collection of surprisingly stunning work ahead of its time is always a treat. Luciani's is some of the most captivating, depicting life in the busy big city through the use of amplifiers, early computers, tapes, sonic toys etc. Quite the journey.
Marissa Nadler For My Crimes
Intimate and a little desperate even by Marissa's own standards. Somehow the echo effect on the guitar and the vocals devolves any immediacy into a wave of sorrowful dryness. And makes for a beautiful album.
Marissa Nadler Songs III: Bird on the Water
In what should really be no surprise, a haunting gothic folk album about loss, grief and vapid void of whatever 'life' is is as eerie as it is beautiful.
Marissa Nadler The Path of the Clouds
Still struggling to properly rank her discography, I occasionally find myself positing that this may actually be her best, most well-rounded, sophisticated work. 'Tis a difficult thing to determine with new releases, how well they fare with the artist's overall work. I still strongly believe that only time can tell, but for now I find myself coming back to this ethereal yet haunting beauty more often than her other albums.
Mark Lanegan Field Songs
'Field Songs' unjustly gets misremembered and underranked as one of Mark Lanegan's "other good albums". But upon deeper examination and more detailed listen you'll find an album masterfully crafted in musical concept: a tight ship of blues-to-americana folk songs. Much per Mark's usual style, he never turns his song-writing completely towards rock or towards folk. No material here can be accurately defined under a dominant label.
McKinley Dixon For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her
McKinley Dixon is one of the better, not pompous conscious rappers on the rise today, incorporating his dense lyrics into equally complex production and a network of features, each more than justified.
Meat Wave Malign Hex
An absolutely thrilling and ruthless modern goth-punk record, where the band embraces all of their heaviest, most unforgiving techniques.
mellotronsoul mellotronsoul
To whom it may concern, this is the loveliest bleep-bloopy ambient record of the year of our lord 2020. Wasn't so shite a year after all.
Melt Yourself Down 100% Yes
We need more albums like '100% YES' and we need more bands like Melt Yourself Down; bold, outlandish, idiosyncratic, tropical in atmosphere and absolutely jungle-fucking-wild in execution.
Melt Yourself Down Melt Yourself Down
Melt Yourself Down have figured it out. The 'it' being something so simple that I wonder how are there not more bands like this. 'It' is that they combine afrobeat, middle-eastern folk song-writing, tropical jazz, dub and psychedelic rock for some top notch wilderness. The album never slows down and feels like a nonstop rager party.
Melt-Banana Charlie
Melt-(Your Fucking Face Off)-Banana at it again with their typically atypical fuckknowswhat idontevenknow itsridiculousreallyfuckwritingsentencesaboutthis hagdjshggjosbhgirjwawehtlkjwlthlktjr
Menomena I Am The Fun Blame Monster!
Right off the bat of their career Menomena establish a deeply distinct sound and song-writing direction that'd go on to define their band of off-kilter indie music. By using disordered rhythm patterns for intersecting lo-fi rock aesthetics, mild electronic enhancements and various surprising uses of instruments (that piano and sax in the mix is top-notch), these folks reach a sky-high level of newness in sound.
Menomena Friend And Foe
Menomena's actual second album, 'Under an Hour' notwithstanding, is arguably a more accessible listen. The band took a higher-budget cleaner production round and delivered their best ever song-writing to boot.
mewithoutYou Ten Stories
'Ten Stories' may be the perfect jumping off point for either anyone in need of mewithoutYou's introduction or anyone searching an actually appealing modern day post-hardcore leaning indie music.
Miha Kralj Andromeda
The prime example of the quirky, sci-fi-inspired late 70s/early 80s synth electronic revolution.
Minor Threat Minor Threat
two most upvoted soundoffs here are bitching about straight edge smh
Model/Actriz Suntan c​/​w Damocles
A fantastic industrially tinged electronic rock duo of tracks.
Moondog Moondog 2
More love for Moondog now!
Mora Mothaus Overture To A Dream
This EP plays tricks on you. It sets you up for a subtle minimalist straightforward folk-pop and then does a 180 and delivers enchanting larger-than-life instrumentals. Its dense atmosphere and careful gorgeous writing ensure that the ambition doesn't turn into over-the-top firework explosion, but rather stays a quiet beauty.
Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia
I'm glad that the Youtube algorithm had this gem land in my lap at the time it did. I was in dire need for some cutesy minimalist prog woven together with multiple layers of synth.
Mount Eerie A Crow Looked At Me
good lord whoa
Mylene Farmer Ainsi soit je...
I speak from a place of great bias, seeing as this album laced my childhood. In objective analysis it'd most liked fall apart, but ultimately win over the hearts of many who mostly long for plainly catchy disco music. The music videos as well are absolutely legendary.
Neil Ardley A Symphony Amaranths
Brim-packed with illusory jazz and classical orchestral arrangements and forms, deliberately bending the definitions of genres, pulling tricks and changing directions at any given moment. Beautiful record of extreme magnitude that somehow manages to sound delicate and subtle.
Neko Case Blacklisted
Neko Case makes an impressive and emotional showing for fusion of americana and pop with her mighty vocals and lyrics she powers through like a storm.
Neu! Neu!
When virtuous rock meets alluring electronica. It is perhaps the nostalgic bias speaking out of me in saying that this is a classic album, because I can honestly barely point out a solid reason for enjoying this album. I've heard it in my youth, it impacted me well and I still enjoy it as an adult. Whatever the reason, whatever.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis Carnage
In what everyone and their grandma probably already observed, this is Cave and Ellis finally gripping that semi-ambient musical concept by its mane and running full course with it. Everything that has been orchestrally alluded to on 'Skeleton Tree', synthetically on 'Ghosteen' and to a lesser extent on 'Push the Sky Away' has been perfected here. And all you needed to do was plug Warren Ellis more into the writing process, as you always should.
Norken and Nyquist Synchronized Minds
house so dense it melted a permafrost
Novos Baianos Acabou Chorare
'Acabou Chorare' is the album to turn anybody onto Brazilian music. Beautiful dense mixtures of traditional and popular Brazilian styles, as well as progressive rock, psychedelic rock and pop, folk influences, and jazz.
Old Man Gloom Seminar VIII: Light Of Meaning
The more eerie and disturbing of the two Old Man Gloom 2020 projects, on which the accompanying's album abrasive nastiness is also complimented with great song-writing. It's like if Seminar IX was a sample album, showing you a little bit of what is to be expected, while Seminar VIII plunges deep into the heavy, the ugly and - for lack of a better word and the sake of pun-ery - the gloomy. (Heck, even the drone sections are quality here)
Pat Metheny Bright Size Life
Pet Metheny has made the habit of putting forth guitar-jazz projects that emanate beautiful tranquillity. I don't really have anything else to say here other than some "uuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh so relaxing ooohhhhhhhhhhh" to reach the minimum symbol limit for a sound-off.
Patrick Watson Adventures in Your Own Backyard
The biggest difficulty facing listeners is their tolerance for Patrick breathy falsetto. I admit, it has taken me aback as well. But after getting used to it, plenty of musical brilliance opened up. The very flamboyant vocal delivery Patrick employs only serves to build upon the theatrical over-the-top song-writing. Lovely, lovely stuff.
Patrick Watson Close To Paradise
Throws you for a loop with its stunning vocals and arrangement, but breaks your heart slowly and painfully.
Patrick Watson A Mermaid in Lisbon
Patrick Watson continues to create some of the most enchanting, melancholic music this (gentle) side of post-Anna Von Hausswolff age.
Pedestrian Deposit Volatile
I've been in love with this band and album ever since my tinnitus.
Pedestrian Deposit Fatale
Pedestrian Deposit enjoy an unlikely and unseemly type of popularity. They are the "indie" darlings among the obscurists, the weirdo types who judge every song on basis of sound distortion and lack of clarity. Although their Spotify numbers, for example, are not impressive by large margins, they are miles above and beyond most artists in this vein. This album might as well be the prime example of the duo's talents, sharp, riveting, noisy, and purposefully unpleasant.
Penelope Trappes Penelope Three
Penelope Trappes' approach to minimal music is spectacular. Its orchestral subtlety signals feelings of unsaid emotional torment, despair and also perhaps peace with losing hope. Depressing beauty of it really tears you apart.
Perfect Angel at Heaven EP
Almost mathy in its presentation, and certainly one of the more feracious and well-sung art-punk projects in the past years; great instrumental interplay, great vocals, great energy, everything's great.
Peter Evans Quintet Ghosts
Stunning, twisted album. In some 50 odd minutes Peter Evans Quintet play out some of the wildest, most rapturous robust jazz adventures.
Phi Life Cypher Millennium Metaphors
Insanely underrated and overlooked hip-hop group that pretty much make UK scene sound its most New Yorkian ever.
Pijn and Conjurer Curse These Metal Hands
Where the 'beautiful' meets the 'savage' and is all swallowed by the industrial landscape.
Pleasure Craft Walls, Mirrors and Windows
Pleasure Craft, previously an on-again off-again good band, out of nowhere released an album I'd have expected from a seasoned band shooting at their magnum opus. The fact that every song here is catchy or atmospherically engrossing is quite a feat.
Positive Noise Heart of Darkness
Mostly a bit derivative of what's the talk of the town at that time (especially The Sound or Wire come to mind), but Positive Noise throw together some real bangers here.
Protomartyr Ultimate Success Today
I would abstain from immediately trying to rank this within band's discography, but for what it's worth 'Ultimate Success Today' is their most mature album yet. Mature of course meaning their most emotionally jaded and opinionally exhausted. Lyrics display a state even more tired, confused and amid giving up, but the despondency in songwriting show growth. Just how much does some vibrant sax add to their mix, oh my. I wish it were utilised more. Songs either strike gold right away or patiently brew in your mind, growing their wicked roots deeper into your memory, contaminating you with a Twisted perspective of what is rock.
Protomartyr The Agent Intellect
With 'Agent Intellect' Protomartyr home into their own completely. Not that their previous work hasn't had a distinct sound and song-writing aspects, but with this they've surpassed even many of their major influences and certainly contemporaries.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets High Visceral Pt. 2
High-octane bombastic instrumentally mental psychedelic experience. yippie-yay
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets High Visceral Pt. 1
100th High Visceral rating. Let's celebrate by listening to more High Visceral.
PUP The Dream Is Over
This album makes me think of summertime and basement shows like no other. Sweaty, punching, funny, and insecure; all the best under one roof, so to speak.
PUP Morbid Stuff
Right before their most biting record, PUP made their most fun-loving, as well as reflective effort yet. Which just so happens to feature their most consistently hilarious lyrics and catchy hooks.
Pusha T It's Almost Dry
Pusha T, for the first time since his Clipse years and definitely more than ever before in his solo run, has made a biting, sharp-witted album that has not a single dud, no point of dourness, and is laced throughout with only the hardest and catchiest acid cuts.
Radiohead OK Computer
Amazing, they've predicted both Siri and the rise of Dell Computers with album title alone.
Rational Youth Cold War Night Life
I remember having enjoyed this a lot a long time ago. Little did I know just how much will my enjoyment be rejuvenated when I return to it all these years later. It's a truly stellar writing job on Rational Youth's part, a hell of a consistently catchy ride that other darkwave albums can only hope to come close to.
Rina Sawayama Sawayama
One of the wildest and catchiest pop albums this year. It is sheer audacity and glamour and I love it to bits.
Robovine How to Start a Business
what the hell is this, Ars? thank you for sharing
Rorcal Muladona
Thanks to this album I found out what Muladona is. Thanks to this album I also found out that beauty doesn't need to be in pretty melodies and lovely arrangement, it can also be beaten over your head with a metal bat.
Run the Jewels RTJ4
Run the Jewels have come a long way from their in-your-face show-off style beginnings. Their lyrics have become more topical and sharp, El-P's production at its cleanest and simultaneously harshest ever, the urgency and frustration in delivery the most savage, and their songwriting most on point.
Ryuichi Sakamoto Thousand Knives Of
Ryuichi's debut shows some intricate instrumental work, cleverly navigating from one style to another, using an immaculate palette of instruments, from electronics, through guitar experiments, to more minimal single-instrument passages. Nothing feels like it's sectioned into separate songs, but rather flows effortlessly segment to segment.
analogue glitch loop samples breaks. it's a soup of bangers.
Seefeel Quique
Seefeel really bring out the biggest, quietest guns with their most ambiently laced - and simultaniously most subtle-pop-oriented - album. Despite the charming calm of the album, it may be their most evocative and adventurous work ever.
Shabazz Palaces Black Up
It's a shame that for as masterstroke as this was, Shabazz Palaces never even attempted to follow it up with any particularly creative or creatively curious efforts.
Shibusashirazu Shibuboshi
An absolutely wild and heavy experience. It's like spirits of fun and insanity join forces to guide you on a spectral astral journey.
Sibylle Baier Colour Green
Sibylle Baier writes her carefree but burdened tunes with appropriate ease. A curious tale of an album lost to time, unearthed to pleasure and adoration of many some couple of decades later. A lovely lovable picture of 70s pacifist folk sentiments so decade-defining and beautiful.
Silver Apples Silver Apples
Silver Apples' self-titled debut is one of the catchiest, most easily accessible blends of electronic tape experiments and psychedelic rock, complete with allusions to krautrock, intentional or not.
Sivyj Yar Неизбежность
Stworz's side is a little less impactful, but Sivyj Yar's contribution is one of the best atmo bm pieces of the year. If not so, at least its production and overall sound is one of the best of the year.
Skullflower Form Destroyer
best bad trip music out there
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum Of Natural History
do i get to cuddle with the gorillas in this museum?
Sloppy Jane Madison
She's been given a budget, she's been given a band expansion, she's been given the caves. She's come through with what appears to be the most grandiose artsy Bohemic album.
Smog Red Apple Falls
Smog's most subtle and melancholic album subversively reaches greatest heights, as its narratives and musicianship showcase Callahan and the band at their most effective with the fewest workable tools.
SOUL GLO Diaspora Problems
The most blistering and catchy, lyrically biting but vocally incomprehensible punk album in the longest time.
Spellling The Turning Wheel
For some certainly difficult to stomach vocals turned out a grand delight for me. If you manage to get over her voice, you will be treated to beautifully arranged, sophisticated fairy-tale the scope of which deserves a much brighter and more striking cover art.
Springtime (AUS) Springtime
Dense and deliberate, even though not that unlike any regular Gareth Liddiard album. The guy tends to take a stern dominance over any project he takes part in.
Steve Reich Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint
Contemplative minimalist compositions; one on the nature of train travel, comparing one's lucky position as an American in the 40s to a European's, the other being mostly a study in compositional and recording techniques. Together, a bluntly beautiful work that, although unattached to one another, is a testament to Reich's abilities as a composer and a band leader.
Steve Roach Traveler
Even if a little corny, Roach's 'Traveler' is a deep dive into pop-oriented atmospheric electronica. In a lot of ways similar to 70s French space pop underground, Roach exudes an almost progressive rock flair.
Steve Roden Forms of Paper
So I know it's going to be difficult asking people to actually listen to this, as it's pretty much a background non-music by superficial definitions, but it has the potential of being a highly rewarding listen. There is an air of absolute calm here uncaptured by any other project in my memory. Steve Roden minimises the variance of sound and noise in his field recordings to an uttermost minimal non-structure, where but the slightest deviations from frequencies remain.
Sufjan Stevens Carrie and Lowell
I don't know which in chronology magnum opus of his people claim this is, but it still deserves all the praise.
Susanne Sundfor The Silicone Veil
I don't know what is it about Susanne's approach that makes even her most upbeat optimistic songs (and this album is probably her most uplifting to date) sound sinister and foreboding.
Susanne Sundfor The Brothel
Susanne takes a buttload of sudden twists and turns I did not see coming. Times it sounds plenty gothic and folky, but then busts out a switcheroo and goes all noir-electro-pop, orchestral or gospel on yer ass. I feel used by an onslaught of various styles each having a go at me. I'm the workin' girl at the brothel turns out. Sundfor has made me her bitch for the album
Sweet Trip You Will Never Know Why
Astonishingly, this delivers catchy, playful and heavenly, heavenly, heavenly tunes all throughout. Like I can't recall a dud here. Can see it turning into a classic in my eyes in a few years' time.
Swell Maps ....In "Jane From Occupied Europe"
Coming from the gnarlier and more jarring side of early-days post-punk, Swell Maps made purposefully confusing music. All is unexpected, nothing is predictable. It can go from bare-bones to a musical clusterfuck in a matter of one song. And it can entertain and weird out.
T2 It'll All Work Out in Boomland
An epic ride akin to a Narnia rollercoaster with extra large popcorn I guess.
Taeko Onuki Sunshower
There are many words with which one can describe Taeko Onuki's music; gentle, beautiful, sophisticated, catchy, charming, etc. A comforting warm wave washes over you along this album's run, the loveliest of summer nostalgias, some indescribable peace.
Teho Teardo Ellipses dans l’Harmonie - Lumi al buio
What Teho Teardo does here is a thing of beauty. Every direction and risk he takes works out perfectly and sounds adventurous, even if familiar and comforting in its minimalism.
Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld Still Smiling
One heck of a difficult to define or label album. Inspired by classical music, but mixing also minimalist electronica and industrial production, spoken-word poetry and jazz. A lot going on and nothing is ever chaotic, all is beautiful and eerie.
Terry Riley In C
When rating this piece, I am referring to the original 1968 Terry Riley and Center of Creative and Performing Arts 42-minutes-long performance. Terry Riley's composition is beautifully simple. There's not much variance in the composition at first glance. But the composition swells up ever so harmoniously and with each passing minute you'd think there's no way it can get any more ambitious, but you keep getting sucked into this lush fairytale world Riley constructs for you.
The Afghan Whigs How Do You Burn?
okay so like uuugh i love this
The Au Pairs Playing With A Different Sex
This is exactly the kind of post-punk that I absolutely love, meaty, dense and sassy.
The Black Heart Rebellion Har Nevo
An absolutely haunting work that jumps from gothic noir rock to dramatic post-metallic devastation.
The Bug Fire
The Bug has ominously engrossed their way into my heart with a dense, flavourful house project with heavy dub, reggae and grime influences. This album is relentless in its darkness, ever-expanding the nightmareish furnace of hallucinogenic soundscapes and multi-faceted influences. Perhaps not too diverse in its song-writing or production, but by that virtue it is all the more harrowing.
The Chariot One Wing
Surprising amount of versatility for a screamo hardcore album. I feel weird not knowing what else to say. It really is good. All those people praising it were right.
The Comet Is Coming Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam
Leave it to the absolute masters of spiritual cathartic occult jazz to deliver the bassiest, heaviest, most abrasive and unforgiving jazz banger album of the year.
The Delfonics Tell Me This Is A Dream
A long journey, but never overstaying its welcome, showing some absolute deadly infectious hooks and early 70s soul smoothness that is quite unmatched still. Goddamn!
The Felice Brothers From Dreams to Dust
Out of nowhere comes a left-turn of a country record, one of the most poignant, lyrically dense and beautiful records of the year.
The Fire Theft The Fire Theft
From their emo upbringings straight to emo-laced alt-rock, post-SDRE crew has made a throttling rock record of heartache and infectious hooks, all delivered in the most damaged froggy throat vocals.
The HIRS Collective We're Still Here
Be there or be capitalist imperialist scum square.
The Lion's Daughter and Indian Blanket A Black Sea
Some of the eeriest and most captivating attempts at a new direction within sludge metal in recent years (well, within the recent-most decade). Both bands bring out veracity and doomy lore unsurpassed by either artist since, or any artist for that matter.
The Plastic People of the Universe Egon Bondy's Happy Hearts Club Banned
Quite a legendary band in Czech underground, laying the groundwork for many central European experimental bands to come, masterfully combining psychedelic music with various sonic experiments and Egon Bondy's drunken recidivist poetry.
The Pop Group For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?
The Pop Group go even more abrasive and even more ambitious with a batch of tracks that range from ugly to poignant and ugly.
The Pyramids Lalibela
At some point in this album, you will be hypnotised. I do not know when that will happen for you, maybe within first few minutes, maybe after the album's finished and you have time to reflect. But I know it will. That is 'Lablibela's primary function and purpose. Its wild, but slowly progressing structure build tension inside you that at once reaches catharsis and is released with all your momentary ailments. And then you are only at ease, letting the wave of spiritual goodness take you away.
The Raincoats The Raincoats
Have you no heart to not be immediately cheered up by this good attitude repository?
The Saints (I'm) Stranded
The Saints with this album (and their whole presence) helped define the shape and direction of Australian punk in their day and to come.
The Thermals The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Some of the catchiest quick-witted indie rock of the 00s.
The Veils Total Depravity
The Veils' most noir records to date, much like the Nicola Samori artwork, full of depraved nihilism, Hegelian horrors, Classicist dread, pop extravagance, and cryptic lyrics.
The Young Gods Only Heaven
Heavy, but easy to listen to; epic, but not too muddled; dense, but not overwhelming; catchy, but not simplistic; sophisticated, but not pretentious.
The Young Gods Play Kurt Weill
I am not sure what makes this sound so aggressive as opposed to Young Gods' remaining discography. Over the years of listening to this I have come to some semblance of a conclusion, but it is not a satisfactory one: first, this is one of their most accessible albums, and second, the more straightforward rock production allows for the direct in-your-face-ness to truly shine.
Thelonious Monk Thelonious in Action
My first ever Thelonious tape back in the day. I remember not really knowing what I'm going into and being completely floored by just the sheer smooth swagger of this. Immediate transportation to the sassy sexy 50s New York club scene.
Themselves Them
Unsung pioneers of understated semi-rap, where each verse is denser than the other, while the minimalist production makes this sound like a bunch of vet hip-hoppers dropped by your parents' basement to record off the road.
Thomas Azier Love, Disorderly
Thomas Azier achieves beauty that is both ominous and flamboyant. It sounds like a death toll of an optimist, broken and disoriented calling upon a demonic might. The music to be set to the last breaths of humanity (in the least black metal way possible).
Tragic Mulatto Locos Por El Sexo
Big stinking cum dripping dick energy here, with a side of STDs
TV Priest Uppers
Look, I might be overcompensating here. See, my initial reaction to 'Uppers' was one where I had great difficulties separating it from and not comparing it to so many of its contemporaries having been released pretty much at the same time: Shame, Black Country New Road, Viagra Boys, Sleaford Mods, all unarguably bigger names. And so TV Priest's cheeky noisy post-punk rawness felt a little commonplace. I realised that and started trying really hard to ignore any and all comparison. Besides, on surface level I did really enjoy plenty of material here. So I did that and loved most of what I heard. I'll give it more time to marinate, of course, but right now, some three and a half listens in I am thoroughly impressed and how effortlessly the band makes use of their influences, mixes that thick bass in and rips to shreds any structural expectations.
Valerie June The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers
Out of nowhere, Valerie June comes through with soul album of this year, as well as several past years.
Vangelis Earth
One of Vangelis' early works, so it's still in a bit of a rough state. But it is perhaps the first to truly showcase his abilities as a composer and stylistic experimenter.
Various Artists (Indie) Day Of The Dead
Extra long, super-packed compilation for HIV charity from 4AD alums, masterminded by the Dessner brothers, where plenty of up-and-comers, as well as dusty acts inexplicably bring out some of their strongest material.
Various Artists (Punk) Really Bad Music For Really Bad People
If you want to hear 12 artists unite under one label to deliver their own versions of The Cramps' songs in various levels of originality and in mostly unison level of quality. Really wild stuff here. Who cares that there's barely a rhyme or reason to it?
Vashti Bunyan Just Another Diamond Day
Easily the best case for living a simple, traditional farm life in the mountains. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but that is the emotional impression the album has given me. I want to be a local farmboy sing-songer in a village somewhere.
Vashti Bunyan Lookaftering
I don't know, kishnan390 pretty much said it all. Vashti is as strong as she has ever been even after such a long hiatus.
Venetian Snares Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding
Mesmerising in its attention to detail, as well as commitment to chaos. I suspect that to many unprepared for the excesses of industrial and glitch music (apparently, the correct term for this style is breakcore) this will sound like the noise early computers made when breaking down before bursting to flames.
Violet Cold Empire of Love
are yall more offended that this has rainbow flag on the cover or crescent and star or those two features together?
Viy Йшов я небом
Shit, this is really great! Plenty of fantastic catchy tunes and a very rough (in a charming way) execution and production.
Voyage Futur Inner Sphere
Music to make you lie in the grass in warmth of a blanket with a thermos of tea. Peaceful.
Vual To End All Life
On surface level, To End All Life offers nothing new. Clash of black metal and crust punk is not a novel idea, the two genres have marched hand-in-hand since forever. But Vual's particularly gnarly, repulsive approach is what can awe you. Not for faint of heart and certainly not for soft of soul.
Weyes Blood Titanic Rising
First album on the list that I knew very well. What absolute heaven Weyes Blood gifted us here. As if to summon the god(ess) of love and beauty, 'Titanic Rising' sounds like a celebration of the absolute life, love, lovelife, love of life and life full of love. Even in moments of lyrical drowsiness, I feel like the album wants me to be happy, safe and warm in every and all case.
Wild Beasts Limbo, Panto
Some of the most ridiculous falsetto you've ever heard spiced up with outstanding catchiness. Lovely.
Wobbler Dwellers of the Deep
Another in Wobbler's long line of stellar, meticulously crafted prog releases. Tracks over 10 minutes swift by, you won't even notice. So much energy and raw power.
Wobbler From Silence to Somewhere
Modern prog's unsung (though increasingly more and more sung) heroes write what may very well be their most consistently eruptive and cosmic album to date. With their sixth string always at bay to whip out like a lash, their combos always at 11, their epic synth leads ever multiplying and their drums rhythming the devil to good times.
Xenia Rubinos Una Rosa
Goddamn, I did not expect this level of intricacy and melodic beauty. Xenia's previous albums certainly did not made me expect this shift to semi-autotune disco melancholy.
Yann Tiersen Kerber
I pretty much agree with ajcollins15. This record took me completely by surprise, Yann's most stripped-back work also bears the most beautiful juicy fruit.
Young Fathers Heavy Heavy
Even though I've been a fan of theirs for the longest time, I have to admit that this new album is an improvement on all fronts, even if just for the sake of new and on-the-fence fans. If you've previously had a problem with their raw and buzzing sound or their last album's lack of direction, 'Heavy Heavy' offers a cleaned up infectious blast of some of Young Fathers' raunchiest and most effortlessly cool tracks.
Yugen Blakrok Anima Mysterium
One of the best lyricists and emcees today releases a record of immense power and personality. Poignant, smart, heavy.

4.0 excellent
1-800 Girls Dancing For You
A minimal-oriented deep house that sounds like it is very shy of showing the goodness it entails.
100 Gecs 1000 Gecs and the Tree of Clues
we didn't kill crunkcore, it just reformed and came back stronger than ever before.
4 Bonjour's Parties Okapi Horn
An unadulterated whimsy that only the fusion of Japanese and French chamber-comfy folk music can bring.
40 Watt Sun Perfect Light
40 Watt Sun have bored me before, as well as enthralled me. So going into this new album was a mixed bag of feelings, especially given their fanbase adores the boring stuff just as much as the profound. However, I was actually greatly surprised that this time around all of my previous gripes and reservations have been mostly improved upon. No longer is the band muddled by their long-winded songwriting, but they use it greatly to their advantage in crafting these patient, gentle melodies that you don't actually mind going on forever. The drawn-out song-writing is the key here, not the detriment.
44th Move 44th Move
Alfa Mist, UK producer and jazzman, likes to curiously combine jazz music with variety of other genres. On this newest collaborative EP with instrumentalist and similar jazz enthusiast Richard Spaven, the duo produce some body-moving jazz-hop tracks that surprise and certainly raise my appetite for whatever their next move will be.
51 Peg Strange Appointments
First of all, I am eternally disappointed that the band name refers to "51 Pegasi" star in the Pegasus constellation, instead of a 51st pegging threshold. Maybe the most underwhelming aspect of this band. Dubious amounts of velcro-like synth licks, somewhat superficial dark lyrics, lo-fi production and a lot of Nine Inch Nails on Zoloft influence; by the end of it you'll find yourself astonished by the vantablack eyeliner that has materialised around your eyes.
A Certain Ratio ACR:EPA
I am happy to report that ACR's last year comeback record was not just a fluke of desperation (even though I found the album undercooked on several sides) and that the band are back, because they actually have something new to say. 'ACR:EPA' is a crisply produced, four-track of quirky instrumentation paired with actually mature song-writing. The performance is on point, the production is sharp and even though the songs themselves are not the best in their catalogue and some moments could use a trim or revision, I strongly believe that ACR's proper heavy-hitter return is to come very soon.
A.A.L. (Against All Logic) 2017-2019
Well, I don't not know jack about house, but I know not to not let this pass my house, Jack.
A/T/O/S Outboxed
It's barely half an hour long and chill af, but the Belgian duo use their time wisely and drill it into your head that dis shit dope yo
Aaron Space & His Terrestrial Underlings Fishland
On paper this sounds like a bizarre combo, jazz-influenced psychedelic electrospace pop, but in practice you will be surprised to find little to no surprise on this record. But I mean that in a good way, the genre collision works perfectly and you start feeling like it is some tried and true formula already well in use.
Abul Mogard In a Few Places Along the River
Abul Mogard continues to explore liminal sounds of disassociation and melancholy, deeply drenched in some of the most patient production out there.
Acathexis Acathexis
Look, if you can completely floor someone these days with just a standard atmospheric black metal album, you have my admiration (someone is me). Acathexis have here some beautifully intense material. Damn.
Acherontas Psychic Death - The Shattering of Perceptions
Perfectly demonic offering from a band that is only growing strong. Their only fault is always playing to their strengths. But can you really blame them in this genre?
Adam Green Engine of Paradise
Adam Green once again puts out a very brief collection of feel-good simplicity, infectious melodies and clever witty lyricism.
Adam Green Minor Love
Adam's junkiest album, it feels most like a hangover mournful lullaby.
Adam Green Friends of Mine
Adam has two core strengths - and oh what mighty strengths those are - cheeky lyrics with plenty of heart unlike most folk artists, and a great talent for an instantly memorable tune or a hook.
Adia Victoria A Southern Gothic
Adia Victoria could use a helping hand in determining the best flow for her records, so it doesn't drag. She does, however, hold a tight grip on the narrative and song-writing.
Aeon Station Observatory
Aeon Station strikes on two fronts. It is both a strikingly pretty album with many instantly memorable lines and musical choices, and it is also a testament to patience, compelling you to return to its many, many secret layers and hidden strokes of genius.
Aesop Rock Spirit World Field Guide
The lyrical, conceptual juggernaut Aesop Rock turns in a massive quasi-spiritual journey that is a little too long, but mostly delivers solid-ass material. Also opinions on the album may vary depending on how grating you find his voice.
Agnes Obel Myopia
A little sleepier than usual, but Agnes Obel's signature ethereal theatrics are still magnificent and pleasant even at their most depressing or eerie.
Aidan Baker/Simon Goff/Thor Harris The Bit
Something about this is equally eerie and beautiful. The Baker-Goff-Harris trio composed something neatly minimal, but also certainly intricate, far-reaching and alluring with a sense of atmospheric gravitas. I keep thinking I'm in a David Fincher film.
Akolyth Akolyth
One of the better examples of how low-budget lo-fi production can still be masterfully mixed to create truly demonic sound. Especially the vocals stand out, where in cleaner setting they'd've been rather irksome.
Al Di Meola Land of the Midnight Sun
review incoming...
(also a 1000th rating)
Al Wootton Callers Spring
It's like listening to velcro jamming with pipelines.
AL-90 CODE​-915913
Do not be afraid of the 1 hour runtime, because AL-90 bring their strengths to the forefront and - boy oh boy - deliver a smooth sliding techno record that slips from style to style like elements of deep house, industrial techno, footwork and instrumental hip-hop. There's a lot to unpack and it sounds like a lucid dream where you float in the calmest lake in the summer.
Alaskan Despair, Erosion, Loss
Compliments to the chefs over at Canadia's own distraught curmudgeons of apocalyptic gloom, the misleadingly titled Alaskan. What mostly happens here is a heavy, stomping and also deliberate wave after wave of despondency.
Alex Cameron Miami Memory
With the same level of confidence, nonchalance and swagger Alex writes in one breath songs about raising a step-child, divorcing and serenading sex workers.
Alex Rex Andromeda
It's really pretty and charming, but half of it sounds a lot like Tindersticks, even as far as sounding exactly like some Tindersticks songs (like "Handfull of Hair" = "Tiny Tears"). But I must admit that even with that in mind, I still cannot help but love most of what is here. Even thought the singer's voice is wonky, even though it sounds too dramatic for its own good, even though it can be repetitive. It is beautiful fun and stupid.
Algiers The Underside of Power
Consistently catchy and sonically twisted, albeit whoever writes their lyrics could use a course in creative writing or subtlety or just chill for a moment idk.
Algiers SHOOK
'Shook' is in short what 'There Is No Year' was trying to be: a punching, industrial-laced, incendiary genre fusion with still the subtle touch of restraint.
Alice Boman Dream On
The angelic voice only enriches the naivete. It's an aspect some may struggle with. Nothing here bothers to be liked, it just is, in its most primal girly pink rainbow glitter stargazing hooray adorable innocence.
Alice Phoebe Lou Glow
By some strange magic, Alice manages to push the tried and true delicate indie formula to sound also loungy and spacey. There is a great deal of intimacy, as is typical for an album of this style, but this one does not make me uncomfortable at the idea of someone being physically close to me. I happily listen to Alice's tales and wistful daydreaming.
Allie Crow Buckley Moonlit and Devious
She may not be the strongest vocalist out there, but she can pull off a good hook, damn.
Amandra and Karim Sqala
A collection of remixes and reworks of one Amandra and Karim collaborative beat that soothes and smoothes with its distinctly liquid-sounding house cuts.
Amenra De Doorn
Amenra have perfected the slow-sad-shouty metal formula.
American Football American Football (LP3)
Nevermind the house, they still haven't talked about football yet.
Amy Winehouse Frank
Only Amy could make an hour-long album with every song being literally the same story written with different words and make you bop your head like "You go girl!"
Amyl and the Sniffers Comfort To Me
damn this goes harder than it needs to. great stuff, more of this please
Andrew Hill Point of Departure
Rarely does an avant-garde jazz album this wild also sound so calm and relaxing.
Andy Stott Luxury Problems
Andy Stott's most celebrated work may be his easiest to like. All around angular beats and some grainy samples create a somewhat twisted atmosphere that strikes as dream-like on many songs, as nightmarish on others.
Anna Fox Rochinski Cherry
I got some cute minimalist St. Vincent vibes here. And I like a good St. Vincent vibe.
Anna von Hausswolff All Thoughts Fly
In a display of minimalist instrumental musicianship, Anna Von Hausswolff makes an album that can - in a matter of tone - turn its own whole nature upside down, from eerie and distanced to beautiful and emotional. Once more does her knack for mystifying song-writing bring her to the verge of ambient and drone music, only with much more moving and terse effect.
Anna von Hausswolff Ceremony
'Ceremony' may not be Anna Von Hausswolff showing off her most virtuous talents as a singer, as an instrumentalist, and as a song-writer (even though plenty songs here are easily her best, I am generalising), but provides perhaps the best and most easily accessible album for anyone curious about her quite unique brand of chamber-to-goth music.
Annie Hamilton Annie Hamilton
Songs which with their simplicity and deeper poignancy etch themselves into your mind. Their easiness is their strength as it leads straight to immediate catchiness. Their thematic post-Alanis Morisette jadedness prudes and kicks your butt awake at every turn. Mwuah
Antighost Animal Panic!
It may not be the most substantive EP out there, but it is by jolly one of the more mindless fun ones.
Arab Strap As Days Get Dark
Where 'As Days Get Dark' triumphs even over some earlier Arab Strap albums is in how it turns the well familiar slowcore style ever-present in Strap's discography, but adds layers of slightly industrial, electronic and multi-faceted instrumental production. It adds a crucial dynamic dimension to the minimal song-writing.
Armand Hammer Race Music
Very dense and - as is to be expected with Billy Woods - exhausting. 'Race Music' is heavy to tackle and hard to unravel, certainly doesn't let all of its true colours shine right off and too clearly, mostly follows a repetitive, linear structure. There's not much variety in production style, sampling methods and editing, delivery, song-writing. The album overwhelms its intensity, it ties you to your seat and drills its messages, bars and straightforward heaviness in your head.
Armand Hammer Shrines
A brutally honest and bare wordy rap album. It mostly is a little alienating to listen to, after all its production and lyrical delivery sounds hostile. But credit where it's due, the skill and mastery here is on point.
Art School Girlfriend Is It Light Where You Are
Although at its core stylistic leaning and musical philosophy, this is as plain a dream pop as it gets, Art School Girlfriend still manages to ditch out a few surprises. The production is sometimes like a cold minimal techno crossover with disco, the lyrics hit home harder than I was comfortable with, and the occasional track-to-track minimalist background soundscapes are actually beautiful.
Arthur Russell Another Thought
Had to go deep to find this album (meaning a Youtube playlist of unconnected independently uploaded clips). A certain surreal atmosphere cuts through this album. If feels both minimal and ambitions, both scornful and optimistic, both rustic and forward-thinking. A virtuoso playing incredible off-the-wall songs of experience and hope.
Ashe Ashlyn
Ashe's breakup album is laced with infectious melodies and memorable lyrics, surprisingly enough. I'm as surprised as anyone, but seriously kudos to Ashe for pulling this together in as high a quality as it is.
Astronauts Hollow Ponds
Bringing emo stylings to slowcore folktronica with a flair.
Author and Punisher Beastland
Truly a punishing and beastly work, where the band (actually a one-man project) play distorted otherworldly industrial doom metal on self-made instruments. That is a feat alone, but with this album the project finally gained some level of artistic - not just mechanical and technical - finesse and wrote memorable songs that you actually want to go back to.
Avalon Emerson Pressure/Quoi!
this aint house, this a mansion
Their most well-rounded album to date, apart from BBNG2. I'll have to let it rest for a while before raising or lowering the score, but so far after three listens it's a blast. The band's song-writing skill is maybe at its most extravagant. There are fusions of jazz and prog, patterned symphonic arrangements coalesce with near-improvisational outbursts and occasionally an ambient moment breaks the adventurous pace of the album. Beautifully made.
Bambara Stray
From Joy Division, through German 80s electropunk to Nick Cave (especially in vocals and lyrics like on "Serafina"), Bambara's channelling of all dark gloomy post-punk styles has finally been used in a setting of good songwriting.
Basic Channel Quadrant Dub
It really is an incredible deep house effort, whose repetition only serves to deepen its lucid atmosphere, so thick and rich you want to drown in its fluid texture.
Batushka Raskol
So now that people stopped caring about hating this side of the band, let's just admit that this kicks ass. Thanks.
Beach House Once Twice Melody: Chapter One
This deep into their career, Beach House still manage to bring out their heavenliest-sounding music to date.
Beach House Once Twice Melody: Chapter Two
Maybe the strongest of the three EPs, mostly thanks to sheer fantastic song-writing.
Beach House Once Twice Melody
I belong to the odd-one-out category of Beach House fan that started appreciating their records in the latter half of their discography repertoire. For one reason or another, the downright spaceage melancholy of 'Depression Cherry' onward output is what mainly got me to appreciate the rest of their discography even more. 'Once Twice Melody', somehow even more than their ultimately cathartic '7', sounds like a crossroads and a unifier of all sounds, influences and influential leanings Beach House have apparelled.
Beastwars Beastwars
Beastwars strike their stoner sludge brand with plump of a roided up pro-wrestler doing fantasy role play.
Beecher Breaking the Fourth Wall
This album is quite overwhelming. But seeing as it does fall under the umbrella of 'metalcore' I should probably issue a disclaimer that said overwhelming nature in no way corresponds to the post-90s trend of overproducing and exaggerating the faux heaviness of metalcore albums. This is pure screamo-tinged mid-00s ugliness.
Beldame Unrequited
Thick, meaty gothic atmosphere with surprisingly powerful song-writing. Quite a rarity in today's scope of goth rock.
Ben LaMar Gay Open Arms to Open Us
While combining elements of hip-hop, nu jazz, funk, RnB, soul, and blues, 'Open Arms to Open Us' flows by effortlessly. Truly a showcase of Ben LaMar Gay's masterful understanding of the genres and songcraft.
Bench Press Not The Past, Can't Be The Future
Pretty nasty little piece from a band and an album that came out of nowhere. They go to great lengths (in brief runtime) to bring the noisy 70s-to-early-80s post-punk to a more current sound and the results, while not perfect, are admirable. I hope they improve even further in the future (can't be the past) and make the songs even catchier.
Benjamin Clementine At Least For Now
I struggle to call this straightforward, as it most certainly is not, but after hearing I Tell a Fly I am inclined to label this as such. Benjamin experiments here with - and was en route to crafting fully - a beautifully rich and expansive sound that is so dense with colour and finesse, one has to wonder where'd this sound been all these years.
Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man Out Of Season
What Beth Gibbons and Paul Webb created here may at first not seem particularly noteworthy. After all, what's so special about a drawn out folk record. But their command of patience, stillness, ambience, is quite thrilling. So many moments here are borderline hypnotic.
Beyonce Renaissance
It'd be silly of me to crown this quite straightforward nu-disco album as a reinvention of something or a solidly groundbreaking effort, but I cannot in good faith understate the extensive qualities on display here. Beyonce is a skilled artist and a careful networker, knowing well what song-writers and producers to involve in her projects to strike gold. That is why her albums nowadays are released in great time intervals, in order to secure some quality control management. Even if she does not have much to say, her music communicates volumes of power and fun that not many can accomplish.
Bill Callahan Gold Record
Extraordinary spoken-word-oriented folk record with so much character, dense atmosphere and ageing insight.
Bill Evans You Must Believe In Spring
Bill Evans at his most elegant and soothing.
Billy Woods Aethiopes
what Deez said
Black Country, New Road Ants From Up There
Godspeed You! Black Country, New Road
Black Country, New Road For the first time
"I wish all my kids would stop dressing like Richard Hell"
Black Dresses Forever In Your Heart
Some of the most abrasive, obtrusive, and manic pop music in a long time.
Black Dresses Forget Your Own Face
Black Dresses, ever animalistic and ruthless, create a (hyper?)pop album heavier than most metal albums in some last couple of years. Clever of them not to rush a full-length record this soon after the last one and instead focus on a meticulous and methodical chaos in brief 20 minutes.
Black Eyes Black Eyes
Black Eyes set out to spread melodic chaos with their blend of post-punk inspired noise rock and their efforts resulted in a tight half-hour of often gibberish fun fun fun madness.
Black Foxxes Black Foxxes
Black Foxxes, who have never quite been in my full-album radar due to their mostly colourless song-writing and musicianship skills, have now out of nowhere shown themselves to be quite innovative. Making their past, mostly dull, formula suddenly sound mature and stylistically bending, their self-titled album feels like a re-introduction, a step into a new reinvented direction that they will now spearhead. A lot of electronically-tinged production that seems sketchy on paper, but is actually very well executed, as well as song-writing that makes you worried it'd be repetitive, but actually is just patient. A very welcome surprise of an album.
Black Marble A Different Arrangement
In a style that has mostly become a stale miscommunication of its past appeal, Black Marble tune down their production to a volume where they manage to sound relaxing even. No darkness remains, only sweet solitary melancholy that is palpable and caressing.
Black Mountain Wilderness Heart
'Wilderness Heart' takes a slight detour from Black Mountain's previous output into a more fast-paced direction. Its song-writing is more melodic, its production is a little less rustic, its instrumentation is more accessible. All around the band tried to modernise their approach and they've largely succeeded.
Black Mountain IV
In the past, Black Mountain's creative trajectory has been taking them from a steady 70s pastiche to a balanced hybrid to a fully modernised sound, but now they seem to have hit a point they are most comfortable with. 'IV' is a lot like its preceding album, in that it is much more colourful, accessible, and melodic than Black Mountain's work before 'Wilderness Heart'. A little polishing and softening of the sound here and there, but certainly not to the detriment of the album overall.
Blonde Redhead In an Expression of the Inexpressible
The lot of this seems like posturing, but I can't figure out as to what. Either it's a wild noise ride pretending to be one-with-the-crowd or lite pop loveliness assuming the position of trailblazer of noise. Its sin also falls down to the deliberateness of its song structures that at once impress and exhaust.
Blonde Redhead 23
For a while now I've been pondering this bizarre problem I have with Blonde Redhead music, where I never quite fully love it, but I always appreciate it (even at its least noteworthy). In some strange twist I always find their albums to have a strong and vastly distinct musical identity, unmistakable and ever-reinventing album to album. Yet at a whole, no one record managed to really impress me to a degree I think they ought to. Once again I find myself a huge fan of many songs (the title track or "Spring and by Summer Fall" come to mind), but cannot for the life of me return to the album without thinking "Maybe just those couple of songs are enough". But at the very least, now more than ever before, I can acknowledge Blonde Redhead's most consistent and immersive album.
Blood Command Cult Drugs
I would not be doing my due diligence in not acknowledging the fantastic production that made this sound as gnarly as it does. The band plays it like their mission is to shatter the world with rage and unadulterated fun, but by god the mixing makes it sound all the grander.
Blood Red Shoes GHOSTS ON TAPE
Even with this more accessible, fuzzy synth production Blood Red Shoes keep writing music in a way that makes late-00s/early-10s indie rock sound as alive as ever.
Blosse Loin
Atmospheric and crushing. There is not a lot more to say. It has a strange haunting beauty and a bewildering madness within. A lucky Bandcamp find is what it is.
Bob Moses (US) When Elephants Dream of Music
Even though the idea of jazz fusion includes all kinds of jazz-related experiments, I always instinctively assume it'll be a soft rock-ish affair with little to no daring moves. Bob Moses here shows the extents of jazz fusion music to some avant-garde territory, as well as vocal jazz. It's quite a wild beast, even if it strikes as deliberate and slow-burning.
Boldy James and The Alchemist The Price Of Tea In China
Yet another Alchemist collab, this dude is unstoppable. And with Boldy James' grim in-your-face lyrics and delivery, this may just be one of Al's best 2020 projects.
Boldy James and The Alchemist Bo Jackson
Boldy and Al come together with their respective brands of moody chill-hop with a focused narrative and an infectious vibe.
Born Ruffians Red, Yellow and Blue
A fun chunky pre-pop-days album with plenty of heart and jangly lo-fi energy.
Bratmobile Ladies, Women and Girls
Rowdy, quirky, and actually bratty. Great example of proper indie punk with attitude.
Breach It's Me God
this album slapped my ass and called me a dirty little whore and i liked it
Breach Venom
What the band started on 'It's Me God' they now expand to a more focused song-writing, even if the intentional chaos that sometimes clouds any emotional resonance persists.
Breach Kollapse
While on surface veering very little from their previous efforts, 'Kollaps' sees Breach experiment with some of their most ambitious musical ideas. There is an abundance of new instrumental subtleties, the song-writing became much more layered and complex and some moments are downright horrifying.
Brockhampton Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine
Brockhampton's newest and consequently their last album proves another banger machine that dwindles in the second half a little.
Brodka BRUT
My knowledge and tolerance of current electronically-tinged pop landscape is ever-fluctuating. The same goes for Brodka. But on her newest, the ever-charmingly catchy BRUT I found myself rather pleasantly surprised by the flavourful song-writing and production. No new grounds are broken, but for certain the already known tropes and styles are brought to high quality here, give or take a few questionable obnoxious moments.
Broken Social Scene You Forgot It in People
I wish I was the celebratory 1000th rating for this album, but alas 999 will have to do. Broken Social Scene, more than most other bands, have demonstrated a proper change in scope with grander budget here. Dramatic shift in line-up, somewhat of a shift in style and a mild shift in tone to a more quirky, self-conscious, lush and relaxed chamber indie (provided that "chamber" is a penthouse New York recording studio.
Bruxa Maria Human Condition
goddamn this thing shreds my ears and my stereo
Buke and Gase and So Percussion A Record Of...
This EP goes into a variety of directions, each more intricate and surprising that the last, but all also perfectly complementing each other, from the weird noisy experiments to the atmo-ambient-pop tendernesses.
Bullion Blue Pedro
I like this purely instrumental (well, purely electronic) side of Bullion's music more than the pop-oriented vocal one. Maybe because I myself am always vibing more with electronica than electropop.
Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke Her Revolution/His Rope
Pretty much got the chill melancholic piece I expected of these three colliding. That being said it is very spacey and noir.
Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke Ego/Mirror
Even more melodic than their newest collab EP, just as delightful.
Cable Ties Far Enough
Cable Ties have a few distinct features working wonders for them: the blistering explosive vocals of Jenny McKechnie, the slowly but steadily building song-writing and the production sound that makes you mistakenly believe this is going to be a soft experience. These come together wonderfully into a quick-witted tirailleur of an album.
Cage The Elephant Social Cues
I don't understand the negativity towards this album. Sure it is not as compelling as some of their early stuff, but it is nonetheless a fun instantly memorable pop record. Not that substantive, but still perfectly fine entertainment.
Caligula's Horse Rise Radiant
I admit, I am far from a front-row fan of progressive metal or at all a particular connoisseur of the genre. My interests in the styles similar lie mostly in old-school progressive rock of the previous century. Caligula's Horse wield all the most egregious sins propelled by their genre peers. All the over-dramatic, cartoonishly dramatic, overproduced and overplayed, full of clichs masquerading as complexity and high instrumental abilities; this album possesses all those tropes. But it is also beautiful, infectiously catchy and sounds crisp. I cannot quite clearly explain my affection towards this album, but maybe deeper dive into Caligula's Horse's discography will reveal what is it about their music that makes me enjoy it over many of its contemporaries.
Calligram The Eye Is the First Circle
UK band Calligram on their debut full-length masterfully uses the current trend of combining hardcore music with black metal. Their brand of this genre fusion is nothing too unique and falls more on the black metal side of things, but the band manages to craft a particularly vile sound. Listening to this is like having demons of flesh soundtrack your descent into hell.
Candy Claws Ceres And Calypso In The Deep Time
Candy Claws, which I never had a particular interest in (and having sampled their earlier work, never would have expected a great turn of quality), out of nowhere upped their ante and made magic happen with this album. All gorgeous sound giving you all the joys of summer at any given point in time.
Cara Neir Part III / Part IV
A band spearheading the blackened crust movement is back with maybe their most by the numbers album. It is still insane and bewildering, but maybe in a bit more calculated manner.
Carlos Paredes Movimento Perpétuo
Quick and tight, guitar master on display with his trusty sidekicks (in the best way possible).
Carmen Q. Rothwell Don't Get Comfy / Nowhere
Carmen Q. Rothwell demonstrates methods of coping with the art of minimalist improvisational jazz and blues.
Carnivorous Bells Room Above All
Even in its sound this is a throwback to the no wave and noise projects of yore. Think Swans and Six Finger Satellite and sprinkle in some more sass and sax. Angry music for people who'd rather just sit in the corner wallowing in their anger.
Caroline Kingsbury Heaven's Just A Flight
Caroline Kingsbury's is a raunchy, yet accessible, creed of pop music with heightened level of catchiness and class.
Cat Power What Would the Community Think
The Godmother of tender indie music with her most poignant record to date.
Caterina Barbieri Spirit Exit
Chirping sounds of semi-ambient ecstasy.
Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach Spiorachas - A High Place
Fantastic instrumental duet, plenty of world influences, especially Celtic music. Beautiful landscapic arrangement with plenty eerie and also charmingly calming melodies and rhythms.
Che Noir Food For Thought
"When I'm done I'm going down as the greatest" and certainly she might. Che Noir's lyrics range from biting to savage, to say nothing of her rapping delivery. Although some of the themes she deals with repeat and maybe don't add any new perspective or idea on top of the ones previously said.
Chris Stapleton Starting Over
Chris' lyrics range from commonplace country rasp to actually thoughtful and heartfelt, but it's his song-writing that is the legs and brains of this album.
Christopher Rau The Keys
house so deep, you don't have enough keys for it
Cindy Lee What's Tonight to Eternity
One of the more deceptive albums on this list, whichever way you look at it. Its cutesy song-writing and nave aesthetic is fucked up by the lo-fi, hideous production that actually results in something oddly compelling and beautiful. Or the other way of looking at it, it is a mystifying industrial noise music that is elevated to heavenly heights by its general unexpected catchy adorableness.
Circulatory System Circulatory System
loveable pre-Bandcamp fuzz pop
Circus Mort Circus Mort
Pre-Swans post-punk cured and spiced for your immediate consumption. Like eating a raw energy bar.
Clap! Clap! Liquid Portraits
Another in Clap! Clap!'s great discography. I wish they were all more audibly thematically different, but can't complaint too much, as it still sounds fantastic.
clipping. CLPPNG
With each new release I am in an increasingly smaller minority of people who above all other releases appreciate Clipping.'s debut the most. Now, I do not think this is their most accomplished record or their "best" ('that label is up for a long and tedious debate). This album is the trio's most poignant possible introduction. Had it not been for my infatuation with this, I'd have never believed the hype behind their follow-ups.
clipping. Visions of Bodies Being Burned
Even more so than on 'There Existed an Addiction to Blood', clipping. are striking out with a strikingly dark, dense, and musically unsettling album, whose penetrating horror sound is brought back to reality by Daveed Diggs' delivery (not so much his lyrics, those stay quite consistently thematic), reminding you to not take this too seriously.
Cluster Grosses Wasser
As is instrumental to krautrock, this album deals with some kind of cognitive dissonance. There are driving rock passages, ambient interludes and electronic experiments, thus turning in the best kind of uneven album.
Cold War Kids Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
I am quite surprised at the lukewarm reception this album generally receives, either for its individual qualities or its context in Cold War Kids' discography. Regarding the former, I see it is a catchy, mellow indie balladry at its best. If not that, then at its most accessible, yet authentic and personable. As for the latter, after 'Mine is Yours' delved into a more mainstream, straightforward direction, this seemed like a welcome return to form for the band. There are more adventurous and also more mature songs, more melodic and emotional moments, as well as plenty of thoughtful lyricism. It's an excellent album, in both CWK discography and on its own.
Colloboh Entity Relation
Angular, sampling, cold and calculated, modestly fun house music with great leanings towards abstract and pop.
Conway the Machine From King To A God
Conway and co have such a fantastic energy and attitude, calm and calculated, confident and domineering. Lyrics can be a miss, though.
Counterparts A Eulogy for Those Still Here
Counterparts are back and still playing to their strengths with visceral, disturbingly brutal crackdowns of almost crusty metalcore. But as much as I usually find their music quite one-dimensional and plain, something about the melody work, lyrics, and crisp sound of this record kept me coming back and enjoying it quite more.
Coven Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls
the original Black Sabbath with all the power of the Devil on their side. hell yeah!
Cows Cunning Stunts
Cows are a tough nut to crack. As in their sound is tough and they might not be for everybody. With that said, this is perhaps the most for-everybody kind of noise music.
Creative Waste Condemned
I listened to them, because they are a grind act from Saudi Arabia. I stayed with them, because they are incredible. And I really hope the vocalist got trained to sing like that, cause it sounds like he will spew blood from his throat on every live performance.
Cult of Luna The Raging River
Cult of Luna is as Cult of Luna does and what Cult of Luna does mostly (if I forget 'Vertikal' ever existed) is a tight and often beautiful, albeit far from boundary pushing, yelpy sludgy post-metal.
Cult of Luna The Long Road North
Although I am slightly annoyed that Cult of Luna always somewhat default to their strengths and make albums increasingly identical to one another, I can't help but actually thoroughly enjoy this newest adventure of theirs.
Curved [MOS003]
Dense haunting techno, instantly memorable and makes your head go a-bumping.
Cykada Cykada
A solid modern prog-jazz album that may not have its own personality, but is a great example of solid instrumentals at play.
Dadawah Peace and Love
At all unlike what I stereotypically perceived as reggae. There is so much emotion and the atmosphere is so pleasantly thick with beauty. All is indeed peaceful and loveable.
DADRAS Irrational Ham Gobbler
Some real fucking dense minimal techno. Love this.
DADRAS Holy Wind
"Holy Wind" sees Dadras suddenly push in a direction of some cold, floaty kind of house music with plenty of grainy sound and relaxing atmosphere.
Dananananaykroyd Hey Everyone
The goofiest and also the hardest-hitting indie out there still to this day.
Daniel Knox Daniel Knox
I cannot get enough of Daniel's magnetic voice and song-writing. Absolute stunner, as always.
Darkher The Buried Storm
Darkher finally achieves the album I was hoping of her. It is as exciting, as it is devastating.
Darkside Spiral
Darkside's newest I've been quite battling with for the last few months. On the surface level I really enjoy it in all its surface-level glory. I love the textured production layers, the wallowing krautrock signatures all over the record, its erotic marriage of instrumental neo-psych and Nicholas Jaar's electronic Nicholas Jaar-isms. But quite inevitably it is doomed to be compared with Darkside's first outing. 'Psychic' was such an instantaneous powerhouse that had Nicholas Jaar's name been attached to the band name, even his solo work would've been inevitably forever compared to that album. Most of the issue I've had with the aforementioned "battling" with this album was due to my not being able to shake off the impressions of 'Psychic' still having stretched my penetrated ear holes with its thick muscular meaty goodness. So I am cutting 'Spiral' some due slack here and calling it what it is: catchy as fuck abstracto-pop album from very prolific musicians coming together once again to deliver an album as close to the quality of its predecessor as possible. Tl;dr it's good, y'all be trippin
David Byrne and St. Vincent Love This Giant
This Byrne/Clark brass collaboration is a beast (or a giant, if you will) I did not know I needed. Their unique voices come together seamlessly in an even more unique blend of peculiar song-writing and instrumental lucidity.
Deafheaven Black Brick (Single)
Deafheaven music has left me mostly lukewarm since the days of 'Sunbather' (give or take a few songs on that blue album), I did not expect them to blast off proper gruesome metallic hellscape.
Death Cab for Cutie The Blue EP
I did not anticipate liking new Death Cab for Cutie in this day and age, but here we are.
Debit The Long Count
Debit's newest is a creepy-ass lil' thing through and through. I felt like going through a twisted alternate dimension, where everything is made up of ambivalent ghouls from the Middle Ages.
Deca Snakes and Birds
'Snakes and Birds' seeps verbose spirituality at every turn, production that has minimalism and tribal influences all over the place and unfortunately not the most distinct personality.
Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats Unlocked
Quick concise dense hip hop minialbum with a lot of humour and not a single damn weak spot. I wish the two reunite for more future releases and one day come forth with a longer project, because my greedy ass wants more.
Departe Failure, Subside
Dparte strike gold when their peak song-writing is spiced up with experiments in composition and approach. At times they go in a more standard set black metal direction the project starts cracking a little. But the core curiosity remains, the clean vocals fit perfectly, atmosphere is dense and - as mentioned above - song-writing really is fantastic.
Der Weg Einer Freiheit Noktvrn
I blame my having been deprived of properly good black metal this year for enjoying this as much as I did. Although mostly an unsurprising black metal effort, its veracity, abrasive sound and gorgeous atmospheric song-writing is enough to carry it for miles.
Dan Bejar's Destroyer may be hit-or-miss for many, but it's indisputable that when he finds a style and sound he likes, he milks the guts out of it. This time he ventures into the grey zone between jumbled folktronica and dancy discotheque melancholy, both of which he'd already been exploring on previous albums, most notably on 'ken.' But more so than on that album, 'Labirinthitis' comes off as bold and fun-loving. It's an all around familiar-sounding, yet deeply unpredictable project.
Det Eviga Leendet Reverence
I may be speaking from a place of long-lasting starvation for good black metal, but this is exactly the blistering and beautiful extra-terrestrial noise I needed in my life lately. I may need to return to listening to black metal on a more regular basis and come back to this, seeing if it still holds up. But right now, in this state, after several listens, I like it a lot.
Detektivbyran E18 Album
Like a soundtrack to Swedich Amelie.
Die Kreuzen Die Kreuzen
Straightforward, ugly, noisy punk, no holds barred, angry and agitated.
DJ Jenifa Jag Trax
this house is made for chilling and that's just what it'll do
DJ Seinfeld Mirrors
Chillhouse at its coziest. I wanna listen to this whenever I feel warm or feel like laying in something soft. Only disappointed that it isn't full of Seinfeld samples.
I just love this type of brass-overdosed jazzy punk music. Makes me feel like I'm in a party-cult where everyone is becoming increasingly physically deformed from drugs.
Dos Monos Larderello
Some of the best sloppy hip-hop bangers this year, though probably band's most straightforward work.
Dragged Into Sunlight Terminal Aggressor II
The half drone-noise-ambient half murderous death-doom structure has the potential to be the point of contention for many. But people used to lengthy dread of doom metal i doubt have a hard time adapting to less bassy atmospheric music, and vice versa. So the question of quality only remains in how well did DiS incorporate one long temperamental atmospheric tension with heavy despondency of their familiar cup of bitter metal tea without turning it into a drivel akin to this sentence. And all in all, they did quite well. The music is ominous, unnerving, dire. And once the glacier of heavy ambient fog shifts and reveals the fjord of decay and horror underneath, it's a feast for hellraising ears.
Dramachine Dramachine
This EP is beyond charming, if only for the adorable quirky electronic instrumentals. The surprisingly good and fitting vocals add a lot of character and the amateur lo-fi production cause a great deal of nostalgic tears; nostalgic for the olden days of 80s synthpop/post-punk.
Dream Wife So When You Gonna...
Dream Wife once again profess their energy that is "angry, but not at anything particular" and so their lyrics and tunes are also kind of wishy washy funny jaded, but quite directionless. That is this album's detriment, foremost than the generally slower and softer musical approach as opposed to their debut. That change does not bother me too much, as I think that the energy and writing on "So when you gonna" makes up for that.
Dua Lipa Future Nostalgia
Many here (and not only here) compare this album to Emotion and other Carly Rae Jepsen work. And many rightfully call that comparison unjust. I think so too, but probably for a different reason. Where Jepsen's work has not the slightest appeal to me, Dua Lipa succeeds. Even if this can be derivative in many respects, the sheer song-writing factor carries this album forward. A few median duds, but for the vastly most part, this is full of the most likeable character-rich pop this year can offer.
Dutch Treat Tranquility
In no easy step, Dutch Treat set out to compose exactly what the title suggests: tranquillity. Naturally influenced by ambient and also rock music, their brand of jazz is so hazy, foggy and soft on the ears, it is easy to forget that it even actually is jazz.
Editors EBM
This Editors album slaps. That is a sentence I did not expect to utter in my life anymore.
ee Ramadan
Several surprising factors are at play here. One being that Sputnik still unfairly does not recognise slowcore as a tag (but I doubt it'll ever recognise even more widespread genres) and second that this album that evokes chilling wintertime melancholy comes from a Californian band. I don't know if by stroke of luck or genuine talent they've created a thoroughly electrifying album. So blunt in all its subtlety and straightforward approach, and so heavy in its quiet and disquieting themes.
Eight Bells Legacy Of Ruin
Eight Bells fuse what seems like the meditative doom post-metal and the sporadic, riff-oriented doom post-metal.
Einsturzende Neubauten Alles in Allem
Do people still know Einstrzende Neubauten? Do people still appreciate the importance of this band on the underground music world and experimental genres? Four ratings here (as of writing this) is disconcerting. However, Alles in rAllem is one of their most accessible and newcomer-friendly albums. It's the usual minimal noisy avantgarde songwriting, but more melodic, more soothing in tone and generally easy to listen to. Alles in Allem means All in All. This is, all in all, an Einstrzende Neubauten album. Lush in production, adventurous in arrangement and surprisingly pleasant in songwriting.
Einsturzende Neubauten Silence is Sexy
True to its name, Silence is Sexy attempts to prove the attractive in the minimal. Structuring its audio-image around minimal sounds and everyday noises we are so accustommed to that pearceive them as silence. Here those once unintelligible and unremarkable particles of sound become monuments of their own, ever sprawling and developing into surprising towering structures.
Elvis Perkins Ash Wednesday
Lovely desperate precursor to the bedroom acoustic pop trend and successor to the early days DIY indie.
Elzhi and Georgia Anne Muldrow Zhigeist
Elzhi, the acid-tongued devil, and Georgia Anne Muldrow, the honey-voiced angel, make in collaboration what might be the most biting, cleverly worded and smoothest hip-hop records of the year.
Emeralds Does It Look Like I'm Here?
I feared a hazy slog, the reviewer Emeritus Enotron certainly didn't help my expectations. I got a hazy odyssey. 'Tis quite the glitchy, beautiful and spacey journey through the chasms of progressive electronic's most computery bleep-bloop-like grounds.
Emily Wells Regards to the End
Despite the odd, ill-fitting album cover, Emily Wells' newest is a beautiful, finely crafted chamber pop experience that once again shows her societal and sincere concerns loud and clear without coming off as preachy or tacky.
Emma-Jean Thackray Yellow
For Emma-Jean's newest curious fusion of nu-jazz and space-age soul-pop, get yourself silver eyeliners and a beret for full immersion.
Empath Active Listening: Night on Earth
Great psychedelic atmosphere, mostly relaxing flow, perfect for vibing and turning off.
Esoctrilihum Eternity Of Shaog
An example to learn from to many modern black(ened) metal bands that try to sound surreal and demonic. This is how you do it.
Esoctrilihum The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods
I dunno, I probably could write something down about how this is a badass fucking album that is a little too long, but whatever. It's just a badass fucking album. Here ya go.
Esoctrilihum Dy'th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath
Esoctrilihum's newest is even more orchestral insanity, even more outlandish song-writing and even more bombastic sound. So much craziness goes into this that it can eventually start blending into one. But goddamn is this massive.
Ethereal Shroud Trisagion
Magnanimous, epic black metal album that - quite forgivably, actually - pulls from many tried and true tropes, but uses them wisely to create an experience equally beautiful and heavy.
Everything Everything Raw Data Feel
No shit, their best since 'Get to Heaven'. I am very lightly not using these words lightly.
Exmagma Goldball
Pretty exhilarating hard psych album that is so 70s, it might be only great for wild trips.
Eyes (DK) Underperformer
Eyes turn it up to 11 with this. I had no expectation of enjoying it this much, but somehow their metalcore-ish noise hardcore turned out fucking ballistic and catchy as hell.
Eyes (DK) Congratulations
Eyes, once again and to great effect, made a bluntly formulaic album. They are uninterested in finding variety or newness in sound or structure. However, in resorting to the well-known overplayed tropes, they also play into their strengths, delivering a beast of a record with no downers, no fillers.
E_DEATH Forgotten Realms
Glitched out and hallucinogenic, truly romantic music for the cyberpunk age.
Fatboi Sharif and Roper Williams Gandhi Loves Children
The first half is an air-tight display of musical talent, lyrical strength (give or take a few bars) and top-notch melancholic production and I mostly like this short-format quick-n-done approach to song-writing with every song being under 3 minutes. It's the second half, where things take a slight turn for the strange. More production experiments and questionable tempo switches appear that disrupt the overall flow of the album. But "Fly Pelican" is one of the best rap songs of the year for sure.
Fela Kuti Roforofo Fight
Fela at his most typically energetic and adrenaline-pumping.
Felix Blume Death In Haiti
Bizarre experimental field recording album that is simultaneously instrumental, though not by studio recording.
Feu! Chatterton Palais d'Argile
French drawn-out, occasionally noisy, occasionally electronic, occasionally danceable blend of anything these mad folk came up with, is surprisingly coherent and fun. At an hour long runtime, it doesn't lose steam nearly as much as I'd have expected.
Fiddlehead Between the Richness
A batch of emotionally unstable emo quickies with energy and attitude.
Fievel Is Glauque God's Trashmen Sent to Right the Mess
In the grander scheme of "What the fuck?" I'd say Fievel fits neatly into the "charm your soul" category.
Fiona Apple Fetch the Bolt Cutters
At what is perhaps one of the more confusing listening experiences for me this year, Fiona Apple's album is certainly impressive. It is confusing for me, because I cannot seem to shake the duality of this album's effects: I am sometimes impressed by the odd off beat songwriting and sharp lyrical content, but then I also often get deeply annoyed by the very same songs that get me vibin' on prior listen. Versatility is this album's core. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I enjoy it; by and large it is a cleverly constructed piece of poignant and entertaining intimate wildness. But in certain moods, this can be irksome. Strange, but that's just where I'm at. "It's not you, it's me" kind of situation.
FKA Twigs Caprisongs
FKA Twigs made what might as well be her most accessible work yet. Thankfully, she packed it with some of her best production and catchiest song-writing to date.
Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
I remember this album, but apparently not well enough not to be surprised by its jazziness, breezy summery warmth and surprising songwriting depth. I remember it as a decent folk album, but not much else. Odd, considering I relistened to Crack-Up about a thousand times. I am certainly glad to have come back to it after the years and rediscovered its avant-garde magic hidden under the fabric of easy-going gaiety.
Flock of Dimes Head of Roses
Lovely indie album with raspy guitars that break the mostly straightforward song-writing. That said, the song-writing is also really good mostly.
Flying Saucer Attack Further
'Further' has no shortage of eerie distortion and chilling (not chill-out) atmosphere. It is not heavy, it is jarring. Soft vocals layered with so much noisy musical gore, it becomes almost horrifying. A perfect autumn album.
Foreign Fields Anywhere But Where I Am
Listening to a whole hour of dry folk melancholy was a scary prospect at first, but Foreign Fields swayed me to their side. Maybe I was in the right mood, maybe they made the mood right. Either way, after a few hours of musical meditation, with a dry inner tear rolling around and an empty smile, I concluded that this album is beautiful in its subtlety.
Forndom Faþir
Repetitive to some, appropriately atmospheric to others, Forndom's newest is a Nordic folk beauty. Feel like putting it on at some ritual.
Fornicus Sulphuric Omnipotence
After hearing so many black metal records you learn to unwind, let loose, turn off that critical switch in your brain that keeps nagging "this is repetitive, this is derivative" and just enjoy the repetitive derivative mess in front of you. It's great, it's fun, it's adrenaline pumping and I enjoyed my time with it.
Fort Romeau Beings of Light
Deepest, most stasis-inducing ambient-house record in quite a while. The atmosphere here is absolutely lush.
Four Stroke Baron Classics
Four Stroke Baron prove that hard rock can still sound catchy and fun and not needlessly fall into dad-rock or cock-rock pits.
Franz Ferdinand Get Up and Use Me/Jacqueline
I feel weird having my only Franz Ferdinand rating be of a single, but I need to counter that unjust 1 that's so far the only rating.
French Vanilla How Am I Not Myself?
Yes, please. I need more sexy sassy sax-y modern art-punk in my life. Even though I wish that the saxophone took over the melodic lead more often and he influences ranged even further into the obscure. Maybe in the future the band will delve into the noisy, artsy 70s post-punk revolution and Lizzy Mercier Descloux or This Heat the shit out of their style.
Fucked Up One Day
Fucked Up have always had a sense of melody better than a good chunk of their punk contemporaries and they, ever-playing to their strengths, have delivered another solid-ass batch. Damn you, handsome devils!
Fucked Up Year of the Horse
Completely out of the blue, from a band I never cared for that much, an overwhelmingly ambitious project so massive in its influences, aspirations, stylistic shifts, and song-writing, I was left absolutely enthralled and craving more.
Gabor Szabo Dreams
Szabo's guitar work is one to be reckoned with, but this album is not not just a lovely guitar interspersed with some decent accompanying instrumentation. Sure, apart from the guitar, it is very minimal. But upon deeper analysis, you'll realise its intricate composition and dreamy atmosphere.
Gates of Tyrant Vortex Towards Death
It might be just my own bias as an avid black metal fan, but this album scratched an itch with me. Don't take my endorsement as a guarantee of quality. If anything, it's as typical as it gets.
Gay Dad Oh Jim
Very fun listen, the title track especially.
Genesis Owusu Smiling with No Teeth
Fantastic debut full of fun-loving and also menacing personality. Great dynamic between Genesis and his guests, great song-writing, all just pretty great. Excited what to expect in the future.
Gesloten Cirkel Submit X
I was almost certain I was listening to snippets of at lest three different albums, as it jumps so many stylistic hoops in its run. There is minimal techno and also very booming chromatic techno, doomer lo-fi darkwave and some danceable house. A kaleidoscope of a gloomy album.
GGGOLDDD This Shame Should Not Be Mine
One of those dramatic shifts in style that I actually welcome. Despite my enjoyment of their tenure as 'GOLD', all those rather archetypical hardcore stylings didn't come off as particularly new or distinct for the band. So I applaud their attempts at reinventing themselves as a more goth-themed project, especially given it turned out so well. I believe all the song-writing missteps here can be smoothed out in the future. They navigate this style quite well, after all.
Gia Margaret Mia Gargaret
A beautiful serene peace of acoustic ambient subversion of expectations. I did not see it coming that this was not a pop record. But heck even if you are looking for a straight folk pop record, give this a chance, because it is versatile enough in sound and structure to lure and satisfy anyone.
Giant Haystacks We Are Being Observed
Was going randomly through Johnny's ratings, this band name gave me a chuckle, sounds kinda badass. Will have to listen to more of their stuff.
Gil Scott-Heron I'm New Here
On his final work, Gil makes sure to challenge people's perception of his work, blues, poetry, singing and album structuring in general. His rendition of "Me and the Devil" is one of the first greetings the album gives us and it is one of the most uninviting covers of the song, what with its odd out-of-place electronics and Gil's raspy, out-of-tune vocals. It sort of sets the loose, reckless tone for the album, as most of the material here is not even half as arranged and detailed as that song, despite how head-scratching it was made to be. Gil rambles a lot in between songs, talks through smooth instrumentation and coarse electronic production and tries to sing where you won't expect it. As such, it's one of the best experimental blues albums, never quite revealing all its tricks and making you work for the reward of its substance.
Gilla Band Most Normal
Admittedly, I very often found the album trying too hard to be noisy, especially with the static or high-pitched shrieks as interludes (which I believe to be just a cop-out, if you want to be noisy). However, it still managed to lay down a lot of punches and deliver quite the swinging set of tracks with varying degrees of madness.
Giver Sculpture Of Violence
Even though Giver really try to make some melody play into their already emotional delivery, it seldom comes through, but not to album's detriment. I was mostly left admiring the nasty instrumentation and infectious atmosphere.
Glasser Ring
Glasser stretch the meaning of 'dream pop' to include "summer heat wave fever daydream". (disclaimer: i know this is dream pop only secondarily)
Godcaster Long Haired Locusts
Where Godcaster succeed immensely is in writing zany fun indie punk tunes inspired by funk, prog and jazz fusion. Where they could stand to improve is in the general focus of the album. See, by trying to stretch to every direction at once, they've inadvertently made a bit of a mess. For a debut more than great, for the future excited to see their certain progress.
Godcaster Saltergasp
It's like that new Black Midi album reaimagined as a more digestible EP.
Goldfrapp Tales Of Us
I've only been familiar with Goldfrapp's electropop side, so this instrumental minimal chamber pop album was quite a surprise. Gorgeous melodies and composition with understated vocals and moments of subtle power. A slow-burner, but one that warrants constant revisions.
Gonemage Sudden Deluge
The quirkiest insane electro-metal this side of Igorrr.
Good Night and Good Morning Good Night & Good Morning
Good Night and Good Morning's self-titled EP is a cold offering, most beautifully showing the power of deliberation and drawn-out instrumentation. Due to its brevity, thankfully, the style never becomes tedious or overstays its welcome.
Gorillaz Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
Let's just pretend that this is their first record since Plastic Beach, okay?
Grace Cummings Storm Queen
Grace Cummings' stripped-back acoustics surprisingly do not make the album devoid of energy, but on the contrary ensure that her powerful voice shines and makes all the most poignant musical statements.
Grut Work Week
Quick and snazzy jazz record, whose DIY attitudes and snappy song-writing border spiritually on punk.
Guerilla Toss GT Ultra
Dizzying and cynical, most of 'GT Ultra' is laced with dry humour, self-deprication, as well as a fair balance between fast-paced energy and minimal post-punk tendencies.
H.M.S. RMA Naughty Cool
I struggle to determine to whom this album could be a good recommendation. Is it those normally finding various quirky post-punk and synthpop experiments difficult to swallow or those seeking a particularly zany, unpredictable experience in the styles? The EP is somewhere in between as it is linear and catchy enough for novices, but has the crazy spark as well.
Halsey If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
In one album Halsey (and the gargantuan team) made the best Halsey album, as well as the best Paramore album, as well as the best Foo Fighters album in years.
Heave Blood and Die Post People
So stoner post-punk is a thing. If all post-stoner-punk albums are this consistent and catchy, I'm all for it.
Heiden Andzjel
Feels a little weird hearing my language on a record, especially this growly and with some movie quotes interspliced with the more mellow drony moments, but I cannot deny that it is still a quality mid-tempo metal album with some pretty good instrumentation.
Helado Negro Far In
I am so happy that Helado Negro finally made an album that showcases his talents in the most varied, expansive way possible. His work until now has been of high quality, but it has also often been somewhat hit-or-miss. Now we finally get a beautifully layered, stripped-back album that I knew he had in him. Beautiful music, he certainly doesn't need to shy away from long albums and ambitious concepts. Looking forward to his future output.
Helpless Caged In Gold
Another outing by Helpless does not push their skill much further than their debut, but for those in severe need of harsh, unapologetic noise-core, this is a gold standard.
Herbie Hancock Mwandishi
Herbie's Spacey Spiritual
Heron Oblivion Heron Oblivion
Remnants of Comets on Fire come together years later for a much more straightforward, simple psychedelic feature. 'Heron Oblivion' is mostly lovely slow meditative rock music that occasionally turns to heavy psych, occasionally to stoner rock, occasionally to more melodic atmospheric experiments.
Hinako Omori a journey...
How's JotW not all over this thing?
Hiperson bildungsroman
I can't tell what the lyrics are, but I feel it is something emotional, cause it made the stubborn old me feel things. Don't dp that again, I hate feeling things.
HMOT Oneirology
Only the most exquisite wintertime chill-house.
Ho99o9 Skin
Curb your conventional expectations, Ho99o9 are back in full force - give or take a few tracks. Cult-to-grand experimenters in the field of noisy punk-rap offer yet another blunt, abrasive, difficult to navigate album. This time around they also move more in the techno direction, as well as quieter craft of earworms. Doesn't always pan out quite so well, but more often than not works wonders.
Ho99o9 United States Of Horror
For those who wish Death Grips made party bangers or Clipping. made rock anthems.
Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble and Jaki Liebezeit Full Circle
This has recently been pointed out to me (cheers parksungjoon), an album I was not aware of, despite following each of these musicians' careers for quite some time. What we have here is mostly an expected, but nevertheless stellar bassy semi-industrial trippiness. All quirks and subdued sound present the idea that this album is risible in some way that cannot be clear to the listener. Like there's a joke underneath (and knowing those three, there probably was), but you're never going to find it. And that's what's hilarious about it.
Hollie Kenniff The Quiet Drift
Retreating in musical 'safe place' must always include mood-setter albums. Hollie Kenniff's are nothing if not proper soothing mood-setters. Far unconcerned with any overtly melancholic nor heavenly themes, 'The Quiet Drift' instead sounds refreshingly routine, constantly repeating its silent dreamlike scenarios, propagating the sound of what one hears in a dream.
Huerco S Plonk
Huerco S. doubles down on the more concrete-sounding and dry elements of their music, which is definitely very welcome. It just sometimes works to the detriment of their compositions.
I Hate Models Warehouse Memories
I like my techno cold and preferably also distantly alien. At least this cold, give or take the distant alien vibes coming in and out willy-nilly, but that's I Hate Models for ya.
Ian William Craig Red Sun Through Smoke
Beautiful in its subtlety, charming in its execution. Craig created a series of ambient-ish (pop-ish ?) tracks that test your patience a little, but ultimately serve as both great vibe music and great music for in-depth sophisticated listening.
Ibeyi Spell 31
I really like where Ibeyi are heading with this. Their previous efforts struck me as a little too under-the-weather. Breathy vocals, sleepy beats, and not always engaging hooks. This time around, they managed to bring their formula to a point, where its previous sleepiness comes off more dream-like. More than once I've been quite excited by what I hear. More like this, please!
Ibibio Sound Machine Electricity
Ibibio Sound Machine streamline their sound to be even more accessible this time, while still maintaining that electrifying (see the title) upbeat nature that only they can carry perfectly.
Ichiko Aoba アダンの風
There surely is a risk in making an album this purposefully "uneventful". By that I mean that this album thrives on non-confrontation, on soothing quietness unlike any other. That can either enchant thoroughly or be a total tiring miss for some.
Ichiko Aoba 0
Just at the second Ichiko Aoba soundoff and I already find myself struggling for proper words. I'll leave well-structured critiques for the master pen craftsmen; for me her music seems a little immune to heavy criticism. Her style is that of absolute tranquility that - not that I complain - mostly repeats itself album to album and is made different through only the subtlest of changes. So picking apart her albums is quite the task, especially given that her songs could follow one another in a random pattern and I wouldn barely notice that it is not one continuous album that I am listening to. So there, take your eternal 4 for excellence, you beast of beauty.
Ichiko Aoba Origami
Ichiko's shortest is also maybe the best way to introduce newcomers to her work: a swift fairytale that doesn't have the capacity to overwhelm, neither does it go on for long enough to bore.
Ichiko Aoba Utabiko
I can't handle this, it's too much Ichiko for me at once (my fourth album in a day). This sweetness is too overpowering.
Idyll Swords Idyll Swords II
Exhaustingly slow-pace and mostly reflective music, but one that keeps on giving with what one can only describe as guitar ambient music.
Illuminati Hotties FREE I.H: This Is Not the One...
Equal parts endearingly quirky and relentlessly punky, but certainly the latest Illuminati Hotties has heart and soul of youthful rebellion in its most idiosyncratic and its most playful moments.
Illuminati Hotties Let Me Do One More
by all means, please do 10 more
Illuminati Hotties Kiss Yr Frenemies
Hell yeah, the catchiest future of indie rock.
Iosonouncane Ira
Creepytime pop-post-rock with elaborate song-writing.
Ishmael Ensemble Visions of Light
Ishmael Ensemble put together guest musicians and vocalists for a nu-jazz instrumental album that is far from unique or in any way innovative. What it much rather does is provide an ecstatically pleasant atmosphere, well crafted musicianship and memorable song-writing.
Island Of Love Songs Of Love
Fuzzy and boozy, dreamy and cozy, noisy and tender, catchy and melancholic.
Jacco Gardner Cabinet of Curiosities
Lite psychpop but not as obnoxious as many such records sound today, so it's really more easygoing pop with loose atmosphere.
Jacques Greene Dawn Chorus
house so proper i had to take mortgage only to hear it
Jade Bird Different Kinds of Light
Kate Bush under modern indie pop trends.
James Holden The Idiots Are Winning
yay, we're winning
Jamire Williams But Only After You Have Suffered
Artist I have never heard of (and most have not either, it would seem) blasts through with an incredibly versatile album combining RnB, neo-soul, minimalist rock, jazz, hip-hop, and plenty exciting chilled-out half-electronic half-instrumental production choices. A wonderful fusion album that slipped by most people, unfortunately.
Japanese Breakfast Jubilee
This album sounds like being shrouded in hazy with somebody too charming to ever be mean to.
Jarvis Cocker Chansons d'Ennui Tip-Top
Jarvis Cocker delivers an array of great covers (sometimes translated to French) for Wes Anderson's 'The French Dispatch'. Each song fits the pastel porcelain world beautifully and sounds actually cohesively as a whole, as opposed to most covers albums.
Jenny Hval Viscera
A woman's touch on the noir folk like this, about the most haunting album that may not be designed to sound haunting at all. I dare not say, whether this is her best work yet (seeing as she always tries to push for a different style), but for sure it is the one that left me impressed and wanting more the first.
Jess And The Ancient Ones Vertigo
Considering the cosmically-minded work the band has been known for from their get-go, this album takes a slightly different approach. In that it goes further back into the doom metal history and evokes bands like Coven all the more. It's very soft and borders on straight soft blues rock (sometimes even dips its feet in it).
JFDR New Dreams
Out of the blue, JFDR delivers a stunning mix of ambient and acoustic music with vocals that are dangerously close to "so breathy they're insufferable" but thankfully never quite reaching that front. Agnes Obel vibes.
Jill Rogers Cloudy Day Sunny
Jill Rogers is only reinventing the wheel, but in doing so creating an exemplary vocal jazz album.
Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media Funky Stuff
Jiro and his crew make a promise with that album title and they deliver. Gloriously.
Joana Serrat Hardcore from the Heart
Joana Serrat can write a tune for sure, she can write a compelling lyric for much surer, she can whip out a memorable aesthetic and arrangement for surest.
Johann Johannsson Fordlandia
Much praise has already been poured on this album and here's some more: one of the best composers crossdirecting orchestral and ambient music made one of his best albums here (though arguable whether actually his best imho).
Johann Sebastian Bach The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080
I saw a recommendation for Evgeny Koroliov's rendition of Art of Fugue somewhere on Sputnik. I was not disappointed. Though little variance is shown, Evgeny masterfully interprets Bach's standards for a beautifully melancholic experience.
John Fahey Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier's Choice)
A wonderful work of American folkloric guitar playing.
John Talabot Fin
house so thick it's made of brick
Jon Hassell Dream Theory in Malaya
oddscoop weirdo post-minimalist purposeful nonsense music. lovely
Jon Hopkins Music for Psychedelic Therapy
yeah ill be taking acid to this
Jon Hopkins Immunity
'Immunity' is, I can only assume, what the transcendentalists and intersection profiteers of ambient-to-deep house music have been trying to accomplish for years now.
Jon Kennedy Mmxx
Subtly zany, I like it.
Joy Crookes Skin
Hey, here's one of the catchiest pop albums of the year. I've been looking for you all around, you shy little thing, you.
Juliana Hatfield Blood
A most joyful indie pop-rock album of this year, though striking as aa somewhat typical affair for the style.
Julianna Barwick Healing Is a Miracle
It's like hearing pristine sounds of the ocean kingdom coming from over the hills or cliffs. Something this beautifully soothing is a treat to come by, I don't even care if this siren leads me to my certain death.
Julie Christmas The Bad Wife
Holy mother of heavy beauty. Julie Christmas didn't even need Cult of Luna to make an album completely otherworldly.
June of 44 Tropics and Meridians
June of 44's ever-bassy approach to skeletal noise rock and denser post-punk shines like a diamond here with their most memorable writing to date.
Ka Descendants Of Cain
It is unfortunate that some of the best lyrics in Ka's career are tied together with some hit-or-miss production choices. It's his usual haze of minimalism, but sometimes the beats are just a little mundane.

UPDATE: grew a lot
Ka The Night's Gambit
Ka's darkest and rawest work, most minimal in its production but most hard-hitting in delivery.
Kaelan Mikla Undir Köldum Norðurljósum
Kaelan Mikla's newest at first seems rather one-dimensional, but its true layers of hidden beauty reveal themselves with patient revisions. Group's most consistent project, thematically and musically.
Karen Peris A Song is Way Above the Lawn
Vashti Bunyan school of music presents.
Katy Kirby Cool Dry Place
With a surprising early-career knack for song-writing and imaginative lyricism, Kirby's brand of warm springtime pop is maybe the best coffeshop open-mic music you'll hear coming from 2021.
Keaton Henson Romantic Works
Bare and isolated, Keaton Hensons's collaboration with cellist Ren Ford is his most soundtrack-sounding and dramatic work yet. Veiled in some truly beautiful harmonies and melodies, the piano-cello arrangement makes for a fantastically engrossing listen.
Keiji Haino and Sumac American Dollar Bill
the mf literally meows 10 minutes in how can you not love this?
Keleketla! Keleketla!
I feared that this album's song-writing might turn repetitive and upon subsequent listens exhilarating, but with every spin it gets tighter and the great effort of every party becomes more and more apparent. My only issue is that the runtime did eventually wearied me after a few spins.
Kelly Lee Owens Inner Song
Kelly Lee Owens steps up to a more mature, straightforward record. Her subtle hazy brand of production now beautifully on display. However, I can't quite yet place her vocal performances. They can elevate a track, they can ruin it, they can do both at once. That remains the crux of my problem with her music, but all the music around that remains a shining specimen.
Kiko Dinucci Rastilho
Lovely bossa nova folk album with plenty of lovable melodies and personality. A little to straightforward as far as bossa nova projects go, but still a lot of good stuff.
King Dude Full Virgo Moon
Still taking gothic satanism as a gimmick, King Dude supersedes his aforegoing attempts at staying mostly acoustic. His songs are the sharpest in years and the musicianship, raspy vocals notwithstanding, most pleasant.
Knocked Loose A Tear in the Fabric of Life
idk why i thought this was a pop-punk band. didn't expect to have my face melt 5 seconds in.
Koenji Hyakkei Nivraym
I've made the mistake of playing this in my shop. Between the frantic prog-jazz and avant-garde vocal experiments, this didn't draw many customers in.
Kokoroko Kokoroko
A brilliant energetic showcase of what's to come in the band's future. Pay attention to them, for they are going places.
Kokoroko Could We Be More
Kokoroko's full-length debut packs plenty into its concise runtime, although it never goes too far off its central musical structure. The band does an admirable job keeping its instrumentation in a similar tempo, despite jumping mountains with their influences, from afrobeat, funk, blues, jazz-hop etc. 'Could We Be More' truly couldn't have been more, for it is about as packed with character, as it gets.
Korobu Fading | Building
Minimal and minimalistically quirky artsy-fartsy-punk album that is very aware of its own juvenile sound.
Krallice Demonic Wealth
Krallice's finally visceral, sporadic album after almost a decade of more-or-less conventional ones. Although its song-writing may seem at first quite straightforward and accessible, the album has a peculiar production aesthetic that distorts and manipulates the sound in a very disturbing way. Great, tasty black metal all around.
Kristine Leschper The Opening, or Closing of a Door
Another entry into the growing trend of gloomy ladies making chamber music for when said chamber is an abandoned church. It's more ethereal, beautiful, vaguely gothic, almost-pop music. Kristine's own personality is yet to shine through, but as a first outing, I am intrigued.
Kvaen The Funeral Pyre
With lightning speed blistering old-school black metal from Sweden, where riffs and drumming are not mere pulsating wormholes of heaviness to forcefully make some atmosphere, but carefully devised instrumental song-writing chops to wow you with their impact. Very tasty.
La Femme Paradigmes
Out of absolutely nowhere came a lovely Franch charming and a little atmospheric pop project that has plenty of heart, plenty of catchy tunes and is actually more with a punch than one'd expect from a retro-futuristic pop album. Great stuff all around.
La Fleur Aphelion
La Fleur is kind of blowing up in recent years, probably thanks to her brilliantly upbeat but still cold production. Everything she does sounds like a party in another room, very fun but also distressingly distant.
La Fleur Ravenwaves
Another solid release. When is she gonna strike out with an album dammit?!
La Roche Liye Liye
Coming from an unlikely place, Democratic Republic of Congo, this is an absolutely bonkers as well as chillest journey through contemporary afrobeat and afrohouse. It's filled with bright, colourful production motifs, but also plays on its underlying menacing atmosphere. Great stuff.
Lack the Low God-Carrier
It's chamber pop, if the chamber was an abandoned post-apocalyptic theatre.
Lana Del Rey Norman Fucking Rockwell!
It is true that her writing and composition skill improved tremendously and that this album is leagues above all her others. However I also found myself snoozing a little occasionally.
Late Works Of Noise
In spite of the core musical concept (IDM hip-hop with heavy leanings toward deep house and drone) not being perfectly fleshed out, probably due to this being a collection of separate artists' visions, instead of one collective, this is a rock-solid quick blast of the weirdest noise-electronic bangers out there in recent memory.
Laura Stevenson Laura Stevenson
The overwhelming many that praise not just this album but Laura Stevenson as an artist overall may have played a role in my slight dismissal of her talents. I am not the most incredulous listener of soft folk-rock and I certainly can appreciate a good acoustic ballad. Laura strikes as absolutely nothing virtuoso or unbelievably novel to me. What she does, however, is bring about a solidly strung together 40 minutes of airtight folk-rock material, wonderfully mixed and laced with great lyricism.
Laurel Halo Possessed
Eerie and relaxing at once. I always liked Laurel Halo's work. I like any sort of eerie ambient electronica (and her more upbeat music), so this was also right up my alley. Great for setting a mood of tranquillity with undertones of disquietude.
Laurel Halo Chance of Rain
Laurel's focus here shifts towards as minimal as an abrasive techno can get (but never really falling into the tag of 'minimal techno').
Lauren Bousfield Palimpsest
This thing is insane. A little too insane for my casual enjoyment, but plenty well executed for my appreciation.
Laurent Garnier 30
Unsure of what the album's actual aim was before listening and still not quite certain after having heard it multiple times, I must say that Laurent Garnier managed to make an album that through no apparent clear effort sounds very emotionally charged.
Le Butcherettes bi/MENTAL
Take your punk-isms and artsy rock-isms and turn up the theatrical aspect to 11, spice it up with some really powerful vocal performances and interesting instrumental work and you got yourself Le Butcherettes' 2019 album. I can only so few times pick up a questionable moment on this album. For the most part, the general weirdness pays off and the music is catchy, colourful and offers a lot worth revisiting.
Leon Vynehall Music For The Uninvited
It's like listening to house music from a skyscraper's top floors, but simultaneously being all scrummy and bummy like.
Leonard Cohen Popular Problems
Through the power of some unknown magic Leonard (aged 80 here), the lazy bastard living in a suit, pulls off a sophisticated mature synth-led pop smoothness that emanates dashing gentlemanliness and sexual prowess like no other young pop wannabe-smooth fella nowadays can. See, I can believe that Leonard knows what love is and that his affinity for the ladies has ruled his life. And that's probably the most surprising aspect of this album...
Les Rita Mitsouko The No Comprendo
I'll say boldly, this is quintessential French 80s pop. Equal parts out there and catchy.
LGBT Rights for Russia Now! LGBT Rights for Russia Now!
I wish for more LGBT rights in Russia and more house/techno appreciation on Sputnikmusic.
Lianne La Havas Lianne La Havas
This is very, very nice. Her voice I was most sceptical about, but it wasn't all that flat and breathy as I feared. She always managed to pull a few tricks here and there and make it sound all the more lovely.
Lil Nas X Montero
This album has no right going this catchy and powerful all throughout... or maybe it has all the right, I can't tell. Congrats to Lil Nas X on successfully turning his 15 minutes of fame into the upcoming 15 years of fame, presumably.
Linda Perhacs Parallelograms
I had moments of fear that Linda's simplistic instrumentation, straightforward melodies and gentle voice will soon enough bore me, but not once have I experienced that. There's always heavenly ease, love and care in each note and tone. The melodies are beautiful, the voice makes me feel warm and the album breezes by in no time.
listening to this feels like this clip:
Linocut Linocut
What I needed this year, and indeed what this year needed in general, is more no wave and minimal post-punk music. Please.
LITHICS Borrowed Floors
Their first is also their most diverse and wildest. It has a loose feel of a structureless collection, but in that anarchy an accidental genius is born. The quick songs strike like knives of jaded youthful playfulness and the raw production leaves the record sounding nasty and in-your-face.
Liturgy H.A.Q.Q.
If one only focuses on the laughably pretentious nature of this album and the artist, one might regrettably miss the curious innovative brand of black metal (and black metal inspired styles) delivered. However ridiculous the circumstances of the album and artist persona, I will always support forward thinking and experimenting work - especially in genres that could do with a much needed innovation and change of pace.
Livity Sound Molten Mirrors: A Decade of Livity Sound
A collection of Livity Sound's line-up's trademark disjointed, minimal approach to house, looping, garage, dub etc. It's a sweet little angular tape perfectly summing up the label's 10-year run as a staple of UK underground.
Lizzo Cuz I Love You
I don't care, this is damn fun.
Lo Moon A Modern Life
This album requires plenty patience of its listeners, mostly hiding its absolute beauty beneath its quiet, soft-spoken demeanour. Any surface catchiness can be easily up-ended by its deep cuts that carry the same pomp, but in smaller dosage.
Lone Emerald Fantasy Tracks
Lone's beachy exuberant album, perfect for feeling like you've reached some real-life Mario Kart high score or something.
Los Bitchos Let The Festivities Begin!
Album relies a little too much on ""vibes"", but ultimately proves a great mood-setter with some inventive riffs and quirky instrumental passages.
Los Campesinos! Sick Scenes
Sinternet's right on this one, surprisingly.
Lowen Unceasing Lamentations
Is this the new Dune?
Lowrider Refractions
Lowrider, who had a surprise monolith of an album way back when, now return to show us how it's done. 'Ode to Io' was not just a fluke and 'Refractions' is not a pointless comeback. Even though the specifics of reasoning behind their need to come back elude me, I am inclined to believe that they were just long overdue for some good stoner music. And when I say 'good', I mean it not by passing like with most stoner projects today, whose quality streaks usually come down to "It doesn't suck". This is actual high quality, melodic, riffing, intoxicating fun.
Luxury Elite World Class
Of all the vaporwave releases I've heard, this one is perhaps the most accessible to the untrained ear. Very pleasantly does Luxury Elite blend these 80s soft-jazz and blues samples with [insert number]-bit electronic production, which results in fabulous relaxation music.
M. Ward Migration Stories
This album is a testament to how improvement in melody or hooks can turn around an artist that usually isn't that interesting. M. Ward has been using this style and sound for a long time, but somehow his songwriting skills have improved dramatically on 'Migration Stories'.
Maarja Nuut and Ruum World Inverted
I didn't see it coming that the most satisfying ambient calm this year will be provided by an experimental vocal pop album. Nuut and Ruum pack a lot of instrumental detail on a tight 30 minute collection of songs, but the palette is so minor-key and subtle, it submerges you into pleasantly cool waters to decompress. Its ambiance and vocal manipulations are precious.
Madhouse Express Surreal Meadow
Madhouse Express channel their deepest old-school psych-rock influences and completely move away from any semblance of pop. 'Surreal Meadow' is mesmerising at its best, but in the worst moments it can slog and tire. That, thankfully, doesn't happen often, but even in its greatest streak I somehow wish I'd've heard it high out of my mind.
Madlib and Oh No The Professionals
Admittedly, neither brothers took to this project with any particularly strong vision or intent for the album to become some new modern classic. Their approach was more cerebral, principled. They are actual Professionals of their craft, here to show the rest of you how it's done.
Madonna Like a Prayer
Fun and dancey. I came to this not quite realising the roots or spread of Madonna's popularity. Now what I know. This is great.
Makaya McCraven In the Moment
An album I wouldn't have been able to tell was improvised, had it not been stated several times throughout. I must say, having learned that this is not one large continuous performance takes away my fascination a little, nevertheless Makaya's team did a stellar job at creating one of the smoothest improvisational albums out there, thanks in part to whoever mixed the songs in this order. An hour of material flies by with a breeze.
Mamaleek Diner Coffee
'Diner Coffee' is barely as vile or blunt as most its predecessors, but that does not mean its innards are not rotten to the core either. Throughout the album you will be bombarded with hypnotic rusty noise masquerading as metal, mostly revealing deep-rooted anxiety and disdain. Every song has its own path of rhythmic disobedience, but eventually finds way towards some melodic catharsis, even if painful.
Mannequin Pussy Perfect
Mannequin Pussy finally deliver the raw, punky project they've been sort of promising this entire time. With their catalogue getting increasingly heavy, I would not at all be surprised to find the next album just straightforward punk album. This EP still is a sort of a trial period, where the band tries out the styles they could be playing in the future, as the flow isn't entirely cohesive, but mostly jumps from place to place stylistically.
Mare Cognitum Solar Paroxysm
s m o t h e r i n r i f f a g e
Marianne Faithfull Broken English
This album is a perfect example of the 70s turning into 80s. It retains that old-school thoughtful singer-songwriter approach, but is increasingly smothered in synths and bravado that'd go on to define the decade to come.
Marilyn Mazur All the Birds: Reflecting / Adventurous
A delightfully mystical album that I'd be all the more happy to hear live in the nature at dusk.
Marina Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land
I feel somewhat out of place critiquing this album, considering my entire being is what Marina criticises throughout this album. I will do so, therefore, without addressing the lyrical content. All I will say on that matter is that her lyrics, much like in the past are so blatantly on the nose that it is sometimes almost laughable, but for the first time I feel like the bluntness is the point. Get. The. Message. Across. Loud. And. Clear. That sort of stuff. Musically this is her most interesting work in years, blend of old-school guitar-pop-rock and modern upbeat-yet-alarming trends. So the melodic work is mostly well-crafted, as well as its production. Cannot say every song was a banger, but at least a decent majority was for sure.
Martial Canterel You Today
Cute minimal album, doesn't disappoint, but also holds no surprises, if you are at all familiar with the style. But I always like seeing current artists trying to bring back the old-school minimal synth genre.
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl Artlessly Falling
What Mary Halvorson and her crew accomplish here is building an album that completely justifies its long runtime through beautiful instrumental and vocal work and many surprising twists and turns.
Masayoshi Takanaka The Rainbow Goblins
In what is mostly a quirky, whimsical and softly played musical journey lies a lovely fantasy plot of goblins ravaging a magical land apart from one peaceful valley. Don't expect a high-concept execution other than a cute backstory to narrate the even cuter musical arrangement that generally adds a spark of prog-rock to its gentle jazz fusion.
Matthew Tavares and Leland Whitty Visions
Two fourths (one half, for the mathematically-minded) of the jazz-hop ensemble BADBADNOTGOOD have decided to drop the -hop suffix and themselves from the band and go forth with a collection of straightforward and really, really, really, sweet jazz tunes.
Me And That Man New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1
It is easy to pick on an album for its indifference towards stylistic concept. 'New Man...' sees Adam Darski and co. churn out a plethora of country-americana-folk-bluegrass songs, all with no rhyme or reason to follow one another, but all (apart from one or two) in their own right of high quality. For my money, I say "heck yeah, gimme more."
Meat Wave The Incessant
Surprisingly, this is not a shoegaze album. It's actually a very rowdy punk-post-punk or whathaveyou display of atmospheric rowdiness and cynicism; another noisy project under Steve Albini's infintely progressive patronage whose core thematic concept runs through the usual topics of anxiety, isolation, self-identity as an artist, and the depression, both personal and inner, as well as from the demand of your peers, family, fans, label etc. But it does so in an aggressively shivering manner, like a spastic morning bird chirping for the cokeheads. Most songs play out as if they were some 70s hard punk opening act, while maintaining the perfectly "now" sense of jadedness.
Menomena B-Sides!
when your run-of-the-mill b-sides are creatively bolder than most of your contemporaries...
Mercury Rev Boces
Funny to hear an album this vulgar and innocent at once with singer sounding a lot like Jemaine Clement I think.
Merzbow and Lawrence English Eternal Stalker
Minimal drone layered over some rough field recordings more abrasive than your typical tranquil field recordings.
Messa Close
Messa is no longer a throwback riffy stoner band with occasionally powerful song-writing, they are now a semi-throwback ultra-riffy stoner band with only powerful song-writing.
Metric Formentera
Metric's latest is everything I wanted their record to be since their gradual renovation into soft-playing indie darlings began. The maturity in their delivery, confidence of instrumentation, as well as simply catchy songs, are some of their (no kidding) peak works.
Metz Atlas Vending
Once again, Metz construct a beast of an album, sonically rich, but not really melodic or portentous. Overall it doesn't really matter, as they've long been trying to perfect the art of writing songs that are only all about their acerbic sound. In other words, memorability and catchiness devoid of the conventional structures or approaches, while still coming off accessible enough. If there is any detriment to this album, as is to any of their output, it is the obvious Shellac influence that just won't go away (not a Daughters one, for certain).
Metz Strange Peace
On Metz's third album all hell breaks loose, as their mostly angular, striking musicianship takes on an approach reminiscent of improvisation. That makes sense, given their recording as a live performance, under the tutelage of Shellac frontman. All that adds up to a ridiculous ride that impresses with its power and psychedelic atmosphere more than its song-writing.
Micachu and the Shapes Jewellery
Now in the age of post-quirk, when albums like this and the whole slacker rock movement are seen as nostalgic cuteness, we are saturated with styles much more difficult to digest. 'Jewellery' therefore is just an admirable adorable piece of necessary silly from the days of yore.
Michael Nyman Decay Music
Minimalist not in its affiliation to minimalist movement, but rather due to its stripped down ambient-piano construction. To an untrained or unsuspecting ear a great 40 minute long nothing, but under deeper examination a beautiful show of eerie isolation and simplicity.
bangs, honestly
Mirrorring Foreign Body
Liz Harris' most heavenly-sounding album to date.
Misha Panfilov Sound Combo Days As Echoes
At its core a jazz project, at its meat an ambient calm and lovely, lovely relaxing time. Not as cheesy as smooth jazz and far more adventurous than ambient electronica. Just a beautifully chill experience.
Mizmor Cairn
Mizmor require a lot of patience with their work, but if you are capable and willing to grant them that, they will reward you with the most soul shattering demonic music you are probably ever to experience.
MNNQNS The Second Principle
hey this is actually really fun
MOAR Boom Bap Mentality
Thematically and musically, this is a brilliantly sophisticated album. With all that smoothness of delivery, production and melody... it really can fit only in a coffee shop.
Model/Actriz Dogsbody
Continuing their study in post-industrial punk heaviness, Model/Actriz deliver an album with some of the most savage production and mixing in a long time. This is like a cyberpunk horror story. The vocals are not all too up to par, but once you get used to it, it goes down easily.
Modest Mouse The Golden Casket
To my great surprise, Modest Mouse pulled together some of thier most soulful lyricism and catchy song-writing for an album, whose sounds seems like it doesn't actually care, if you like it.
Moebius and Plank Rastakraut Pasta
Moebius and Plank exemplified only the quirkiest and most minimal side of kraut. They were the instrumental sophisti-ambient pioneers before Bandcamp.
Molly Tuttle Crooked Tree
Quite unexpectedly, Molly Tuttle came through with a thoughtful, invigorating folkloric country record that has so much clever detail and stylistic turns to make me almost believe this is some other Molly Tuttle from the one we've known before.
Monolake Archaeopteryx
I was a little worried listening to over an hour of minimalist small-sample techno would be a dull experience. But dull this is not, even though some may have that impression. The runtime is exhausting, but I found that playing this as background or to vibe to is pleasant and appropriate.
Moon Hooch Life on Other Planets
"Too Much Hooch" is a banger like no other.
Moon Kissed I’d Like to Tell You Something Important
idk, this pop album rocks harder than some rock albums these days
Moor Jewelry True Opera
Noisy, rowdy, eccentric and corrosive brief blast of punk.
Morild Så Kom Mørket og Tog Mig På Ordet
Ugly beautiful.
Moritz Von Oswald Trio Dissent
Densely atmospheric techno-jazz fusion album that puts together some great song-writing with occasionally lulling progression. It's all so soothing in a way only an industrial hellscape can be.
Morket Oro
Morket made a nasty quick album that cleverly combined current blackened hardcore trend and old-school blackened heavy metal.
Moses Sumney grae
A dramatic and subtle, instrumentally massive, but overlong album about identity crisis and multifaceted personality presentation (I think, might be wrong).
Motohiro Nakashima We Hum On The Way Home
Motohiro's minimalist compositions strike with a lovely swerve of whimsy. I can almost see it musically narrating some documentary on the Japanese countryside.
Motorpsycho The All Is One
Motorpsycho's newest in a long, long line of extensive epic masterful prog craftsman displays and yet another that delivers heavily and beautifully. I don't hear many changes opposite their other releases, but why bother if this formula works so damn well.
Mourir Animal Bouffe Animal
For a band being positioned with the great modern black metal innovators, this sounds oh-so commonplace. It's good, certainly, just not the revelation I was hoping I'd hear. But then I have to admit it even to myself, it's miles better than plenty 2020 black metal albums. For what the band sets out to accomplish, they achieve greatly. It's dark, fast and devilish and the atmosphere I could show many of their contemporaries to learn from.
MovaKween AnuKween
Alternative RnB record with very subtle glitz, often gentle song-writing, and a lot of personality. Also, rejoice Sputnik, you have something in your database that not even Rateyourmusic knows.
Mr. Oizo Analog Worms Attack
Remember this form my youth. Still a banger.
Murg Strävan
In the classic tradition of Scandinavian black metal, but also with a distinctly crisp sound that not a lot of contemporary independent black metal groups manage to pull off.
Muriel Grossman Quiet Earth
If the sax alone on this is not enough for you...
Museum of Love Life of Mammals
An LCD Soundsystem side-project sounds ever like an LCD Soundsystem side-project, but with much more dramatic tunes, less playful overall nature and a little more sorrowful lyrics. Cannot deny the beautiful world it builds and I most certainly was hooked from the get-go, despite the many songs that took quite a while to really kick off their blast.
Musk Ox Inheritance
Soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist (yet). Is it just me or does "Hindsight" sound a lot like Isaac Albeniz's 'La Ronde des Lutins'?
Myele Manzanza Crisis & Opportunity, Vol. 1 - London
Do not believe the album cover that evokes a dour, blue image, because this album is some fifty plus shades of exciting and lively. It's one in the long line of modern jazz trends of staying unquestionably jazz, while spicing the song-writing up with some prog and classical influences.
Myele Manzanza Crisis & Opportunity, Vol​.​2 - Peaks
Where 'Vol. 1' was all about a few long-stretched finely crafted movements, 'Vol. 2' tackles a more quick bite style of jazz. Most songs are around the standard three minute mark, now trying to reach stylistically outside of the London jazz scene (which was all over the previous instalment, even subtitled 'London'). You can hear elements of Latin jazz, ambient synthesiser transitions, more conceptual audio mix, some eastern percussion work too.
Mykki Blanco Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep
Mykki Blanco finally makes the album I hoped they would. This is also a great example of a dancing-through-heartbreak album, raw and powerful, but laced with the infectious "fuck it and fuck you" attitude.
Myss Keta Il cielo non è un limite
i've had whatever it is LordePots is having and it is starting to kick in
Napra Jaj, a Világ! Oh, What a World!
First thing's first, this is really cool. Second, it's really unfocused and messy, goes on forever and has one too many weird misguided moments. But that is kind of the whole appeal here. It is messy and weird, that is what makes it so addictive and captivating.
Natalia Lafourcade Un Canto por México‚ Vol․ 2
Generally undereducated on Mexican music I was somewhat blind on Natalia's (and her guests') work, so this album was a gorgeous immersive treat for me. Although I recognise that some listeners point to this as the less successful one of her albums. Which only means I'll have to - with delight, of course - dive head first into her catalogue.
Nation of Language Introduction, Presence
A little simplistic, but catchy. By making their indie pop-to-coldwave project as minimal as this, Nation of Language have allowed every simplest idea to shine and take dominance, thus making this a much more remarkable listen.
Neat Beats Cosmic Surgery
Beautiful stream of chillout tracks for dreamy, sleepy days when you just want to detox.
Nektar Journey to the Centre of the Eye
oh boy the spacey keytar is thick on this and the progression is always juicy
Neptunian Maximalism Solar Drone Ceremony
Somehow, an airtight, skin-crawling live performance offers more conceptual cohesion than the full-length it was based on.
Netherlands Zombie Techno
'Zombie Techno's biggest sin is being too one-tempo and having pacing issues. Like the first 6 tracks breeze by, you won't even realise. Then "This Time My Broken Heart Stays Open" comes along and breaks through the tracklist with a slow-sour ballad that is fine on paper, but goes unnecessarily long. Only for the industrial-stadium madness to picks up with a slightly slower than usual following track "We're All Gonna Die One Day" and a completely dour "Requiem" to close things off. It's a strangely unsatisfying end to a fantastic beast of an album up until that point.
New Primals Horse Girl Energy
A very brief, but intense and gnarly sludgy noise rock, grinding guitars and savage sound and vocals. The only downside to the album are the "skits" preceding some of the tracks that are a little too tongue-in-cheek for their own good.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Ghosteen
By no means perfect, for its flaws are too bluntly apparent, but a stunning work nonetheless presenting the themes started in 'Skeleton Tree' in a more pragmatic and often optimistic light. A beautiful album for (successfully) coping.
Nico The End...
Nico channels her innermost sense of theatrical melancholy in a record that is like deep-voiced Kate Bush going full This Mortal Coil (both projects deeply influenced by Nico btw).
Nina Kraviz Pain In The Ass/I'm Gonna Get You
Two classics of late-00s subliminal techno that turns repetition into its core strength.
Nissim Uneven Ground
Nissim's 'Uneven Ground' stands firmly on the base of a little haunting and a little acidic atmosphere. There is a strong sense of otherworldly mischief interlaced with total coldness.
Nivhek After Its own Death/ Walking in a Spiral
This sounds like some Philip Glass magic stripped down to the basicmost instrumental elements.
No Note if this is the future then I'm in the dark
Appropriately vile shit.
Nocturnal Emissions Spiritflesh
In the greater realm of ambient music, 'Spiritflesh' appears to go against the current. Instead of offering soothing quietude, the bulk of this is a meaty eerie slough, easily progressing to more and more alien sounds, in spite of being constructed from purely earthly human sounds. A sense of unease troubles and an atmosphere of unease arches over you.
Norah Jones Pick Me Up Off The Floor
I only knew of Norah Jones' work peripherally. As in I knew of her and that she is an accomplished musician, but I cannot recall hearing a single song. Until now. If her music is anywhere close to this album, I am in for a treat. 'Pick Me Up Off The Floor' may not be the most lyrically or thematically blistering oeuvre, but the sheer sophistication in the musicianship, calm in Norah's voice and memorability in song-writing make up for any misdeeds album may have.
Nothing The Great Dismal
finally something
Nucleus Roots
A fantastic jazz-fusion record. Not necessarily the most innovative, but it has a breezy retrofuturistic atmosphere you'd associate with 70s and 80s sci-fi animated films. Dunno why, it just is like that.
Obscene (USA-IN) The Inhabitable Dark
Obscene play it safe, but they play their safe well.
Octo Octa She's Calling
Only the lazy have not yet pointed the clear minimal (or ambient, whichever way your ears lean) and disco influences here. While the EP carries its focus themes quite brilliantly, I found its brevity working often against it. By no means a detriment to the quality of its contents, "She's Calling" tackles so many stylistic influences that 20 minutes of material seems insufficient. Let's hope this was a mere taster of what's to come in a grander fashion.
Odraza Rzeczom
Odraza are a creative collective and Rzeczom is a creative album. It really all can be summed up with that easy sentence. Their approach to black metal is pretty much the tried and true atmospheric blast of heaviness, but they spice it up with just enough odd unexpected moments to keep you engaged and even pleasantly surprised. It is a breath of fresh air with all the usual familiar ingredients. Great for novices, bm gourmands and fun for the whole family.r
Very very short, even surprisingly so. But perhaps longer effort could have overstayed its
welcome, as in spite of the memorable melodic song-writing Ohhms master, the album sounds not very
inventive with its sound, but heck when they hit home they hit home darn it!
Olafur Arnalds Some Kind of Peace
I don't know how superficial it is to say, but this reminds me a lot of Johann Johannsson or Max Richter. Also, it's hella gorgeous.
Oneohtrix Point Never Garden of Delete
glitch-daddy strikes again
Ora the Molecule Human Safari
'Human Safari' is a slow grower almost entirely because of its cutesy vocals and song-writing. Those can be irksome at first, you really need the many revisions for all of this album's hidden charms to bewitch you.
Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp We're OK. But We're lost anyway.
Cleverly progressive art-rock cocktail, ice-shaken with a few drops of bitter, particularly blues, jazz, tango, and funk. Served in a highball glass, garnished with crisp production.
Orville Peck Bronco
yeehaw for the sexy and sad
Owl John Owl John
"You stole from the drugstore / You never were sick" Scott Hutchison's swifter fuzzier counterpart to Frightened Rabbit, more grounded, but no less ambitious. A great album in the best traditions of lo-fi folk rock.
p4rkr drive-by lullabies
I understand the reasoning behind those vocals, but I still couldn't shake the feeling of annoyance. However, overall I came away loving more stuff here than being irked by it.
Pan Daijing Tissues
An experiment in just what one can do with ambiance and voice. Turns out, a lot of truly unsettling and beautiful things.
Paradise Cinema Paradise Cinema
A surprise ambient album influenced greatly by jazz and tribal electronica, transports you to a humid, tropical utopia, fruity and realxing. Moreover, the story and meaning behind the album is also quite a treat and I recommend you reading their Bandcamp page.
Party Dozen Pray for Party Dozen
bruh this is some of the wildest shit
Pat Metheny Group Still Life (Talking)
Where Pat Metheny and the band succeed is in succinctly wrapping around you this idea you are in some heavily (retro-)modernised tribal festivity. The heavy influences from Latin jazz, fusion styles and spiritualistic chants help that feeling immensely.
Patti Smith Wave
The final chapter in the quartet of fantastic Patti albums she kept pumping practically year by year. It's much softer and all over the place, but its highlights are insatiable. "Citizen Ship" is a song for the ages.
Paul Simon There Goes Rhymin' Simon
Paul Simon is a great craftsman. This album is a well crafted singer-songwriter work. Balladry and uplifting melancholy all around.
Pedestrian Deposit Vestige
On 'Vestige' we can hear Pedestrian Deposit assemble an impressive tracklist of ambient-to-noise-to-industrial-to-drone experiments in patience and reward.
Peregrine (USA-MA) the awful things we've done
Did not see being impressed with hard(core) emo these days.
Perfect Pussy Say Yes to Love
With influences proudly on their sleeves, Perfect Pussy do not say much of substance, except for their desire to shred some stereo systems and combos. They sure do achieve that perfect(pussy)ly. What does it matter then that it's at the expense of personal unique voice? I am certain that had they kept to their own, Perfect Pussy were en route to releasing an album even more savage, more fun and more uniquely theirs.
Phaeleh Fallen Light
A brilliant fusion of various stylistic influences forming a tightly knit house mastodon.
Phoebe Bridgers Punisher
Let us not jump to conclusions of it being "the best album of all time", but let us instead simply acknowledge its high quality and revel in its beauty. If the dramatic statement in question is true, only time will tell. Certainly cannot pass such verdicts just quite yet.
Phoenecia MD.SLVG
I love how this just ever so subtly and patiently escalates into more and more alien sounds, but also half of it sounds like it was recorded in a sewer... but like a sewer that is home to some secret mutant supervillain.
Photay Waking Hours
I am new to Photay's music, so cannot judge this in the larger context of his work. I mostly enjoyed the effort, admiring in particular the creative fusions of instrumental (often acoustic) indie rock influences and sample-based house music. The results are mostly fun and curious, only sometimes falling into mixed unconfident mess.
PinkPantheress To Hell With It
I am glad this kind of drum and bass, a refreshed old-school style tailored for younger audiences, is hitting the mainstream now. The song-writing is tight to match the sound, thankfully.
Plesata zpevacka Vlasy dievčat
It's always nice to see exciting new local acts. Ple?at? zp?va?ka is not at all new (their debut was way back in 2011), but their sound is now more refined and going along with the times. It's horrifying and callous. Most of the material here is purposefully disgusting, even though it is far from the idiosyncrasy the band probably thought they were playing with. Anyway, it's great to hear genuinely disturbing experimental metal projects these days. (a little disclaimer, the band are Czech, but the lyrics are in Slovak)
Pole 1
Maybe it is the album cover whose perfectly calming shade remained instilled in my brain, but throughout listening to '1' I could not shake off the feeling of being someplace blue, cold and pristine. Then again, this impression regularly come up with Pole's work.
Pom Poko This Is Our House
A year after their big hit release, Pom Poko come through with a EP of original songs, not B-sides mind you. Short form suits them well, as I found their full-lengths to be a bit uneven sometimes. But all condensed into these tight, focused, punchy art punk packages, Pom Poko shine like a diamond. I enjoy the sporadic song-writing, off-the-wall instruments, and general fuck-it vibe here.
Pond (AUS) 9
Goddamn Pond can write a catchy nostalgic tune.
Pop. 1280 Paradise
Pop. 1280's most strikingly infectious album to date. Despite being minimally different from their output before or since, their song-writing abilities peaked here. It is exactly the type of industrial hellscape I want to hear.
Poppy Ackroyd Pause
get lost in the calm
Populous W
What is so refreshing about this album is how it balances club-dance-oriented production and occasionally eerie atmosphere. It makes you feel a little uneasy. Like you're dancing in the club and having a good gay time, but you know that your car was stolen, you have not shown up home for a few days now and your parents will probably kill you, you are certain you have contracted and then spread some STD and also you broke a finger for good measure. But right now, everything is fine (even though deep down it is anything but).
BT: Soy Lo Que Soy, Fuera De Mi, House of Keta, Banda, Out of Space
Porter Ricks Biokinetics
Only the most precious sounds of very distant rumbling.
Porter Ricks Anguilla Electrica
Right, let's get this fight out of the way: Porter Ricks VS Porter Robinson. Last chill bleep bloop standing.
Portrayal of Guilt We Are Always Alone
"Breathe in / Breathe out / Breathe in / Breathe out" or the one where Portrayal of Guilt kick ass, number however-many-albums-they-have-now.
Pottery Welcome to Bobby's Motel
Their influences are plain as day, I'd even struggle to call any moment on the album a note of the band's own sound and character. Then again, call your indignation on such blatancy all you want, the fellas do this style a service. I feel my hips moving, I feel my smiling apparatus turning that joyous semicircle, and the part of my brain responsible for signals of enjoyment rings the 'happy' bells.
Preoccupations Arrangements
Preoccupations' newest is a bit less cerebral than their previous two albums, and generally seems to be a fusion of the sonic, industrialised direction of S/T and 'New Material', as well as 'Viet Cong's heavy, driving punkiness. It's a drilling, melancholic record Preoccupations only could ever make. Quite the treat.
Pressure Cracks This Is Called Survival
Some heavy, shouty metallic hardcore that just needs a little faster tempo to go full grindcore on us.
Proper. I Spent the Winter Writing Songs About Getting Bet
When youthful angst turns jaded and tired. Proper. represent the most "i am hurt and i dont care anymore" slight of today's youth and they do them justice.
Protomartyr Under Color of Official Right
Where the heck do you hear British accent, dedex?
Protomartyr No Passion All Technique
Protomartyr's first is also, predictably, their roughest. But not necessarily 'rough' in the manner of its presentation, but also in the purposeful way it is written. Given it is a recorded-in-one-day psyched out sick-o-dis-shit kind of punk with the good ole post-punk lo-fi bad attitude, however rough its sound, it's still a blast.
Protomartyr Consolation
Protomartyr have released a non-B-side EP with new (new at the time) original songs all mostly exemplifying their approach to song-writing. Each song centres around a different characteristic of the band's past work with "Wheel of Fortune" and "You Always Win" as some of the absolute best in their career.
Protomartyr Old Spool and Gurges 1
Two tracks that exemplify Protomartyr's transition from rowdy, unruly (post-)punk band to cultivated, wordy post(-punk) band.
Prurient Pleasure Ground
One of the albums in my early explorations of noise and drone music. Deconstruction of musical form, disgusting noises from the netherworld, and an atmosphere that swallows you whole.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Shyga! The Sunlight Mound
I struggle to accurately define placement of either 'Shyga' in Pornpets' discography or any of their albums. Increasingly, Pornpets are content with making pretty much the same working formula work on well enough to warrant little to no change in style or approach.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets And Now for the Whatchamacallit
Pornpets' most immediate, no-bars-held album. Wastes no time and works mainly on the catchy heavy-psych side of things. Lovely.
Psychonaut Unfold the God Man
Much more so than many other contemporary prog metal acts, Psychonaut focus not only on the impressive musicianship, but also dedicate a bulk of this album to great songwriting and memorable melodies to support the strong heavy instrumental foundation of their album.
Public Practice Gentle Grip
Public Practice pile up many styles and influences under one roof and tie them together with an attempt at their own brand of post-punk. Can't say I can hear a voice of their own here, but I can't say they are not on the right track either. Many cuts worth a praise, some closer to duds, no real slumps.
PUP The Unraveling of PUPTheBand
PUP, going all conceptual on our asses, bring out some of their sharpest and heaviest hooks, as well as their most acid-tongued lyrics. It is not misplaced energy, this. On the contrary, the foursome quite wisely chooses to direct their anger at the commercialisation of their work, exploitation by labels, demands of their audience etc, in the most vicious way possible. But as the result, they come off even more as the pricks they've always painted themselves.
PUP's self-titled debut is their roughest album still. Rough both in its execution, as well as song-writing focus. The band didn't yet find that sweetspot of accessibility within rage and often delivered just your usual blend of Bandcamp snark and driving instrumentation.
PUP This Place Sucks Ass
It's nice to see PUP still getting the hype for a band that sounds like a better Jeff Rosenstock.
purl (CA-USA) summer
see review for details. janky, jangly, tangy, spacious hallucinating post-emo
purl (CA-USA) winter
The second of the two partially improvised duo of albums is largely of similar structure as its 'summer' counterpart, but just a tinge more tangly, fewer crescendos (if you can call anything in either album a crescendo).
Purplefox Town Purplefox Town
For those of you who like Tame Impala or Temples, but would like them to be more instrumental and proggy, or King Gizzard, but wish them to be softer and slower.
Purplefox Town Who Is Malkallam?
Purplefox Town are a mild superstar group locally (Czech Republic) and one of the main spearheaders of the local psychedelic rock revival movement that sort of just spun out organically. They may not particularly try and weave a new perspective on the style, but their approach always was technically, visually and lore-wise captivating at the very least, and brilliantly immersive at the bery best. Certainly recommended to those seeking a more whimsical and melodic modern psychedelic rock.
Pylon (USA-GA) Chomp
In tune with a lot of the trends of the genre at the time, but the sassy tongue-in-cheek chaos Pylon operate with works wonders.
Pyrrhon Abscess Time
It could use trimming, because despite the really fun deafening metal Pyrrhon have executed, 50+ minutes seems a little too much sometimes.
R.A.P. Ferreira purple moonlight pages
Master trio of beatsmen tuning together with a wordsmith like Milo is a highly set bar. Thankfully, the collective delivers. Expect chill collection of poignant, sharp lyrics and sexy-fun beats to match the tone and push the album into your psyche.
R.A.P. Ferreira The Light Emitting Diamond Cutter Scriptures
R.A.P. Ferreira's aim, it would seem, is to see just how chill one can get with their sound, while also throwing out there some of the most thought-provoking ideas.
R.A.P. Ferreira bob's son: R​.​A​.​P. Ferreira in the garden level
Milo Rory Scallops Ferreira has very, very quickly become one of the most consistent voices in hip-hop, lyrically potent and musically versatile.
Radioactivity Silent Kill
Radioactivity out there putting other punk bands to shame with just how much they can do with the little they have going for them.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise How to: Friend, Love, Freefall
One of the most playful and twee pop records in recent memory is also one of the most lyrically poignant and thematically challenging. I just wish all songs hit the way "It's Called: Freefall" or "Hide" do.
Raum Daughter
One of many Liz Harris' projects, Raum focuses on only the most positive of inputs - sounds of nature, birds chirping, trees waving, breeze flowing, themes of good, family, unity, hope, gentleness. Its whole aura is a tangible subtle beauty.
Really From Really From
Something about this fusion of sax with pop and emo is just so fun, even when the lyrics tackle quite heavy and poignant themes. By far the most enjoyable emo record I've heard this year and maybe also one of the better plays on stylistic diversity.
Regal Worm Pig Views
A prog record that takes so many surprisingly inspired and inspiring creative turns in song-writing and instrumentation that one is only left wowed. At its surface still waters, but inside a beautiful rage dwells.
Rejoice! The Light Has Come Untitled
Juicy atmospheric EP, sounds fantastic. Looking forward to the full-length.
Remi Wolf Juno
Not a rainbow, I feel like I'm being swallowed by the goofy side of internet's split personality.
Result Of Choice Place Of My Dreams
Jackal-like ferocity on this one, quick blast of heaviness and nasty riffs.
Rey Sapienz and the Congo Techno Ensemble Na Zala Zala
What a magical and bewildering listen. Where at first I thought it'd go into some regularly cool beats and heavy house and instrumental insanity, the album took so many left-turns I was left at the end of it wondering what the hell I even listened to (in a good way).
Ricky Eat Acid Three Love Songs
Bedroom ambient was bound to happen at some point.
Ritual Clearing Ritual Clearing
Cute typical Bandcamp raw bm. The kind of cute thing that summons a portal to hell.
Rival Consoles Overflow
Rival Consoles and the long, long, long hypnotic meditation on artificiality for the rainiest of days.
Rocky Votolato Suicide Medicine
Rocky Votolato does not impress musically, as he mostly employs the old-school guitar/harmonica arrangement. His strength is in the storytelling, the ideas portrayed, the emotion transmitted.
Rollfast Lanes Oil, Dream Is Pry
The mysterious Youtube algorithm strikes again and recommends this fine piece.
Rose Windows The Sun Dogs
'The Sun Dogs' is exemplary at what a "rewarding" album means. You must go into it with patience, you should expect folk, rock and psychedelic influences manifold rearranged and twisted, you could also use a calmer state of mind upon first listen. My advice. Enjoy.
Roselit Bone Crisis Actor
I demand 'americana gypsy art-rock' to be in the official Sputnik tags.
Rotting Christ The Heretics
As strong as ever, even though they are playing into their strengths and not taking almost any risks.
Royal Headache Royal Headache
Royal Headache can really write a catchy punk tune like nobody's business. But then their throwback attitude of "dude let's start a band" on a goof can only bring them so far. Hope they develop their sound further in the future.
Royal Headache High
I'm happy that Royal Headache, whatever they may be up to now, have pushed forward at least a little bit and refined their song-writing and influences.
Royksopp Profound Mysteries
To my great surprise, this new Royksopp album is quite adventurous. Not without its caveats, of course, the pacing is not always consistent, not every song is hits home, etc. But it is an overall beautiful, layered, and subtly ambitious project that may be my favourite of theirs since even 'Melody AM'.
Runzelstirn and Gurgelstock Asshole / Snail Dilemma
Album to soundtrack your complete mental decomposition and morbid BDSM practices. Yum
Ryuichi Sakamoto 12
Silly to assume this album will go down easily
with all its glory on first listen. Master
Sakamoto has made it his work's mission to be
as illusive yet enchanting as possible,
requiring heightened levels of patience from
the listeners. On this newest effort, his
marvellous skills are at full display, that is
to say a sound of a fresh breeze on a winter's
Saba Few Good Things
Saba's delivery technique and lyrics are perhaps the sharpest he's ever made. His production is also the most aggressive to date, albeit not always fitting his guests or himself that well.
Salim Washington Dogon Revisited
Enchanting, shamanistic jazz album that at first you might not be quite able to define or distinguish, but opens its rich layers upon new spins.
Sangre de Muerdago Xuntas
Not at all what I expected I'd hear. Sangre de Muerdago gave us some wonderful magical folk that sounds a little medieval, a little fantasy and plenty adventurous.
Sarah Neufeld The Ridge
'The Ridge' is densely infused with classical composition, masterfully weaved by Neufeld. Her musical skill and song-writing talent seeps through at every turn and even at the most down-to-basics, unsurprising moments she locks you in.
Sasha and the Valentines So You Think You Found Love?
Quite out of nowhere and flying under most everybody's radar comes Sasha and the Valentines with the most youthfully naive album of the year.
sassya- 呼吸
Blistering, often melodic, somewhat repetitive with plenty grit and raw energy to turn whatever your mood is upside down. Precisely what I'm looking for in hardcore.
Screaming Females All At Once
For some reason, this feels like listening to a 'best of' compilation, as the flow of the songs is sometimes disjointed, but the songs themselves are almost exclusively killers.
SebastiAn Thirst
Do not be intimidated by an hour long runtime. Do not be spooked by the loose connections between songs and by this album really just being a producer mixtape. If you turn off that part of your inner board certified world class master critic that keeps saying "a proper album has a concept and music is rhythm, melody and harmony", then you will have a blast here. It's fun, it's refreshing and its hour runtime is more than justified by the immaculate replayability of nearly every song. (and Beograd is potential best song of the year, like for real)
Second Layer World Of Rubber
Second Layer's minimalist and repetitive style can mean detriment to many listeners. But what it really sets out to achieve is stripping any aggressive or underlays of animosity down to their most subtle energies, progressively drilling in your head its inner dread and violence.
Seigen Tokuzawa and Masaki Hayashi Drift
Tokuzawa and Hayashi express a certain emotional isolation and buoyancy with stylistic drifts (as the title implies). Album is equal parts gorgeous and chilling. In a curious twist, album has a few unexpected covers that work perfectly well with the rest of the eerie music. Bare cello and piano, minimal and grounded, all ocean and turbulence.
Beautiful 3-track jungle of math rock, where we see the band exploding in a singular 15 minute insanity.
Seims, an Australian math rock band, have here their debut full-length album. And what's there to say. I'm not particularly at a loss for words, because it was that astonishing, neither do I have little to say for its inconsequentiality. I just don't really know what to say. I liked it. The band works their instruments well, songs are intense, memorable, flow is great. It's great math-rock, give it a spin.
Seoul I Become A Shade
The perfect soundtrack to gazing at skyscrapers from a cab at night.
Serafine L'Envers
Too long for its own good, but I guess it fits the extraordinary ambition of this band. It is symphonic, orchestral, a lot of new age and prog influences too. They pull no punches, but at the same time the grandeur of it all kind of overpowers strengths of individual songs.

UPDATE: Some half a year later and this is growing verily muchily.
Serocs Vore
Powerful tech death album with just a little underachieving hooks.
Sexwitch Sexwitch
Surprisingly enough, Natasha Khan's gimmicky side-project reveals more song-writing and influence maturity than her core work with Bat For Lashes. Besides, some of the songs are also some of the best fusions of psych and post-punk in today's landscape.
Shabaka and the Ancestors We Are Sent Here By History
Shabaka Hutchings and the crew are once again on point with an immaculate album of jazz experiments and worldly influences. This album may not be for everybody and it certainly is not perfectly consistent, but it is a wonderful stylistic fusion and a musical journey.
Shakey Graves Can't Wake Up
Shakey (though something tells me that's not his real name) crafts a gentle story-reliant folksy folky album with plenty of stylistic influences and some instantly memorable tunes.
Shame (UK) Drunk Tank Pink
I am often guilty of being too forgiving of an artist pulling too obviously from their influences and doing something that's been done before, as long as the execution is on point. Shame don't have an identity of their own, not yet. So much was obvious on their debut album, which I can't really even pen down a short sound-off for, cause there's not much I can say. But at least their musicianship has exceeded my expectations.
Shell of a Shell Away Team
You know, you should write your music in a way that would perfectly utilise your abilities and underline your strengths. Clear enough. You should also perform in a way that fits the theme of your music. Many contemporary indiemo bands write music that is either more ambitious than they are capable of convincingly pull off or is too timid to be memorable, because they think it's what the genre requires. Shell of a Shell learnt to balance their ambition and abilities. They made a tenner of songs (well 9 and an interlude) that is ambitious and fragile, powerful and distressed, and does not see the band miscalculate its limitations.
Shopping All Or Nothing
Shopping's most consistently confident album, containing most of their catchiest songs and their instrumental finesse shines the most here.
Sickle of Dust To the Shores of Sunrise
This dude better get a vocal coach or else his throat-growling methods will turn out fatal. Like for real. It's almost jarring how throaty the vocals are here and they are often the sole reasons for my disliking the music. Because everything else is stellar.
Signals Midwest Latitudes & Longitudes
I think calling them emo pop-punk as many do is mostly doing them a disservice, either by retracting potential listeners fatigued by the stalwart non-direction emo and especially pop-punk music has been taking for ages now, or by underexplaining the stylistic and influence mixture Signals Midwest is playing with. Indeed, emo is their cornerstone, but they also delve deeper into history of punk, as well as some early-days indie pop. Sounding stones throw away from either of the aforementioned genres, they cleverly navigate the very well charted waters with grace and skill.
Silk Sonic An Evening with Silk Sonic
Let us not pretend that this is not what a 14-year-old thinks "cool" and "seduction" is. Still, this may be the most stupid fun I've had with a mainstream pop album this year, so whatever.
Simon Finn Pass the Distance
Simon Finn's 'Pass the Distance' paint a grim and melancholic picture of torment and desperation, his often off-the-wall production choices and melodic work are there to match the tone, as well as his vocals that can spring up from soothing soft tenor to some hellish creaks.
Sinoia Caves Beyond the Black Rainbow
A very fitting soundtrack for the oddball movie. Unnerving, as well as captivating.
Six Finger Satellite The Pigeon Is The Most Popular Bird
'The Pigeon...' sure does take its merry time, but manages to fuck you up all the more in the process. Some distorted, industrial, and compressed old-school noise rock here.
Six Organs Of Admittance Companion Rises
Ben Chasny attempts once again to break the hypnotic ambient-folk grounds, which he has broken on multiple occasions in the past.
Skaphe Skáphe³
Skaph is relentless. But in that ruthless relentlessness they thankfully manage not to encounter the same pitfalls some of their stylistic peers do. That being utter repetitiveness. Skaph know how to spice up their songs melodically, so that they don't sound stale after a while and one actually has reasons to come back.
Skuliak Maniak Fragments of Zbuling
There is a strange disconnect between the manic electronic hip-hop passages and the psych-rock compositions, but in an even stranger way, that's what makes the album excellent. All the more excellent and exciting are, of course, the live shows, which are the works of insane performance genius.
Slapp Happy Slapp Happy
Cute and catchy, just the way I like my 70s pre-indie rock.
Sleepwalkers (JPN) Noč Na Krayu Sveta
Avant-garde, meditative metal album with immense instrumental palette, beautifully arranged and eerily written.
Sloppy Jane Willow
The stylistic shapeshifters Sloppy Jane on their debut minialbum are the most psychedelic punk weirdo-rock this side of methamphetamine.
Smog Knock Knock
Some of the most interesting introspective singer-songwriter music out there, despite its relative straightforward simplicity.
Snarky Puppy Ground UP
Snarky Puppy come through with their most post-rock-oriented album.
So Hideous None But a Pure Heart Can Sing
This album doesn't overstay its welcome, it barely has the time to cultivate it. One more track, even if just a short 4-minute one, could have helped this significantly.
Sofia Campos Lugares Imaginarios
Sofia Campos works wonders with her traditional influences, as well as trends around pop nowadays. Hers is only the gentlest brand of relaxation-pop one can find. I feel immediately transported into summertime.
Sol Kia Zos Ethos
This album is something between inexplicably horrifying and ridiculously fun. Like an industrial expressionist Evil Dead movie.
Soley Mother Melancholia
'Mother Melancholia' is another addition to the frostbite-cold Nordic goth chamber folk music that has been making waves (of ice) for at least a decade now. Soley often relies heavily on the atmosphere alone and hopes the listeners have the patience for it, but thankfully mostly rewards them with some truly haunting morbid sounds and arrangements.
Son Lux Brighter Wounds
'Brighter Wounds' sees Son Lux at their arguably most ambitious (considering how ambitious their previous efforts were), pushing their sound to cosmic extents. My only issue is the same that clouds most Son Lux music, the vocals.
SOUL GLO Songs To Yeet At The Sun
Some of the most visceral insane punk this year. Even in its most unexpected moments ("2K" is straight-up electronic bruh) it is more brutal than many mfs today rivalling. Shit's nuts.
Spinvis' brand of grainy sophisti-pop is as soothing as it is catchy, despite the often tired vibe.
Spiritczualic Enhancement Center Transporting Salt
For this long, long experimental journey, you need to first prepare yourself to be extra patient and expect things that are odd, but also drawn out. 'Transporting Salt' is crude and seems low-effort, but is far from it. Its effects are supposed to be hallucinatory and otherworldly. You could also use some complimenting substances (or if you are particularly zany, energetic and sensitive, then you might not need those at all). The album is slow-pace, draws its inspiration from many, many, many genres and styles and throws it into a heavily meditative psychedelic mix, partially improvised, partially live played, partially rehearsed and studio mixed. The results are weird to say the least, unappealing to some, transcendental to others. Can't say I belong to the latter, but I did find the experience engaging and stimulating.
Spread Joy II
Spread Joy make a much more focused, funny, and catchy record.
Springtime (AUS) Night Raver
The insufferable Mark Kozelek's sufferable counterpart.
Sprints A Modern Job
Biting, self-aware, pissed off punk EP with attitude only teenagers and seriously traumatised adults have.
Squid Bright Green Field
Despite the few instances when the band takes steps too deliberate and slow-pace that drag down the momentum, this is still a very solid ripping art-punk project with plenty surprisingly heartfelt moments and melodic tenacity.
Standing On The Corner Red Burns
perfect detox vibin album
Stara Rzeka Zamknely Sie Oczy Ziemi
Okay, so this is an atmospheric drony folk album, but goddamit it threw me a curveball with that opener. I really thought I'd been duped.
Starflyer 59 Vanity
Starflyer 59's ageing cracks start to appear, but take form of a wise and wisecracking sophistipop with surprisingly catchy tunes.
Stereolab Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
How does one make something this noisy and loud and yet still sound soft and gentle?

Also how do I rate this a 4.0 and the average drops?
Stereolab Sound-Dust
Stereolab's lovely slow-stepping show-stopper.
Steve Reich Drumming
Reich's extraordinary study of rhythm and melody through percussion.
Steve Roach Dreamtime Return
Steve Roach diving deep into his most soundscape-oriented work, as well as one of his longest offerings to date. But 'Dreamtime Return' mostly justifies its length with beautiful atmosphere and song-writing (quote on quote, that is) that is too dream-like, for lack of a better word, to really dislike.
Stimming Alpe Lusia
Let it be known that listening to this artist I always bounce my legs aggressively. Stim game recognise stim game.
Stimming Ludwig
good chilly bleep bloop album like a good session of full-body stimming
Sting The Last Ship
In a testament to mature song-writing, Sting pulls out a concept album full of lovely tunes and some of his best lyrics to date.
Stortregn Impermanence
Don't expect a game-changing death metal album or anything, it's all just really solid, riffing heaviness. That's kinda it.
Sturle Dagsland Sturle Dagsland
Sturle and the company goes in so many enchanting directions with music that largely feels like middle-ages pagan brutes trying to make pop music.
Styx Pieces of Eight
The good man SowingSeason turned me onto this album. I must say that for all my fears that this might turn out to be obnoxious cock rock or fatuous pop of a long dead and forgotten trend, it actually exceeded my expectations. It is an old timey catchy barrage of fun, for which I have long been esurient. Not a lot of profundity here, but I supposed that doesn't really matter. BT: I'm O.K., Sing For The Day, Lords Of The Ring, Blue Collar Man (Long Nights), Renegade
Subterranean Masquerade Mountain Fever
Theatrical, but not yet campy. If you like your prog a little on the overwhelming side with extravagant symphonics and funny doom sways, then this is exactly for you.
Suburban Lawns Suburban Lawns
If you've ever goofed around with your musician friends, this is probably something you made (unless you're serious musicians and only jam jazz and funk). All the 80s post-punk goofiness to come on one album in a capsule.
Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine A Beginner's Mind
Sufjan and Angelo's most conceptually consistent and cohesive projects yet, together they fuse so many folk and near-psychedelic pop ideas it's often staggering and exhausting.
Sun City Girls 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond the Rig Veda
A two-hour spanning fuck-around-ism with enough worldly influence to create its own United Nations of depravity.
Sunhouse Crazy on the Weekend
Cannot put my finger on it, but there is inner beauty here. This album that is just a few steps away from Americana rock album so prominent in its days always turns just a little to the side with poignant lyrics, unusual song-writing and some touch of Englishness.
Sunnata Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth
It takes great patience, but this is a beautifully rewarding sludge album with plenty of heart and memorable writing choices.
Supersilent 6
I have a real deep soft spot for this kind of cold bleep bloop music.
Survive mnq026
Ominous music in a way only indie adult cartoons set in some erotic space age can be ominous.
Sutrah (CAN) Aletheia
When technical meets chaotic and melodic meets atmospheric, Sutrah thrive.
Suzanne Ciani Buchla Concerts 1975
Ciali pushes the boundaries of enigmatic and electronic live recordings. Though this is something generally characterised as ambient and progressive electronic, it's structural chaos often reminds me of either minimalist repetition or of some live improvisation. It could be the latter, for all I know. It's half spooky, half upbeat (without any beats, that is).
Svalbard When I Die, Will I Get Better?
Svalbard go so much more atmospheric and overwhelming. Makes it difficult to dislike, even though I often found myself thinking it's more flashy show than meaty substance.
Sweet Trip A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals
aw shucks should've rated this before the guy turned out to be a fucknard
Swell Maps A Trip to Marineville
Not quite as ravaging and otherworldly as their follow-up will turn out to be, but the sense of carefree pub demeanour is still omnipresent.
Swing Marabout
Some absolute bangers on here. Love the chill vibe and french goes really well with the atmosphere.
Swirlies Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
A great example of early instance of indie semi-slacker punk-ish rock. Rough around the edges to a point of being adorable.
Szun Waves Earth Patterns
Szun Waves, with three albums of attempts, are trying to blur the lines between jolly nu-jazz and blissful melancholy. And quite often they are succeeding.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists The Brutalist Bricks
As opposed to their usual output, this is surprisingly heavy. No more are they making softened jangly witty indie spectaculars, they're going full throttle.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Shake The Sheets
A quintessential 00s indie experience, perfect for anyone looking for instantly memorable, playful tunes.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists The Tyranny of Distance
Did not expect much, as I am a pathological early-00s rock sceptic, but very surprisingly this was a concise alt-rock record full of catchy, easy-going tunes, give or take a few duds.
Temples Sun Structures
Temples' act is that of mostly infectious neo-psych/psych-pop tropes that can feel recycled from many of their contemporaries, but at the same time I couldn't help but vibe with most of this. Really pleasant easy-listening album, tight as hell.
Temples Keep In The Dark
Both songs are great, though I am surprised that "Jewel of Mine Eye" was not a full-album inclusion. One of their best songs to date.
Terra Tenebrosa The Tunnels
I doubt that anyone really expected the people behind Breach, one of the most abrasive and underrated projects from the metallic post-hardcore uprise, to suddenly be behind a masked atmospheric blackened sludge doom concept band. But come to think of it, the transition is not that surprising or jarring. Breach have always dabbled in the rough and rowdy metal influences, while maintaining the post-hardcore and noise rock mainline. Terra Tenebrosa takes those aspects at the inverse, influencing elaborate metal styles with post-hardcore and punk aesthetics.
Terry Riley Descending Moonshine Dervishes
Granted, I doubt I'd be able to outlast the actual live performance of this, and granted moreover, my enjoyment of this album comes from a misguided place, but this is perhaps the perfect music for falling asleep, gently carrying over into the dream realm (meant in the nicest way possible, of course).
Terry Riley Shri Camel
Another of Riley's explorations of zen and absolute near-ambient peace, as well as one of the most audaciously harmonic efforts to date.
Tha Soloist I, The Beholder
Mildly aggressive hip-hop wordsmith delivers a 5-track EP that punches really, really hard, man!
The Armed Ultrapop
This is some of the most difficult to stomach and abrasive production of the year. Not really due to its heaviness, but the fact that it is just a mess. I guess it works, because I enjoyed it in the end, but jesus if they will only be accelerating their fuzz levels in the future, we'll see the day they turn into just straight harsh noise wall act.
The Beach Boys Surf's Up
Album most unlike any other Beach Boys effort both of previous conscious pop direction and the following Mike Love the Grand Douchebag era, and standing at the precipice between the two. It's almost as if the band knew they were ending one chapter of their careers (I haven't looked into the background of this album, for the record). "Til I Die" might be one of their best songs ever.
The Books Lost And Safe
The Books went all out in the subtlest way possible, using loops, glitches, mixing experiments, field recording, sound collages, aftereffects, echoes, and a gazillion of other whatnots to expand their sound to be as beautifully minimal, as possible.
The Doppelgangaz HARK
In a remarkable turn of fashion, 'Hark' sounds like a 90s grainy banger hip-hop homage turned to 11 with some mad catchy tunes and samples. Damn.
The Exit Bags Tower of Quiet
Only the gentlest of ambient-smothered pop-ish albums out there.
The Feelies Crazy Rhythms
'Crazy Rhythms' very cleverly masquerades as a more new wave pop-oriented type of post-punk album, where in reality it displays the same level of philosophical anguish and musical sophistication as its most prominent post-punk contemporaries. It only uses those components to emulate a sound upbeat enough to provoke a positive and hopeful aftertaste. Also to be fun. It's really fun.
The Flaming Lips American Head
After an excruciatingly long time, Flaming Lips are back in business.
The Go! Team Get Up Sequences Part One
The perfect album to hype you up, get you pumped up for whatever adventure or high school gym show you're going into.
The Go! Team Get Up Sequences Part Two
The second installment in the Go! Team's zealously uplifting funk and pop tunes is pretty much the same as with Part One: expect infectious, instrumentally nostalgic songs with so much excessive energy, you'll either start doing bodypump right after or go take a nap from exhaustion.
The Haxan Cloak Excavation
Only the lazy have not yet praised Haxan Cloak's spooky post-witch house style of production, combining dark bass instruments with unsettling samples. Perfect horror audio setting.
The HIRS Collective Friends. Lovers. Favorites.
Fantastic ferocious proclamation of queer power and resistance, where grind and emotionality goes to explode.
The Hold Steady Open Door Policy
Gotta say, at this point, I'm not sure if Craig Mann's work is just The Hold Steady, but just 1 guy, or if The Hold Steady's work is just Craig Finn, but it's multiple guys.
The Jezabels The Man Is Dead
Crazy to think that this was their debut. My only real complaint is that, considering both this and 'She's So Hard' came out 2009, why not putting them both together as a whole album, since the styles of both EPs hardly shift.
The Jezabels She's So Hard
The Jezabels certainly do not pull any punches and never cease to recapture new influences, instrumental and vocal choices, song-writing virtuosity that all feels more and more exciting with each track.
The Joy Formidable Wolf's Law
The Joy Formidable push their hard rock and shoegaze selves into a collision and make a catchy, likeable lo-fi-in-name-only records. Its flaws mostly center around some more repetitive cuts and a bit wonky production, but the good far outweights the frumpy.
The Last Shadow Puppets The Age Of The Understatement
This style fits Alex Turner so well he even forced it onto Arctic Monkeys too.
The Lounge Society Tired of Liberty
Crass and bassy, resembling a lot of the underground late 70s and early 80s mod-punk with extra spicy attitude.
The Maccabees Given to the Wild
The Maccabees have magic in their song-writing. As swiftly as the songs breeze by, so does their knack for melodic shifts and adventurousness shine here perfectly and more than ever before or after. And I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Pelican" is one of the best straight indie rock tracks ever.
The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs
Love is magical, love is musical and love warrants writing 69 songs about it. 69 exactly, because like a ring, 69 is a number of specific significance one should ideally share with someone they love.
The Moldy Peaches The Moldy Peaches
Even at their most rash, sarcastic and contrarian, The Moldy Peaches are hella adorable. Guess that's what anti-folk does to angst and distastefulness.
The New Pornographers Brill Bruisers
You know it's the strangest thing, listening to The New Pornographers after so long I completely forgot Dan Bejar was in the band. Pleasant surprise to hear him here.
The Night Guild Devil, Repent!
'Devil, Repent!' takes the longest time to ever get going with any of its songs. It's all mood and patience until you're struck with the most out-of-nowhere textured writing on any experimental album this year. What a fantastic display of your talents as a musician, to make the audience wait and tire over a long period of deliberation and then hit them heavily with this beautiful a collage of sounds and melodies.
The Notwist Vertigo Days
I want to remain an optimist and hope on that this album (or its not so distant follow-up) brings The Notwist right out of the oblivion they have somewhat fallen into these last years, but I digress. Hopefully it will reignite the band's creative force even more. Hopefully, this lovely sizeable atmospheric trip-hop-tronica works not just as a more spacious callback to their prime days, but also as a sign of great things to come.
The Physics House Band Horizons / Rapture
'Horizons / Rapture', call it an EP or a mini-album, cleverly fuses numerous styles; jazz (fusion), noise rock, math rock, progressive rock and even post-rock. This sometimes results in a disjointing, but mostly works perfectly well.
The Physics House Band Incident on 3rd
The Physics House Band go even more straightforward prog-jazz-fusion and the results are delightfully adventurous, but also often relaxing. Their song-writing is on point and easily carries you through the 50 minutes of runtime.
The Roger Webb Sound Vocal Patterns
A unique set of lounge soul music that heavily uses vocals as instruments and it sounds beautiful.
The Ruins of Beverast The Thule Grimoires
Odd, I actually expected a by-the-numbers black metal album - which indeed I got but in a different way - and not that I'd be captivated throughout the hour or so that it was on. Sure, much like the ails of many other genres of the type, it can be a little too long sometimes, but I think the riffs, the crescendos, the atmosphere far outweigh a few rare moments of drawn out dullness.
The Servants Disinterest
What strikes the best about this album is how The Servants make their sound veering on goth so soft and pop-like. It's a fun album way catchier than it has any right to be.
The Shaolin Afronauts Flight of the Ancients
For if you've ever wanted to feel like you're on a part-creepy but mostly chill as fuck safari trip.
The Sidekicks Awkward Breeds
"Awkward Breeds" is one of the most fun and captivating (pop-)punk albums of the last decade for certain, but I do wonder how much better it would've sounded with a better vocalist, because the main issue dragging this album down in my view are the vocals, even though they are often appropriate for the raspy janky sound of the music.
The Smile A Light For Attracting Attention
Another project, in which Thom Yorke will assume absolute dominant creative force, toppling over other musicians?

EDIT: Yes, just as I predicted. Anyway, it's great.
The Smith Street Band Life After Football
For as much of a modern emo-tinged punk doubter as I've gradually become, this new Smith Street Band record is actually quite good. Not only packed with rambunctious tunes, but some proper heart in the texts as well.
The Strokes The New Abnormal
More than anything else, The Strokes sound influenced by The Voidz, Julian Casablancas' side-project. It is a strange point of influence, but also oddly functioning. What did them well was the hiatus and the side-projects to use up all the unnecessary experimental urges that so often plagued the last few Strokes releases. They took their time, they crafted a great sound and wrote their strongest material in years.
The The Infected
The The's third record comes just a little short of the catchiness and stylistic all-encompass their previous outing had to offer, plenty fun tracks and musical surprises here anyway.
The Underachievers Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium
A mostly successful debut, in terms of acclaim and quality. Where the album falters is in the occasional questionable moments with its lyrics. Not every bar is profound poetry and not each song carries the deepest of messages, even though the music would perhaps have you believe otherwise.
The Veils ...And Out of the Void Came Love
With some great callbacks to their earlier work and mythos, 'Love' delves into Veils' more deliberate, calculating aesthetic. Melodies are not always blunt, but rather build on temper and harmonies, where greatness is filled in by the lyrics, all quite heavy and wordy. Welcome addition to Veils' catalogue, albeit their insistence on the more soft-strolling song-writing can test one's patience at times.
The Wedding Present Seamonsters
Pretty much like the reviewer, Braindown, summed up: it's the peak typical indie, lamenting the usual, the love, gained and lost.
The Whitest Boy Alive Dreams
Lovely example of the mid-noughts indie softie music.
The Wolfhounds Unseen Ripples From a Pebble
Is this The Smiths?
The World First World Record
This is like early Gang of Four were high on minimalist sax and I really dig it.
The World Is a Beautiful Place... Illusory Walls
never before has an album of theirs sounded more like the world is indeed a beautiful place and they really are not afraid to die
They Came From Visions Cloak Of Darkness, Dagger Of Night
Even in the world of dime-a-dozen black metal, They Came From Visions' debut album is a powerhouse, relentlessly infectious and demonic.
Thievery Corporation Symphonik
A serious far cry from albums in their prime, but still a great dub-jazz-sample-electronic album. Goes down quickly, is fun, is catchy. me like
Thin (USA-NY) Dawn
Relentlessly powerful with plenty surprises, some almost industrial influences, some instrumentals that sound jazz-influenced even (?), some horrifying song-writing. It could easily be written off as repetitive, but I suppose one needs to find the right vibe and mood for this.
Thomas Azier The Inventory of Our Desire
Azier doubles down on the more ambient and spacious aspects of his previous work resulting in a more patient and patience-testing album, but at the same time his command over subtleties of song-writing or intricate melodies laid out over barest instrumental mix create a soundscape quite unlike most other pop albums nowadays.
Thomas Leer and Robert Rental The Bridge
Excellent ridiculous minimalist album, where Leer and Rental paved a way for odd electronically-infused experimental music on par with minimal synth fad of the time and ambient industrial experiments of krautrock.
Thorns Thorns
Blistering, uncompromising, audacious debut that served as a culmination of their brief studio career. Whereas most other black metal bands at the time perceived scale as a tool to create sterilised epic narratives out of chunky arrangements or folkloric sound, Thorns rather went for an overwhelming, noisy, often shrill experience.
Throbbing Gristle Part 2: The Endless Not
Copy paste Dirtykunstvideo's sound-off. If I had a thesaurus I'd write something similar, bit alas.
Tim Berne science friction
Tim Berne and the ensemble made something frightening and also difficult to describe. At one end, an avant-garde jazz album, at another an industrial soundscape experiment; headscratching in both cases and haunting.
Tindersticks Curtains
The most disagreeable feature Tindersticks always possessed are the vocals. No matter the lush arrangements and crisp sound, Stuart A. Staples' voice is the point of contention to many. I'm not a fan of nasal voices either and at first have struggled with Stuart's delivery, but have since come around and appreciated it as part of the whole. A great, beautiful whole.
Today Is the Day Supernova
Brass can drum effect has never been this potent.
Tombs Monarchy of Shadows
It is beneficial or the soul and mind to tune out every now and again and enjoy something not with a critical eye, but a pleasure gut. What I said might sound deprecating to the album, as in saying that it can only be enjoyed with your brain on autopilot. But that is not the case. In fact the opposite. My brain was working overtime etching every inch and second of this album in my memory. It's a blasting beast, a devilish megalodon. It is also straightforward in every way. There are no surprises, there are no unexpected musical choices, there is virtually nothing to differentiate this from platoons of similar acts/records. There is only the pure enjoyment of all the familiar stereotypical bits coming together in an above-satisfying way. For lack of a better phrasing: this shit kills.
Tornado Wallace Midnight Mania
An EP that feels both out of this world and really down to earth. It sounds like something a robot would jam. If you like your house music discotheque appropriate, skip this not.
Toro Y Moi Mahal
Toro Y Moi is the new Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Well, he was the old one too, but I'm glad he's also the new one.
Torres Silver Tongue
Torres' newest can be a miss, but is mostly a hit, though often very subtle low-key one.
Total Control Typical System
On this album Total Control delve further into the more typical post-punk tropes with mostly great results, cleverly using those tried and true techniques with their brand of synth throwbacks.
Total Control Laughing At The System
Total Control go all out on their minimal synth no wave throwback machine EP with their most entertaining song-writing and memorable production.
Townes Van Zandt Townes Van Zandt
Precisely this kind of gentle wordy sentimental albums are what to play him who proclaims to be the hater of country music.
Tragic Mulatto Hot Man Pussy
Tragic Mulatto's stylistically promiscuous follow-up album is just as unruly and godless as their debut, with even more sex jokes, nasty horny energy and fetishistic pique. And oddly enough, the novelty does not wear off at all.
Triangulo de Amor Bizarro oɹɹɐzıqɹoɯɐǝpolnƃuɐıɹʇ
This album kind of has a personality disorder. It's half atmospheric mostly acoustic songs and half wild noise shoegaze tunes. Both of those personalities are creative and memorable, but they sometimes clash in an unflattering way. But as I said, the songs themselves are really well done.
Tricot Jodeki
Oh hell, Tricot deliver another solid-ass album in their long line of solid-ass albums. The band just seems to be perfectly in tune with their skill, never venturing too far into the area of overtly formulaic, but never really delivering anything groundbreaking (for their talents) either. Still, it's a collective consistently pumping out some of the most adrenaline-infused rock music today.
Trophy Scars Astral Pariah
spaghetti western post-hardcore.
Tropical Fuck Storm Legal Ghost / Heaven
Channelling their inner industrial Nick Cave, if I had to reach for the most superficial reference. But that's about what springs to mind first. Both tracks quite beautiful and serene in their own rights. I only feared that "Heaven" was going to tire me quick, but it throws a few subtle curveballs at you.
TRVSS New Distances
Was expecting Ceremony, got Cemetery.
Two People First Body
First Body is a testament of how much you can do with the absolute minimum. The duo of musicians often have only two instruments in their disposition, but they use the minimalism, simplicity and many sided nature of synths to their advantage. If this album taught me anything, it's that you don't need an orchestra to create music fit for an operatic auditorium.
Tyler, the Creator Call Me If You Get Lost
Tyler finally chills the fuck out
u-Ziq Tango N' Vectif
Long, but justifiably so. I enjoy this kind of artificial-sounding techno that manages to come across like a network of computers communicating between one another, even though it can be beautifully melodic and peculiarly harmonic a lot of the time.
Ulthar Helionomicon
For some reason having just two tracks with a 40 minute runtime feels longer than having eight. The 4.0-est double-album in metal dropped and it is as relentless as it is exhausting.
Ulthar Anthronomicon
Despite the whole double album split, the generally exhilarating runtime across the two sides, and the fact that this concept can run somewhat thin, the '-nomicon' albums may just be Uthar's best work yet, properly twisted and gargantuan.
Ultimate Spinach Ultimate Spinach
Not really sure about the stonerdoom precursor label that DDDeftoneDDD threw in, but this sure is a great, albeit often typical, psych blues album for its time. Indeed, "Ballad of the Hip Death Goddess" does indeed sound attractively devilish.
Ultraista Sister
Where the subtlety of house music turns to flamboyancy of dream pop and create a beautiful, catchy pop extravaganza.
Ulver Kveldssanger
Pleasant trippy tribal pagan music. I feel like sitting by a campfire and being indoctrinated into a cult.
Upper Wilds Guitar Module 2017
A blast of nasty riffs that sound ghoulish, lo-fi and unpleasant to an untrained ear, but they hide actually great song-writing.
Urochromes Trope House
This album is quick and rowdy, with each cut progressively doubling down on whatever purposefully structureless punk eclecticism they've been hinting at the track before.
Uyama Hiroto Freeform Jazz
A burning question arises here: is this more jazz or more hip-hop? The artist is more hip-hop, the album is (occasionally-)free jazz played as hip-hop. A wild delight it is.
Vagtazo Halottkemek A semmi kapuin dorombolve
It took me many listens and long time before I finally let my guard down and let the intoxicating tentacles of this shamanistic deeply unnerving album poison me and make me enjoy it, despite its excessive length. I feel like I'm in a cult now.
Valdrin Effigy Of Nightmares
I very much prefer my black metal atmospheric. And I very much my atmospheric black metal constructed in a more intricate and interesting way than just repetition of some landscapic motifs. 'Effigy of Nightmares' is that to an extent, but mostly delivers an eerie dungeon-y gloom with surprisingly well executed instrumentals and a more old school heaviness.
Vanishing Twin Ookii Gekkou
Loopy, glitchy, zany psychedelic music with a great cartoonish vibe.
Various Artists The Needle Drop
Look, whatever you think of the man (I also find him a bit irksome sometimes and his fanbase quite irritating), but the fact that he has the reach to pull together artists this different to record some actual bangers for charity is admirable at least. It's basically a "songs that slap" playlist, so there's no rhyme or reason in the flow, but it's still full of (see above).
Various Artists (Indie) Dark Was The Night
The first of 4AD's HIV awareness compilations is a chunky and fruitful venture with some serious contemporaneous heavy hitters, as well as acts that would go on to become greater still. Listening to it now, this has a certain Pawnee Unity Festival vibe to it, with a plethora of diverse artists clashing into a supernova of colour and sound. Great work all around and for a good cause.
Various Artists (Jazz) New Horizons: A Bristol Jazz Sound
Hell yeah I'm all for this breezy Bristol sound.
Various Artists (Jazz) Blue Note Re:imagined
Only (some of) the best modern jazz musicians coming together to celebrate (some of) the best classic Blue Note label songs.
Various Artists (World) Musical Instruments 3. Drums
Fantastic collection of percussion work from Africa. Really immersive and meditative.
Various Artists (World) CHA CHA AU HAREM - Orientica - France 1960​/​1964
I mostly keep tabs on all of world's music, but upon coming across this compilation by Born Bad Records recently I realised I have not really heard a full length recording of cha cha music. I must say, what an intricate and exhilarating introduction this was.
Viagra Boys Welfare Jazz
Viagra Boys concoct an album that's the soul and spirit of post-punk it its rawest form. Not its most original or even outstanding incarnation, but its energetically most potent and all-encompassing for sure, with all the coke-laden cock-wieldin', middle finger-showin', ball-bustlin' noisy tomfoolery.
Visit Kalvhaga hardcore ambient
Not sure what I heard, but I quite liked it.
Vital Spirit In The Faith That Looks Through Death
This EP is a mixed bag. In just four songs you have a set of rather generic black metal tropes, but the band keeps throwing you a curveball, changing up the dynamic of a song, adding a guitar solo or an atmospheric moment, keeping things fresh. But upon revision you may find yourself just skipping ahead to those memorable parts, rather than sitting through the sour repetition. I am inclined to a positive grade on this, but it is still a mixed bag. Certainly looking forward to the band expanding the interesting experimental moments in the future and releasing a really friggin' great record.
VR Sex Rough Dimension
This surprisingly slaps. Who gave em the right even?
W. H. Lung Vanities
"This could be the verse ignominy festers inside of
Johan Strauss in the closet composes a waltz"
this album is catchy AND hilarious
WAAX Big Grief
I liked Cable Ties, I might as well like this.
Wake Devouring Ruin
No longer grind-oriented in the slightest, Wake take to the cosmic insanity to properly shape their expansive sound.
Warmth Parallel
Augustin Mena, aka Warmth, makes albums always based on a feeling. It's a feeling of cold, or dusk, or solitude, or walking up a mountain. This album feels like all of those four combined. Take into account also that it is an homage to 90s ambient scene and the wholesomeness of the record is amplified even more.
Water From Your Eyes Structure
Often very minimal and stripped back, sounding artificial and monochrome, but simultaneously delivering monumental music with likable character and patient melodies.
Wayne Shorter Night Dreamer
Wayne's posse and leadership has always acted as a forefront for the whole smooth jazz bop phenomenon. One cannot expect a riveting performance going into a Wayne Shorter record, but one can almost certainly be guaranteed a great time.
Weval Weval
Remove expectations of danceable ragers, or overly melancholic near-ambient pieces. Weval's brand of electropop is stripped, but not bare. It is cold, but not cerebral. It sounds often like seeking weak heat in the cold. Therein lies its beauty.
Weval Remember
Weval found the right balance between chill vibes and thick sexy. This album sounds like pristine pornographic production that characterises itself as 'art'.
Weyes Blood Front Row Seat to Earth
Weyes Blood is not quite at the level of beautiful orchestral chamber pop excellence she reaches with 'Titanic Rising' a few years down the line, but shows all potential and signs of reaching that great height here, even though the lyrics are a little too basic and not all songs hit home.
White Lies As I Try Not to Fall Apart
Hey you know what? I really like White Lies. Theirs is the kind of indie pop just bombastic enough to be accessible, but maturely clever to know how to craft a captivating sound and an immersive story. It might be a little on the simplistic side, even by White Lies' standards, but mostly it's a solid, catchy, atmospheric pop album.
White Lies Big TV
I find it charming how White Lies, in all their derivative glory, chalk up a half-noir-themed half-juvenile post-Interpol indie album that deals with themes of isolation, mundaneness and love (I think) all written from their usual gloomy perspective but played as sunnily and happily as it's possible. It's kind of what makes the album fun.
White Ward Debemur Morti
White Ward broke silence between their last hugely successful album and their next no doubt expansive release. This EP is pretty much what one already knows from the band, in short form: atmospheric black metal riffs, crisp production, lovely sax and an eternal wish that they actually include some jazz.
William Basinski and Janek Schaefer “ . . . on reflection "
Basinski and Schaefer, typically for both of them, bring heavily arranged and ambitious neo-classical music so close to full ambient that the lines become all blurred.
WU LYF Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
For some miraculous reason, in spite of the raspy hoarse vocals that under any other circumstances would have caused my ears to bleed, WU LYF maintain a level of maturity, songwriting engaging and atmosphere delicate enough that the aforementioned croaking screech is not a bother.
X (USA) Under The Big Black Sun
At surface level, not much has changed since X's debut outing, the songs are still linear, witty and mostly follow a pattern of simplicity, ie. substance over flash. But 'Under The Big Black Sun' takes its approach to song-writing in a much more melodic, catchy direction. It sounds more mellow and romantic and I believe that's to the band's advantage.
X (USA) Los Angeles
X make no pretence of outstanding artistic intent. Their whole spiel revolves around the 1980 perception of rowdy and witty to great catchy extents.
Xibalba Años En Infierno
I sometimes like being hit over the head with a hammer.
Yard Act Dark Days
The first two tracks are decent, take em or leave em, but the true solid gold lies in "Fixer Upper" and "The Trapper's Pelts".
Didn't think I'd be listening to a two and a half hour long sexy noir lounge music at this hour of the night.
Year of No Light Consolamentum
This thing can go heavy and hit that haviness-deprived spot in my heart just right. It can also go a little dull in a few spots. Good, at least, that the savage moments prevail.
Yellow Magic Orchestra Yellow Magic Orchestra
At any given moment you can be sure to feel like in some computery 70s fairytale.
Yeule Glitch Princess
I am disappointed at the disturbing lack of glitches in the mix. I wanted more glitches!
Yfel 1710 Willa Wisielców
Despite its dime-a-dozen-ness, Yfel 1710's newest is a tirade of intensity with infectious vocals and an atmosphere that keeps on giving.
YIN YIN The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers
I was afraid at first that this'd be another stoned out psych release we've heard oodles of - and in some regard, it kinda is - but turns out, these Dutch stoned out psych rockers like to infuse their music with a little of that worldly influence and more interesting instrumental additions. And the results are quite lovely.
Yoshiko Sai Mangekyou
The magic of this album is its otherworldly character. Perhaps it is the clash of cultures. An album following the canon of western music, but sprinkled around are enough attributes of Japanese culture to make it a wild blend. Over the top in many places and definitely not perfect in writing, but inherently likeable and always fun to come back to.
Youandewan There Is No Right Time
'There Is No Right Time' breezes by with nonchalance like the finely crafted deep house staple that it is.
Young Jesus Welcome to Conceptual Beach
Strangely, I normally would have hated those vocals, but they work well in combination with the heavenly indie music, instrumentally reminiscent of math rock a little.
Yui Onodera Synergetics / Entropy
'Synergetics / Entropy' has a lovely core concept: the 'Synergetics' part is more uplifting, positive and kind, while the 'Entropy' part is more menacing, drony and chilling. As far as boilerplate ambient music goes, I like this quite a lot. Its atmosphere is actually calming when it needs to be and a little tense in other moments. It's just a shame that the division between the two titular parts is not more clearly pronounced, as 'Synergetics' only gets two songs and 'Entropy' doesn't fully stick to its identity.
Yuji Ohno Cosmos
more like Yuji OhYes!
Yussef Kamaal Black Focus
Dayes and Williams bring the full force of pure instrumental prowess back into nu-jazz; something the genre has been lacking as of late.
Yves Tumor The Asymptotical World
I didn't know much about Yves Tumor, only heard some occasional praise, but this EP slaps asscheeks. Yves goes hard and melodic, transforming each song into a completely individual sonic beast.
Zhrine Unortheta
Some truly gnarly atmospheric blackened death metal happening here. To my great surprise a debuting collective managed to string together some ambitious harmonic and instrumental vision that doesn't drag, doesn't have low point too deep, doesn't feel particularly indebted to any specific influence. Fresh, hellish metal record. More like this, please.
Zuby nehty Srdce ven
Czech underground legends are still pushing strong, even if by playing into their strengths. Also, the lyrics are wonderfully poetic, but I fear you're just going to have to take my word for that.

3.5 great
35007 Liquid
'Liquid' is repetitive, though not at all to its detriment. Song-writing choices here are all very deliberate and patient. As if to hypnotise their audience, which they succeed in to an extent.
40 Watt Sun Wider than the Sky
I can't quite tell if I've been let down by this album or on the contrary quite impressed. Strange predicament, actually. Album's doom tendencies in dragging out all possible song-writing notions takes its toll, as plenty of times here I found myself exhausted. But credit where it's due at moments of genuine song-writing finesse whose emotionality kept me engaged all along.
A Frames Black Forest
Purposefully messy post-punk with an attitude of low-in-spirits Idles.
A Gazillion Angry Mexicans Stonerpopdoompunk
As far as just pop-punk goes, these guys really do go all out.
ABBA Voyage
For what it is, I am surprised. Pleasantly so. ABBA's signature song-writing and old-school pop aesthetic is quite strong, give or take a few duds.
Abduction (UK) Black Blood
Very straightforward, but I appreciate that it isn't just a mere blasting aggression with no breathers. There is actual thought put into the structure here, tempo is varying, crescendos are fulfilling, build-up has a payoff. It's still very meat-and-potatoes, but for what it's worth, a great release.
ACxDC Satan Is King
Runs dry on ideas eventually, but also delivers a relentless hellish brutality unlike most. Go listen, if you lack blistering grind in your life.
Ad Nauseam Imperative Imperceptible Impulse
Ad Nauseam's newest, staying true to the name, drill into your head some nauseating hellish landscapes. Complete madness takes you by storm not by some flashy melodies, but by sheer brutal abrasiveness. On the other hand, it can be a bit too much. And having listened to the 57 minutes a few times I increasingly found myself begging for room to breathe.
Adam Green Adam Green's Aladdin
The main problem of 'Aladdin' is that as a soundtrack album, its flow is inconsistent and its interludes mostly drag it out (which is surprising, given it's barely 30 minutes long). Other than that, it has some of Adam's most ambitious ideas and song-writing, as well as his most commonplace tunes.
Adrianne Lenker songs
Adrianne's talent and song-writing abilities shine overwhelmingly here and I am increasingly ascertained that my dislike for Big Thief comes from the creative input of mostly other members of the band and/or Adrianne compromising her own. That being said, this album is as simple and unpresumptive as its title suggests. Every song features guitar usually playing in the same style, same key and similar progression patterns, and Adrianne's soft vocals. Only rarely is the album adventurous enough to reach outside of that orderliness, but even that is in minimal-most way possible: a different vocal key for a moment, a more complex guitar work here and there for a brief period of time.
Aequorea Dim
I'm not at a loss for words because of how perfect this was. I am because I have heard this album under different names a thousand times in the past, but I still find their Aequorea's particular execution thrilling.
Aesop Rock Music From The Game Freedom Finger
Three really cool Aes tracks, followed by instrumentals to those three tracks, followed by some quick soundtrack beats. Neat lil' thing.
Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues
I don't know if it is the fiery passion and invigorated spirit from finally coming out that gave her the energy for this album, but after most of their discography falling absolutely flat for me, 'Transgender Dysphoria Blues' is finally a solid album, vocally strong and memorable in melodies. Some songs fall a little short and don't punch nearly as hard as they could have, but they are not prevalent.
Aldous Harding Warm Chris
Inoffensive-sounding, but with occasional grit and humour, Aldous Harding strikes once again as quirky and naive, even if mostly self-repeating.
Alfa Mist Bring Backs
Alfa Mist offers a mostly standard set of nu-jazz journeys in varying degrees of excitement, some a bit tepid, some a bit directionless, some energetic and atmospheric, some perhaps best in his career. But mostly this feels like a vaguely conceptual boilerplate work. Pleasant to listen to, but far from the mind-bending artistry from just a few years ago (ang his 44th Move project from last year)
Alvvays Blue Rev
Alvvays are pathologically simple, wherein lies their greatest strength. They are masterfully writing only the gentlest and most straightforward indie pop tunes, and are committing to it 100%.
Amulets Blooming
What we mostly get throughout is a lovely ambient piece with some noisy elements to spice up the tunefulness. But Amulets let that marinate for longer than necessary and by the end the formula kind of stales.
Amythyst Kiah Wary + Strange
Not all can be carried by Amythyst's singing, sometimes the song-writing gives way to water.
An Albatross Return of the Lazer Viking
Yeah, I can't really tell what I just listened to. But I know I liked it.
Anika Change
It can be all-over-the-place, it can also be very fun and very poignant.
Aodon 11069
French blackened death metal band (though on this album they're pretty much just black metal, I picked up not a lot of death) offer a formulaic work like you'd expect, but with a really tasteful production.
Aortes Have You Found Peace?
i approve of this
Arab Strap Philophobia
"Philophobia", in many respects, is an album that dwells on awkwardness. It's purposefully misshapen, bluntly written, clumsily sung, melodies are timid and the instrumentation could define subtlety, it goes on forever and the mood of it could put you to sleep. But Arab Strap have always had a way of circumnavigating their knack for the off-kilter and awkward, turning it into something that paradoxically makes sense. "Philophobia" is their most straightforward release, surprising in how unsurprising it is, never really challenging itself or its listeners.
Arc Iris Arc Iris
Whimsy can only go so far. That's this album's message, I believe.
Architect All Is Not Lost
True to its genre, all horrid murderous heaviness with no room to breathe. Admirable though it may be, the sheer force brought to the table, it gets exhausting fairly quickly.
Archspire Bleed the Future
Archspire play to their strengths, present very little in terms of innovation, but produce a crisper sound, even more cathartic riffs, and astounding atmosphere. I was pleasantly exhausted by the end.
Ars Magna Umbrae Apotheosis
Nothing extraordinary, great riffs. Sometimes slaps.
Art Bears The World As It Is Today
'The World As It Is Today' is anything but easy to digest. It doesn't want to be accessible, that is not the point. It ravages through artistic statements in some very abrasive, cold-hearted, turbulent ways, often intentionally annoying or alienating its audience with vocal and instrumental experiments. But if you are patient, give it the time to marinate, endure its outbursts, you can come away with a plenty rewarding album.
Arthur Russell Roulette
Style bending and transcending one Mr. Arthur Russell is a remarkable musician. Making music zany enough to challenge, but not outlandish enough to put off. And on this posthumous live solo performance the inner quietness of his vision, the subtle sober sombre beauty of his songs truly shine.r
Astra The Weirding
Astra certainly can write a great album, they certainly do have the finesse needed and can bombard you with acidic instrumentation. Also true is that there is not much new here and I had little impression after listening other than "it's a good prog album" .
Auroch Stolen Angelic Tongues
Auroch go more melodic than I expected them to (which is to say at all), but the maniacal madness, the restless relentless savagery, it stays the same.
Babehoven Sunk
Babehoven, at least on 'Sunk', command a certain open naivity with their gentle, uncomfortably intimate brand of fuzz-folk.
Badlands (SWE) Djinn
In trying to come off both eerie and cathartic, Badlands lose their focus a little. However, for the most part this is an admirable work of hazy dream pop with a lovely cyber-electronic tinge.
Band-Maid Unseen World
Band-Maid's newest goes tastefully hard, but is weighed down by the general linear straightforward structure.
Baths Romaplasm
A pop album left-field enough to feel fresh, but also familiarly sounding enough not to be too challenging. Plenty of great songs, some duds too. The writing that feels purposefully shapeless is exciting, but also makes some songs feel like repetition of the same idea.
Beach House Once Twice Melody: Chapter Three
Beach House finish off their trilogy of EPs strong, albeit playing into their strengths a little.
Beirut Artifacts
Beirut's b-sides'n'rarities mixtape offers many, many beautiful, orchestral pieces and a cleverly laced instrumental and production rework to make even the most off-beat ancient work of theirs now suddenly sound like it's in its right place here. So commendations on the recording and cohesion, but so many of their songs are b-sides for a good reason. Certainly, some bore is bound to find its way on a b-sides album (after all, we're talking about songs often simply not interesting enough to be on an album proper). Therefore I commend the band for pulling off an hour long album with this many well-crafted songs, even in such conditions.
Bergendy Jazz
Bergendy reach limits of porny music only a true sassy 70s jazz-fusion can achieve.
Biesy Transsatanizm
Actually much more straightforward than I had hoped. Certainly not bad, but not that incredible either. Other than the production and some songs, it's a standard affair.
Big Black Racer-X
Big Black is still trying their ground here. They're making baby steps towards what they'll eventually sound like. The EP is not very confident with the rowdy mess it shows, but there is a thread of nasty quality that would eventually follow the band deeper into their career. Still, the EP is rough around the edges (and not just there).
Big Thief Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
i never believed in love and you can't force me to! nice try tho
Bill DeMarco Braided Chords
A nice, easy going country record with a lot to say, even if it doesn't necessarily have the tools to say it.
This album, however excruciatingly obnoxious it may be, has proven to me that Attack! Attack!'s aesthetic had an actual vision behind it. A vision that was very likely squandered by the rest of the group. Thankfully Bilmuri is working his ass off taking advantage of that insanity.
Black Curse Endless Wound
Death metal to rip your face off your head, maybe repetitive at times, but doesn't overstay its welcome and has moments so vile and foul that most else in the genre released lately just does not compare.
Black Dice Mod Prog Sic
Black Dice presents a densely lucid, almost claustrophobic vision of futurism in some of the most liquid-sounding, dry-coated techno this year. It's like I am high on mushrooms listening to a one-man cartoony space shuttle.
Black Imperial Blood​/​Lament In Winter's Night Split
Sweet melodies and eerie atmosphere, but they can't obscure the fact that this is too long and not very memorable.
Black Midi Cavalcade
Black Midi, while still avoiding making a MIDI-only album smh, pushes further away from their art-punk first album with even noisier, even more ambitious hodgepodge of rock and prog and swiveling riffs. It's a purposeful mess, ever-progressing and turning its own aesthetic inside out.
Black Mountain Black Mountain
Of all the Black Mountain albums, this is their most nostalgic. Although a stellar debut with plenty unexpected infectious hooks and instrumentation, it looks back in time a little too much to fare well with the rest of their discography.
Black Wing No Moon
It's the new Ulver on depression, medicated.
Blaze of Perdition The Harrowing of Hearts
Blaze of Perdition have always been kind of a hit or miss band. I'd say that in the grander scheme of their discography, this album is more a miss. Not a lot stands out from their general relentless brutality, but at least you have serious fun listening.
Blessed (CAN) iii
Blessed put together not the most distinct, but definitely fun and hopeful EP that helps shine a light on what the band has in store in the future (again, hopefully).
Blithe Field Hymn for Anyone
Instrumental post-rock-inspired ambient music with rare indietronica input. Lovely stuff, not good for sleepy moments, cause it will lead to snoozing.
Blom Flower Violence
Embracing noise and ugliness in sound more than ever before, Blom have created a raucous beast. If only the songwriting did not boil down to repetition and the vocals - for how grating they can be - were mixed better.
Blonde Redhead Fake Can Be Just As Good
Dancing on that fine line between lo-fi pop and noise punk.
Blood Incantation Timewave Zero
In a surprising twist, Blood Incantation, until now so content on making only the most hideous and chaotic metal imaginable, have released a relaxed ambient record. Its core structure seems to be the band's well-known songs, relooped and deamplified to sound ambient. With plenty genuinely beautiful moments, I commend them for going in this direction, and I am curious whether that signals a shift to a new style in the future metal releases for the project.
Blues Pills Blues Pills
Flashy vintage blues rock; for as fun as this was, its success also gave rise to the likes of Greta Van Fleet. So you see, the world is never black and white.
Bob Dylan Rough and Rowdy Ways
Some of his best lyrics in the longest while set to some subtle blues and bluegrass inspired musicianship. Bob takes mostly to his raw personality and presents his newest most confident batch of tales and experience-pompous 'I am' formula songs in its most primal and unconcerned way; as titled, rough and rowdy.
Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth Utopian Ashes
Romantically unrelated duo Beth and Gillespie made a curious dark folk-rock album about divorce written from the perspective of two people growing apart. As such the concept works well and is certainly a breath of fresh air in the generally sappy break-up folk landscape. On the other hand, the duo doesn't really outline this concept lyrically or doesn't always develop it past themes of some generalised disillusion and relationship ailments.
Bone Awl An Obelisk Marks the Line
I heard the band signed the label contract with their blood. Not that anyone asked them to.
Bonny Light Horseman Bonny Light Horseman
An album exemplifying the "strength in simplicity" ideal. Nothing more than straightforward folk songs with heavy country influence. And it is quality for it.
Bossolo United Boss Of America
Bossolo mostly stays true to the long-running tradition of West Coast rap (something he's been successfully milking throughout his entire career since early 00s), with every song being quite one-structure and samey, but all having that banging catchiness and confidence necessary to make a personality in hip-hop stick.
Botany Portal Orphanage
Neat lil' thingy, take it or leave it. Some songs are absolutely stunning, but some feel like quite a typical Botany afterthought.
Botany End the Summertime F(or)ever
So I found plenty much of this album relaxing and suave, but Botany is as Botany does and many of his production choices and sampling moments are a little irksome.
Brandi Carlile In These Silent Days
Brandi doesn't reinvent the wheel here, nor does she move too far from her previous album's statements and style. Brandi doesn't concern herself with trying to be the most with-the-times. She is just playing what she wants, compartmentalised, of course, by what is expected of her.
Brii Entre Tudo que é Visto e Oculto
There are many, many aspects and moments of this album to like; a lot of the metallic instrumentation and song-writing is heavy as all fucks in hell and plenty of the head-scratching production choices are actually fascinating, and I like how the album can transition into different genres seamlessly. But besides that, Br�i have a real problem with pacing. A lot of the time, the material sounds like padding the time. And at an hour of runtime, you can feel it overwhelm and tire you. In spite of that I can away from the album having mostly enjoyed it.
Bruno Pernadas Private Reasons
Very often beautiful, mostly innovative, but sometimes overly burdened by its own directional indecision.
Bullion Loop The Loop
The production here is mostly on point, as it mashes smushy huggable beats with wide instrumental array, but the song-writing and especially the vocals can leave something to be desired.
Camera Obscura Underachievers Please Try Harder
Tracyanne Campbell and late Carey Lander supervise what I can only describe as a pinnacle UK twee pop. It's often referred to as a 90s game, but I feel Camera Obscura (among others) perfected the style only in 00s. To many this'll sound repetitive and one-note, but it's all about simplicity, breeziness and lovely softness.
Carcass Torn Arteries
At the risk of sounding imposing with personal biases, I'd wager to suggest that two facts are undeniable here, in my view. One that Carcass are not as strong as they were in their youth, but neither are they trying to be. This album is more of a kickback to those days, trying to make the best you can today. And second, they are as strong as any band of this status and career can be. It seems that the fanbase has been divided into two camps, each of them sure to disagree with one of the above statements.
Caroline Polachek Desire, I Want To Turn Into You
Caroline Polachek has "pop diva by talent, not by connection" written all over her. I wish her luck in the pop diva wars to come.
Cassandra Jenkins An Overview on Phenomenal Nature
Although not really employing elements of shoegaze, nor any outright hazy styles, this album strikes as exceptionally airy and ethereal.
Cat Power Moon Pix
Maybe it's the overplayed nature of the album is what eventually made me somewhat numb to its heavy emotional contents.
Cecil Taylor Unit Structures
Cecil makes a bout for free jazz crown once again. Although this time with a bit mixed results to my ears, a few moments that test my patience. But kudos on Cecil and the band for turning an inprovised song into a jazz standard and just running with it full speed into a new remake version.
Cedar Walton Mobius
Adventurous, although kind of derivative and unsurprising, jazz fusion album with plenty of colour and energy that is free-flowing and carries on throughout the entire run, which in turn may seem a little tiring.
Chat Pile God's Country
Pjorn has been busy. It's a biting, acidic, and visceral record with perhaps one too many grungy downtempo lead-in moments for me to love it.
Cherubs SLO BLO 4 FRNZ & SXY
Though not a surprising EP, as most tracks are far from A-tier Cherubs material, this is still an admirable release with some of their most focused writing since the comeback.
Chic Risqué
so many people don't know yet, Sandwich. so many people
Christine Ott Chimères (pour ondes Martenot)
In many respects, there is some mesmerising magic (or rather dark sorcery) behind the atmosphere. Movements are minimalist, but feels landscapic, cacophonous. Despite that I found the sound of it, the mixing and recording, often a little jarring. Plenty of grating noises, both intentional and consequential, that take away from the experience rather than enhance it.
Christine Ott and Torsten Böttcher Nanook of the North
Minimalist music narrating the film "Nanook of the North", an important milestone in documentary filmmaking. Whether this musical interpretation accurately fits in with the images on screen is really up to anyone's opinion. I think it does in most moments, but can feel a little rough and trying to mostly just transmit the atmosphere of the film, rather than fit the scene.
Chynna Drug Opera
Though her creaking vocal delivery can be a little exhausting after a while, her words and writing are quite strong. And the skit with her dad is the most wholesome hip-hop moment this year.
EDIT: So I found out that this is actually a posthumous release. Very sad to hear that, no less because she really was one of the most promising newcomers of the year.
Circuit Des Yeux -io
I feel like Haley Fohr was afraid of fully utilising her access to an orchestra, as if she were too shy to actually expand it into a proper beast of a record this could have been. I still largely enjoyed it and can see it growing on me even more. Then again, she could have used more tracks like "Vanishing" and not slow dirges liek most others here.
Cirkeln Kingdoms That No One Remembers
Dime a dozen black metal, but with a heavy epic sting.
CJ Fly Rudebwoy
Overall, from the perspective of how well crafted this album is, there is nothing wrong with it. CJ Fly's penmanship and delivery are both on point and Statik Selektah provides a great production background. BUT, and it probably isn't a big 'but' on paper, there are plenty of tiny nuisances that sort of break the album just a little. CJ Fly tends to go in his delivery to places that take some patience to get used to (it's very apparent on songs like "Barrell" or "Block Party") and Statik Selektah always puts his prod tag before every song, which I know is for when the songs get pulled apart for singles and played separate from the album, so that his name and cred is always intact, but when hearing it over and over again on every song, it becomes annoying at the very least. But when these two come together in their strongest sides and deliver, the results are supreme (hear "Goin Thru", "Show You" or "LV Ascot").
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah New Fragility
One of the band's albums less likely to make you calp your hands and say yeah. Not because of lower quality of work, but due to the generally unenergetic and understated sound and song-writing.
Clara Luciani Coeur
Great catchy nostalgia trip music.
Clowns Nature / Nurture
Certainly a fun album, if you are willing to turn off your brain for most part. Not saying it is plain dumb fun, but it has that feel.
Cluster Zuckerzeit
I struggle to name this Cluster's best work. I struggle to name any of Cluster's work as best. Certainly, it had its time and place. And while the ambient-techno musical experiments here are admirable and mostly likeable, I can't help but think that this is a sound and textures better expanded upon elsewhere (elsewhere even in Cluster's own discography).
Coaltar of the Deepers Yukari Telepath
It's strange to hear an album this wild but unassuming. It's like it leads an internal battle with its own perception of what it's doing. Everything seems so soft but then also hostile at once.
Codeine Barely Real
In what certainly isn't even Codeine's best work, they sound very commonplace for slowcore, but that doesn't stop them from pulling a few lovely tricks from out their sleeves.
Cold Collective Weathervane
Indie Pop-Punk for grown-ups.
colourblind Move Like You
'Move Like You' is emo punk in its primal-most form by today's standards. But as such, there is no pretence and not a lot of overtly whiny moments (the song "Backbone" comes to mind as an exception).
Coma Cinema Posthumous Release
What the equivalent of "beating a dead horse" but for beating your own prejudice or preconceptions about something? I keep listening to this kind of melancholic acoustic folk(-rock) and keep coming away with nearly identical takes: I like it for what it is, but there is not a lot to talk about. Wow, what a nuanced critique. That's where the bulk of my appreciation and criticism for the style lies. The same appreciation and criticism I have for and of this album, give or take a few undeniably fantastic songs ("Burn a Church" fucked me up).
Coolio Gangsta's Paradise
Coolio's seminal record is not just its title track, although that song is perhaps the pinnacle of 90s hip-hop. This is a perfect documentation of an era, now bygone. Not an airtight perfect album by any means, overlong and all-over-the-place in fact, 'Gangsta's Paradise' is still a great showing of what 90s hip-hop culture was all about.
Coriky Coriky
Not necessarily a sound I'd expect an ex-Fugazi band to pull (The Messthetics were more like what I thought a Fugazi alum would engage), but certainly a sound The Evens would have logically evolved into. Not a band indie-punk album at all. It holds its place in the indie canon now and with time I can even see it turning more popular with some sudden cult following.
Counterparts Nothing Left to Love
Couterparts as a whole project have set out to deliver devastating metalcore by the numbers on every album. They do deliver some of the most high-quality, albeit not particularly original music in the project. On the other hand, it is easy to tire of this unending sameness. I was fortunate to have heard this as one of my first exposures to the band, but I very well may have hated it had I heard it as their last album.
Crack Cloud Tough Baby
Crack Cloud's wacky antics brought them fruit once more with what is perhaps their most sporadic and disorganised album to date, but also bearing some of the best hooks in their catalogue.
Crippled Black Phoenix Ellengaest
Finally, after such a long time and so many records I have found a Crippled Black Phoenix project I actually enjoyed in full. Their brand of moody dwindling doom-ish post-metal never really appealed to me, but this time their song-writing went and picked itself the hell up. Laced with plenty more dynamic moments than most of their previous work combined, 'Ellengaest' is still not flawless, as most songs stretch out for unnecessary lengths adding not much to their cores.
CSTVT The Echo and the Light
Gladly returning the fading veracity of emo from the 90s with newfound disillusionment only the American Midwest can bring.
Cults Host
Actually not bad. I've had my initial reaction as sceptical, but since have grown to appreciate this album's sophisticated level of pop song-writing (not to be confused with sophisti-pop).
Curse The Awakening... and the Old
Curse do their best to marry that old black sound to that old thrash sound and the result is a pretty decent old death sound.
Damien Jurado The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania
Jurado is kind of riding on his strengths these last few albums, all very bare and straightforward. At least now he finally shows some grit, at least slightly.
Danielson Ships
I thought long and hard about how to describe this album. I may have finally figured it out.

It's children's music, but for adults.
Dawes Misadventures of Doomscroller
To my great surprise, Dawes come through with their most creatively mature project in a while. In part I do feel as though the musical and stylistic versatility on display is the result of indecision rather than direct intent. As if the band wee simply trying out new things, curious what will stick, but unexpectedly tapped into something quite special here.
De La Soul and the Anonymous Nobody...
De La Soul's comeback album is an overlong mess that also highlights their unmistakeable song-writing and lyrical talents, as well as sporting their best songs to date. Still an overlong mess that badly needed a trim.
Deadly Cradle Death Disconnection
Hailing from China, Deadly Cradle Death make the kind of noise music that is noisy in theory, aggressive in execution, but not very loud; esoteric lyrics, jarring production and chaotic song-writing notwithstanding.
Dear Landlord Dream Homes
Pretty straightfoward, even for pop-punk, but their infectious raw energy is undeniable.
Deas Vail Birds & Cages
I must admit, this is one of the best Christian rock albums I've heard.
Death Squad (IRN) جنگ ابدی
The story behind this is maybe more interesting than the album itself sometimes, but I cannot deny that this shit do be slaps.
Deeper Auto-Pain
I applaud Deeper for tiptoeing on the very familiar sound, but never falling into the dime-a-dozen. Some songs are even downright beautiful ("Helena's Flowers").
Deerhoof Future Teenage Cave Artists
More weird musical experiments by Deerhoof. More songs that sound a lot like no effort chaos, but were actually probably really difficult to compose.
Der Weg Einer Freiheit Unstille
Lovely atmospheric black metal, progressively sectioned, well mixed.
Der Weg Einer Freiheit Der Weg Einer Freiheit
All is well and fine on this atmospheric black metal album except that the whole run I kept being irked by some odd sound nuisances in drum mixing. The snare kept sounding like a looped can thrown in the trash. Kinda distracting. But fun album anyway.
Devin Townsend The Puzzle
Kevin Downsent's gigantic, conceptually vague, but musically diverse megalomania is a marvel to listen and a chore to get through in its entirety. It leans in so many directions that one forgets quickly just what played minutes before. There is beauty to this inspired mess, but there is also laborious effort from the listener that isn't always rewarding.
Diplodocus Slow And Heavy
All memes and funny stuff aside, this is actually decently crafted piece of dungeon synth (adjacent music).
Dirty Projectors Earth Crisis
Dirty Projectors' orchestral (minimally so, but still) foray is a more vibrant counterpart to their other EPs this year and definitely has a more distinct personality.
Disembodied If God Only Knew The Rest Were Dead
Savage and emotionally torn.
Dohlmen Dohlmen
Dohlmen strikes gold at their most atmospheric and occult, but they run derivative at times they need to pat out the space between the gold.
Donald Byrd Stepping Into Tomorrow
Donald Byrd exemplified "happy-go-lucky" in jazz like no other musician.
Donny Benet Mr. Experience
Mr. Bent, the Experience himself, is a very self-aware and own-music-aware musician with a heightened sense of walking the line between cheekily self-serious and tongue-in-cheekily self-not-serious.
Dorisburg Irrbloss
Appropriately bubbly minimal electronica that runs too long, but at least has some wondrous surprises along the way. I liked a lot of the (literally) bleeping sounds incorporated and the atmosphere of haze was omnipresent, but in the calmest, most effervescent way possible. It is very autumnal release, so I discovered it at the best, coldest time possible.
Double Dagger Masks
There's a gimp on the cover, so naturally I'll check. The EP are mostly DIY-sounding noisy raggedy punk ragers that reek of enthusiast-level dedication, fuck professionalism. It's charming to hear a band just riff out a few tracks they've just written and only recently rehearsed.
Downfall of Gaia Atrophy
Vicious visionaries as they might be, a lot of this album leans too heavily on the atmosphere that often isn't as strong as the band may have hoped.
Dreamwell Modern Grotesque
Someone had to say it: dream better. Haha. But seriously, it's as good as one can get on pastiche alone.
Dry Cleaning New Long Leg
I understand the frustration many feel towards this album. After all, it sounds quite uninviting and the spoken word of Florence Shaw is a bit jarring with the music. Certainly, this is an album that requires plenty of patience and pre-existing commitment to both the band's respective style and the inclinations of post-punk at large. Under those benchmarks, this strikes gold several times. Outside, it is quite difficult to swallow.
Dry Cleaning Stumpwork
Dry Cleaning double down on their monotonous delivery and acquired taste style, much to the disappointment of anyone who wishes for a straightforward bassy post-punk record, and much to the delight of anyone who ever wished post-punk mixed with slowcore.
DSKNT Vacuum γ​-​Noise Transition
Every song takes its merry time to get going and not every song is a winner, but generally I did sense the oppressive atmosphere and otherworldly energy flowing through this record. It's quite vile.
Duma Duma
Reminds me a lot of Igorrr, but a more ambient version. Strange to listen to and often jarring, but it is something so bizarre that one simply has to know what happens next. But then what happens next often sounds the same as what happened before.
Dumbo Gets Mad Elephants At The Door
Breezy but also trippy, how I like my psych.
Duster Capsule Losing Contact
Some fun stuff here and there. Three hours might be a little too much, but the fun stuff makes up for it.
Duster Together
Duster are great at what they do. They're unexciting on purpose. Even I had difficult slowing down my expectations to this degree.
Eagulls Eagulls
I will not pretend, as though this is a saviour of old-school post-punk in our modern world. I will not pretend that it is even an outstanding post-punk work in recent years (as recent as 2014, no less). This album and Eagulls' general style is at its core a great reminder that post-punk, while not pushing any boundaries and staying very loyal to its few influences, can be rugged and harsh, while remaining gloomy and vitriolic.
Earl Sweatshirt Sick!
Earl Sweatshirt makes his skit-flavoured abstract hip-hop a little more accessible, thereby achieving a clearer thematical dynamic, as well as a little less engaging album as a whole.
EarthGang Ghetto Gods
Although Earthgang are skilled craftsmen with plenty fresh ideas up their sleeves, this album felt half like a fun, vibrant hip-hop journey, and half like a pastiche of familiar unadventurous tropes.
Earthless Night Parade of One Hundred Demons
Sadistically long stoner doom songs with plenty cathartic rewarding moments.
Eefje de Visser Bitterzoet
I like plenty of the material here, many musical ideas pan out very well and as far as current pop goes, this album (and Eefje's work in general) is far from ordinary, even though it stems on the familiar. The album only really flails in how such tiny experiments that initially make it remarkable turn commonplace. Then the weight of its runtime starts bearing down.
Elbow Flying Dream 1
Elbow's typical brand of slow-burning, long-growing, sophisticated contemporary semi-acoustic rock-pop-rock is at all display here with a more stripped-back, patient approach. On a scale from their unplugged acoustic live shows to 'Little Fictions', think somewhere close to 'Take Off'.
Elder (USA-MA) Innate Passage
Not the most distinct prog album and certainly not the best Elder offering, but it overall holds up quite well and is a good time.
Electric President S/T
Gentle vibes for mellowheads with affinity for indietronic stylings.
Eliane Radigue Triptych
An album comprised of three segments, each made separately, at various points in the 70s, with their own kind of minimal electronic manipulation that made the sound always have slightly different texture. There's an air of retro-technical enchantment, tape recorder magic and a wave of hypnotic drony ambiance, all contributing to a mostly refined, dreamy sepia-coloured vision.
Elsa Hewitt LUPA
I wish it weren't as breathy, but the hazy quietness was otherwise very infectious.
Elvis Costello The Boy Named If
I really did not see Elvis Costello to come through with an actually punching, gritty, and fun punk-o-pop album. This has been quite the long overdue release from him.
Emily Remler Firefly
Emily's virtuoso guitar finesse makes for an excellent listen, albeit sometimes commonplace in its composition.
Emma Ruth Rundle Engine of Hell
Stripped back and dreary, Emma Ruth Rundle against all odds turns her music even more forlorn and brooding.
Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou May Our Chambers Be Full
I like their fusion quite a lot, but the song-writing mostly leaves a lot to be desired. There's only so much you can carry on atmosphere alone and I feel like the instrumental and melodic work is all Thou, wish Emma's usual subtle crazy shone through as well.
Empath Visitor
Not just Cocteau Twins, but also the whole 80s early shoegaze phase. That's what makes it cute, though.
END (USA-NJ) Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face
Rings a little too familiar and a little too repetitive. Slaps immeasurably tho
Endling The Heavy Frigate
Lovely, lovely, lovely ambient pop album that takes its precious time to really let it's song-writing shine. If you let it simmer, revisiting to stir every once and again, you'll find the gems it hides. Have patience.
Erdve Savigaila
Heavy-ass album, just a shame that it's so front-loaded.
Eremit Desert of Ghouls
Kinda dime a dozen, slaps tho.
Eric Dubois Quartet Eric Dubois Quartet
French modernist jazz album with some cute improvisational moments and jammy cuts, where the quartet veers even into free jazz inspirations, but ultimately still stays on track with an often minimalist and mostly chilled-out affair.
Esham Judgement Day, Vol. 1: Day
Esham is a few things in one: an extraordinary morbid storyteller, a spearheader of a then up-and-coming style and a corny cheesy gimmick-rapper. Thankfully, this project comes still at a time when either or both of the first two aspects prevailed and the album features some of his best tracks.
Esham Judgement Day, Vol. 2: Night
Cool to hear Esham incorporate heavy metal samples to support his horrorcore taletelling.
Esmerine Lost Voices
At best an entertaining post-rock with neo-classical influences, at worst a bit of a drag. Not always feeling the atmosphere, but the instrumentation is great and the songwriting for the most part solid.
Everything Everything RE-ANIMATOR
I don't know how, but EE have turned annoying and worse yet forgettable.rTook me a while, but I'm warming up to it.
Everything Everything A Fever Dream
I was surprised to hear an album this late into their careers being written like something one'd perhaps expect of their debut. The most straightforward and least forward thinking project the band has produced, including their early work. That is not to say that I found this uninspired, boring or unlistenable in any way. Credit where it's due, Everything Everything know how write a good banger and they play the shit out of it. It's just that at no point can I say that this album is the futuristic razzmatazz the rest of their discography is.
Ex Hex Rips
A fun and simplistic rock album for those in need of just some summer vibes in this our cold, cold world.
Eye of Nix Ligeia
An interesting blend of genres that feels fresh and also appropriately artsy. I don't really care for a lot of the songwriting, but it's a solid album overall.
Ezra Furman All Of Us Flames
Ezra Furman brings an Ezra Furman level of anthemic theatrics that unfortunately fizzle out the the end, all the while managing to bring out some lyrical subtleties, all also typical for Ezra Furman. In short, an Ezra Furman album, if I've ever heard one.
FACS Void Moments
The sound of a band trying to sound both provocative and pacifist. It often sounds more abrasive than a lot of their contemporaries, but simultaneously the songwriting usually gives way to more timid passages.
Fange Pudeur
Their foray into drone and electronic noise didn't pan out quite as I had hoped, but the crushing aesthetic still remains. It's an album of abhorrent force and even if I can't listen to its songs separately, it is still an admirable effort.
Fela Kuti Open & Close
It's probably just my own overexposure to Fela's and his children's music that made me desensitised to anything new I hear from the family. At least I can always appreciate the craftsmanship and undeniable fun of these records.
Femi Kuti, Made Kuti Legacy +
At over an hour of runtime, two of the Kuti brothers deliver a very danceable feel-good semi-protest album with plenty of clear passion. There are no real duds here, it's just... a lot to take it... a lot of the same.
Fennec Free Us of This Feeling
Fennec's newest is pretty much a by-the-numbers deep house record. Fennec has never been an innovator per se, but all of his projects so far have been fun and exciting to one extent or another. This is just another one of them, it's enjoyable and uplifting. Nothing more, nothing less.
Fievel Is Glauque Flaming Swords
A more energetic, upbeat follow-up to their 2021 debut, but still holding that brash, rigid snappiness tinged with softness of the vocal delivery.
Filmmaker (COL) Eternal Return
A bit of a mixed bag mostly, despite keeping to their strengths of minimal post-synth-punk.
Fitness Womxn New Age Record
Disorderly, jumpy no wave and artsy punk record with so much in-your-face grit that you'll be scooping your ear buds out of the headphones.
Fleet Foxes Shore
I am a little saddened to say that Fleet Foxes' newest and a foray into more straightforward sound didn't pan out quite so well. With their sound up until now being increasingly intricate and unorthodox, "Shore" is a step down in memorability. Instrumental pallet is as monumental as always, but mostly hidden in subtlety in the background. And song-writing is often inconsistent, but on certain occasions striking pure gold.
Fontaines D.C. Dogrel
Fontaines D.C. definitely made a statement on this album: They are to be taken seriously. And the album is solid, give or take a few miss songs, because when it's a hit, it's a hit for the ages.
Fontaines D.C. A Hero's Death
Fontaines' approach to song-writing on 'A Hero's Death' is to delve deeper into building repetition. Not something unfamiliar to the band and certainly a staple of post-punk in general. But for some reason, they decided to plague every single song with it. It's not that the album is unremarkable or repetitive to a point of being unlistenable. It's just that some low-effort aftertaste lingers on after listening.
Fontaines D.C. Skinty Fia
The 3.5est band working today make an even more conceptual, musically stubborn record. Their song-writing philosophy of building up tension and forcing release through power is often quite moving, but can also drag the songs out unnecessarily.
Foxes in Fiction Swung From The Branches
The more exhausting type of the bedroom-associated lo-fi scene, Foxes in Fiction specialise on the distorted ambient music that permanently plays in the heads of misguided suburban youths.
Frank Turner Love, Ire & Song
It's the keep-your-cool-while-being-cool-and-somewhat-disillusioned rock.
Frankie Rose Cage Tropical
It's the most vibes-only unambitious near-psych experience you'll have with an album for sure.
Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist Alfredo
"Two things I ain't never seen, a turtle with speed and a bitch I need."
Fruit Bats The Pet Parade
Kevin Morby: The Country Edition
Full of Hell Garden of Burning Apparitions
There goes another 3.5 high-quality blistering, albeit unsurprising and straightforward, grind album. In other words: it's a Full of Hell album.
Full Of Hell and Primitive Man Suffocating Hallucination
I enjoyed this thoroughly as a provocatively dense drone-cum-doom gurgling metal goes. But throughout the whole thing I did wonder, how exactly is this distinctive as a collaboration? I can't quite hear where either band's input lies.
Funerary Starless Aeon
Funerary march between melodic doom that tests your patience and void-of-form doom that tests your patience. "background music to hell" [2] but like a sadder version of hell.
Gaahls Wyrd The Humming Mountain
Basically Gaahl tried to show us several somewhat differing directions, some of which one day may mark a full new sound development on a full-length album.
Gabriel Rios Flore
Interesting to hear some mild bossa nova influences turn into pop.
Gareth Liddiard Strange Tourist
Although Gareth's lyrics are some of the sharpest in his career, filled with biting subtext and riveting storytelling, his delivery now stripped down to simple voice and a guitar is as uncomfortable as it is heavy. It has its place to be, where those more tolerant than myself to the absence of an equally chilling ensemble of musicians to accompany Gareth, can find enjoyment.
Gay Dad To Earth With Love
Gay Dad's strangely more ambient-oriented effort. It's not ambient in genre, but opposite their usual work, it is more chill and spacy.
Genghis Tron Dream Weapon
I have not heard a Genghis Tron album before this, but from what I understand it's quite the change of pace for them. Reminded me a lot of Maserati or the more electronic Mogwai projects. As such, not a bad range of comparison, but I also found myself disengaging with the music a few times, as its general aesthetic seems to be more important to the band than their song-writing.
George FitzGerald All That Must Be
All the quirk and all the subtlety for an album that still kind of shows signs of glitz.
Georgia Anne Muldrow Vweto III
Meditative blues-hop album with plenty transcendental moments, as well as slogging ones.
Germs (GI)
An overlooked timely punk album, attitude and all, often testing listeners' patience, but getting the message across surprisingly poetically.
Ghum Bitter
Anglo-Spanish art punk album that plays it a little too safe, but is still a good time and knows how to lay down a punch when it needs to.
Gojira Fortitude
So how do you make a Gojira song have boring drums? At least that's a rarity.
Gorillaz Meanwhile EP
Quick and fun. Could have saved them for the next Song Machine.
Gospel MVDM: Magick Volumes Of Dark Madder
Kurt Ballou is the Willy Wonka of hardcore music.
Greg Dulli Random Desire
I am surprised how long it took Greg Dulli to go solo. I am also surprised that he didn't venture farther away from his bands' sounds. A great alternative rock album, Dulli's personality and songwriting are ever present and unmistakable, but it reads more as Afghan Whigs experimental b-side than Dulli trying himself out as a standalone musician.
Gregory Alan Isakov This Empty Northern Hemisphere
Despite an occasional instrumental spike here and there, Gregory's work is too run-of-the-mill to really register as exciting even in the minimal-most way. Still, as far as simplistic Americana folk goes, especially thanks to Gregory's lyrics, this is a decent example.
Guerilla Toss Famously Alive
Much more than their previous efforts, and certainly trying to set a precedent for future work, Guerilla Toss strive towards a more accessible, pop-centred sound. 'Famously Alive' still hits as a rough attempt, but I can see them succeed fully by their next album. And when they do, it might as well be the noise-to-pop crossover so many other artists have been striving for for so long (ehm, Health).
Gulfer Gulfer
Gulfer's mathy technically skilled brand of emo music is third time around screaming "I have potential, I am an up-and-comer" and a third time around up-and-comes-nowhere really. The instrumental skill is not enough, if the song-writing is not on par. But credit where it's due, they are improving exponentially. The energy and atmosphere almost make up for the often forgettable or non-existent melodies.
Gumming Overripe
This is positively ugly and sometimes unpleasant to listen, but it has a charm that a fire during a riot has.
Gustavo Cerati Bocanada
I didn't think that either Gustavo could pull off an hour of soft alternative latin rock or I am capable of withstanding it. But lookie loo, both is possible.
Hail Spirit Noir Mannequins
I love stupid synthwave. Hail Spirit Noir barely did anything new with it and I don't see how it's in any way a progression from their usual brand (I guess because they relied on synths a lot on their last album). But it's good for what it is.
Hailey Whitters The Dream
Her voice can be grating, her song-writing questionable, but the lyrics are a real surprise.
Hailey Whitters Raised
A sure like hell improvement over her previous output forms a more tasteful of modern country records with plenty heartfelt moments.
Hair and Skin Trading Company Over Valence
Curiously dense, but has its underwhelming moments. Those are mostly at times the album steers away from its more off-the-cuff tendencies and tries to let the melodies work their charm, which they often don't.
Hammered Hulls Hammered Hulls
Good hardcore in 5 minutes. The vocals can be wonky, but that kinda comes with the territory.
Hania Rani Home
"Home" is a very patient record that unfortunately often takes more energy than it gives back in quality. Majority great and lovely quiet ambient-oriented (pop-y) electronica, but also plenty of snoozes.
Hate Rugia
Old-school black metal with grandiose crisp production to pump up its ferociousness. Also an album featuring somewhat pro-Ukrainian sentiments a year before it became a statement.
Hatfield And The North Hatfield and the North
The most minimal piece of fusion-prog.
Healing Potpourri Blanket of Calm
I struggle with this album a little. On one hand, band's idea of creating meditative pop music worked out well. The album has a summery vibe that is infectious, calming and puts you in an immediate state of relaxation. On the other hand, it can sometimes have the unfortunate side effect of putting you to sleep.
Hecate (FRA) Ode au Désert Suspendu
Lovely black metal album that is only a smidge too repetitive.
Heilung Futha
Heilung further develops their immersive and enigmatic sound, sounding even more ambitious and menacing. Which in turn makes me wish all the more for a second live performance, because these albums increasingly prove themselves to be truly effective only when accompanied by a vibrant live performance.
Heiress Distant Fires
'Distant Fires' is a balancing act of both twisted fast-paced heaviness and slow, methodical, deliberate doom meditation. Surprisingly, the band never compromises either direction with the other and the musical choices are not in chaotic conflict of whether they're trying to lull you to calmness or distress you.
Helen Money Atomic
A fun interesting concept of a gothic progressive post almost-metal, but this album often suffers from not really knowing which direction to go. It's okay to have every song cover something a little different (in fact it is a curious creative choice), but you also have to make sure that all the elements make sense together or that they are fleshed out enough to warrant a placement or that the songs are plain written well enough. 'Atomic' is there about 60% of the way. I am sure they will expand for next time and come back with a blasting album. I am certain they are capable of that.
Hell (USA) Hell
Given that this is an album about hell, I have to say it is putrid, unpleasant, dreadful, grim and horrid. Which is to say, delivers on its promises.
Henry Threadgill Poof
Nocturnal and scant jazz release that mostly requires patience of its listeners, not always revealing the sweetest fruit.
Hercules and Love Affair Hercules and Love Affair
10 shades of "YMCA"-like bangers
Hiatus Kaiyote Mood Valiant
100th rating for this album, woooo. I am not a big fan of Nai's voice, even though she can definitely pull off a great performance. Other than the occasional sleepiness, her presence was the biggest downside of the album. However, this is probably Hiatus Koyote's most well-written work thus far, their most infectious hooks and crisp production. If they keep going like that, maybe I'll soon get used to the vocals too.
High Pulp Mutual Attraction Vol. 1
Lovely fusion covers EP, classy and easy-listening.
HMLTD West of Eden
Just being weird doesn't make you magically good, but heck with this much conviction it's not difficult to win me over.
Holodrum Holodrum
This started out so well, the first half is an airtight pump of energy that smashes forward with some of the most vibrant nostalgic dance-punk of the last couple of years. Driving synths, catchy tunes, infectious atmosphere. But the latter half then drops off to a much milder place. As if Holodrum took out all the adrenaline they had in the first three tracks, so much so that none was left for the last three. Although the closer does eventually pick up the pace, the raw punch of the album's start is not quite there.
Hooded Menace Effigies of Evil
How weird is it that this reminds me a lot of Baroness but with deep growls?
Hooverphonic A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular
Most charming and disarming trip-hop-esque journey, where good vibes are stimulated by progressive song structures.
Hop Along Freshman Year
Frances Quinlan's first outing as Hop Along (Queen Ansleis) is a pretty emotional simple folk album whose main flaw is immaturity in song-writing and not knowing when to trim the runtime.
Horse Lords The Common Task
By turning their focus towards a minimalist math rock and by spreading the instrumental palette across several dimensions, Horse Lords have achieved an actually admirable uneasy (uncommon) task of making a modern post-rock album fresh and exciting. Or, if you wish to be prickly about genre specificities, they've made math rock less jumpy and disjointed.
Hum Inlet
I admit to never being a fan of this kind of heavy shoegaze music and I admit to never having heard Hum's albums in full before. Standalone songs have mostly been interesting enough to me, but rarely enough to warrant any further peek. But I could not resist the hype for their newest. And I am impressed (a little). Despite the gargantuan lengths of its songs I rarely felt bored or that the music overstays its welcome. Nonetheless, the songs are simple, instrumentals straightforward and at worst one-note and unremarkable. But this simplicity also often works in band's favour, as the easily catchy melodies are also easy to enjoy at the long lengths the band plays them. And the tasty heaviness is truly juicy.
Humanity's Last Breath Välde
I'll go ahead and join the "This slaps" bandwagon. Deathcore is obnoxious 85% of the time, but the rest can slap the genre all the way to greatness.
Hurts Happiness
For as polished and sterilised as 'Happiness' is, its deep cuts often have quite the grit, heaviness and catchiness to it. Not what I expected from what I've been told was a dry pop album.
I think it's safe to say that, in spite of the obvious pastiche artistry on display here, this might be the best thing any ensemble of any members (present or past) of either of the bands comprising this project have ever made.
I Feel Fine The Cold in Every Shelter
Unpleasant vocals are par for the course in emo and pop-punk. I am happy to report that at least this time the emotions and band's abrasiveness is enough to pick up where the vocals do not carry. Then again, they are far from the worst in today's landscape and often their quality is not detrimental to the general enjoyment.
i hate sex Circle Thinking
"didn't know my wife had a band" - a 40yo man quote
Iceage Seek Shelter
I always come away from each song liking it (apart from let's say "Drink Rain"), but I must admit that there is always an air of looseness like the band was coming up with these songs last minute and they just happen to sound actually good. It's just something about the song-writing that feels very underthought.
Idles Ultra Mono
Joe's voice is breaking here more than ever before. guess he's maturingrfunny cause his lyrics are doing the opposite.
Idles Crawler
idles make it look so easy, does anybody want to start a band?
Idol of Fear Trespasser
Curb your Behemoth.
Idyll Swords Idyll Swords III
Idyll Swords' last release is their shortest, which comes as quite a surprise, since their previous discography consisted of quite lasting acoustic atmosphere-setters. III sees them cut down all the clutter for a concise, brief, gentle ride.
Idyll Swords Idyll Swords
This is a hidden gem of a meditative folk album. It's so tranquil and easy that I almost wish it had no vocals at all.
If You Ask O The Depths
Damn, this actually slaps. Kudos on making me think deathcore is cool again.
Ihsahn Telemark
Mostly a great mix of black metal and blues and jazz fusion influences, very atmospheric and head-rocking. But then there's also "Rock And Roll Is Dead" and that song can get fucked.
Ilyas Ahmed and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma You Can See Your Own Way Out
Compelling, gentle, isolated sound that is only enhanced to its betterment by the distantly industrial production choices sprinkled around in the mix.
Imarhan Aboogi
The masters of 3.5 albums and breeziest deserty sound of blues have another solid and stably v i b e s record under their sleeve.
Impure Wilhelmina Antidote
The vocals are often the saving grace and the pitfall of the album. All hanging on the song-writing to help the vocals either engross the listener or gross them out.
Infant Island Beneath
infant Island moved to extraordinary lengths to upgrade their style. I worried until now that they will an uneven hybrid, occasionally jumping to screamo or black metal based on song-writing convenience. But they now prove that their writing skill is greater than I gave them credit. They now attempt some drone, straight punk and something more melodic in their mix. All that amounts to a beautifully dreary listen with vocals that are interesting to listen at least for the fascination of how the singer even manages to speak with all that blood that must surely be gushing out of his vocal chords at any given moment.
Infinity Crush sestinas
Cutesy fuzz-folk from Teen Suicide and Julia Brown alum keeps much to her strengths with enough catchy, fun, neat lil tunes to satisfy you for the 20 or so minutes it runs. Don't dig in too deep, this isn't Crush Songs, after all.
Intronaut Fluid Existential Inversions
The vocals don't fit well, but the instrumentation is top-notch. That is, when it's not just a derivative proggy sludge-post mud.
Isgherurd Morth Hellrduk
I have a feeling this album's avant-garde leanings are not entirely intentional. A few times throughout the album it seemed like their timing and rhythm is off. That said, it makes for quite a confusing and captivating listen.
Iskandr Vergezicht
Breaking no new grounds is not a sin, if your work is this tight.
Ivar Bjornson and Einar Selvik Hugsjá
The second instalment in Ivar and Einar's collaborative undertaking as heralds of all Icelandic musical stereotypes suddenly comes off as an afterthought of their first. While still great by any metric, it mostly pales in comparison to the brilliant Skuggsja.
Jadu Heart Hyper Romance
A strong Beach House worship going on here. Then again, sounds a lot better than some Beach House projects. The best aspect of this album is its gentle impeccable flow; lovely catchy tune following another lovely catchy tune, patterned and sequenced. Album's main downpoints are some questionable musical choices, like an autotune here or there, some RnB influences that don't really play well into it, and some more non-descript songs.
Jaga Jazzist The Stix
Their transition from instrumental nu-jazz to some electronically oriented tech-jazz experiments can feel a little jarring at times, but it overall works as a fun ride. Can't say it has had much staying impact, though.
Jeff Rosenstock NO DREAM
Jeff's most energetic and intense album to date (in spite of the colourful happy-go-lucky cover art) is also his least confident. It's not as coherent and easy to enjoy as Worry or We Cool, but thankfully also not as stylistically unbalanced as Post. It's just fun at times, but overstays its welcome and can be a little annoying.
Jenn Champion Cool Choices
This is indie by the numbers, but Jenn is a numbers girl.
Jerry Paper Fuzzy Logic
Very cute, very dreamy all-out-psych pop.
Jessica Moss Entanglement
'Entanglement' has an undeniable enigmatic atmosphere. It's vague instrumentation is deconstructed to an almost ambient experience, creating something eerie and haunting. If the theme of the album was entanglement as a means of capture, then the motif is translated perfectly: you truly feel like being tangled up, unable to move, unable to escape, nauseous and dehydrated.
Jinjer Wallflowers
Deathcore with attitude and sass, as well as some actually banger catchy moments.
John Carpenter Lost Themes III: Alive After Death
If you don't mind a very loose flow and a disconnect in pacing, then jump right in for some juicy synth-based soundtrack snippets you cannot help but to imagine a plot around.
Jordsjo Nattfiolen
A mostly unsurprising prog, but with plenty heartfelt moments and instrumental finesse that is absolutely palpable.
Julia Brown to be close to you
Another blunt hitter in the wave of lo-fi demos off Bandcamp. Its distortions work wonders shaping the melancholy the album tries to convey, but its shortcomings are the length and the pace. It is as if the album was uncertain what it's even playing, really, often jumping places, tempos, delivery styles, and fidelity levels.
Julien Baker Red Door/Conversation Piece
Sweet two songs with Julien's very bitter little sweet delivery made all the more poignant.
Julien Baker Little Oblivions
Right look, so Julien has chops, can't take that away from her. I mean song-writing and lyrical chops, the vocal ones not so much, but that never mattered with her music. See, they way she writes her songs is a curious mix of gentle folk-isms but also wields a polish only likened to the most bombastic of pop stars. As always, I feel very torn on Julien's music. I like a lot of it, but it leaves a strange often unpleasant aftertaste.
Jupiterian Protosapien
Jupiterian are not bad by any measure, but they are unbalanced. I like the bulk of their work and I would lose my mind seeing this droned into my head in a live setting. But I also think their song-writing could use some surprises. Because I knew the album by heart after just one spin. Not because it was so good, but because it was predictable. Which made subsequent listens boring.
Kabloonak Kabloonak
Very chill album, which is both its strength and flaw. It is perfect for vibing and tuning out, but it could use a more energetic track or two.
Kaja Draksler Octet Out for Stars
I mostly welcome challenging listening experiences. I always try to give them a fair shot. I often come off confused or unimpressed. Some odd opposite-magic happened on 'Out of Stars', for I've found myself challenged in the most unexpected and subtle yet fundamental way. Everything about the album seems conventional and not far from commonplace jazz experimentation. I admired Kaja's fusion of classical music and vocal jazz into some minimalist structures and progressions. But increasingly (and mind you not even necessarily with one listen) I've found myself put off by the minimalism. And even now I cannot quite tell, whether it is my misunderstanding of the instrumental and production concept or whether several instrumental choices truly were misplaced and ill-advised.
Kali Masi Laughs
Kali Masi's approach is not novel spectacle, but a clever utility of their strengths and learned understanding of the style they are playing.
Kangding Ray 61 Mirrors ⁄ Music for SKALAR
Berlin producer offers a long and nuanced techno experience that can turn exhausting. But if you have the patience, it offers deep atmospheric soundscapes and a great versatility in a limited variety of sound.
Karen O Crush Songs
The OG sadgirl to end all sadgirls. Great backstory to this album too.
Karima Walker Waking The Dreaming Body
Hazy ambient pop was all the (timid) rage in 2021 and Arizona's Karima Walker sprung out with her own admirable attempt that is just a smidge hazier than others, a drop easier than others, a lick grainier than others, and a titbit sleepier than others.
Kate NV Room For The Moon
So at every turn where I expected this album to go full ballistic future-glitch-pop on me, it stayed quiet, minimal and homely. Tilting heavily to some clear old-school j-pop influences, there is some charming delicacy in fusing the Japanese musical trends with the Russian aesthetic.
Kauan Ice Fleet
Kauan do as Kauan are and what Kauan are is a skilled group of craftsmen that know how to build a pretty picture with sound. As always. And as always they make doom and post-metal appealing to the lovesick emo kids.
Kevin Morby Sundowner
One of Kevin's more minimal albums, where patience is of virtue, as Kevin doesn't write anything much catchy, but more subtle and subtly swelling.
Kevin Morby This Is A Photograph
At what is his Kurt Vile-est record to date, Kevin Morby strikes more of an autopilot song-writing that I'd have hoped, but still manages to find a certain melodic sweetspot of tenderness and catchiness.
Khemmis Deceiver
'Deceiver' finds Khemmis at their most polished, clean, atmospheric, but also their most by-the-numbers. Still, kudos on them for persevering the key line-up change and slight creative re-dressing, albeit with shaky results.
Khora Timaeus
This runs a little dreary, but thankfully the songs are not too long and most are decently melodic and memorable. The hook from "L'Annihilateur" is still stuck in my head since when I heard it first (like in May or so). So thumbs up for this, definitely worth checking out, if you're looking for something pretty and metal-y.
Kid Kapichi This Time Next Year
A much cockier, testosterone-pumping version of Idles, if you ever needed that.
Kikagaku Moyo House in the Tall Grass
Great vibe music psychedelia with progressive influences. Not the best, but a sweet time.
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard K.G.
King Gizzard never stop expanding their sound repertoire and they will never stop experimenting with where their crazy minds can take them. At this point we are reaching King Gizzard remaking all of Buckethead's discography with expansion or sth idk. (I must say though that the album's strengths only appear in the second half)
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard and Tropical Fuck Storm Satanic Slumber Party
A collaboration that was bound to happen produced fruit not quite the shape of flavour I had anticipated. It's a doomy, proggy psychedelic journey. Those words may typically describe both parties involved, but here they sound their most zoned out, other-dimensional, eerie.
King Woman Celestial Blues
I am in a sort of a love-hate relationship with this album (it's actually one-sided, the album doesn't know I exist). See, on one hand I love the aesthetic, the heaviness, the instrumentation, the atmosphere, on the other hand its song-writing and sound leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot pick up a lot of distinct character here and certainly the juicy fetishistic cover and promotional material oversold the mostly standard fare sludge metal on display here. Lyrical content I can appreciate, but it only does so much to drag the album out of its often flat rut.
Kluster Klopfzeichen
Long, minimal and yet chaotic, static, sounding like a factory in full stop.
Knapsack Day Three Of My New Life
Not really sure about the "best of 90s emo" label, but definitely a cookbook for the era and the style.
Kowloon Walled City Piecework
Kowloon Walled City are back with another devastating serving of sludge and post metal that fizzles out too quickly, but mostly leaves a good aftertaste and a healthy thirst for more. I just hope it doesn't take them 6 further years to deliver.
Kuroi Jukai Kuroi Jukai
Feels like being smothered in rusty wires.
Kurt Vile Childish Prodigy
Ducktails with a bluegrass tinge. Or Black Keys post their rock'n'roll ambition.
Landlady Landlady
Despite the numerous fine tracks that once again showcase Landlady's sense of subtle pop song-writing, this album drags every now and again.
Las Kellies Suck This Tangerine
Las Kellies offer not a lot of new stuff, even compared to their whole discography. A standard fun batch of minimalist post-punk revival songs. Despite often repetitive song-writing, not a bad way to spend the evening.
Laura Marling Song For Our Daughter
Based on those soundoffs one'd assume this is the 3.0est album there is. It's almost that. Laura's lyrical sentiment is touching, but her song-writing often isn't supporting the poignancy of the words.
Laura Veirs My Echo
Not her most exciting album or one worth many respins, but at a run of 10 albums being this decent still is a feat of its own. Hold on to your strengths, Laura, please.
Leland Whitty Anyhow
Leland at it again for more relaxed modern jazz with no track being out of place, but "In Circles" featuring some awkward swift finish that I found jarring.
Leon III Antlers in Velvet
Quaint rustic folk-prog with gently psychedelic leanings, where the rhythms and harmonies, technicality of it all, and some general atmosphere take hold over song-writing or attempts at standing out among the crowd.
Lido Pimienta Miss Colombia
I feel like this album has some greater cultural significance that I am missing. There's even a spoken-word interlude where some dude explains something in Spanish, but I have no clue what it is, as I speak no Spanish, and the internet is oddly silent on translation. Songs are mostly beautiful or at least very unusual to hear on a pop album, but her voice can get a little grating.
Light Dweller Hominal
For the most part fantastic death metal, but it does run a bit dry by the end if taken as a full album experience. Light Dweller show us what absolute nightmares they are capable of, but their approach often also exhausts more than impresses.
Lightning Bug A Color of the Sky
Lightning Bug, sharing somewhat similar name to Lightning Bolt, is that band's complete antithesis. These folks make only the gentlest, often ambient, dream pop to soothe your hottest and to warm your coldest days.
Lil Ugly Mane Volcanic Bird Enemy and the Voiced Concern
Lil Ugly Mane come through with observatory, dry witty album with a loose bedroom rock feel to it, but plenty daring ideas to set it apart from either lo-fi sadsters or rappers-cum-rockers of today.
Lindow Moss Seconds to Kill: Council Estate Druidry
Great noise black metal with hardcore influences. Dime-a-dozen, but a blast.
LITHICS Mating Surfaces
Lithics are punks in attitude more than in presentation. They like to stir trouble and be pissed off, because it's more fun than being kind. They like to play their songs short and sturdy. And they like their sound to jerk and jump, splash and dance, yank and noodle. They are punks in attitude.
LITHICS Tower of Age
Lithics have expanded their ambition to half an hour of runtime. Whether that hurt them or helped them depends on how you personally enjoy their brand of all-over-the-place no wave-influenced post-punk. It is certainly refreshing to hear current post-punk bands imitate and honour this particular incarnation of the genre, as opposed to the countless faceless mood Joy Division pastiches. But with it comes a risk that the disjointed instrumentation and cocky vocal delivery will not sit well with you. If so, then perhaps turn the album off after the first few songs, for there will be little to no innovation further.
Living Colour Vivid
Living Color bring funk's swagger to the at-the-time dreadfully unstylish swamps of hard rock.
Local H Lifers
Maybe I lack the critical nerve and can be impressed by a simple catchy rock tune. Maybe I enjoy this style more than I've let myself on. Maybe maybe. Local H, the that-other-band-badge collectors of the bygone grunge era, gave us a new crisp album. Far from anybody's first choice of album from a far from anybody's first choice of a band, so I suppose they've let their ambition loose and just made something they felt like making and had fun with it. In turn, I've had fun with it too.
London Grammar Californian Soil
Why do I keep listening to these albums that remind me of how shite a boyfriend I've been. Jeez
Lord Huron Long Lost
In the end, despite the tasteful production, country-indie rock fusions and interesting audio-visual aesthetic that accompanies the album, I found that at least four tracks could easily be trimmed or left out altogether. The interludes also eventually take more than they give. Also I wish that the spicy guitar lead from "Mine Forever" was a recurring feature.
Los Jaivas Alturas de Machu Picchu
Really cool to hear this fusion of styles of South American music with prog rock, as it goes together quite well.
Lost Girls Menneskekollektivet
Of all the Jenny Hval collaborations, this one feels most like a Jenny Hval creative lead: unpatterned instrumentation, drawn-out harmonies, scant poetry, hypnotic energy and atmosphere, grainy sound.
Lou Reed Metal Machine Music
Dry your knickers, fools. This is a perfectly fine, occasionally misstepping, experimental noise proto-drone album. Very ahead of its time. Mostly superseded by plenty followers.
Low Island If You Could Have It All Again
Surprisingly, 'If You Could Have It All Again' is more than a faux conscious pop album, as it often delivers witty wordy lyrics, paired with actually catchy melodies. So although front-loaded, the album shows Low Island are in for a potentially fruitful career ahead.
LSD March Totsuzen Honoo No Gotoku
This album will test your patience, attention span and lucid dreaming.
Lucy Dacus Home Video
Even though musically I found a lot of this album to be pretty one-dimensional, Lucy's lyrics are really the standout star here.
Mac Miller Circles
Quite definitely Mac Miller at his most mature. Finally the chill delivery and production style Mac has been prodding comes together into a project actually worth your while. My problem only is that I still struggle with Mac's voice and delivery quite a lot.
Madhouse Express Interflavours
Prague psychedelic wizards and members of this current semi-trend of psych revival bands in Czech Republic are pushing their sound even further, now venturing into spacey progressive territory. While their core hooks are still solid, almost every song feels like a good trim is in place or at least a revamp of the tune. An exciting new chapter is definitely on the horizon for them, but I feel like we're yet to get to the real good stuff.
Magdalena Bay Mercurial World
Even when the lyrics tackle darker subject, you still feel like listening to the most positive thing in the world.
Major Murphy Access
The cover art would have you believe this is some space age synthwave revival act ('revival', because that genre has been dead for a few years now, in case you didn't know). In reality, this is some gentle shoegaze-tinged indie pop. Not among the most exciting ones at that. Most songs follow a similar song-writing formula and can floor you with its carefree attitude and production at best, as well as plenty entertaining instrumental licks.
Makoto Matsushita First Light
For the most part, aside from a few really striking highlights, this is all boilerplate city pop.
Manduka Manduka
Occasionally eerie, occasionally fun guitar driven folk album that may not have a diamond shine, but is a pleasant effort to put on in any mood.
Marcelo Criminal Momento de auténtica realidad
Cute short-form electroacoustic album. Great for brief relaxation session.
March Set Loose
Not without its highlights, but a little too one note for me. The performances are memorable, the vocals are growers.
Marissa Nadler The Wrath Of The Clouds
Marissa's bountiful b-sides from her latest exquisite album are just as mostly just as gorgeous, even though together they don't offer a lot of cohesion and often sound like variations on other songs from the album proper.
Marker Starling High January
Soft pop that is equal part motivational and melancholic. Marker's approach leaves a lot of room for funk and blues influences to shine, but still turns it into a purely pop (singer-songwriter pop) experience.
Mastodon Hushed and Grim
Cannot say I am as much into this new Mastodon hype as most others, but I recognise that this is their strongest work in the longest time. It drags a little longer than necessary and some of the tracks sound like leftovers that the band just didn't want to lump onto a B-side compilation, but it's still solid.
Material Girl Tangram
Not that I didn't enjoy the bulk of this, but there's something off and apparently out-of-touch about how Material Girl produces - or rather sprinkles across - snippets of random sound mixing glitches and sound design oddities. Kinda feels low-effort.
Matt Elliott Farewell to All We Know
Pleasant guitar folk that sounds almost like flamenco. I suppose the vocals can be a turn off for some, but I found them appropriate to the atmosphere.
Mattiel Georgia Gothic
"The pair separated after three months of marriage."
Max Richter Voices 2
Max Richter at this point runs on a sort of autopilot, besides a collection of core themes running throughout his studio albums, his work especially on 'Voices 2' seems repetitively interested in melodies and arrangement tried and true from years past. It's not unusual or a sin for a composer to work within their comfort zone. It's also not unusual for Max Richter to use his comfort zone to his advantage, thereby expanding it. But Max Richter focusing on the subtle-most types of his comfort zone does not translate wall that perfectly into lengthy conceptual albums.
Maximo Park A Certain Trigger
Quite simply put: a very 2000s naive indie rock album with corny lyrics, but some creative melodic and instrumental choices.
Maya Jane Coles Comfort
A curious intersection of techno and pop that only occasionally slides down in quality from a mostly successful and fun fusion. I wish Maya had utilised her momentum with this album and went on to do bigger things afterwards, but alas. Maybe in the future.
Mayhem Daemon
Well, the last time Mayhem spearheaded innovation in the black metal realm was in the 90s. I did not expect much new ideas and sounds here (or lately in black metal in general) and what I got was a good dose of black metal with decent atmosphere and great riffs. Stick any other band's name on it and you barely notice a difference. It's just so impersonal, despite how engaging the music.
Me And That Man New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 2
Another project with Nergal and his friends fucking around with country and americana. It's quite fun.
Melenas Dias Raros
Cute fuzzy Spanish indie pop. Great choice of album for people who like some simple but not simplistic bubbly indie music with that sweet lo-fi edge.
Memoryhouse The Years
Memoryhouse's celebrated EP 'The Years' may not have floored me, but I can at least appreciate the tightly written, intricate hazy world the band is painting here.
Men I Trust Untourable Album
Beautifully gentle dream pop album that definitely has a lot of strength song by song, but can lose steam after some time, since the album kind of runs in circles of the same aesthetic choice.
Menomena Under An Hour
High off their off-the-cuff debut, Menomena surprisingly delve into the pits of compositional instrumental music. With three tracks, each 17-18 minutes long, the band often loses focus, but then more often yet regains it and excels at what it presents. Plenty of ideas pan out very well here and yet the overarching disjointment remains, where the inconsistent flow washes against the extravagant length.
Merle Haggard I'm A Lonesome Fugitive
For as much of a non-fan as I am of country music, Merle Haggard's freewheeling delivery had a lovely infectious bite to it. His melodies are earworms and his lyrics can also be quite smart.
Methyl Ethel Are You Haunted?
Took me a hot minute to realise it's actually a dude singing it. A very bright and sunny indietronica with a good sense of naivety in the lyrics. Just enough to make its gentle childishness approachable.
Metronomy Metronomy Forever
Metronomy deliver a pretty good stylistic mixed bag that either goes full background-music and is quite good at it or goes full self-aware silly pop and is quite good at it.
MIKE Disco!
MIKE, the absurdist and experimentalist of hip-hop, tries to make his off-the-wall production choices some inch more accessible, so as not to alienate larger audiences. Perhaps here, more than anywhere else, he managed to strike the appropriate balance between boomy mainstream sound and his unique penchant for the grainy avant-garde.
Minor Victories Minor Victories
Gazing supergroup that seems to have mostly slipped under most people's radars. Rachel Goswell fronts Editors-Mogwai staff. So it's a project dedicated to your good old gentle gentile dreamy bassiness. Not always as expressive as one would hope, but as a fusion of creative forces behind each of the involved bands, it's quite entertaining.
Minus the Bear Highly Refined Pirates
"Minus the Bear are one of the most complex and layered bands in Indie/Alternative" said Progmaster85 a few months before the band dropped all complexity altogether. It's mathy, it's proggy, it's catchy, it's fine.
Also, I'm this album's 1000th rating. Yay, me!
Mitochondrial Sun Bodies and Gold
An experimental black-metal-inspired project leaves all black metal aside for a quick EP of mostly atmospheric ambient tracks with occasional instrumental ambient insertions. All wound up pretty neat and melancholic, albeit not entirely airtight start to finish.
Mol Diorama
Addition of clean guest vocalists and more shoegaze synth-led arrangements was mostly a good idea, as it helps the album not get dragged down into repetitiveness.
Mondo Grosso Big World
For all its stylistic scatterbrain, this album manages an impressive feat of sounding big and blooming, despite mostly fusing very smooth j-jazz with ambient and acoustic production.
Moor Mother Black Encyclopedia of the Air
More Mother, unsurprisingly, toys with meditative song-writing. At no point does the album spin out into dramatic heaviness or any abrasive bangers she is usually known for, but all stays rather subdued, reserved, maybe patient even.
Motorpsycho Kingdom of Oblivion
Motorpsycho by-the-numbers still outshine your favourite prog band.
Mount Kimbie MK 3​.​5: Die Cuts | City Planning
A chunky double album, half with a plethora of interesting hip-hop and pop artists, and half without features which lead to a more cerebral house record. Both sides are absolutely fine on their own, although I was left scratching my head as to why is this released as one album. It's all decent music for mostly relaxed listening, even if the first half can throw down some heavy texts. I have to say, though, that chipmunk vocal mix was annoying.
MSPAINT Post-American
Politically-charged rant-punk that runs a little one-dimensional, but offers some ferocious and gnarly performances. This is the sound of pure energy bursting out of a band.
My Brightest Diamond Bring Me the Workhorse
Shara Nova always seems to just, just be hiding all the truest potential of her vocal power, as well as skimming on her actually strongest song-writing skills. The album dwindles a little towards the end, but the first half is very, very solid.
Myrkur Folkesange
Her foray into ancient Scandinavian folk seems like a logical next step and I hope she keeps on that track and expands her sound even further. Right now this sounds a little one note, but nevertheless an unusual album to hit the (relatively) mainstream scene.
Mythos (GER) Dreamlab
When prog goes minimal. One cannot help but vibe, when this plays as background to some activity (smoking pot is also a good way to spend it). I doubt many people will find it engaging, sometimes it does feel like a chore to listen, but if you are in that special mood for odd atmospheric minimalism, this is pretty decent.
Negative Approach Negative Approach
Nasty lil piece of old-school hardcore memorabilia.
Neil Young After the Gold Rush
A decent folk album. Not sure what the fuss is about.
Neptunian Maximalism Eons
Like being sucked into demonic vortex in space, this two hour mammoth is one of the most distressing and out of this world musical experiences I've endured this year. Its main fault is that its gargantuan length prevents repeated full-album listens. I've barely managed to defeat it on my only full run-through, can't say I'll be able to withstand the onslaught of just the utter hell that it is more than that.
Nightcrush You Mark Me the Deepest
Thank you, Sputnik recs, for keeping my Obscurify stats at a beautiful 100% 'obscure taste'.
Nilufer Yanya Painless
Inching ever closer to a style truly uniquely hers, Nilufer Yanya has her most ambitious and adventurous work yet packaged in a surprising casing of accessibility. For every industrial or hyper tendency on the album, she knows how to twist and turn it melodically and lyrically to not leave the audience drowning in too much weirdness.
Nine Inch Nails Ghosts VI: Locusts
Nine Inch Nails go full ambient/neofolk here, bust out their darkest goth tinges and collect a sobering 15 tracks of melancholy and inner terror. At its best an eerie, atmospheric work of musical nihilism, at its worst a run-of-the-mill atmospheric album with no distinct characteristic. Would have worked really well as a soundtrack to some creepy sad video game all about being in the dark and a dying world.
Nite Fields A Voyeur Makes No Mark
A fun modern blend of minimal synth and darkwave that really, really tries to come off as something disturbing and dark, but mostly just sounds cute and fun.
No Age Goons Be Gone
No Age implements a style that is a slog on surface level, but has some strangely infectious quality that seethes through the lo-fi rough-cut production. I wouldn't say the sloppiness of this album is as endearing as No Age's usual work, but that loveable charm is always present.
Noir Desir des Visages des Figures
The driving force behind this darkwave revival project is its charisma and catchiness that strokes all the fun-cells in spite of album's mainly dark tone.
Noltem Illusions In The Wake
Points for one of the best album covers this year. Here is an album mostly incurious in finding its own creative paths, but carefully utilising black metal tropes paved and perfected before. Their writing is not mind-blowing by any metric, but their confidence is admirable and the merciful runtime does not let even the dulles ideas overstay their welcome.
Not Waving & Romance Eyes Of Fate
Perfect for relaxation, not very substantive for deeper analysis. I love the breezy autumnal vibes, though.
Nthng Hypnotherapy
What often happens with minimalist music under pressures of maximalist runtimes is it exacerbates itself. Nthng's newest sometimes felt to me like were on the verge thereof. Admittedly, not all long-winded ideas pan out to quite the stellar effects, some out-of-place vocals samples spring to mind. But mostly the vast array of influences and stylistic inspirations came together nicely and were mixed beautifully under the blanket of dub-tinged smooth techno.
Obsidian Tongue Volume III
Ambitious and grand, I like a lot of the musical fusions here and the clean operatic vocals play in nicely, but they use these ideas bluntly and with not much variety. So the album becomes pretty one-note.
Old Man Gloom Seminar IX: Darkness of Being
As far as post metal goes, the first of Old Man Gloom's 2020 double-effort is nothing innovative and nothing stand-out at first. They are just doing their thing, being heavy and animalistic. Cannot say that it hides many surprises or even moments that impress beyond a basic "that was pretty cool" impression, but it also never really disappoints or has a noticeably weak link. All is tight but serviceable. The context of the album does grant it more weight in the lyrical content and after having learned the background, the emotion of these songs is more tangible. However, the straight running work with no left turns or risks still dours the experience a little bit.
Olivia Rodrigo SOUR
jesus, you know what i realised? my ex is probably listening to this on repeat and really feelin it. damn
Oneohtrix Point Never Russian Mind
Very ambient early years with a hint of progressive electronics, beautiful and soothing.
Oozing Wound High Anxiety
As far as modern thrash goes, this is at least quite fresh, thanks mostly due to heavy sludge influences. Hit or miss in the tracklist, but the hits are very infectious.
Ophidian I Desolate
Ophidian Tones and I
Orbital Orbital
Most upbeat, uplifting house music of the 90s, probably.
Orla Gartland Woman on the Internet
Orla's debut work sees her in a very heartfelt state, mostly self-reflecting and in an observational state, often accompanied by pleasant pop-rock-tinged song-writing, sometimes slumping into a bit of a slog.
Ovlov Buds
man, Ovlov bring back the grunge here
Owel The Salt Water Well
Sputcore? sure, lessgo!
Owen Pallett Island
Owen takes the instrumental expanse of his previous records to heart as he attempts to string together an even more drawn out, adventurous affair. But this time I think his ambition takes hold of his songwriting abilities. I too ended up floored every now and then by the gravitas. But you cannot fool me for the whole hour, buddy. Sometimes the understated vocals and middle of the road writing becomes blatantly detrimental and you can't hide behind the building instrumentation forever. BT: Paragon of Order, Perseverance of the Saints, --->(iv)
Ozric Tentacles Sliding Gliding Worlds
An album that overstays its welcome a bit and mostly only shows a portion of what the band would go on to perfect, the supremely alien sounding psychedelic prog rock.
Pablo Nouvelle Obsolete
Melodious house music about the oil industry. Yum.
PAST (CZ) Expedice do vnitrobloku
good luck adding this to any list

the album's good btw
Patrick Watson Better In The Shade
Patrick is a little overreliant on the v i b e s and general airy atmosphere here, but not necessarily to the detriment of the content, as 'Better In The Shade' is his typical beautiful arrangement and unique baroque vision.
Paulina Owczarek and Peter Orins You Never Know
The literal sound of guard hounds out for blood, but also philosophising about life i guess
Pekka Pohjola Visitation
Quirky prog album that quite often veers into absolute jazz fusion, moreso than prog.
Perfume Genius Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
With his writing still on point, the production and arrangement still enigmatic and explosive, I could only fault the album in being too long for its own good and even up its own ___ with extravagance it presents.
Persefone Metanoia
Persefone finally make an album I knew they've had in them all along. Although this overly bombastic flavour of metal is not necessarily what it'd go for, I can at least now appreciate their song-writing abilities somewhat coming to full fruition and showing great maturity. It's still a little all over the place, what with them trying their hands on symphonic, progressive, death, and a bunch of other metals.
Peter Fox Stadtaffe
German language proves a surprising companion of hip-hop, what with its clever lyricism and naturally brash sound.
Phalanx (USA-CA) Golden Horde
"Golden Horde" is one-dimensional, barely expanding into any new realms, comfortably remaining in the death(-core(-ish)) territories. BUT Phalanx also makes the best of their limitations, turning this EP into a largely surprising enjoyable blast.
Phil Ochs I Ain't Marching Anymore
A staple of its times and certainly as good as a straightforward protest folk album can go.
Philip Selway Strange Dance
Philip Selway has chops and is a confident song-writer. He understands his limitations and also people's lens on him as the Radiohead drummer. But he is not as strong a vocalist as this album's arrangement and song-writing calls for, sadly.
Phoebe Bridgers Stranger in the Alps
This album is something strange. It doesn't really change its pace or style much throughout, and yet I still found it to be a bit of a mixed bag. Phoebe's lyricism and songwriting can be on the dam point like nobody else, but it can also be corny, a little awkward, unintentionally shy drag. And the more I listen to this album, the more some of the songs sound sleepy (like Demi Moore or Killer for the worst offenders).
Pierre Jodlowski Drones; Barbarismes; Dialog/No Dialog
A truly perplexing experience to an unprepared ear, most notably for Pierre's take on deconstructed chamber ambient music. It feels like listening to a soundtrack to a surreal animated horror film.
Pillow Queens Leave The Light On
3.5 The Album talking of 3.5 The Topics with 3.5 The Song-Writing.
Pink Cigs Pink Cigs
As far as modern hard rock (and hard rock in general) goes, Pink Cigs' brand is dime-a-dozen, what with its psychedelic tinge and lo-fi production. But as far as a momentary enjoyment goes, yeah it's fun.
Placebo Never Let Me Go
Placebo achieve a nearly Placebo effect on their newest. They do nothing much, nothing new, but manage to rock it like they're 20.
Planning for Burial Desideratum
TheBarber's sound-off is based
Plebeian Grandstand False Highs, True Lows
nasty, gnarly, ugly, brutal. quite to a point of being too one-note and indistinguishable
Plebeian Grandstand Rien ne suffit
This album, more than most others in 2021, has felt like I'm falling deeper into some cyberpunk hell.
Pole Fading
There is plenty of techno fish in the wire-sea, so what makes Pole's 'Fading' special? After all, it is a little drawn out and is not the most energetic experience. The album's cover art shines a light on that mystery a little. The glitching computer generated sound and self-deconstruction in the music is what is striking.
Pom Poko Cheater
The writing here is tight, it's all so fun and colourful, but the vocals I had serious problem with. They range from quirky and tolerable, to grating.
Pond (AUS) Hobo Rocket
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and Metz put together, except Pond came before either of those bands so it's more like those two are components of this.
Pop. 1280 Way Station
Album kind of loses steam after the first half. I really wish they explored more upfront, fast-pace, aggressive song-writing, because they mostly go in a very slow and deliberate direction. That can be to the album's detriment, for there are plenty songs, whose pace I wish picked up quickly.
Poppy Am I a Girl?
I used to be severely annoyed by Poppy. Her industry plant origins didn't appeal to me at all and her faux experimental pop at first felt tasteless and surprisingly dull. 'Am I A Girl?' is far from an absolute 360 improvement, but a curious seed of personal artistic expression is planted. A seed that I believe can develop into something truly unique (seeing the direction her following album took, I think that uniqueness might already be reached, but I'll see about it, when I get to it), even though there are plenty of ridiculous and irritating songs.
Porridge Radio Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky
Although I am mostly wary of Porridge Radio's vocals and sometimes lyrics, this album was surprisingly tight. The consistent energy and feeling of despair were delivered quite carefully through nice layered instrumentals and passionate vocals. A great surprise, wish them more of this in the future.
Porter Robinson Nurture
janky wonky silly fun stuff
Prince Josh The Joy
Smooth, groovy chillwave with a lot of cool influences and sample choices, but those ultimately also often cause the album to drain a little. It can sometimes be boring or have irritating background production choices.
Prison of Mirrors (ITA) De Ritualibus et Sacrificiis ad Serviendum Abysso
Many times you come across a black metal band that mistakes repetitive song-writing for atmosphere, long duration for gargantuan epic-ness and sees heaviness as a subsidy for good structure and instrumentation. Prison of Mirrors kind of walks the line in between. Their songs can use their length really well, but their other songs can also go for way too long than necessary. Their song-writing can be brutal and menacing, but it can also be repetitive and dime-a-dozen. They can flash their instrumental finesse, but they can also drip to a snooze. It's an uneven album that goes for too long, but that parts that are great are worth it.
Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
In some regard this suffers a little if a listener is not already an active Procol Harum listener (as I am not), because familiarity is what I believe mostly drives people to watch or listen to live performances. That said, this is still a tight hour-long journey with plenty catchy melodies, engrossing moments and great orchestral composition.
Psalm Zero Sparta
If you can get over the wonky vocals, this is a pretty decent melodic prog-doom.
Public Service Broadcasting Bright Magic
Public Service Broadcasting always tackle a different school of art thought, different social concept on each of their albums. That is of course mostly atmospheric, as they are an instrumental-front band. This time - in talking about Berlin's influence on art and music at large - the band's approach may come off as a bit tedious. After all, they are not particularly keen on establishing energetic delivery or melodic structures. However, as has always been the case to one extent or another, the band use their prolific subtlety to drive home the atmosphere more than anything else. Take it or leave it, the atmosphere, the understanding of setting, is what is paramount for the album. For better or worse.
Puma Blue A Late Night Special
Chilled out live performance of the band's work, all tuned down to the gentlest, most nocturnal-sounding effect. If you are not already a fan of the band's chill-pop aesthetic, this might bore you to tears. Otherwise, sit back and relax.
Pure Reason Revolution Eupnea
I like a lot of the melodies, I like the profound lyrics, I like the crisp production and I definitely like the instrumental arrangement. There is some magic here I cannot put my finger on. But I also dislike the vocals, I dislike the often saccharine songwriting. But mostly this is a worthy effort. And heck, maybe it's just me who couldn't delight in the vocals and you'll fare better.
Quasi Breaking the Balls of History
As much as I enjoy most songs here, the lyrics, and the pacing, that mixing can be ass. Especially the farty guitar tone turned me off.
Racetraitor Burn the Idol of the White Messiah
So weird to think that the dudes that'd go on to form Fall Out Boy once stood as pioneers of proto-metalcore.
Regional Justice Center Crime and Punishment
Not an easy task, making a powerviolence album multi-faceted and rich on unique perspective, but Regional Justice Center make a good run for it.
Renee Reed Renee Reed
Renee Reed made a rustic, intimate album that juggles gentle acoustics with eerie undertones and sometimes instrumentals.
RJD2 Since We Last Spoke
Transitioning mid-album from aggressively gleeful to longingly chilled-out, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Roar Diamond Destroyer of Death
Nothing roaring about this, but actually quite gentle whooing with heavenly sound and hooks.
Rob Mazurek Calma Gente
Minimal jazz exercises sounding sinister with mild bravado.
Rorcal and Earthflesh Witch Coven
At its best, the un-unlikely Rorcal/Earthflesh crossover is a far-reaching doom devastation, sectioned and perfectly constructed, with relentless instrumental finesse and borderline evil noisy mixing. At its worst, it's meandering and uninviting. Sure, one automatically is being set up for the latter when dealing with drone, doom or sludge genres, but that is precisely where an artist's skill is at play the most. Rorcal and Earthflesh don't manage to engage particularly well in such moments, which are actually rare. But they make up for it any time they move in other directions.
Roscoe Mitchell Dots - Pieces for Percussion and Woodwinds
A long collection of mostly abstract rhythmic experiments, studying the effects of harmonic interplay between various instruments, in similar or counterpart patterns, tempo, rhythm, groove.
Rubio Mango Negro
I don't know, I went back and forth with this and it definitely hits home manifold, but then all the same reasons it can be great get turned on their head and become less than stellar. At different points in time I found myself enjoying most (if not all) of this album, but I needed to approach it from different angles. Also with "Nino Iceberg" I was genuinely at first wondering why had Bowie's "Blackstar" suddenly started playing.
RX-101 Serenity
A curious juxtaposition sits here comfortably, eerie and jarring industrial scratches and compressed bass sounds overlaying otherwise beautiful ambient landscape. This amounts to an experience both intimate and danceable.
Ryley Walker And Kikagaku Moyo Deep Fried Grandeur
To be honest, I cannot really hear Ryley Walker's contribution that much. Although indeed high quality, tightly played, atmospherically dense, this mostly sounds like something Kikagaku Moyo would have release sooner or later on their own.
Ryusenkei Tokyo Sniper
Fantastic city pop revival for those who believe city pop ever went away. Alternatively, a fantastic pop album for those who like their pop whimsical and innocent.
Sad Lovers and Giants Epic Garden Music
This still comes from the era of post-punk that had the curse of sounding uplifting, no matter how desperate or depressing it really was.
Sarah Neufeld Detritus
In what is mostly a solid neo-classical pop-themed album, Sarah in a blink of an eye can bring about some of the most engrossing song-writing of her career and also some that leaves so, so much to be desired.
Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah
An unassuming mix of only the gentlest fun bangers. Well executed all around, albeit pretty void of deeper intent.
Screaming Females Desire Pathway
The powerful vocals, occasionally good lyrics, and the generally infectious song-writing keep this from becoming a pub rock album.
Sea Oleena Weaving A Basket
Music to play you into sleepy apocalypse, but not really anywhere else. I hear a lot of beauty here and Sea Oleena's folk-to-ambient watery blends can lick your wounds and also put you to sleep (in both senses, positive and negative).
Sea Power Everything Was Forever
Two decades into their career, Sea Power still have it in them to deliver a memorable, captivating album with a lot of lyrical potency, as well as musical surprises up its sleeves.
Sean Lennon Friendly Fire
Sean Ono Lennon is not a very good singer and some of his songs seem like he's trying to emanate his father a little too much, but that comparison is as stale as it is inescapable. As it stands, this album works as a lovely folk-rock outing with a lot of catchy hooks and harmonies.
Seizures The Sanity Universal
This album does one thing right: it manages its heaviness well so that it doesn't tire or bore the listener for the entirety of its overlong run.
Send Medicine By Telepathy & Reputation
Some of the most L.A.-sounding psych pop out there.
Serment Chante, O Flamme de la Liberte
Tasty atmospheric black metal for the most part, but I want to extend a particularly high praise to the production that made the music sound as though it menacingly approaches like a mammoth from beyond some mountains.
Serpent Column Endless Detainment
More than anything else, Serpent Column's newest is an experiment in metallic chaos. Nearly no clear songwriting in sight, here all is rhythm and rhythm is decay.
Sevdaliza Raving Dahlia
A tight bunch of catchy songs, mixed with some not-so-catchy afterthoughts.
Sextile A Thousand Hands
Lo-fi-oriented goth-emanating post-punk with fantastic atmosphere, but sadly only partially the song-writing to match the aesthetic.
Shame (UK) Food For Worms
Shame have always had that marginal balance between moderately heavy post-punk and heavily moderate pop-rock, but have opted to pursue to latter on 'Food for Worms'. Lyrically they are the most explicit, musically most ballad-like. But all that is somewhat undercut by his vocal bars set for Charlie Steen, which he simply does not reach. Most notable example is "Six-Pack", which is melodically sporadic and intricate, but is really bogged down by Charlie's lacklustre vocal delivery. At least on 'Drunk Tank Pink' he could scream his guts off, if need be.
Shannen Moser The Sun Still Seems to Move
Channelling that inner peaceful Vashti Bunyan spirit.
Shannon And The Clams Year Of The Spider
Shannon and the Clams have yet another offering of quite formulaic, but very fun blues psych-rock.
Sharon Van Etten Epic
To date probably Sharon's most consistently catchy work yet, albeit her most straightforward.
Sharon Van Etten epic Ten
If you ignore the jerky flow, which as a covers album had no chance of being consistent, this is a pretty decent mix of tracks.
Sharon Van Etten Are We There
Look, I get why the hype, but I don't get why the hype behind this and not some of her much more engaging albums.
Shopping Why Choose
Shopping is one of those bands that I love on paper. They revive the best kind of post-punk that is unjustly less remembered than its colleagues. It's that crass, stylish, in-your-face swagger, body-moving style that makes David Byrne (and me) wet. But Shopping the band often had trouble figuring out their sound and creating memorable full-length experiences. Why Choose is definitely their best, but even at that it's a half hour long exercise in sameness with great riffs.
Sidi Toure Afrik Toun Me
Can't say I'm any connoisseur of African folk, so I'm not one to comment on the repetitive song-writing, but I found the album overall as nice. Lovely atmosphere, guitar playing and vocals that are not within my western frame of understanding, all played along nicely and created a chill experience.
Single Mothers Negative Qualities
Despite its ruthlessness and relative brevity, Single Mothers rely on abit of a one-dimensional character in their work, often to their detriment. That said, 'Negative Qualities' sees them at their most fully-fledged and complete.
sir Was Letter
Pretty good pop EP, a lot in tune with that new Tame Impala album. But I must say that the title track is quite unmemorable.
Six Organs Of Admittance The Veiled Sea
Surprisingly the most exciting release from Six Organs of Admittance in a while. That said, most will probably hate it. It's a chaotic (not really) ambient and (not really) rock ill-fitted mixture that builds its songs on repetition. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason to the stylistic shifts from song to song and sometimes a song goes on forever with no significant change whatsoever. Astonishingly, this oddball hodgepodge is actually fun at times and beautifully atmospheric. By far not the first SOoA album I'd recommend to anyone, but definitely a curiosity one shouldn't pass up in their SOoA discog dive.
Skepticism Companion
As paradoxical as it may seem, this is one of the more fast paced doom records I've heard as of late. But its funeral march aesthetic is still wholly draining.
Sleaford Mods Spare Ribs
Sleaford Mods' aggressively British delivery style is brash and braggadocious with enough self-awareness and swagger to make it funny.
Slum Village Fantastic, Vol. 2
On 'Fantastic Vol 2' the band's delivery style has caught up to J Dilla's production and created an easy to get into rap journey.
Smirk LP
SandwichBubble-core and now also someone-core. Way too repetitive, but its's the repetitive I like.
Snail Mail Valentine
Snail Mail got the budget she deserved and was destined for, while delivering album she promised and her fans knew she had in her. Tunes are more well-rounded, the production is fitting, the instrumentals are fiery, the vocals are passionate.
Soap and Skin Lovetune for Vacuum
Beautiful arrangements and colourful musicianship all around, but something about her vocals just rubs me the wrong way. Like she's holding back or something.
Sofia Kourtesis Sarita Colonia
Quick charming house EP, very minimal in presentation, no unnecessary glitz, just posi vibes.
Soichi Terada Asakusa Light
chill dose off muzak
Solomun Nobody is Not Loved
Few tracks that are underwhelming a few cuts that are irksome, but mostly a solid producer album. Well done.
Solstafir Endless Twilight of Codependent Love
100th rating for this album. Bully for me! Anyway, I don't care entirely for this latest type of slow ballad rock'n'roll meets black metal-ish experiments. By far the most straightforward and uninnovative album in Solstafir's catalogue, even though its highlights are indeed fantastic.
Somali Yacht Club The Space
Ukrainian stoner-prog band make another admirably riffy albums, albeit with not many cool twists or turns. It's a perfect batch for whoever is really into this style, as Somali Yacht Club do truly keep it 100.
Sons of Kemet Black to the Future
In many respects to the album's detriment, the experience is often carried and/or salvaged by its concept and chemistry between the band and their featured guests. Otherwise one can often find themselves lost in the mostly samey song-writing and far from distinct musical choices.
Spectral Lore Ετερόφωτος
Spectral Lore slumps back into the more familiar linear territories. Although showing their most barebones work yet, it's still that unmistakable mythic trippiness.
Spectral Wound A Diabolic Thirst
Good gnarly repetitive black metal.
Spiritual Cramp Police State
A little inconsistent, but its highs are must-hears.
Spiritual Cramp Television
Kind of rough and has a distinct homage feel to it, but fun nonetheless.
Spoon Lucifer on the Sofa
Spoon make cock-rock and dad-rock for the younger generations and listenable.
Spread Joy Spread Joy
Spread Joy indeed are a joyful bunch, what with their quick-bust quirky throwback brand of post-punk. Repetitive like all hell, but all the more adorable for it.
Spring Heel Jack Amassed
The closest I can think of that somebody came to free jazz without really being explicitly free jazz.
Squid Near The Westway
Two songs showing Squid sound live, being played as close to their studio recording counterparts as possible.
St. Vincent Daddy's Home
slap me, daddy Vincent
Steel Train Steel Train
decent Killers-core
Steve Gunn Nakama
Several moody and surprising features throughout this EP; barebones instrumentation, often veering into ambient, cutesy.
Stiff Little Fingers Nobody's Hero
A stable of leftie late-70s and early 80s punk ideology, as well as punk's more genre-and boundary-bending side.
Storm and Stress Storm and Stress
Some improvisational albums are so seamless that you would have never guessed their true means of conception. Some are quite rough, but keep the appearance through sheer musical talent. Some are not quite successful at their attempts. And then there is Storm and Stress who, honestly, could give a fuck. Just blast em guitars like they're Wolfenstein nazis and shred whatever shards of composition you have laying around, damn.
Stromae Multitude
Stromae, the evergreen more-than-one-trick stallion pony, is back with another fluently mature album. His focus is now on the more minimalist, subdued flashiness.
Stuck Change Is Bad
Change may be bad and Stuck are certainly playing into strengths of the genre paved by many, many of their predecessors. They do an admirable job at it and the end results are quite fun and energising.
Sufjan Stevens The Ascension
I appreciate how easily it breezes by despite the runtime. Sufjan isn't delving into this new difficult to define electro-orchestral style head-first, he is carefully crafting his songs to work as well as they possibly could with this new brand of serious-quirky jumble-pop-epic music. That said, the quirks and zany choices often clash with the overall seriousness and theatrical grandeur. And clash they do in an unflattering way. Some production choices can derail a song, some choruses are not as strong as the sound of it would want, some vocal traits turn a serious moment laughable and often the biggest impact is left by the most subtle and straightforward of tracks. So the album is a mix of beautifully mastered wild pieces and also musical free-for-alls that feel like a few cans of paint spilled into an ugly mess.
SUMAC May You Be Held
Sumac once again turn their heavy sludge and post-metallic voyages into a drowsy pits of drone horror. Whether they succeed or not really depends on what mood and level of energy you have going into the album. By all means I enjoyed it, but it can be a little too much.
Sun Worship Elder Giants
Even though it mostly follows a more than familiar pattern, the demonic sound and engrossing repetition is still on point with Sun Worship's debut.
Sunless Ylem
Savage riffage in all its glory, gargling sound and putrid atmosphere: all symptoms of a great metal album. Cannot say that much is actually out of the ordinary, but filthy death metal is always welcome.
Suuns Fiction
Dense, industrially-tinged electronic EP that is a little low in spirits, but worth our time eventually. Hope the band takes this chill direction in a more interesting project.
Svarog 23 Hours Of Drama
Ominous and seemingly hostile, but in a very paradoxical way quite relaxing.
Swallow the Sun Moonflowers
Swallow the Sun, ever balancing on that sludge-cum-slug metal, are once again delivering a decently riffed, crispy sounding, and often drawn out record.
Sweeping Promises Hunger For A Way Out
Mostly meat-and-potatoes straightforward and old school post-punk akin to Delta 5, Au Pairs, Kleenex et al.
Sydney Sprague maybe i will see you at the end of the world
An actually catchy work of soft-rock and indie pop with plenty of heart and subtlety. It's too brief to become tiring, but also too brief to really leave a lasting impact.
System of a Down Protect The Land/Genocidal Humanoidz
Not their catchiest and not even their most verbose (if such ever was an adjective to describe SoaD's music), more than anything a two-song protest statement unconcerned with its musical impact, as much as its thematic one.
Talkdemonic Beat Romantic
FFO: iamthemorning and literally any chamber-baroque-whimsical instrumental pop out there.
Tantra Mistérios e Maravilhas
High-octane old-school fantasy-themed prog-rock.
Teenage Fanclub Grand Prix
Teenage Fanclub exemplify the 90s indie song-writing with some ironically saccharine songs and some unironically so.
Telepathy Burn Embrace
Well produced and very well played, often even the tunes are great, but its lack of variety takes the whole thing down to being just a decent post-metal album.
Temples Volcano
This transition into purely trippy pop is only a partial success for Temples, seeing as their song-writing is still strong, but the production often compresses and overamplifies the booming sound of the songs to near unlistenability. I really had to play with the equaliser settings on this one, so it didn't burn my ears out.
Termination Dust Growing Down
Much better than I anticipated. I don't know what made me expect some middle-of-the-road wee guitar pop taking on topics above its level of comprehension. What this really turned out to be was a mature and mostly catchy rock-tinged short cuteness. Really happy SowingSeason turned me on to it.
Terra (CZ) Stages of Regret
A pretty pop EP, even though it's front to back by-the-numbers.
Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe I Declare Nothing
Although her vocals remind me a lot of Patti Smith, she can sometimes be rather difficult to stomach. With that said, the songwriting is decent, even if derivative and often repetitive. The atmosphere of some kind of psychedelia and haze is omnipresent and enjoyable. The overall vibe of this album is great. It's just - as I said before - repetitive and the vocals can be a challenge.
The Black Heart Death Cult Sonic Mantras
Not the stoner cock rock I was afraid it'd be. Matter of fact, this goes to some really exciting prog territories and uses its somewhat limited stylistic range well.
The Cave Singers Invitation Songs
The frontman is one Robert Plant-sounding mf.
The Dead South Good Company
Just a few unnecessarily goofy and underwhelming moments too much to make it a really, really great record.
The Front Bottoms In Sickness and In Flames
Front Bottoms continue to write sour-tempered songs that sound too happy for their content.
The Front Bottoms Theresa
Front Bottoms do their best Front Bottom-ing with a quick, biting, self-depricating EP that is all that their fans came to love and what made them a m i l d standout among their pop-emo peers.
The Gits Frenching the Bully
This record has energy like no other, if only it was spent on more varied song-writing.
The Gun Club Miami
The Gun Club on one hand move further in their sound, but at the same time sound less immediate and don't strike as hard. Still, plenty of bangers here and crazy performances all around.
The Hirsch Effekt Kollaps
It seems this album warrants either praise or hate. I don't understand either. It is far from a bad album. The instrumentation, production and even the vocals (that so often become grating on such records) are all high-class. Songwriting also is pretty memorable, which is unusual for the common noodly show-off prog contemporaries (looking at you, Animals As Leaders). But 'Kollaps' is not a breath of fresh air either. An exercise in the familiar, it reuses ideas, creative choices and tropes far from unusual in this style. So here's to a perfectly listenable fun prog-core album.
The Joy Formidable Into the Blue
Joy's newest is perhaps their least surprising work yet, even including their earliest attempts. That is mainly because - I believe - the point of this album is to be unsurprising, blunt and fuzzily dissonant.
The Juan MacLean The Future Will Come
Borrowing plenty from disco, as well as techno, The Juan Maclean's energetic sophomore album is a stark example of how fun and carefree-sounding one's results may be, if the stylistic blends are taken very meticulously and seriously, with near mathematical precision.
The Kinks Something Else by The Kinks
A pleasant enought 60s folk/pop album. I can't really say that there is anything particularly outstanding on here, but there isn't anything hurting the overall enjoyment either. It's just a perfectly decent fun oldschool record.
The Marias Cinema
The Marias know how to draw up a catchy tune, as most songs here follow a pretty, accessible structure, albeit remotely surprising one. The album mostly falls apart slightly with its breathy, breezy atmosphere and delivery, where any emotional potency somewhat dissipates.
The Mike Mainieri Quartet Insight
As smooth as post-bop-fusion record can get I think.
The Mothers of Invention We're Only in It for the Money
The forever difficult-to-nail-down Zappa and his instrumental monsters have here for us a most intensely head-scratching and fun album.
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation Egor
Man, this album really took its time to turn into a 'Lift Your Skinny Fists' soundalike. But in all seriousness, this sounds eerie and calming at the same time. Lovely atmosphere, even though it did drag on a bit.
The Notwist The Devil, You + Me
As an early-00s indie output, it's quite decent. As a follow-up to 'Neon Golden', there are plenty energy and subtlety missing. The latter here being mostly replaced with quietness and distancing vibe. I often found myself having a hard time with the songs for their being a little awkwardly noisy or paradoxically not daring enough. Of course, not all of the album is a misfire. The song-writing is mostly solid, most of the musical ideas pan out somewhere on the spectrum of decent-to-great and the sound is still crisp. But those shortcomings can often make me prefer listening to other Notwist albums.
The Pop Group Y in Dub
Given the band's (and generally post-punk's) many roots in dub, I am surprised that The Pop Group's initially most dub-like album received its official dub rendition only now, 42 years after its initial release and 11 years after band's reunion. Certainly an admirable collection of tracks that is both upholding the veracity of the original album and underlining its free-spirited vibes.
The Presets Pacifica
The Presets embrace the full range of their ridiculousness and come forth with an album equally infectious, as it is obnoxious. Their self-awareness serves to get you warmed up to their booming infantile sound, but it can sometimes be laborious finding it actually compelling.
The Psychedelic Furs Made of Rain
I think I won't break off from the general 3.5 census on this album. 'Made of Rain' softly and with sexy horn sections engender a little rough and a little moody sound that reminds me of - to give it a vague analogy - low budget understanding of what rock n roll is, but with a large budget. Hope it makes sense.
The Republic Tigers Mind Over Matter
Cutesy nave pop music that is cutesy and catchy. And also did I mention cutesy? But don't think that it's some sugary glittery one-note pop annoyance. It's just kind of adorable.
The Soft Pink Truth Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
I like ambient music. And I like it especially when it is not pure synthetic static sound that creates ambiance, but a vast expanding instrumental calm. I got as much from this Soft Pink Truth's album, but also plenty more that can overshadow the great aspects. The album seems to revolve around the same repeating ambient synth pattern. It's barely noticeable, but is always there, and eventually becomes a nuisance. Many songs are also barely distinct from one another. But for what it is, I suppose, good enough.
The Weather Station How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars
In stripping herself of all the previously lush instrumentation, The Weather Station's companion album to 'Ignorance' somehow sounds much more complete and charismatic, since now its tone matches its sound.
Thiago Nassif Mente
I like albums that are weird and difficult to pin down. I like albums that try to throw back to the good olden days, but modernise the retro styles (no wave and 70s krautrock-ish experimental rock) with more modern leanings. I like this album for those exact reasons. Granted, not everything works perfectly here. Thiago Nassif sure do like to play with different styles and directions, however weird they may be. But they also have this loose approach of "whatever works, leave it in" to the point that 'Mente' can have serious problems with pacing and flow.
Thievery Corporation It Takes a Thief: The Very Best Of
Thievery Corporation have always been a pleasantly relaxing band with lots of interesting hooks and production choices to offer. But in all their backgroundness they've compiled their most known (not necessarily their best, if you ask me) tracks whose flow is surely seamless but also becomes all the more inconsequential. But hey, it's Thievery and they've made that loose playlist you'd've made anyway for you.
Thighpaulsandra The Golden Communion
A two hours long equal parts exhausting and gorgeous post-ambient-free-jazz-folk-rock epic is a challenge to listen, but definitely a rewarding one.
Thrice Major/Minor
I wish I could say I was anything above entertained. 'Major/Minor' is a thoroughly entertaining album. Melodically and in production I have nothing to scorn. But I fear that might be it. See, this album is fun, it engages you start to finish and you never feel even a hint of boredom. But I struggle to find any attributes other than fun and entertainment. It is not particularly memorable, lyrics aren't the most profound or clear-cut I've heard, vocals are wonky, song structures often repeat. And yet the band knows how to deliver and hit hard. 50 minutes fly by.
Thy Catafalque Naiv
Thy Catafalque can be hit or miss, but just when depends entirely on random circumstances. Their general style and composition skill are admirable, rarely can I find a real dud in their repertoire, all songs are exceptionally crafted. However, it is the way these songs are crafted that can grow exhausting. No matter the quality of their work, when listening to a full album, I always become weary. And all songs that wear me out I can enjoy separately or in a different order. It is somehow the whole Thy Catafalque experience, as it is intended to be heard, that is so fatiguing to me.
Tiger Trap Tiger Trap
Kinda towing the line between juvenile-adorable and evil-spirited (like "Some day you'll wake up and stop loving her for sure" like geez lay it off girl calm down), this is mostly cutesy twee-indie simplicity.
Tigran Hamasyan The Call Within
Never go prog rock. It's a one way streak.
Tigran Hamasyan StandArt
Tigran's newest is a more straightforward modern jazz record, at least compared to that last Frankensteinian album of his. Expect plenty intriguing harmonic shifts, melodic chaos, as well as overall smoothness unrivalled by many today. That said, it's also an album most like anything but Tigran. Put any name on it and I'd believe them the author.
Tindersticks Distractions
Even a boilerplate Tindersticks is good Tindersticks.
Tindersticks Tindersticks II
Tindersticks' second outing as a trailblazer for slow mature chamber pop is both their most excessively orchestral, arguably noisy (if a Tindersticks album even can be noisy) effort. Main downside to the album is, as always with the band, how much can you tolerate the tonal and sonic mismatch that is the instrumental and the vocal.
Tiny Moving Parts Tiny Moving Parts
Striking plenty familiar chords, even for Tiny Moving Parts' standards. But all the sound characteristics of a good math emo album are there, packaged in a Happy Hour 3-for-1 discount edition, released to nobody's attention at all.
Tiny Vipers Life on Earth
There's stripped-back and then there's this. Folk album so minimal that you find yourself in a lovely snooze (in a good way).
Titaan Itima
Quite repetitive, as is bar for the course, and some of the ambient part were snoozers, but this has fantastic production and it can really hit the nail on the head.
Tom Waits Closing Time
'Closing Time' is a perfect introduction to Tom Waits, albeit far from a perfect album.
Tops Tender Opposites
Appropriately mushy easy listening. The vocals are maybe a grade from grating, but otherwise all is nice and pleasant.
Townes Van Zandt Delta Momma Blues
Townes goes to town with a 10-track squash of mostly straightforward ballad-y americana tunes.
Traffic Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory
I suspect that the mostly lukewarm response to this album from people stems primarily from the band's change of style from their usual psychedelic root rock to jazz fusion and soft-prog. I am mostly unfamiliar with Traffic's usual roster, so this was an introduction completely new in any regard. I came away mostly moderately pleased with what I heard. As far as boilerplate fusion-prog goes, this breaks no ground at all, but the balladry is on point, the song-writing is solid and the closing track is a fantastic piece I've had on repeat plenty of times.
Tragic Mulatto Chartreuse Toulouse
The oft overlooked third offering does suffer from the 'exhausted band' syndrome, but for the most part maintains their abrasive heaviness and raw sexual enticement. Great blasting kick in the butt and a good way to finish off your decade-long band career.
Tribulation Where the Gloom Becomes Sound
At least Tribulation on autopilot is still solid as hell.
Tricot 10
Me not knowing the language makes it difficult to vibe more. Still, a great mathy fun.
Trna Istok
Mostly a standard fare black metal that works very well with its atmosphere and melodies, but like that Gaerea featured track shows, it could use vocal input sometimes.
Tropea Short Trip To Space
By and large this album's greatest appeal rests on Tropea and the band playing their hearts out on an album whose musical theme is that of space, journey through space, hardcore space operas and of course space adventures. In an attempt to sound as otherworldly as possible, evoking the feelings of being in some epic Star Wars-scale adventure, Tropea still try to keep it somewhat grounded and down-to-Earth.
Tropical Fuck Storm Deep States
Tropical Fuck Storm third album in almost as many years lacks the punching momentum of their debut, but is more thought-out than their rushed sophomore release.
Turnstile Glow On
In heaven it's all Minor Threat and bongs, my dudes and dudettes.
Two People Second Body
Two People return with another solid, but brief and not always on-point, dose of dream pop with some subtle rnb influences.
Ugly Casanova Sharpen Your Teeth
Isaac Brock's voice and delivery are so unique that whatever project he steps onto sounds like Modest Mouse through and through to me.
Ulcerate Stare Into Death and Be Still
A certainly worthy effort that accomplishes its goal of complete exhilaration perfectly. That said, I was tired after hearing it. Like I just did a kilometre run in under a minute. It is relentless and pulls no punches. Every second is like being pulled into a living breathing malignant black hole that wants to drain the universe of all life. In that regard bravo, you did well, Ulcerate. But relistening to this requires plenty of energy and preparation for mental disaster, for which I just don't have the capacity. Incredible effort, but I have better things to do with my day than try to gnarl through an album that seems like it hates me.
Ulrich Schnauss Far Away Trains Passing By
I may have made a strategic miscalculation by having all my listens of this album be the extended under-2 hours long version. Played it at my shop and it was fine, played it for myself and was left exhausted. Admittedly the atmospheric synthscapes are lovely and calming, but like I said above it's best for the shop, not for the self.
Ulrich Schnauss A Strangely Isolated Place
feel-good electronics strike again
Ulthar Providence
Solid, riffing blackened death metal album that runs very familiar and repetitive to its detriment, but the lasting staying power is immense.
Ulthar Cosmovore
I always like it when an album sounds like it hates that you're listening to it and wants to do you harm.
Ulver Flowers of Evil
Yet again Ulver double down on their foray into electropop (and coldwave even?) and this time to some mixed results. I eventually grew to enjoy this more, but my core issue lies with the song-writing, not so much the style or the sound. Melodies, hooks, memorable musical choices that'd elevate the sound were often missing.
Underground Canopy, Bluestaeb, S. Fidelity Bluestaeb & S. Fidelity Present...
Chill and smooth, instruhop just like I like em.
Underneath Nothing Here is Held Sacred
Thankfully, this EP did not end up being the despondent deathcore blatancy it started out as, but shifted plenty of other metal subgenres unto itself ever so subtly.
Unreqvited Empathica
So Unreqvited are basically Two Steps From Hell: The Metal Edition.
Upper Wilds Venus
Jumping somewhere between dissonant in sound and dissonant in song-writing.
Vargatand Vargatand
Quite the standard cosmic black metal album, whose noisy and drony elements make this sound near transcendental. A little overlong, but a beautiful listen regardless.
Victory Over The Sun Nowherer
Newest in a long line-to-be of idiosyncratic black metal weirdnesses that experiment primarily with production and them vibes. A pretty neat display of VOtS' abilities.
Villagers of Ioannina City Age of Aquarius
Groovy, riffy stoner with a cute accent, but also one that goes on for a little too long. If you like your stoner psych very down-to-basics and straightforward, then dig right in.
Vinyl Williams Azure
Like always, Vinyl Williams releases some blissful psychedelic vibe music with sometimes jazz fusion influence.
Virgin Prunes ...If I Die, I Die
After many years, I just now fully realised that it's Virgin Prunes, not Virgin Prudes. As in, it's ripe fruit, not annoying bratty virgins. Smh
Virus (NO) The Black Flux
I'm not sure what distinguishes this band as an "avant-garde" or "experimental" act. Perhaps listening to their other efforts might reveal what that's all about, because coming off of 'The Black Flux' alone, it sounds mostly like standard old-school prog-metal record that has some minor death metal influences. With that said, it is very quality. The riffs are solid and the sound is dark like heck.
Vous Autres Sel de Pierre
Some of the atmospheric ambient parts don't really add much to the play. Especially "Ecueil" and "Nitre" are fillers, if I've ever heard one. Shame that it keeps losing its steam by the end of each song (apart from "Onde", which is incredible start to finish).
VTTA Там? Где!
This caught my attention, because it's a black metal album from Russia with a cover that looks like a pill package. It is quite fun and the half hour runs by in a heartbeat. Although it doesn't warrant the 'psychedelic' tag the band tries to label it under. It's a little weird and the sax addition is great, but not a lot psychedelic about it.
Walt Disco Unlearning
Walt Disco have tapped into the ever-growing not-HMLTD art-punk trend to create the zaniest whatever out there. It's as theatrical as it is obnoxious, but the band carries plenty catchy tricks up their sleeves to play the shit out of their ridiculous dramatics.
Warhaus Warhaus
Gently fuzzy with some psychedelic touches. It mostly scratches that particular itch of mine, the one of breezy summery psych-ish pop.
Wayne Shorter Juju
Wayne et al, in all their progression-building complex glory, go the smoothest, straight-most-forward route to date.
Weresoul Weresoul
A punky black metal album based (seemingly) on horror films and theme of general monstrous demonic horror and slasher. Quite decent musically. Great devilish vocals and raw production. Could use stronger instrumentation and writing.
Wesley Gonzalez Excellent Musician
Quirky indie pop album in line with plenty Gonzalez's past work with Let's Wrestle. Definitely worth your attention, if you enjoy tongue-in-cheek 00s indie music. Do not expect life-changing greatness, but just a few unassuming quality songs, that's it.
Wesley Gonzalez Wax Limousine
More pompous than his other albums, but ultimately maintaining the playful nature, laced with great lyrics, in which Wesley tackles subjects from incels and insecurities, to cancer. The heaviest things delivered as the most daycare-friendly tunes.
Wet Leg Wet Leg
"This is post-punk for people who don't listen to post-punk" Yeah, pretty much, but it's not like theirs is some overly hideous brand of the genre. The duo can craft a great track with a bounty of influences, cleverly sprawling together. It's not like it's a complete miss of an album. It ain't the saviour of post-punk either, but who really expected that.
Weval Changed For The Better
Weval made a quickie that kind of perfectly sums up what they've been up to in all those years of music-making and chill-delivering and smooth-sailing.
Wiegedood There's Always Blood at the End of the Road
Wiegedood rock up with some of their nastiest sounding material to date, but also somewhat lose some of their song-writing proficiency in the process.
Wilderun Epigone
Following the celebrated 'Veil of Imagination', Wilderun return with more of the similar material, which you will definitely love, provided you already loved the previous album.
Winter Deluge Degradation Renewal
Funny that a New Zealand band is talking about winter. Anyway, decent black metal. Not too noteworthy in its style.
Wolf Alice Blue Weekend
Wolf Alice, truest to their traits, come through with a mixed bag of mostly decently written hazy pop-rock songs and some underwhelming similarly hazy pop-rock songs. The overall enjoyment then depends on how much one can tolerate the rotation of the decent to not-so-decent cuts.
Wolves in the Throne Room Primordial Arcana
Mostly a standard fare WitTR album, actually. Kicks ass, sure. But all par for the course.
Woman Is The Earth Dust of Forever
Epic and certainly atmospheric, although to a larger extent borrowing from its clear influences and contemporaries. Do not pass this by, if you're in the mood for some great, even if by-the-numbers, black metal.
Woods With Light And With Love
Despite a really solid song here and there, much like Woods' rest catalogue, 'With Light And With Love' is mostly a collection of feel-good, soft folk-rock tunes shining of innocence and naivety.
Woods Strange To Explain
Lovely, lovely, lovely instrumentals. I just wish the vocals weren't so flat.
Yard Act The Overload
This band found that one little crevice in the already established post-punk routine that seems like their own sound and dammit they'll milk it till it's dry.
Yashira Fail To Be
So much of this sounds right up my alley, a black metal played as noise hardcore. But plenty of times I found myself having a hard time distinguishing some songs from one another. And somewhere midway through any album's shortcomings just seemed par for the course.
Yelena Eckemoff Adventures of the Wildflower
This album, for all its beautiful inspiring moments, just kind of keeps going and going with the same formula forever.
YIN YIN The Age of Aquarius
This disco-inspired proggy psych band delved even deeper into their dancy disco influences and released an album completely devoid of prog and psych, but rather emanating some instrumental dance-rock. It's all very upbeat and positive, so if you need a drop of optimism in your life to play in the background, this is it.
Yoshimi Ueno Sea Sound
Maybe not the era-defining jazz virtuoso collection, but a worthy effort nonetheless. Pleasant and soothing, adventurous and spiritual, enjoyable and convivial.
Youngest Brother Tehom
I like how this upstart uses sounds of routine environment for his deconstructionist minimal synth. It creates character that helps subtly delineate this record apart from most other ambient or drony work out here today.
YSI Sway
A mostly entertaining mix of darkwave-tinged pop music with some electronic experiments (certainly experiments in the grander context of darkwave and pop).
Yukika Timeabout,
Admirable combination of the more sophisticated modern J-Pop trends and the city pop of olde.
Zack Fox Shut The Fuck Up Talking To Me
its fun its silly cut zack some slack
Zao The Crimson Corridor
Zao are a rare instance of a band regrouping after hiatus to start releasing actually better music than before. Maybe it's a hot take, it seems quite mild to me.

3.0 good
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead X: The Godless Void and Other Stories
Too long an album of too unremarkable a creed of heavy indie music. Get better vocals and reduce the saccharine parts, focusing more on the great instrumental progressions, and you got yourself a quality album.
100 Gecs 1000 gecs
This is like Die Antwoord on acid join internet troll squad. And I don't like Die Antwoord.
A Certain Ratio ACR Loco
A Certain Ratio, a band that has never seen particular acclaim or success and has never really been as forward-thinking and cult-classic-status-aspiring as they probably thought. These guys are now back with songs that are wild in their composition, adventurous and colourful too. But it sounds like they're still stuck at what was seen as unusual and freaky in the 80s. Now it mostly looks goofy and unfocused. Or maybe worse yet it would have sounded that way in the 80s, too. I like a lot of the experiments and ideas, but again and again it comes off as a bit of a drivel.
A Place to Bury Strangers Hologram
Two decent APtBS tracks, a few experiments with awkward results (the rhythmic pattern on "In My Hive"), and otherwise some boring songs. A boilerplate release from the band.
A Winged Victory for the Sullen Invisible Cities
Sunny, bright ambient music for the kind melancholy only felt in the moments of bliss.
A. Swayze and the Ghosts Paid Salvation
Much to my disappointment I found a lot of this album to be boring and the initially cool method of song-writing, where the band always switches up the pace and the melody towards the end of a song wore out quick, as many song-writing choices didn't quite pan out.
A.A. Williams Forever Blue
I find it mostly disappointing how her vocals never really push anywhere, even though it is obvious that she can. They mostly are left one-note and boring as a result. The song-writing also leaves plenty to be desired, as it mostly operates on progression that either works or bores. It's a mixed bag on all fronts, really.
A.A. Williams Songs from Isolation
Not much to say here, really. A.A. Williams decided to dedicate her time in isolation recording covers of some songs she likes (or thinks will get noticed). It very much carries that on-the-spot feeling you get from a covers band playing a local pub. Lovely to hear when I'm doing other things I need to focus on, but otherwise quite unremarkable. Hopefully she'll regain her proper creative soon and put that dour atmosphere to songs where it sounds appropriate.
Abstract Mindstate Dreams Still Inspire
On their debut, Kanye West's pet project shows a lot of promise with some breezy production and thought-provoking lyrics. That is, until it turns one-dimensional with on-the-nose commentaries.
AC/DC Power Up
AC/DC have not changed one bit, not even with the bare minimum innovation to their production and instrumentation. Maybe it is actually a good thing that they haven't; a weird mind-warping experiment at making your head rock song-to-song that have only minimal differences. Perhaps we can put together some kind of alien message by listening to their songs in a specific order.
AC/DC Back In Black
Wow, a whole album that created a generation of to-be-cranky about new music dads.
AC/DC Highway To Hell
It's fun, not the smartest, but fun.
Adjy The Idyll Opus (I-VI)
I may be much less forgiving than my peers here of albums that do not justify their lengths (this goes equally for albums too short for their own good). The lyrics suffer the Dear Hunter fate of being there only symbolically sometimes and dp not really do much with the narrative, often dragging the album down with what seems like filler material. Filler is also the music at times, especially when the main musical concept and ideal runs out of steam and then remains drained and tiring for the duration of the rest of the album.
Adrianne Lenker instrumentals
These compositions mostly serve to show how a mainly guitar led music (I say mainly, because I count the surrounding ambiance, noises and sounds from the recording room as intentional part of the music) nearly reach the levels of calm and uneventfulness, in the most passive way possible, of ambient music. It's so quiet and so stiff at the same time.
Against Me! New Wave
Springsteen really ruined music for generations after him, didn't he? Cause now any anthemic song with raspy vocal is immediately Springsteen-like. And every half-decent punk band that fails to punk in the first place turns to him for inspiration. Not Against Me!'s worst, but a forgettable experience nonetheless with many songs falling short. Current state of the singer notwithstanding, I'd call this too cock-rock-sided.
Aimer Daydream
Plain unsurprising pop-rock with more pop spin, BUT it's in Japanese. Colour me amazed. (sic)
Alcest Écailles De Lune
Alcest were always mere feel-good easy-listening band. I never found their songwriting compelling, I never saw them as particularly engaging, and I rarely felt the need in returning to their music. But to the latter point, if I ever did, it would have probably been for the exact express purposes of finding something profoundly calming, despite the heaviness of its genre. Blackgaze or post-black metal or however you'd like to categorise this "angry boi toedipping in a gentle creek" kind of music, it is pleasing to the ears. I should sometimes try putting it on to go to sleep. Not because it is boring (although it can be), but because it has a pacifying energy. Bedtime bm.
Alda A Distant Fire
Folky mounatinous black metal with very linear song-writing.
Alex Bleeker Heaven On The Faultline
Alex's song-writing strikes me mostly as very lukewarm and meandering, even if the overall package is quite pleasant to the ears.
Alex Cameron Oxy Music
Alex's newest is his most shrouded in haze. Lyrics are a little more vague and don't tackle the naturally fun and pop-friendly topics like infidelity, divorce or terminal illness. His swagger personality is still very present and often carries the tracks, but it's also his most underwhelming work so far. Too many tracks seem to not stand on their own and lack a distinct enough flavour.
Altarage Succumb
Look, I'm always for some Altarage relentlessness, but on a full album run they always, always run dry of ideas. You can't just make an hour long album and hope that its heaviness will carry all of it.
AM Taxi Shiver By Me
Alas, for the occasional fun off-the-cuff song in here, there are at least two that are forgettable, if not bland and boring. BT: Swim Before You Sink (Short Time on Earth), Stuck Around
Anamnesi Caurus
The awesome album cover is wasted on what is unfortunately a dime-a-dozen black metal. Only ever so often does the band put in some original ideas (the distorted spoken word passages are cool, the piano and orchestral part could have been louder), other than that it's at worst an unremarkable effort.
Andrea Ritorno
Andrea, a mysterious techno producer, made a near hour of music that cleverly balances between techno and a plethora of other adjacent styles and influences. There are elements of dub, some industrial moments, ambient sections, dance floor oriented pieces and a variety of club varieties. All of it creates something riveting, although often a wee bit shapeless. Individual tracks don't always stick well, some more straightforward or ambient cuts are not memorable and the influences often only become clear upon further deeper examination, as the songs following one another can often blend into one wave of indistinguishable sound. It is unfortunate, but after 50-something minutes of vaguely chill sleepy atmosphere, the album can be a bit of a slog. But its highlights, the more upbeat, technically dense pieces are well worth your time and make up for all the more sour moments.
Andy Shauf Wilds
Andy Shauf somewhat bounces back from his previously lacklustre album with something as stripped down and safe to his comfort zone, as he knows.
Angele Nonante-Cinq
I don't speak French, so I cannot speak on the lyrical content, though I've read up on it a little bit. But even though she tackles some serious and surprising stuff, I cannot say whether her writing can handle it. So I will only judge the musicianship, song-writing, and production. Musically, this is a bit of a slogging and straightforward pop album. Not a lot piqued my interest outside a few earworm moments, which are mostly carried by Angele's vocals anyway. Songs follow a similar tune; at one point I felt like I am listening to alternate versions of the same song one after another at least three times in a row and then again. The album quickly becomes quite repetitive, unfortunately.
Anneke van Giersbergen The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest
Is it just me or the opener track sounds exactly like "There's a Light That Never Goes Out" melodically? Like even down to the bridge.
Arabrot Norwegian Gothic
The music is mostly decent, if not actually spectacular on occasion. However, the album's main flaw is its dragging runtime and those vocals that sort of emanate Finn Andrews, but are also too grating.
Archive Londinium
Minimal beat-strong record that takes its merry time with too much indistinct filler. Sure, parts of it are absolutely gorgeous. But other parts are also insufferable.
Asphyx Necroceros
Wild death-thrash with some nicely animalistic vocals that goes longer than it should and sounds a little too unsurprising. Still, kick-ass death-thrash is kick-ass death-thrash.
Aurora (NOR) The Gods We Can Touch
Aurora, while obviously extremely talented and seeming to have her great breakout moment yet to come, keeps making albums of great ambition, but not always of matching execution.
Avey Tare 7s
Avey Tare channels all inner quirkiness into some of his simplemost work yet. I enjoy plenty of musical and song-writing ideas here, but they mostly suffer from the "going on for too long aimlessly" syndrome.
Babyshambles Down In Albion
Pete Doherty makes an album that is basically the Libertines, if they let Pete Doherty leave everything he wants on the album, making it run unnecessarily long.
BALTHVS Macrocosm
Very chill, but mostly unsurprising release that is perfect as a mood-setter or as a festival filler, but I cannot really imagine enjoying it in any other context.
Bambara Love on My Mind
Bambara offer an EP, where they play into their strengths a lot with all of their most blatant Nick Cave-isms.
Banks Serpentina
Career-long up-and-comer Banks made another vague statement for her vague persona. At least the production is always crisp and banging.
Bartees Strange Farm To Table
Bartees forgoes any notion of experiments or hip-hop influences for a straightforward, mildly fuzzy indie album, with mixed results.
Basement Revolver Embody
Quite an uneven album with some pacing inconsistencies, especially in the second half, as the band's style starts growing thin and song structures repeat themselves.
Battle Dagorath Abyss Horizons
Battle Dagorath, the band always focusing on a dehumanising cosmic heaviness in sound and spreading it across too long a runtime. They can definitely strike all the right chords, but they can also make your neck hurt from having to turn at the clock all the damn time.
Batushka Царю Небесный
Batushka use their gimmick well, although at this point all the mystique is gone and the secondary version of the band seems to be insistent on drowning the mystique even further with these regular decent releases.
Be'lakor Coherence
Be'lakor are good at what they do, albeit whether what they do is good generally is up to anybody's taste. I belong more to the side of detractors, as the band's style mostly bored me or made me laugh. Their polished sound and melodramatic melodies don't always suit the heaviness well and often force the vocals to sound unintentionally goofy.
Beck Hyperspace
I'll level with you, this wasn't that bad. Some catchy tunes, not that much tho.
Behemoth A Forest
Dime-a-dozen Behemoth EP, take it or leave it. But the first song has some hideous vocals (not in a good way).
Behemoth Opvs Contra Natvram
Behemoth play into their strengths to the point of making you question, whether those really are their strengths.
Ben Howard I Forget Where We Were
The main impact of this album is felt through its lyrics and their interplay with the arrangements. The integral musicianship and song-writing, however, leaves a lot to be desired.
Berkutchi Obscurity, Beneath the Demon's Veil
Alright straightforward black metal. I like the crisp sound and that it thematically comes from Kyrgyz folklore. Wish that also played into the music, cause as it is, the album is quite commonplace.
Bernice Eau de Bonjourno
Ballsiest pop album in a long time, but also one of the more difficult to swallow. On par with Tirzah or Sneaks in how idiosynchratic, mechanical, alternative the production is. Plenty intentional rough-sounding moves, scant instrumentation, and peculiar song-writing that seems to be indifferent, if you find it memorable at all, for its main goal is the atmosphere and purvaying its truly unusual sound. But again, it's difficult to listen to and it doesn't always make an effort to engage its audience beyond the uniqueness of sound.
Besna Zverstvá
A rather standard black metal offering from my neighbours out east, but it has a nice crisp sound and pleasant enough melodies. A fine enough listen, if you are starving for new new new black metal records.
Big Red Machine How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?
Admittedly I was coming into this with a sour and doubtful attitude. After all, Justin Vernon's all-out mainstream circlejerk project doesn't sound particularly appealing. I was certainly not left impressed by most of it, but still was pleasantly surprised. A lot of the songs flow nicely and the tunes are more often than not catchy and pleasant on the ear. Can't say it's a very intriguing release, though. Had it not had the star power behind it, I doubt I'd give it a second thought.
Bjork Fossora
Very oddly constructed (though not too unusual for Bjork), and oh so awkward-sounding. Bjork opts for a somewhat minimalist song-writing technique that mostly sounds like a debutante making their first art-pop attempt.
Black Altar and Kirkebrann Deus Inversus
As is the case with most splits, you have to take the full record as a whole. So if one side is amazing, but the other lacking, the overall verdict should be somewhere in the middle (in my opinion). That is the case here, to a degree. Kirkebrann's closing side is stellar, albeit far from new in the genre. Black Altar's is a little dry, but it does feature a lot of sweet riffs.
Black Hate Altalith
At its best, 'Altalith' is a well-constructed, infectious blackened death metal with occasionally spicy musical turns. What drags it down are the unnecessary interludes and generally lacking consistency. The highpoint do have the quality mentioned above, the lowpoints go on forever and slog a lot.
Black Marble Fast Idol
Black Marble pumping albums with clockwork regularity has mostly yielded very plain results and now seems to be stagnating. Mostly very unsurprising album with not really anything that stands out as bad or outstandingly good.
Black Math Horseman Wyllt
Atmospheric, lo-fi and smudgy-sludgy, but quite repetitive and tiresome after a short while.
Black Mountain Destroyer
Whereas 'IV' sounded like the band finding their footing and playing to their strengths, 'Destroyer' is more of an autopilot release. But more than that, it is an autopilot release that tries with its production, mixing, and mastering to pretend it is something new. In the end it comes off a little awkward and grating, but still retains band's usual grit and song-writing.
Black Road Witch of the Future
New Country


(yeah, heard a whole album just so i could make that joke)
Blanck Mass In Ferneaux
Blanck Mass goes Haxan Cloak with avantgarde field recording mixtures; the results are as endearing, as they are eerie. They are also somewhat tedious and make you scratch your head at what the statement behind it may be.
Bodega (US-NY) Broken Equipment
I see their brand of almost spoken word cynical art punk as well crafted, albeit not anything particularly unique. Their energy and commitment sells it completely, though I do feel like they are at their best in shorter formats, as album's worth of length turns this style into a bit of a drag.
Bombay Bicycle Club Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
In theory nothing is wrong with this album, but I certainly had a hard time recalling any more than three or four songs from it.
Bomg Peregrination
It is not often that I can describe an album experience as exhausting. But Bomg's 'Peregrination' was exhausting in every sense of the word. I was physically drained, I felt sleepy, I had no more energy and I was sweating like a dog. This mammoth of a record stretches to a length of two and a half hours and mostly functions on hypnotic repetition. Perhaps if I subjected myself completely to the experience, I would have been swept away into some ridiculous stoner fantasy land, but I kept my guard up and only got tired. Cannot say the album is inviting, but it is alluring to some people to some extent.
Bongwater The Power of Pussy
Hazy and quirky psychedelic rock with fun spirit, albeit not always memorable moments.
Boris NO
I feel like more than for the quality of the music people hold this album in high regard due to the fact that it's Boris going hardcore punk/doom metal. I found the album mostly repetitive and simplistic, albeit with some decent riffs and nicely savage moments here and there.
Born Ruffians JUICE
Surprising that this is actually a competent pop album, although some flashes of band's past style are only seldom heard. Don't know what's ajcollins on about with the post-punk on this album or the bands mentioned.
Breach Friction
As far as straightforward 90s hardcore albums go, Breach's debut was a very middle-of-the-road listen. It displayed plenty ideas that would go on to be expanded, darkened, and made heavier on their future albums, but its linear writing and static production often worked to the album's detriment.
Broken Social Scene Old Dead Young (B-Sides & Rarities)
Broken Social Scene demonstrate a lot of prowess even on their B-sides and leftovers. Obviously you cannot expect too much stylistic cohesion or particularly captivating flow, seeing as this is a loosely compiled collection from throughout the years, so don't go into it expecting a whole new studio album quality. It's good for what it is. It's nice to hear their progression as a band in this.
Built to Spill Plays The Songs Of Daniel Johnston
Having felt ashamed that with the 11 songs present on this compilation, I have by that point heard more Built to Spill renditions of Daniel Johnston's songs than those in his own key, I set upon a moderate research into his projects. Now, a more familiar listener, this album seems like a fair homage. My initial criticisms of simplicity and repetitiveness are criticisms largely of Johnston as well. But Johnston is justified by the context of his work, while Built to Spill are justified by the intention and iteration of their covers.rTl;dr it's good, faithful, listen if only Daniel Johnston is your shit.
Field recording-infused minimalist mini-album that often sounds like it's saying more than it actually does. Burial's progression into maximally abstract artist, what with his ambient experiments and all, starts to shine brighter and brighter. 'ANTIDAWN' nevertheless has some issues, above all its pace that often comes across as a loose Youtube playlist with sparse flow, peculiar rhythm logic, and often questionable sample choices that can throw one out of the listening process.
Burning Steps Sight & Sound
A fine enough pop-punk with a nice raw energy in the mix.
Cabaret Voltaire Shadow Of Fear
I certainly did not see Cabaret Voltaire making a comeback, but I suppose why not. If you already were a fan of their music and their particular brand of noisy IDM-lingering fractured instrumental experiments, you're going to have a ball here. Most definitely recommended to people who are into the weirder side of music. For my money, not their best, not a particularly remarkable industrial album, not the most memorable work, but a worthy return - and better yet, a return to form for the band.
Camp Cope Running With The Hurricane
Family friendly upset music.
Cannibal Corpse Violence Unimagined
Decent Cannibal Corpse album. That's it.
Captain Planet (US) NO VISA
Tropical and tribal music inspired EDM full of catchy tunes and also full of dime-a-dozen ones. Producer Captain Planet has potential and is showing his skills off and I hope he lands his hands on a worthwhile project in the future.
Cara Neir Phase Out
For as much as I like Cara Neir and as much as I love the idea of a self-serious black metal band go do meme-worthy video game music, this album sadly was a bit of a miss. Its chiptune aesthetic didn't go too far outside base gimmickry, because their chaotic song-writing is mostly the same as it's always been.
Cara Neir Pain Gel of Purification
Much more straightforward than 'Phase Out', rapid fire delivery, and often somewhat samey. But I guess it's to be expected. A nice funny metal release.
Caribou Suddenly
Caribou's newest is a little uneven. Vocals, as is customary for Caribou, are mostly inapposite. Production is pleasant, give or take a few derivative moments and some odd sample choices. Mostly a serviceable album, far from Caribou's strongest or most adventurous.
Caroline (UK) Caroline
For what it's worth, caroline is a distinctly unadventurous, but not incurious project. Their amateur allure is charming to say the least.
Caroline Martin I Had a Hundred More Reasons to Stay by the Fire
Definitely a mood setter, but unless you are actively seeking 48 minutes of nothing but one-note repetitive singer-songwriter music, this will probably not do much for you.
Casper Skulls Knows No Kindness
Hazy and dreamy indie rock for the 90s teenagers who still feel like teenagers.
cavetown Sleepyhead
Lo-fi singer-songwriter pop with beats. Nice sadboi energy and good tunes.
Ceremony (USA-CA) In The Spirit World Now
I only listened to this, because I got the vinyl as a present for birthday or something. The pressing is really cool (colourful, some extra material too), but the album is a weird undercooked hodgepodge of ideas and very, very plain influences that are not even used in a particularly imaginative way.
Chad VanGaalen World's Most Stressed Out Gardener
This sound doesn't suit him too well.
Claire Rousay and More Eaze Never Stop Texting Me
Newest chapter in the more in-your-face obnoxious hyperpop trend, often splashing fun tracks, often also dragging some very unappetising ones.
Clinamen The Tropisms of Spring
Clinamen mostly play the ambient-to-loop pop transitions well, but their downfall is that the record feels disjointed and underwritten. As if they've had an EP on their hands with further material in the works, but the label knocked the due date down, so they had to scramble together all they had.
Cloud Nothings The Shadow I Remember
Much clumsy ado about nothing on the Cloud Nothings' newest.
Cobra Man Toxic Planet
Fun, albeit simplistic neo-disco album.
Courtney Barnett Things Take Time, Take Time
Courtney Barnett still doesn't excite me on a full-album scale.
Crass Christ: The Album
Crass take a timely hot-topic issue and ridicule it to shit with much more bluntness and less energy than some of their previous work.
Cremation Lily Dreams Drenched In Static
'Dreams Drenched In Static' kind of stretches for every corner, but predominantly maintaining the fuzzy static production techniques. It doesn't always fit the song-writing or delivery, but as an experiment in accessibility I admire it.
Crowhurst/Gavin Bryars Incoherent American Narrative
Not sure what this was meant to be. "Incoherent" is about right. An atmospheric journey through... something. Engaging as background music.
Cult of Luna Vertikal
This album is half two things: either truly epic engrossing music (like holy hell the latter half of "Vicarious Redemption") or needlessly long uneventful passages that feel like musical exposition, but that's kind of always been the problem with Cult of Luna. If this were a television series, it'd be very divisive for its filler episodes and groundbreaking effects.
Czarface and Ghostface Killah Czarface Meets Ghostface
I like both of these performers and I appreciate the collaborative series Czarface are doing with a variety of notable legendary figures in hip-hop. Unfortunately I am yet to hear one of those collaborative efforts pan out excellently. It always falls short of being fantastic, even though it mostly has all the tools for that. It's wishy washy, it's muddy, it's short and often forgettable. I wish they collaborate more in the future and I wish they come together on a more mature, coherent project.
Dakota Suite & Quentin Sirjacq The Indestructibility of The Already Felled
Would have much preferred this without the vocal intrusions, as they add substantively little and are often of poor performance. As it stands, the album is a fine piano-led ambient piece with some chamber influences.
Damien Jurado What's New, Tomboy?
Damien Jurado is a skilled musician and a talented lyricis, but his songwriting is far from the strongest there is. When he is conscious of that and keeps his songs either short or simple in structure, he shines. What's New, Tomboy? is a great example of him as an artist. It's is a short, concise, fair project of easy songs that could have been kept as acoustic as some of their predecessors in Jurado's discography. But stylistically, Damien approaches arrangement, tunes and narrative in a similar vein as his early works. Nothing wrong with taking influence from your
past, but it sounds as merely a Leonard Cohen-style collection of recently conceived songs that didn't necessarily need to be an album. Even if the minimalism and simplicity on occasion is charming.
Damu The Fudgemunk Conversation Peace
Damu the Fudgemunk brings up the coziest atmosphere of any coffee shop rap record this year.
Danny Elfman Big Mess
At least he's self-aware about the state of things, as this was indeed big and messy. I liked the general semi-industrial/semi-orchestral instrumental side and some of the songs are actually imposing. But for all its strengths, these are some of Elfman's corniest lyrics maybe ever, as well as his most inconsistent and overstaying welcome album.
Deaf Club (USA-CA) Productive Disruption
All that heaviness, somewhat polished, a little insular, very straightforward to the point of being somewhat indistinguishable from other similar records and even within its own tracklist.
Dean Blunt Roaches 2012-2019
Dean Blunt's experiments, exercises and random practice cuts for the lulz from over the years sound like Dean Blunt's experiments, exercises and random practice cuts for the lulz.
Death From Above 1979 Is 4 Lovers
DFA1979 go for a buzzing, fizzling sound with often undercooked hooks and lyrics.
Death in June But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?
The very controversial and enigmatic Death in June possess a hypnotic quality in their repetitive song-writing. At the same time the repetition turns the relatively brief runtime into a wearisome ordeal. Even though the songs separately range from eerie to beautiful.
Declaime & Madlib In the Beginning Vol. 3
Not bad for a project that is literally just Dec and Mad fucking around with beats and rhymes in their free time.
Descendents 9th and Walnut
Descendents have released an album emblematic of their past sound for their fans' glee and the others' lukewarmness.
Desolate (USA-NY) The fate of destruction is the joy of rebirth
I think I kinda like how all over the place it is, but also also also it's maybe the most obnoxious metal album I've heard this year.
Devil With No Name Devil With No Name
dime-a-dozen bm
Dirty Projectors Super João
Stripped down and bare, but a lot weirder than its predecessor and successor EPs. Nevertheless, in 4 tracks the songs run out of steam and pretty much start repeating.
Dirty Projectors Ring Road
Not much to say here, a few decent moments, nothing too repulsive, nothing too outstanding.
Disco Inferno D.I. Go Pop
Disco Inferno do attempt an admirable feat with their quite unique fusion of deliberate ambient soundscape music and lo-fi punk-inspired post-rock. I am sure I was never the one to truly appreciate this to begin with, but for what it's worth I can recognise the good work that went into this. For me, it sounds rough, scatterbrain and often boring.
DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ Charmed
i feel three hours older and thirty years deader. still better than that Netflix Sabrina shlack
Don Broco Amazing Things
Don Broco show us the most digestible type of cock'n'balls hard rock.
Double Dagger More
Double Dagger's 'More' is perhaps the most down-to-basics pastiche of the 80s/90s heavy indie music. They are not shy of influences, but are also reluctant to turn that into something genuinely characteristic to them, leaving the project feeling rather limp.
Drive-By Truckers The Unraveling
In many respects even more bluntly political than their usual work (even 'American Band') and in many respects one of their least adventurous albums. Not sure how to interpret it above these aspects. Some songs can be quite repetitive and only carry an internal message as a hopeful saving grace. Whether that is achieved or not is up to each listener's own viewpoint. The album is uneven and is a little more trying-to-be-substantive than actually having anything to show for.
Drug Church TAWNY
What we have here, unfortunately, is some decent pop-punk with heavier spin on it.
Ducktails Impressions
Ducktails have been pushing thier brand of sleepy (psych-)haze pop for a long time and have at this point reached their creative peak, it would seem. Not the peak that is as perfect as can be, but the peak that is as good as they can do it. Generally a pleasant pop album with that mild bedroom feel and plenty lounge jazz influences.
Ducktails Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics
It's fine, but it's also too stupid to be enjoyable.
Dusko Gojkovic Adio - Easy Listening Music
It's all pretty standard, really. Easy listening indeed, mostly likeable background jazz (apparently with bossa nova influences, which is always cool).
Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton Knives Don't Have Your Back
Emily's main talents lie somewhere between Metric and Soft Skeletons. Metric's past raging pop aesthetic is all but withered out and Soft Skeletons' pure and tender acoustic pop balladry is too raw and not always distinct enough to hold on its own. So I am hoping for her future work to fuse the blistering nature of Metric with soulful instrumentation of Soft Skeletons.
Emma Ruth Rundle Orpheus Looking Back
Three 'Engine of Hell' leftovers that sound thrice as intimate and play out half as emotionally.
Employed To Serve Greyer than You Remember
Employed to Serve go a little starightforward as opposed to some of their contemporaries, but that does not take away from their loudness, their rashness, their abrasive heaviness. But look, again, it's very bare and one-note, to its detriment no less. Even though it's just 30 minutes long, that sameness becomes a crux.
Emptiness Vide
Whatever the new direction, you can count on Emptiness to half-deliver. Their efforts are admirable, their experiments are interesting, but their execution is mostly lacking and tedious.
Enevelde Enevelde
As typical as it gets, but if that's what you're looking for, skip not.
Erika de Casier Sensational
Look, she clearly tries to very maturely portray themes that she has tightly gripped and understood, her stylistic choices compliment those choices well too. But her song-writing is just lacklustre, her vocals often cannot carry the song, and the lyrics are too on-the-nose with their message and wonky to resonate. It just feels like a try-hard.
Every Time I Die Radical
I will have to disrupt this onslaught of positivity. Despite my optimism for the record, I was left mostly tired and bored by the end. Most songs are pretty decent, but their being together on an album for 50 minutes causes each to overstay its welcome, especially due to their relatively repetitive nature. The jarring synthwave imagery was also a great clickbait for me, as this is a very dated-sounding metalcore with very few musical surprises under its belt. But like I said, most songs were decent enough and I did come away often having a good time, even though the whole tracklist was too much.
Eye Flys Tub Of Lard
Heavy music and heavy-handed too. Little to no versatility on display, no matter how fun, nasty and exciting the music.
Fatboy Slim You've Come a Long Way, Baby
A bunch of hits, a bunch of hidden gems, and a bunch of filler stuff
Fawn Limbs Darwin Falls
Their brand of grinding doom metal on this album has a lot of merit, several instrumental surprises keep popping up throughout the album (the sax and doom-blues on "Dissolver" is about the eeriest musical marriage I've heard in a while). This also feels the most like a statement album. Their statement is "We are to be taken seriously." And by all means I will, please keep these kinds of albums coming. However, my issue here lies with the song-writing itself, where what was supposed to sound relentless, eerie and diabolical often comes off as meandering and disorganised. Apart from say "Noose Gestures", "Twitching Lapsing" and "Dissolve", none of the songs were that memorable. I cannot really pick up a lot of points of interest in some of them at all. Everything just kind of goes on, brutally. And then it ends.
Feminazgul No Dawn for Men
An album that isn't really worth all the commotion. I really liked the atmosphere and the synth-y production, but all is bar for the course, all is typical at best. Apart from that oddly Christmas-y sound that is just a few compression notes away from being drum'n'bass, not much sticks out.
Field Music Flat White Moon
Indie's indie darlings, ever so underrated and ever so undercooking their meals, now are back with another dose of decent old-school indie tracks, some soft to the core, others with a mild sense of punkiness.
Fink Perfect Darkness
A very coffee shop beat pop, nice while it's on and not too distracting.
First Aid Kit Who By Fire - Live Tribute To Leonard Cohen
An admirable gig and fine covers, where the features often outshine the core band's presence or bore me to tears.
Fitness Full Well
Art punk group emanating old-school jerky styles of the 70s and 80s, often veering into some math rock influences, it would seem. Their tunes are often over-reliant on the energy they bring as a band, which is not always there. But if you are hungry for some good throwback snazz, give this a try.
Flatbush Zombies Now, More Than Ever
I understand the urgency with which the FBZ delivered this EP, but the off-topic cuts seem out of place ("herb") and some songs simply have structures all over the place ("iamlegend"). I normally like their in-every-direction approach, but I suppose a shorter format also gives way to more misses with fewer hits to fill up the holes of enjoyment.
BT: dirty elevator music, when I'm gone
Follakzoid II
Sure is a decent album, nice prog-psych flowing all throughout. Nothing unique at all about their sound. I cannot say why Sacred Bones signed them or why Fllakzoid did not bring their creative A-game after being signed.
Fotbal Why Is This Happening To You?
Parts of the instrumentals and many of the lyrics just scream "mature musicians" while still falling into quite the immature repetition and song-writing choppiness. Most songs are fine enough at the surface, but become a bit of a drag to go through as a whole. It's admirable, certainly, though surely they'll sort the writing out by the next album.
Frigoris Stille
Just a standard deal of routine black metal. Nothing more, nothing less.
Frontierer Oxidized
The best production of any Frontierer album, but it's the most repetitive and non-descript Frontierer album.
Gaspard Augé Escapades
Weird, I thought I already rated this, oh well. The album's mostly a decently built recycling of 80s throwback music that is both in excess today and was the foundation of Gaspard's work in Justice. As far as memorable song-writing goes, it has some great songs, but as a whole is mostly background banger music, if that makes any sense.
Gatecreeper An Unexpected Reality
Faster, riffier, thrashier... and then there's "Emptiness". In general nothing against slow-burning doom, but coming off high energy of the rest of the EP, this closer just feels like an unfulfilling bait and switch.
Georgie Sweet Misunderstood
Pleasant coffee shop music that ran too long.
Ghost (SWE) Impera
Ghost's most pompous and bombastic album to date (even more than 'Prequelle', believe it or not), but also one that sees Tobias Forge at a somewhat uneven grounds. His vocals, until now subpar but digestible, and song-writing, until now overly reliant on catchy hooks and melodies, start showing cracks under the weight of expectations and budget. Ghost sound tired, bored, hoping the expensive sound will bandage the wounds of tedium they find themselves in.
Ghostpoet I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep
Ghostpoet mistook overlong lowkey snooze for maturity. It's unfortunately one note, despite the beautiful arrangement and interesting move towards an unusually subtle songwriting. I am certain he was trying to experiment with subtlety and lowkeyness, but the result is sadly often a slug-fast ride.
glaswegians quaternary
Glaswegians' newest is a little bizarre, adding soft rock to their usual post-rock mix. Melody work is still solid, but some of the instrumental and production choices are a little wonky.
Gloom (FIN) Rider of the Last Light
It is a nice throwback to the old thrashy dungeon-dwelling days of black metal, but that is quite it.
Goat Girl On All Fours
Goat Girl employ a very nonchalant performance technique that really only works when the band know and are 100% confident with what and how they want to play. Otherwise it becomes a slog, a prisoner of its own style. I'm afraid Goat Girl still have not found that proper level of purposeful monotony. But it's almost there, if songs like "Once Again" or "They Bite on You" are any indication.
Good Night and Good Morning Narrowing Type
'Narrowing Type' is mostly a continuation of what the band accomplished on their EP from previous year. Unfortunately, quite unwisely, the band chose not to change their approach too much, resulting in an album that lingers on for a little too long and sounds more unsure, than deliberate. See, what works in short form for the EP does not work in drawn-out form for the LP.
GosT Valediction
Many stylistic surprises often meet not so flattering moments. I am not against GosT going in this less than expected direction, but I would like them to refine whatever sound they wish to pursue further.
Gregory and the Hawk Leche
Quite bare bones, often to its detriment, as Meredith's vocals are far from strong enough to carry the tracks.
Grimes Miss Anthropocene
She learnt how to make her art just obnoxious enough to be ridiculous, but not enough to be grating. Some track highlights here and there, but the main fault is that the album is all over the place. No clear direction, no distinct motif or arc, barely any substance either. Just decent enough songs to keep you hooked.
Gum Country Somewhere
All in good fun, all in breezy summer vibes. Gum Country is only ever trying to bring you those sweet posi vibes. They succeed indeed. But besides the general vibe and the surprising mild post-punk influence (though I'm not sure it is intentional), instrumentally or in their writing, Gum Country impress only seldom. The overall breeziness turns tiresome and the half-spirited energy eventually turns at you with the snooze.
Hatchie Giving the World Away
The most fun you'll have with the most basic music possible.
Headshrinker Callous Indifference
Half great thrashy death crust, half snoozy doom.
Health are now at their noisiest and most musically confrontational, while their guests on this record are some of the biggest names in rowdy noisy mainstream-appealing music now and in the past. Together they created a surprisingly mild album, where the darkness and power of noise all come together into a surprisingly subdued way.
I love it when bands on a grand commercial level still play around with this industrial and noisy sound. But I have never been a fan of Health's vanilla take on said sound. It's like watching an Instagram model do shibari. Nobody believes you are actually into it, you just do it for the attention. (Note: I know Health are committed to this sound, but the analogy still feels apt, given their awkward execution of the style.)
Heaven Shall Burn Of Truth and Sacrifice
Look, I commend the band at not boring me to tears during the span of one and a half hours. That much is admirable. But I did look at the watch plenty of times and many songs are indeed quite the same.
Helloween Helloween
Maybe as good as an album like this can be, yeah (I mean power metal by near-elderly folks).
Her Name Is Calla The Quiet Lamb
Her Name Is Calla go to great lengths to communicate deliberation and isolation. Theirs is a slower kind of post-rock, slower than the ambient derivatives even, unconcerned with the risk of appearing monotonous for the sake of atmosphere. That, might I say, is mostly nauseating, as the album goes for a tedious runtime and the aforementioned deliberation really tests your patience. All of it is intentional, for there are brilliant ideas hidden inside, but the band really makes you work for it.
Holiday Music Certified Ailments
Nicely made DIY post-punk with a lot of level-headed craft going into it. Reminds me of a down-to-basics Iceage, but with less flare.
Holy Balm Activity
Decided to listen purely because of the album cover. It's a decent electronically-leaning post-rock and pop album with some truly boring vocals, but it sets the atmosphere nicely and works wonders as a background music (I don't mean that as an insult).
Holy Holy Hello My Beautiful World
A mostly decent indie pop-rock album of little note apart from tracklist with generally above-average, although varying, catchiness degree. Also, the "Coda" interludes are often more annoying than pleasant additions to the tracklist.
Holy Motors Slow Sundown
Shoegazing dream pop band from Estonia here made an album of autumn songs: they're not too bleakly cold, not breezy warm and most quite repetitive.
Honey Harper Starmaker
Lovely country-like folk-pop, but frankly his voice is obnoxious as it is, but then it keeps breaking and can often be just unlistenable.
Hubris. Metempsychosis
That's the kind of stuff you'll find on those multiple hours long Youtube compilations of "music to play while in space" or "post-rock for studying". You know the ones.
Hundredth Rare
This sounds like new wave tried going hardcore, not the other way around. Plenty of shoegaze comparisons can be drawn too.
Husker Du Zen Arcade
I understand the cultural significance of this album and a lot of the songs are really good, but the album definitely did not age well. The production is ugly, runtime needlessly long and 60% of songs serviceable if not downright forgettable. It's a good album, but take away the timing of its release and the novelty sound, it's not that outstanding.
I'm Glad It's You Every Sun, Every Moon
Maybe it's just me and my icky approach to current emo scene, but this felt very, very sloppy and dime-a-dozen. Archetypical for emo in every sense.
Ian Sweet Show Me How You Disappear
Ian Sweet, for all her compositional faults, mostly does a good job fusing indie singer-songwriter tendencies with gently noisy electric production.
Igorrr Spirituality and Distortion
The unfortunately inevitable happened, Igorrr's style turned into a gimmick. They now come off as one of those pretend-"look how weird and crazy we are" bands. Not bad songs, but I'd rather listen to them on their own.
Ihsahn Pharos
Ihsahn go very melodic and only slightly metallic, but in the process of turning their craft more towards catchy song-writing, becoming a little closer to Ghost than maybe anticipated, they've kind of reduced their appeal in my view.
In Mourning The Bleeding Veil
In Mourning's highly sentimental style of melodic blackened prog metal always rubbed me the wrong way, at times when it didn't actively bore me to tears. Not much has changed on this new album. They're still marching on with their very linear writing and musicianship. At least this time around I can honestly say that the melodic component was more memorable than on their previous work.
Infant Island Sepulcher
I often find that this newly emerging trend (or old trend, but I'm only now realising it, I don't know) of fusing screamo hardcore and black metal has some roughly defined structure. On occasion I come across an album that builds the genre cooperation as something unique and new. On other occasions an artist makes their best effort and still has an album that is sometimes screamo, sometimes black metal. Infant Island is somewhere in between given definitions. This band can make a great fusion album, but they can also make a great half-screamo half-black metal album. In the case of 'Sepulcher', they've made a decent half-fusion half-the other thing EP.
Insomnium Argent Moon
It's funny how now that I can hear their lyrics clearly, I start to notice how corny they are. The music, too, fluctuates between heavenly heavy and somewhat risible in how epic and gargantuan it tries to sound.
Irreversible Entanglements Open The Gates
'Open the Gates' mostly follows a hypnotic pattern, albeit tiresome one. Its songs are mostly long and repetitive on purpose, but their aim is not to bore or tire, it is to enamour and induce some drowsy dreamlike state. Sometimes the collective succeeds, sometimes they rather become trapped in the not-entirely functioning pattern of choice that is often unfortunately not saying much, therefore ending up sounding exhausted and exhausting.
Italia 90 Living Human Treasure
Italia 90 went into a little tedious direction here, but have some biting words to say and often clever art-punk tunes to play.
Jack White Fear of the Dawn
Jack White's newest is a mess, but one that seems consious of its own obnoxiousness and I am not sure whether that makes it better or worse.
Jaga Jazzist Pyramid
Jaga Jazzist, the renowned jazz fusion and jazz-experimental ensemble, have decided to stick to their guns and strengths on their newest album and release a solid, vibing, easy-going atmospheric project. Vaguely energetic, mostly chilled out and steamy, 'Pyramid' strikes as their safest album to date.
James Blake Friends That Break Your Heart
The singles really got me pumped for something better than this. The album is maybe the most slogging work Blake has ever put out and several songs that were bangers as singles eventually drown in the samey, dizzy flow of the record.
Jana Horn Optimism
In isolation, these songs are run-of-the-mill acoustic gentleness with some snarky personality lurking underneath. As a whole, it was a little demanding in its dryness.
Jane Weaver Flock
An understated pop album with plenty of heart, but also water.
Jazz Cartier The Fleur Print
Jazz Cartier makes another album where he brings out his A-game and then stuffs the other half with questionable lyrics and bland production choices.
Jeff Rosenstock SKA DREAM
I was not the biggest fan of 'No Dream', nor am I particularly a fan of ska, so this album is not for me. The effort is admirable, but I'll abstain from any future Jeff Rosenstock ska projects (or his past, for that matter).
Jenny Hval and Havard Volden Nude On Sand
One of Jenny's subtlest and yet lyrically bluntest and on the nose records.
Joan Baez Joan Baez
Although Joan Baez has certainly earned her place in the history of singer-songwriter music, her work always meant something middle-of-the-road, incurious. Her debut is gentle (and grating, sometimes), but it makes not a lot of attempts at being anything other than that.
Joywave Cleanse
Not that I am particularly well familiar with Joywave's music, but their sound reminds me of a borderline joyful milquetoast indie simplicity that sweeped the genre in mid-to-late 00s. It's mostly very simple, not offensively bad or anything. Just a plainly decent indie record.
Julia-Sophie it feels like thunder
Julia-Sophie scales back for something a little more straightforward and simplistic in an attempt to display more fragile parts of her personality, ultimately making a half-and-half EP: a great song, a decent song, and a tedious song.
JYOCHO Let's Promise to Be Happy
This is pretty much math rock fusing with the softest of Japanese pop anthems.
Kali Uchis Red Moon in Venus
Kali Uchis doubles down on every sensual and sexual direction she has hitherto used to her great advantage. Now it is that again. The same. All well made. But the same. Minimally new. But great. But the same.
KANGA You And I Will Never Die
I appreciate the darker, menacing atmosphere this is going for, but Kanga cannot help themselves and make everything still very polished, soft and accessible, essentially drowning most of the denser production choices.
Katatonia Sky Void of Stars
I am not certain what to call this subgenre (proggy melodeath?), but it certainly seems like the glam metal of the age.
Kayoko Yoshizawa Akahoshi Aoboshi
decent JohnnyWell-core
Kikagaku Moyo Kumoyo Island
Kikagaku Moyo have decided to slow down their instrumentation and song-writing to a much, much more chilled out psych-prog, ultimately ending with a sound that sounds kinda like their past work, but also like too many other indistinct artists in the same vein today.
King Buzzo Gift Of Sacrifice
Acoustic songs with the help of a subtle string section, where the subtle string section often is the best aspect. Buzzo's eerie song and lyric writing is on point, but overall the album is not too memorable.
King Krule Man Alive!
Plenty of slow-slow-slow-burning songs that really depend on two things: 1. how much you are capable of stomaching King Krule's delivery and production-style and 2. how well he can justify his songs having the minimal most progression or song-writing.
Kinoko Teikoku Long Goodbye
The EP goes much harder than anticipated, which is always to its benefit. However, I am mostly lost on the quirkier, looser side of the song-writing. Much of the slower songs or more experimental attempts are chaotically sloppy, albeit in a charming way.
Kraus View No Country
Unfamiliar with Kraus' other work, I went into this blind, ultimately getting what sounds to be band's first foray into shoegaze. Mostly generic writing and sound only occasionally complement each other, but largely produce only a par for the course reaction. Inoffensive in the best way possible, but also quite unremarkable.
Lambchop Showtunes
Though largely unfamiliar with Lambchop's core discography, this seemed to me like an album of maturity and growth, both musically and lyrically. The style mostly remains low-key and pleasantly quiet, which can often serve to the flow's detriment, as there are numerous baffling interludes even quieter and more quaint than the rest of the record. Unfortunately, these only serve to slow and corrode the already stagnating pace even further.
Lambchop Nixon
Album displays plenty quirks and playful personality, but unfortunately gets bogged down by its rudimentary song-writing.
Lana Del Rey Chemtrails Over The Country Club
In her ascension out of being industry plant and into industry shaper, shrill vocal delivery is one of the last barricades still holding her back.
Lantlos Wildhund
blackgaze meets alt-rock okay
Laura Stevenson The Mystic & the Master
Two simple tracks on the sleepy side of Laura Stevenson's output.
Laura Stevenson Runner
Three Laura Stevenson tracks in a descending order of quality.
Le Butcherettes Don't Bleed
By far the most straightforward work Butcherettes have done. Not always to its detriment, but often the more pop-centric approach makes all that made the band unique vanish, however interesting the songs themselves.
Leeds Point Mother of Eternity
Riffy, old-school stoner-prog for the jaded.
Leprous Aphelion
Let's see what pumping the same album every two years like clockwork sounds like.

Yep, the same.
LIFE (UK) North East Coastal Town
Life again struggle with putting their ideas into one consistent record. There are songs that are straight post-punk revival, some with a more pop-rock flare, some becoming a straightforward rock-ish ballad. It's a mish-mash that doesn't really flow too well, as any given track's energy is swiftly interrupted by the next, not giving that given direction room to grow. Good songs, but by god together they feel more like a Spotify-generated This is Life playlist than an album.
Lord Huron Strange Trails
If there's one thing Lord Huron can do is craft a great tune with captivating narrative. If there's one thing they don't is how long should their albums to not be absolutely exhausting to listen to.
Lower Dens Twin-Hand Movement
With song titles like "A Dog's Dick" and "Two Cocks", and just as raunchy themes, this sure was one heck of a tame listen. Not offensively timid, certainly, but approaching dangerously close.
Lower Dens Escape from Evil
Earworm indie pop with occasional mid-level catchiness. Textbook easy-listening.
Lowertown The Gaping Mouth
Really didn't expect this to be just another middle-of-the-road singer-songwriter indie pop.
Luca Yupanqui Sounds of the Unborn
A niche idea drawn out into a full album of mostly decent or dragging ambient tracks.
LUMP (UK) Animal
An album that starts off big with a few splashes but quickly loses steam. I was somewhat disillusioned before the halfway mark arrived. Nevertheless, maybe in part due to my liking the first few songs so much, the album's strengths outweigh its slogging moments.
Maggot Heart Mercy Machine
This new Maggot Heart sounds rough and tough, but sadly lacks in song-writing. And under the weight of the lacking song-writing, even the production sound becomes ugly-boring and not ugly-exciting.
Magic Shoppe Circles
Please bear with me, because I am about to compare this band you don't know to another band you don't know. 'Circles' sounds a lot like something Maserati would do, only with rougher production is all.
Manchester Orchestra The Million Masks of God
A collection of similarly written, flat folk-cum-rock tunes in varying degrees of catchiness and lyrical cohesion; it's a Manchester Orchestra album alright.
Maya Shore Farewell To Introductions
Slowcore emo through and through, for better or worse. Noodly and dizzy; you're basically in for a patient melancholy as standard as they get for the genre.
Mayhem Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando
It's a decent batch of black metal-ish songs, alright.
Mephorash Shem Ha Mephorash
Mephorash have a real problem with length. The songs are intricately produced, well written and memorable, but they all have like 4-5 minutes of additional runtime that could have been cut out, because it really drags the album down.
Mini Trees Always In Motion
Reaching 'twee' by virtue of its pure naivite.
Mirel Wagner When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day
Mirel Wagner's is the type of folk that is beyond repetitive, which is actually the point. You might struggle immensely sitting through it (and I did sometimes), but ultimately the lyrics and the atmosphere are quite rewarding.
MisterWives Superbloom
For what it's worth, this is an inoffensive Florence and the Machine-worship pop(rock) album that is too unnecessarily long.
Moin Moot!
Twisting and turning the post-punk/experimental tweak to a point of it becoming colourless and boring sometimes. However, for the few tracks that actually utilise album's wilderness to their advantage, this may actually be worth it.
Molly Tuttle ...but i'd rather be with you
Pretty little singer-songwriter covers album. Cute and charming.
Moose Loose Elgen Er Los
It's a little all over the place, but if you like your prog jazzy and porny, this is your jam.
Mush (UK) Lines Redacted
Mostly a samey, even though entertaining, dime-a-dozen post-punk. I am glad the band is sticking to what they like, but I'd personally like to see more variety in song-writing and influences.
Mutemath Mutemath
I have been familiar with some of Mutemath's newer work for some time now and couldn't understand where their fandom's hate for their latest album comes from ('Play Dead' as of right now). I have now familiarised myself with this too. I understand it now. They weren't always a prog-pop band, turns out. They were a generic alt-rock band with moderately ambitious song-writing techniques.
Mylets Retcon
Stripped indie math with some truly grating vocals that crack at every turn, but I cannot deny that the band has chops and very often bring it to the table.
Myth of I Myth of I
At best a serviceable tech death project (with a cover art that for whatever reason reminds me of a c-tier dsbm record), plenty of cool instrumentals, but skip entire passages and you won't miss a thing. Not much nuance to find here and not much to really write home about.
Nadja Luminous Rot
Noisy and passably unpleasant, even if far from the acidic melancholy they've been snarling on their previous output (even some more recent work). If you are into drone and lo-lo-lo-fi doom metal, you will have a blast with this. If you are into Nadja, this is a decent completionist's bucket list entry.
Napalm Death Resentment is Always Seismic...
It's a NapDeath EP alright, but also with some awkward covers and mixing decisions.
Narrow Head Satisfaction
Perhaps I am the wrong person to judge this, seeing as my emo/post-hardcore phase came and went and I mostly remember it with a smirk like "oh silly me" and also given that I find most current output are recycled old trends. So I was left mostly unimpressed, discouraged from further venture into Narrow Head's discography or repeated listens.
Nathaniel Rateliff And It’s Still Alright
In the landscape of current commercial country, Nathaniel Ratecliff is surely an admirable case, keeping to his wits and barely ever fashioning his music to appeal to the genre's odd toothless modern trends. His song-writing often also is worth the marvel. However, 'And It's Still Alright' somewhat suffers from "it's another album, so I can tour" syndrome. After hearing these songs, very little comes to my mind apart from "it's decent" and "I hope his fans are happy".
New Pagans The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All
Too emotionally potent to be generic, but comes dangerously close.
Night Verses From the Gallery of Sleep
I know a drummer guy who won't shut up about this band and keeps showing everyone Aric Importa's performance at Guitar Center Drum-Off 2012 finale. Listening to this I can see (hear) how this would be a topper of an instrumentalist's essential listening list. The finesse these guys display is undeniable. But other than often being overwhelmed by the instrumentals to a point of the songs being inscribed on the inside of my brain, I found most of the songwriting to be unremarkable. It is not unmemorable, but it is lacking in composition. It is like a car engine catalogue. All technicality, but unless you are already well versed in the craft of making them, you will struggle to understand what to listen for.
Nina Kraviz I'm Week/Tanya
An EP mostly filled with remixes of her two better known singles, some quite adequate dancefloor bangers, some quite tedious.
Nine Inch Nails Ghosts V: Together
A positive counter-album to Locusts, NIN create a bleakly minimal record that tries sounding positive and beautiful, but occasionally ends up just tiresome.
Nite Darkness Silence Mirror Flame
Very basic old-school black metal. Fine while it lasts, but nothing spectacular. Don't think I'll be coming back, even though I enjoyed a lot of it to an extent.
No Vacation Amo XO
Admirable softie indie music that runs on the same few ideas a little too much.
Now, Now Threads
'Threads' is most notably a display of an attitude than substance. Now, Now's intent here is to make a statement of their presence. They are indie semi-darling and want to be taken seriously. But it comes in an array of vague lyrics, repetitive song-writing and some drowsy atmosphere.
Nucleus Alleycat
youtube algorithm sure loves jazz fusion
Null (USA) Hiraeth
It's way too long and the flute gimmick can only carry the songs so far. But I am going to blast this at my next MtG session.
Nyck Caution Anywhere But Here
Nyck Caution certainly often has chops, but he is so easily overshadowed by every single guest he takes on.
Nyrst Orsök
Maybe rings a little too familiar - after all, the band really plays it as safe as can be -, but for what it's worth, an altogether decent atmospheric black metal album.
O (ITA) Antropocene
Really really like the heavy production, although it turns the more repetitive side of the music even more repetitive. But I grew tired of the vocal mixing way too quickly. Kinda hated it eventually.
Oddisee Odd Cure
Take away all the skits (some of which are really heartwarming) what you are left with is just 6 quick tracks that are each far from his best. But yeah, as a quarantine exercise to keep your head clear and creative juices flowing, it's alright.
Ode and Elegy Ode and Elegy
I guess it's 'Dark Souls', because I also had trouble getting through this one. But for all the wrong reasons. For all the beautiful, engrossing, layered moments, this megasong (minialbum) has a butt-tonne of tepid questionable, wannabe-inspiring moments.
of Montreal Coquelicot Asleep In The Poppies
This late-60s Beatles meets children music theatrical shtick is very naive a cutesy and can also be a little too obnoxious and staying way longer that it's welcome.
of Montreal Freewave Lucifer f≮ck f^ck f>ck
Another one of of Montreal's albums where their generally quirky character takes a turn for the puzzling. Cutesy instrumental and melodic ideas are here stirred into messy casserole.
Off Road Minivan Swan Dive
Trite and true. Pretty much just what an alt rock fan today would like, barely a damn thing above.
Oingo Boingo Forbidden Zone
Irksome at some, gleeful in full.
Olafur Arnalds re:member
Olafur comes through with a batch of benign ambient-ish tracks, sometimes memorable.
Orbit Culture Shaman
If you like your melodeath groovy and you also want a clear cut sample of Orbit Culture's style, dig right in. There's plenty of what's to dig.
Orbs Past Life Regression
Genuinely, this sounds like My Chemical Romance having a prog phase.
Otajstvo Strija Dračon i Čempresima
Serviceable bm from Croatia we've heard a million times before. No real surprises here other than it is a little raw in the production and a little landscapic in atmosphere. Otherwise take it or leave it, nothing new, just solid old atmo bm.
Overgrow The Name We Share
I cannot say this offers much. Twenty minute runtime certainly doesn't tire and every moment is utilised well. The EP is memorable, entertaining, hold momentum. But not a lot within actually stands out. And even as a collection of songs, I cannot say that this stands out among the onslaught of identical emo projects. BT: To You and Sober Truths, The Earth Will Swallow Me Whole
Ozma Rock and Roll Part Three
Quite plain and simplistic, but the band's energy and enthusiasm carries the whole thing.
Parannoul To See the Next Part of the Dream
69 ratings. also album fucks on occasion, but is mostly a dry well. chip chiree
Parquet Courts Sympathy For Life
Parquet Courts' cute album. I really like them branching out into a more minimalistic and minimal synth direction, emanating the old-school 70s and 80s post-punk, which is increasingly waning in popularity these days. Making this style work is difficult, as one can easily fall into pits of repetition and bore. Parquet Courts fall there quite often, despite the grower qualities of some of the tracks. All of the album is grower and I am uncertain how many chances do I need to give it to really be certain that all the hidden secrets are revealed.
Pendragon (UK) Love Over Fear
gimme that Neverending Story type beat
Perturbator Lustful Sacraments
Perturbator creates an in-transition album, where he effectively works his way out of cliche synthwave and into cliche darkwave. Tangible otherworldly atmosphere is appetising, but not much sticks out, as it's mostly not up to par with Perturbator's previous work, nor does it manage to feel confident in the new direction it pushes. Maybe next time we'll get a dense, ominous darkwave record Perturbator has been trying to make.
Pijn Loss
If you like your post-metal stylistically close to a Baroness opening band, then dig right the fuck in.
Pile Songs Known Together, Alone
Pile's newest is an interesting creature. The frontman Rick Maguire sat alone in a room on several occasions and recorded a solitary live show of his old songs. The result is a meditative take on the band's work better served with the video accompaniment.
Piroshka Love Drips and Gathers
Getting some serious New Pornographers vibes from this, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the boring and worse.
PoiL Ueda PoiL Ueda
Runs a little too thin and repetitive, but the worldly and wonky instrumentals are certainly a pull, if you are in the mood for something mostly atypical.
Poorly Drawn House Home Doesn't Have Four Walls
A foray into purposeful amateurishness.
Pop. 1280 Museum On The Horizon
Not really my favourite Pop. 1280 album, even if a certainly admirable one. The band here is sticking to their mighty guns and delivering a 40 minute creature of often catchy densely atmospheric electro-goth-punk bangers, as well as a handful of dragging duds. But nothing is really that bad, neither is it that outstanding. It's just kinda another Pop. 1280 album.
Porridge Radio Every Bad
The sound of absolute anxiety, but one that also invades artist's creative process and hinders progress.
Portal Hagbulbia
Portal fuck around with ambient and lo-fi during 'Avow' sessions, accidentally create a more menacing album than the actual core project.
Portal Avow
That's TheSpirit
Portrayal of Guilt Christfucker
Portrayal of Guilt go around borrowing from more old-school sounds and influences, some 80s black metal, as well as OSDM and thrash. In the end it's a nice display of talent and their knowledgeability of history of metal, which can surely manifest itself in a more rewarding album next time.
Postdata Twin Flames
Mixed bag; in a matter of vocal range or just a particular tone of melody this album can turn from subtle and transfixing to quite generic and grating. Thankfully the really good songs are worth their wait, but you might as well skip right to them: "Haunts", "Yours", "Twin Flames", "Kissing", "Tomb"
Pottery No. 1
Very strange to hear them do some half-hearted, derivative psychedelic rock on this one, when I know they had 'Bobby's Motel' in them all along.
Prince Daddy and The Hyena Prince Daddy And The Hyena
Prince Daddy have improved dramatically, recognising their instrumental, lyrical, and vocal limitations, pushing more towards song-writing concepts suiting their particular abilities more than their previous efforts ever have.
Provoker Body Jumper
Well I surely did not expect this to be a mellow darkwave. Credit where it's due, it has production much crisper than probably any album of the genre. Although it does not fit the style all the time.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Night Gnomes
Pornpets are back with their most straightforward and autopilot adventurous album yet. For the first time, no matter how fun it gets, it sounds like a generic psych-prog band and not distinctly Pornpets.
Purity Ring Womb
A fun pop album with little to no real staying power. Inoffensive and barely worth your time. Then again, sometimes you don't want to think too much about the music you're listening to and that's when this can come perfectly into play. It flies by quick, not enough time to bore or annoy, makes you go "huh cool" a few times and then snoozes itself out of existence.
Purr Like New
Pleasant summery atmosphere, I just wish the melodies and hooks were more memorable or the songs had a more creative structure. Otherwise it is kind of drab sometimes.
Rat Cage Screams From The Cage
A pretty one-note hxc album. Doesn't offend, which might be the worst insult thrown against a hxc project.
Remo Drive A Portrait Of An Ugly Man
Yeah, certainly a far cry from what made 'Greatest Hits' great, but at least some songs have something resembling energy and enthusiasm. It's like they're being held hostage to make borderline tired indie rock and they're trying to use the quality moments as a Morse code message crying for help. There's gotta be a pattern, if you listen closely.
René Maheu Mor
If only the vocals weren't so goofy, but I guess in this style it's par for the course.
Rev Rev Rev Kykeon
Properly noisy and sometimes catchy industrial (hard) rock, but it really doesn't have that much staying power.
Rolo Tomassi Where Myth Becomes Memory
Rolo Tomassi have perfected their brand of synthy post-core with just enough memorable ideas sprinkled around to not be completely average.
Rufus Wainwright Unfollow The Rules
To a larger extent a sophisticated pop/folk balladry, to a lesser extent a repetitive slog. But not that it matters. You listen to Rufus in 2020 because you want to hear him mature and that's exactly what he delivers. Wish he had his vocals on better display, too.
S. Carey Break Me Open
S. Carey makes and S. Carey album. Heard one of em, heard all of em. Even though he is still a skilled musician, he seems to always be running on autopilot.
Saada Bonaire Saâda Bonaire
Compilation works of underrated, unknown or newly discovered artists can definitely serve the great purpose of highlighting the artist in question to the world that would have otherwise not have come across them. That said, had this collection of all studio recordings by Saada Bonaire been trimmed and arranged with any sort of rhyme or reason, we might have gotten a properly solid album.
Sam Sparro Sam Sparro
A really long album of mostly serviceable pop songs in various levels of obnoxiousness and catchiness. It's pretty hit or miss, but the hits are strong enough to make the album worth coming back to.
BT: Black and Gold, 21st Century Life, Waiting for Time, Pocket, Cut Me Loose
Sasami Squeeze
Bizarro-rock pastiche album with cool tricks up its sleeve, but suffering from its creator trying too hard to simultaneously come off as cutting edge off-the-wall as well as sincere. Mostly this results in a semi-hard-hitting semi-awkward listen.
Sault (UK) Untitled (Rise)
Thematically heavy sometimes, which is not something one'd expect from a lite funky breezy neosoul project like this. The atmosphere alone does not prepare you for the messages. But I suppose there is a great deal of originality in an approach like that. But the album can only go so far with the breezy music itself, before it turns wearisome. At 50 minutes, you'd expect at least the majority of the album to be airtight. Which it is in many respects, but the style itself does not support such extravagant lengths - at least not in my view - or should present newness manifold over to justify it.
Scarypoolparty The Act of Forgiveness
A most admirable feat in pop music of this Idol context, seeing as Scarypoolparty jumps styles in a heartbeat effortlessly. That said, at almost two hours one really has to bring out their A-game in song-writing, which sometimes falters here. But I am actually coming at this with a bias of sorts, seeing as only rarely have these kinds of Bandcamp-style pop albums interested me more than superficially.
Seremonia Neonlusifer
Drowsy snoozy stoner psych with a great otherworldly atmosphere, but not a lot of power to carry even the merciful half hour of runtime.
Seventh (CAN) Vacarme
dime-a-fucking-dozen (even though it has good production)
Sex Park Atrium
This album isn't quite certain what it wants to be and it shows its uncertainty in the most unconfident way possible, by clumsily splitting the album into basically two different sections: straight-up electronic minimalism and straight-up throwback post-punk/synth-pop.
She Said Destroy Succession
While containing largely engrossing instrumental work, often infectious melodies, and a great thematic focus, I found plenty of this album to drag along. Many songs were mere qualitative echoes of the real bangers preceding them. After a while the tracklist became a game of 'pick the song they were betting their money on and then pick the afterthought'.
Shizzle Orchestra Svět se zbláznil
Czech jazz rap ensemble are back with lyrically excellent album (but you're gonna have to take my word on that) whose song-writing and musical side is album insultingly repetitive. They've always been a bit one-note and really only relied on their lyrics and the fact that it's hip-hop made by literal orchestra, but it is very very obvious here just how little variation goes into the melodies.
Silvana Estrada Marchita
The most beautiful sections will transform you into a beast of pure fluff and transport you to the land Totoro inhabits, probably. But one needs to be in a particularly patient mood for that to come to fruition.
Skalpel Highlight
Nothing really changed since their debut, so no drop or growth in quality can be observed, Skalpel are just doing their thing. Their very cool, chillout thing.
Sleater-Kinney Path of Wellness
Remember when they stayed around after 2015 and put out a genuinely bad record? It wasn't worth it. It is definitely an improvement over the dreadfully toothless 'Center Won't Hold', but the performances are some of their weakest. Any and all driving rowdiness that contributed to their appeal is completely lost. What we are left with is a record that sounds like a Bandcamp debut from a college indie-post-punk band. It's a great record in that regard. It's a disappointing Sleater-Kinney album, though.
Sleigh Bells Texis
I applaud Sleigh Bells on championing this kind of bipolar style of - i guess - 'ridiculous rock' and being the original weirdos to make hyper-pseudo-bombastic-pop-bombardment a thing before so many other artists have turned it into actual genres. That said, it's never really an easy task swallowing what Sleigh Bells are cooking and I find myself struggling with their work quite often. Because at their most accessible they sound very plain and unexciting. In contrast with that their more off-kilter songs can be so bloated as to become nearly unlistenable. It's always a strange mush of everything and the kitchen sink in the mix, where you can clearly pick up really good ideas and catchy songs or fun concepts, but are ultimately left drained of energy for all the bad reasons.
Slum Village Fan-Tas-Tic Vol.1
This lot of Detroit rap scene shows what J Dilla would yet to go on to perfect and delivery style (and background vocals) that sound too unconfident to really stick out.
Small Leaks Sink Ships Golden Calf
This album can be divided into two very unequal parts. First, the introductory four tracks that are a fantastic, instantly memorable fusion of post-rock, math rock and indie (emo) music, instrumentally impressive and melodically sound. Second, the rest of the album, low in energy and unfortunately low in effect too. Track five and onward features increasingly sleepy musicianship. Band's choice to move in a more mellow and dreamy direction barely pans out and the tracks feel more like half-hearted copies of the ones opening the album, but also with no instruments layered yet.
Sojourner Perennial
idk it's fine. alright fantasy black metal, nothing really special
Sol Invictus In the Rain
This time, for all its lovely arrangement and writing, makes you think "this really takes time to get going" until you realise that it taking the time is the whole point.
Somali Yacht Club The Sun
Healthy levels of sleepiness in this stoner music, also healthy levels of haziness.
Son Lux Tomorrows I
I don't entirely see the point in dividing this project into two, where it could have just been a perfectly good Son Lux album and then like a special release compilation of their short musical ambient-electronic-pop experiments and musical skits. But even if I take the full songs on this minialbum, they're not Son Lux's best in most cases. They're certainly good and enjoyable, but only a few leave a lasting impact the way band's usual work does.
Son Lux Tomorrows II
Part II made me question my opinion on Part I. Regarding the latter I've stated that it would have served better without its short experimental interludes, but rather as a part of some more fully fledged album combining songs from both parts. Now Part II is a more complete project, but its consistency is somehow even more lacking. That is, in my view, due to its song-writing, which is often astonishingly unremarkable by Son Lux standards.
Son Lux At War With Walls And Mazes
On 'At War With Walls And Mazes' Son Lux display most of what will later go on to define their soundcraft, but also leaves a lot to be desired in song-writing. The excellent parts and ideas are indeed on the level and deserve all their praise, no question about that. Then again, and especially in the context of their incredible improvement with each following record, the album is not substantive and mostly drags as a result of its disparate structures.
Son Lux Tomorrows III
In part, Son Lux has finally achieved what they've set out to achieve in the Tomorrows series, as 'III' features some of their most progressive, experimental, and noisy pieces. It also falls into the same disappointing song-writing pits the previous two instalments have. A concise focus of the group to trim the weaker track and to pursue consistent quality, rather than extravagant musical concepts would have helped immensely.
Sorgelig Sørgelig
I really enjoyed the music, but I must say that the yells of panic the band thinks are vocals were mostly just funny.
Sparks A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip
Sparks' levels of irksome quirk can sometimes give They Might Be Giants a run for their money.
Spector Now or Whenever
Didn't expect Spector of all bands to make a comeback. This truly has been a blast from the past kind of album, although much more washed out and formulaic than even Spector's past work, until the album greatly picks up in the second half.
Spirit Was Heaven's Just a Cloud
DIY's more daring, less effective outing. I wish the metallic direction from the opening track carried over to more tracks here, cause that was a really left-field surprise.
Spiritual Cramp Here Comes More Bad News
This was mostly a fun punk EP with one really, really annoying sketch track "Small Man Big House" that dragged the whole thing down for me.
St. Paul and The Broken Bones The Alien Coast
Paul Janeway's vocals are so distinct that he needs a proper banging beat to support them. Otherwise, on an album this low-energy, he comes off very cartoonish and unintentionally funny.
Stella Donnelly Flood
Stella at her moodiest and least tonally expansive is also Stella at her least characteristic. I'm okay with this, what's good is good, but I also can't tell it's Stella half the time.
Steve Howe Love Is
A fine prog-folk album, little to no surprises, sometimes drags.
Strawbs Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios
I cannot, unfortunately, share the joyful excitement of the others for this live album. Certainly a good live performance and an unforgettable one for those having the luck to have attended it, but as a plain recording of far from Strawbs' best material, I found this to be a mostly serviceable work. Lovely acoustic work, some great songs and mostly a quick fizzling out.
Stuck Out Here Until We're Each Someone Else
It is a mildly entertaining, largely forgettable anthemic rock album that has its moments sprinkled across, but it fails to have any real staying power outside of the momentary non-offensive half hour you spend with it.
Styx Kilroy Was Here
Its laughable concept poisoning the lyrics with cringeworthy references and passages keep reminding you the silliness you are listening to. Other than that, the music is fun enough.
Sufjan Stevens and Lowell Brams Aporia
Remember hearing stuff like this in bulks from whatever underground electronic label Bandcamp decides to write about in a given month. Dime-a-dozen is what I'm saying, even if often pretty.
Superchunk Wild Loneliness
The masters of "the band that you remember being kinda good" released an album that goes in one ear and out the other. And some time later you'll remember it as "the album that you remember being kinda good".
Syzygy A Glorious Disturbance
A pretty good taste of the band, but the experience can be marred for some by the camp and cheesy sound of the live recording. But most song-writing sounds like your typical prog whimsy, so it has that going for it. Studio recordings sound often much smoother and clearer (obviously) and do not have the same out-of-tuneness.
Tame Impala The Slow Rush
For a long time I tried steering off from 'The Slow Rush'. After all, I was very sceptical of the album; Tame Impala making synth-vibe music. Something that could be just the right turn, but based off the singles, was destined not to be. But I've had time to meditate on the album since my initial exposure to it. And in the end I feel no tangible disappointment. The album hold steady with its atmosphere and the song-writing, however tame (excuse the pun), is built carefully. So no love lost and I wish to see Tame Impala make the best of this style in the future.
Tammo Easy To See
Doesn't really leave the impact I hoped for, seeing as Tammo's production skills are mostly on point. Sorry to say most moments here just sort fly by and that's it.
Tancred Nightstand
Not bad at all is about all I can say.

Soundoff too short my ass. There's nothing to say
Teenage Fanclub Endless Arcade
Teenage Fanclub continue their streak of aesthetically pleasing album covers that look like some arts festival's promo posters while their music continues to sound like a budget local band scheduled to play the opening night. Overall, it's a decent indie rock with a fine throwback vibe, but it's general feeling is unfortunately too unsurprising for me. But it's great to hear they're still at it.
Tennis System Autophobia
As much as I fail to distinguish modern shoegaze albums, mostly finding them all coming off like drivel, bland haze, and non-existent song-writing, this new Tennis System actually at times manages to take cohesive shape. It has all the same faults of other shoegaze projects today, but at least I can distinctly say I was not bored to tears.
The Cars Panorama
On 'Panorama', The Cars bring out their utmost cheese.
The Casket Lottery Short Songs For End Times
I may not be the target audience for this, so I cannot really judge any inherent qualities or negatives it may have, but with the spiked attention to emo-spiced pop-rock this site seems to inhabit, I am surprised this band slipped by you all, numbnuts.
The Cinematic Orchestra Man With A Movie Camera
Certainly Cinematic Orchestra's most slow-pace and straightforward record with some lovely production, but also plenty of water.
The Crown Royal Destroyer
It's kind of all... the same we've heard before and with other bands too and will hear and it kind of all brings nothing new, but at least it has riffs and the production and whatnot.
The Dear Hunter Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise
The Dear Hunter can write a catchy song, but by God is their brand of pristine-clean pseudo-prog obnoxious sometimes.
The Field Mice Snowball
The Field Mice were never the front-headers of late-80s dreamy twee movement and neither are they its best examples, but for every awkward section there at least is a decent tune lacing all the parts together.
The Goon Sax Up To Anything
Goon Sax sure can write a fine tune and have cute lyrics and cute aesthetic and all that, but those tunes are often good for a few moments and then stretched unnecessarily with little to no variance, while the whole image turns irksome.
The Great Old Ones Al Azif
Black Metal and Lovecraft go hand-in-hand like Sludge Metal and Lovecraft or like Sludge Metal and Black Metal. Good that we now have an official ambassador representing all of these sides of the dice (the weird three-sided dice, yes; we're dealing with Lovecraftian nightmare worlds, there are bound to be unholy dice somewhere, too). Though The Great Old Ones truly come into their own panoramic hellscape character with later releases, this is a decent initial taste of their craft. Although it is marred with stale sound and irritatingly repetitive song-writing that I have to be quite in the mood for in order to enjoy fully.
The Grievance Club Joymaykr
It's alright, nothing exceptional.
The Horrors V
This album is kind of half-and-half. Half of it are some of The Horrors' catchiest, most well-constructed songs, the other half can be a drag and sometimes feels like patting. The album drops off towards the back end particularly, as if the band tried to hide their less confident melodies and underdeveloped ideas to the side that fewer people get to, before finishing off on a strong note with a banger of a closer.
The Housemartins London 0 Hull 4
Fun serviceable UK 80s rock you've heard plenty of. If you fancy this style and period, then this band and album should already be familiar to you. And if you don't, you can still probably find a few decent songs here that are sure to fill your playlists of the likes of the Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, Oasis and Stone Roses or whatever.
The Innocence Mission The birds of My Neighborhood
Innocence Mission sees several talented musicians come together in an exhibit of mostly watered down indie folk-pop oriented towards repeatability.
The Juan MacLean I Want the Night
Serviceable repetitive techno for genre enthusiast, not a lot worth revisiting.
The Lemon Twigs Songs for the General Public
The Lemon Twigs heighten their saccharine past-century pop-rock brand to a halt. Some surface-level easy-listening rock music that is cute. That's all.
The Mountain Goats Dark In Here
I guess I'm just getting tired of Mountain Goats releasing another passable folk album. They should really take their time next time to work out all the details. Please.
The Murder Capital Gigi's Recovery
Taking things slower than the previous album, 'Gigi's Recovery' sees the band go very mellow, very low-key, and mostly ride on just the v i b e s. But you can only get so far on simple v i b e s and the album gets trite easily with just the amount of songs that promise time build up but end up dissipating into not much.
The Stranglers Rattus Norvegicus
This must have been seen as very edgy at the time of release.
The Weather Station Ignorance
The word most appearing in my mind as I listened to this was "meandering".
The Weeknd After Hours
Credit where it's due, Weeknd's song-writing is much sharper than before. On the other hand, his lyricism can be unintentionally risible and his falsetto becomes kind of irksome after almost an hour of this album. But maybe that's just my problem with falsettos.
They Might Be Giants Apollo 18
Overstays its welcome quite easily, but all in all is a very lovely and fun listen.
Throne of Evil Orator
I like the choral vocals on a lot of the tracks, but the bulk of this album runs a little dry and repetitive.
Thundercat It Is What It Is
The very centrist album. It was merits and demerits, it can make you feel love again and it can make you irate, it can engross and it can gross out, it can and it can't. I dunno, it's wibbly-wobbly song-writing sometimes does it for me and sometimes doesn't. That's what I was getting at.
Tombs Under Sullen Skies
Tombs didn't stop at one album in 2020 and decided to follow up their excellent "Monarchy of Shadows" with an overlong blob of samey mess, whose strongest musical ideas are neatly sprinkled across several tracks and keep it from being completely run-of-the-mill.
Torres Thirstier
Yep, sounds like Torres.
TotorRo Home Alone
A bit standard for math rock, but I liked the tinges of shoegaze sprinkled across.
Tropical Fuck Storm Suburbiopia / This Perfect Day
Standard meat-n-potatoes Tropical Fuck Storm by this point, but "Suburbiopia" is kinda boring and "This Perfect Day" slapped the first few listens.
Twin Shadow Twin Shadow
I greatly appreciate the sound so alternative to most current pop albums, often delving into dub, Latin music, some post-punk too. Twin Shadow's self-titled certainly feels more like a self-statement than their previous work. At this point it is a self-statement of a sound that is yet to be expanded upon with better song-writing in the future. You can only go so far with v i b e s alone.
U.S. Girls Heavy Light
'Heavy Light' has some of U.S. Girls' most ambitious ideas and most expensive stylistic direction. Often I felt like I am in some Disney-Christmas-fairytale world that has turned plenty sour. However, what fails this album is its song-writing. It is often too complicated for its own good, but then other times it's quite non-descript. The interludes certainly do not help to pat the pacing, as they mostly just sit there only vaguely tying with the rest of the album. Above that, thankfully, 'Heavy Light' has some absolutely stunning pieces like "4 American Dollars", "Overtime" or "Born to Lose". So great direction, beautiful songs, and also a lot of dud holes and pacing issues.
Underoath Voyeurist
Based on the fact this is an Underoath album and everything I?ve heard leading up to this, I can assume this album is probably going to have singles.
Vessel of Iniquity The Doorway
Vessel of Iniquity make a decent doomy black metal album and that's kind of it. It lingers on the drawn out doominess a little too much and delivers too little in terms of variety, but it's fine, if you're into this stuff.
Viva Belgrado Bellavista
Well this has been a rough ride. Viva Belgrado can certainly deliver a mathy hell, but they also plague their album with lacklustre vocals and some more than questionable musical choices (seriously, what the heck was even "Ms Triste Que Shinji Ikari")
Vorga Striving Toward Oblivion
A very classic-sounding thrashy black metal, very nostalgic for the olden days of the genre.
Waxahatchee Saint Cloud
The "If I were so country-side chill that any simple song makes me ole boots go hey" album.
Wednesday Mowing The Leaves Instead Of Piling 'Em Up
Bedroom fuzz covers album not half as bad as one'd expect.
Weeping Sores False Confession
The gutteral vocals do not match the beautiful string-based instrumental passages at all. It then causes the album to drag and repeat, often becoming laborious to listen.
Weezer OK Human
ok album
Wesley Gonzalez Appalling Human
With the help of some older songs, Wesley churns out a more synth-led pop album that retains its quirks and goofy nature, but comes to sound a bit too juvenile.
White Denim D
White Denim achieve a psychedelic feel by virtue of the breeziness with which they play their mostly disorganised and non-distinct rock, even though from time to time they can surprise with a great instrumental passage or two.
Why Bonnie Voice Box
Kind of by-the-numbers dream pop, isn't it? Like I cannot pick out a lot that stands out about this in among the pile of others. Not bad for what it is, pleasant and breezy in fact. But still...
Why Bonnie 90 In November
A thoughtful, sensual indie effort with just a few typical unsurprising tweaks here and there, from the song-writing, to the almost-crying vocals.
Wild Nothing Laughing Gas
Wild Nothing once again prove that their brand is so simplistic that it makes them absolutely no problem coming out with dime-a-dozen "okay" releases on regular basis. Like clockwork and always the same thing. I don't hate it, to be clear, but it ain't spectacular either.
Wormwood Arkivet
The lazy cover and the band's previous work generally being not the most innovative black metal, I was very skeptical of this new release. Most of it is a decent melodic black metal with lovely sound, sure, but I couldn't really pick out any distinct ideas or song-writing bits to set this apart from the oversaturated landscape of black metal today. As it stands, it's just a decent album.
X (USA) Alphabetland
Not a lot has changed for X in the years they've been active, which is both reassuring and unfortunate. It's the former, because I can't imagine the band really going anywhere else with this sound of theirs. It's also unfortunate, because they're in a creative runt. 'Alphabetland' is probably great for anyone dying to hear new material from X exactly in the same vein asi their older stuff, but it doesn't offer anything new.
Xavier Rudd White Moth
The indigenous musical additions were a nice touch, but this album was mostly a samey drag.
Xiu Xiu OH NO
It's quite a rare feat for me to actually enjoy a Xiu Xiu record, even if Jamie Stewart mostly does his best Mike Hadreas whisper-singing impression. He also has a tendency to bury his featured guests in the background. I like the general sound and presentation here, even though the vocals (including the guests) often sound goofy.
XTC Drums And Wires
XTC's legacy and importance in the history of pop music is secure at this point, nothing I can say will damage it. But I think that their body of work is by and large an uninteresting, incurious representation of new wave trends well in effect at the time and this album is an overlong mess mostly. Fun at times, great at others, but a mess for the most part.
With all the subtle glitz and glamour here, all chill atmosphere, all lax approach and a lot of annoying vocal samples that drag this down, it's both a slog and a great vibe album. Nothing blows your mind, but it's fine while it lasts, I guess (except for those vocal manipulations, which are sometimes atrocious and really album's main downfall).
Yasmina Melliti As Above, So Below
Eerie airy folk pre-Emma Ruth Rundle's latest ventues.
YG My Life 4Hunnid
Plenty bangers, but then plenty not bangers and plenty more questionable features that mostly drag the songs down.
Yith Passage
I used to listen to this when I was a teen. It's a mostly plain unsurprising black metal album with a lovely atmospheric ambient outro.
Yorkston/Thorne/Khan Navarasa : Nine Emotions
I wish the trio had a clearer vision of what they want to do here, cause too many songs sound like some cuts from other unrelated projects accidentally found their way in.
Young Jesus Shepherd Head
A bit of a misstep for Young Jesus, where they lean even more heavily into even chamber pop and synth direction. Not bad, by any means, as long as you are expecting some ambient Manchester Orchestra and the like.
Yumi Zouma Present Tense
I've sampled some of Yumi Zouma's tracks before and after listening to their newest album, hoping to get a semblance of idea about their artistic journey. I got none. It's all mostly shallow, bare bones pop that is never lively enough to risk being obnoxious, nor is it drab enough to bore one to tears. It just sort of sits there in the middle of the road forever.
Yvette How the Garden Grows
Yvette's industrially-influenced noise rock is now more drawn out and less meticulous, jumping to more bombastic heights or - exactly opposite - meddling straightforwardness.
Zeal and Ardor Wake of a Nation
It's apparently more in the height of emotion that this EP was made, because to at least half of the songs here there is no rhyme or reason for them to be anything more than experimental recording session blimps one would expect as a b-side (especially the middle section) dug up years into the future. But "Vigil" and especially t/t are stellar, no qualms about that.
Zeal and Ardor Zeal and Ardor
Zeal and Ardor's initial musical concepts all but disappear here to the great detriment of the song-writing.
Zelma Stone Dreamland
Sweet tunes, sweet lyrics, sweetly made few tracks overall, but not the sharpest folkstress outing out there.
ZOMBIESHARK! I Will Destroy You, Myself, And Everything I've Ev
There come such albums from time to time that make you think "I'm too old for this." I'm not that old, but as Zombieshark!'s bipolar musical epilepsy started and I inadvertently found myself saying "Ok boomer" near audibly in self-deprecation at every thought that I do not understand what is going on, I concluded that this album and I will not be friends.

2.5 average
A Place to Bury Strangers See Through You
Watered down and with marginally g a z i n g song-writing, A Place to Bury Strangers deliver a boilerplate fuzz-rock album displaying a lot of awkward production choices.
Active Child In Another Life
I can only agree with ajcollins' soundoff. There's not much more to add. Tracks accomplish bare minimum to appear poignant and pleasant, but have mostly little to no staying power. And thanks to the breathy charmless vocals, songs often turn from boring to grating upon revision.
Afterbirth Four Dimensional Flesh
Either get a better vocalist or get better at mixing the vocals, cause it's a waste of fantastic musicianship. I get that they are trying to sound oldschool, but some things are not oldschool, they are outdated and there is no reason to come back to them.
Alan Vega Mutator
One of the stranger posthumous albums I've heard. Alan Vega grunts and creeps his way through one same beat changed minimally throughout the album, while musing on vague and often head-scratching lyrical content. Quite shockingly I then found the best song to be "Psalm 68", an industrial track featuring no vocals at all.
All The Luck In The World How The Ash Felt
In many respects a very mature album (lyrically and tonally), but mostly lacking the energy or personality to make this already fragile plain style of indie folk work. As it is, the album sounds stale and derivative.
Alora Crucible Thymiamatascension
I'm all for slow burning albums, but they have to be rewarding for the patience one has with them. This one is not, for the most part.
Alphabet Holds Hostage truth in habitual
Ambient post-rock for the bored and the boring.
Altadore Gardenia
Inoffensive and straightforward folk(-pop) with little consequence. Music for your jaded teenage cousins.
Andrea von Kampen That Spell
white girl with a guitar incarnate. at least her voice and lyrics are not as campy as is usual for this stuff.
Arcade Fire WE
Another half-hearted Arcade Fire record. If 'Reflektor', for all its faults, in the end was an uberambitious project with several missteps, the two following albums are not even close to thought-out. This shows no ambition and no interest in pushing their sound. They're on autopilot, okay at best, okay at worst, okay all around.
Arctic Monkeys The Car
i can't shake off this feeling: it's Silk Sonic the unsexy version
Arno Boytel's Special Deliverance Dream Trip Machine
It's the regular unexciting bash of psych music with plenty of water and stoned out bore.
Astma Ghosts
Kind of a dime-a-dozen goth with dime-a-dozen vocals. Sounds like your "local friends' band" that has actual potential, but they don't seem to be so active. Hope they are actually. Cause if at least the vocals turn more interesting, that already puts this at least 0.5 points ahead.
Beach Fossils The Other Side of Life: Piano Ballads
Beach Fossils deliver a somewhat heavy-handed and repetitive acoustic rendition of some of their better-known songs. While the smooth jazz and blues angle is admirable, it does not always complement the band's straightforward, timid style of song-writing. The result is an A-for-effort compilation that unfortunately feels vapid and dragging, despite its brevity.
Bellows Next of Kin
Cutesy. That's all.
Ben Howard Collections from the Whiteout
I admittedly never had the patience to fully appreciate Ben Howard's body of work. I mostly found his song-writing scant and too reliant on the atmosphere and lush sound than actual finesse, palette, vocal or lyrical performance. Of all his albums, this is the perfect example of what that means. Drab, overlong, messy drag that often seems to repeat the same few ideas in different patterns.
Bendrix Littleton LP2
High school isolationist's dilemma, bedroom pop style.
Bendrix Littleton Deep Dark South
No rhyme or reason in sight here, mostly just a haphazardly mixed barebones bedroom country (?).
Bent Knee Frosting
Although hearing Bent Knee blast messy futurepop noise was jarring at first, I cannot say that this shift in focus is shocking with this band. They always thrived on exploiting any niche or peculiar trend or curiosity in the music world at any given time, so them turning their attention toward all the difficult to navigate noisy styles on 'Frosting' is not surprising. However, and I did mention it multiple times already, it's a mess. Most songs are overdoing it with the chaos, some are unsure of what to really sound like, and the album mostly works when the band employs their tried and true progressive rock song-writing.
Bestial Invasion Monomania
I can't with these vocals. I know they are supposed to sound like classic oldschool thrash, but they really come off as wonky and unlistenable. Doesn't help that the music and the writing are also just okay at best.
Better Oblivion Community Center Better Oblivion Community Center
So both Bridgers and Oberst compromised their individual talents for a watery indie album anybody could have made. Right.
Between the Buried and Me Colors II
Can't really pick out what about this album is supposed to be a follow-up to 'Colors', musically and compositionally speaking. The highlights do hit hard, but in between is a dry and nondescript layer of mush mostly flashy with technical agility, but lacking severely in structure or memorability.
Big Scenic Nowhere Visions Beyond Horizon
Individually the songs are inoffensive enough, straightforward unremarkable stoner rock. And I suppose that's what made their EPs more appealing (though not my a large margin), because you only got so much time to be bored. The LP is a slog, it goes on and goes on and goes on. But there's barely anything bad here. It's a fine passion project and it has fine songs. Fine songs that, if stretched to half an hour, put you to sleep.
Billy Talent Crisis Of Faith
Very plain rock album with occasionally catchy tunes, but mostly unintentionally hilarious lyrics.
Bloc Party Alpha Games
I must say, the dog's penis on the cover isn't really selling me on this.
Blue Oyster Cult The Symbol Remains
Tiptoeing between dad rock and stripper music.
Bnny Everything
I enjoy this emerging trend on the indie scene of predominantly ambient-themed pop albums, but Bnny's 'Everything' sounds less like ambient-oriented and more like simply parts missing. Dragging song-writing and often directionless songs leave a lot to be desired.
Bonobo Fragments
Bonobo, no stranger to riding trends and trying to tailride current sound in demand, he is also no stranger to crafting a perfectly inoffensive, borderline catchy electronica. Not quite danceable, not too robust, not very hard-hitting, not particularly chill either. Nothing too out of the line, nothing too world-turning.
Borknagar True North
Borknagar make epic northern music with a heavy dose of testosterone. That's it, folks.
Born Ruffians SQUEEZE
Between the two 2020 Born Ruffians albums, I commended 'Juice' on still keeping at least a semblance of band's past sound and direction. 'Squeeze' bamboozled me, which I didn't see coming, although I probably should have. It's just a straightforward indie pop album. Any signature identity the band had is now officially depleted and bar for the occasional catchy tunes, this is a painfully average album.
Bossk Migration
Only the second album in the 15 years of Bossk's existence sees the band at a crossroads. But more so than crossroads, it captures the band in indecision. The heavy, blistering adventure that were their first EPs and moreover their first album, now shows signs of age, crackling under the weight of not wanting to let go of the sound that made their name and also an as yet undefined direction that is to ensure their further forays. 'Migration' is a grim record; for every grimly disturbing metallic cut there is an equally grim but significantly less disturbing less metallic and much, much more longevous unexciting interlude, ever so misplaced to serve only as a ruin of any possible momentum. Each new musical idea that serves to bring Bossk out of a creative cocoon is admirable, the electronic industrial leanings on "HTV-3" or even grind-inspired tinges sprinkled across, and I am most certainly intrigued as to what flowers will bloom out of these new experiments. But as of right now Bossk's newest, in migrating across sounds old and new, manages only to tease and not deliver.
Brian Fallon Local Honey
Brian Fallon always new how to make a good anthemic song, but on 'Local Honey' the songs just feel big with no great memorable tunes like before.
Buck-Tick and their arena-sized surface-level goth rock has always had that flamboyant over-the-top flare and now they're also trying out this new thing: the boring song-writing.
Serviceable bm, but way way way too long.
Caracara New Preoccupations
For a split second I thought this had something to do with the Ex-Women Preoccupations, but alas, tis but a tired, average alt rock record.
Caspian On Circles
I was fearful going into this. Post-rock is not exactly a pool of innovation. But at the very least it can offer much needed relaxation, eerie tension or admirable fun, depending on what album you are listening to. Here however it is nothing. I can't say the album is bad, I cannot say that any song here is 'the worst', but the album isn't good either. It is a perfectly empty dull nothing album of no substance and barely even instrumental talent on display (something usually seething from post-rock albums).
Caustic Wound Death Posture
For the brutality's sake, Caustic Wound made an album of almost indistinguishable songs. Apart from an occasional tasty riff and the overarching harsh headbanger atmosphere and sound, all material felt repetitive and one-dimensional. Admirable grindcore, but far from the most memorable one.
Charli XCX How I'm Feeling Now
I am very torn on this. This is both exactly what I expected and equal times not at all. Thematically, the album is said to revolve around - well - how Charli is feeling now in the quarantine. But lyrically that theme comes in and out of play. I suppose it makes sense that one doesn't necessarily only think about quarantine during quarantine, but some cuts seem cut from a record that has nothing at all to do with this. Then there is the whole thing with the electronic experiments Charli likes to employ: they either work or they don't. Some songs are innovative and wild, some are questionable, some are obnoxious because of the stylistic dissonance, some are obnoxious because they are just boring pop songs. It's a mixed bag to say the least. I like experiments in pop and I especially welcome daring innovative attempts in mainstream pop music, but Charli's past experimental (and I am certain that her future too) work held much more appeal to me.
Charlotte Day Wilson Alpha
'Alpha' offers mostly boilerplate modern RnB with occasionally interesting features and a few pretty tunes in the mix. Other than that, there's about 20 minutes of clutter.
Circa Survive Two Dreams
Circa Survive have always balanced this clean docile sound well enough, but 'Two Dreams' seems more like an afterthought exploitation project. Little ambition on a damp canvas repeated to death. Average as average gets.
Circa Survive A Dream About Death
Their second 'Dream' EP offers pretty much more of the same and nothing else.
Circa Survive A Dream About Love
Semi-prog stylings plastered over mostly pop-leaning sound with bare minimum grit to earn street cred or sth.
Citizen Life In Your Glass World
I really liked some of the songs, but for the most part this all felt like a hasty job with ideas incoherently mushed into one pile of something unremarkable.
clairo Sling
flaccid indie folk's flatline
Cloakroom Dissolution Wave
This was actually a tiring drag.
Cold Cave Fate In Seven Lessons
This album was laughably corny, but part of me thinks it was corny very intentionally.
Corb Lund Agricultural Tragic
The typical corny country album that sans for the lacking hooray-American nods is the stereo-and-archetypical example of what one not very familiar with country music thinks country music is all about. I admire how tongue-in-cheek it is, but don't really want to sit much longer with it.
Cosmic Burial Impakt
A little sleepy and rustic sounding, well in vein with many other space-bm projects. But this album does little to justify its length. Too much build up and interludes with too little a pay off. I understand that it is supposed to sound expansive, like being lost in space, but it ends up boring, even though there are plenty awesome moments.
Covet technicolor
I leave here let down, momentarily by 'technicolor' as an album and in an increasingly overarching manner by math rock as a genre. Both strike a chord with me to an extent, making long technically skilful music with mostly pleasant atmosphere. But both seem more interested (more so than ever before, Covet the band and math rock the genre) in challenging other instrumentalists and impressing their musician peers with riffs-per-minute schemes and rhythm experiments, than crafting music worth noting. As far as instrumental skillset goes, what an impeccable album indeed; as far as a musical experience, dry as a jerky and not enough salt.
Crippled Black Phoenix The Resurrectionists / Night Raider
Maybe it's due to my having been listening to this as one uninterrupted album, but I found this extremely tiring. A handful of really beautiful or powerful cuts cannot save the by and large boring rest.
Cut Copy Freeze, Melt
Cut Copy must have read the "Maturing As Musicians For Dummies", cause they're displaying all the most boilerplate points: songs longer, lyrics vaguer, structures less chorus-led, sound deeper and calmer. It's a manufactured inauthentic album is what it is, which is unfortunate, because some rare moments actually sound impressive.
Dan Auerbach Keep it Hid
Dan Auerbach comes through with what sounds like b-sides to Black Keys records the band will go on to make after 2009.
Darkthrone Eternal Hails
Throwback to the times when sounding like ass and turn was all the rage.
Dawn Richard Second Line
Maybe out of everything I've heard this year, this is the most ultimately average album. I could pick out a track or two that is somewhat engaging on an above-average level ("Nostalgia" and "Radio Free"), but front to back very little happens and every musical decision is more of a dated RnB trope.
Dead Meadow Howls From the Hills
Dead Meadow wield a brand of psychedelic stoner rock that has its place and is actually a fun listen in certain context, but not for me and not for casual consumption. I recognise its quality, but my deliberate revisions are in doubt.
Dehd Blue Skies
Playing a lot of quite trite post-punk tropes, Dehd make an album that is at times a good dose of nostalgia and also a chore lacking energy.
Dens Taming Tongues
Dime-a-dozen melodic metalcore with alt-metal vibes and heavy Christian gospel influence in lyrics. Unless you are into Christian metal, you can go ahead and skip this, there is nothing of note.
Devin Townsend Ocean Machine: Biomech
Throwing shit at the wall and acting like it accidentally creating something captivating was all part of the plan. I don't much care for Devin Townsend's hodgepodge approach to crafting albums, where he tries sounding multi-layered, but is more likely just trying to chaotically embrace as many sides for appeal rather indecisively. Underneath the production and the mammoth structure this is a mostly plain rock album with scant song-writing and often boring, repetitive instrumentation. The grungy production only serves to illuminate the lack of finesse. This album seems a most accidental success, based on people's oversight.
Devours Iconoclast
All that quirk and fun facade is engaging, but more often than not I found the songs to be obnoxious than endearing. In spite of unusual production and instrumentation the full length of the album ended up tiring rather than entertaining. However many attempts I have given it, the album only served me purposeful farce and silly attempts at being chucklesome in musical motifs (like what the hell are those high-pitched baby shouts sprinkled across the album?). In the end, the only standout songs are the most straightforward ones with the lowest rate of production mess. I don't get it and maybe I am not meant to.
BT: Garnet Graves, Off the Grid, Forbidden Gloone, (Hidden Song)
Dinosaur Jr. Sweep It Into Space
Dinosaur Jr. sorta kinda almost keep their wits and strengths on this latest album, but mostly sound tired, trite, and old, sadly enough.
Dirty Projectors Windows Open
First two tracks expendable and repetitive, third track made great by the subtle strings, fourth is kinda okay.
Dirty Projectors Flight Tower
On this EP, Dirty Projectors display their usual hit-or-miss, experimental-or-obnoxious production style and the results are predictable even by their standards.
Dirty Projectors 5EPs
I'd say that Dirty Projectors' 5 EP project was largely a flop. Each EP focuses on a different style of production, instrumentation, vocals and song-writing. Basically all that made up the bulk of Dirty Projectors' school of work up until now, deconstructed and grounded. The results are hit-or-miss, as most songs are repetitive and the band cannot carry some styles throughout the whole EP.
Dool Summerland
I do say, this is a mixed bag. A thick gothic atmosphere and good vocals are great and the instrumentals get you all excited and you wait patiently for it to blow you away. And it never does. The songwriting is not always interesting (and even when it is, only in choruses) and the sound of it is just a little bland and forgettable. It's an album with a lot of potential, but it's also quite disappointing.
Drive-By Truckers The New OK
Somehow even more inconsequential than its counterpart from earlier this year. The songs have gotten even more one-note, lyrics even more on-the-nose and the sound even more plain.
Admirable semi-punk influences and nicely grainy throwback sound cannot really save song-writing that is overwhelmingly one-note and the energy that Du Blonde just do not seem to possess. Hear the opening "Pull the Plug", a great indie garage banger, and you've heard the whole album.
DZ Deathrays Positive Rising: Part 2
The type of Aussie testosterone-rock that would've been a breath of fresh air some 15 years ago, and will be an absolute laughing stock in 15 years. Also it feels like the vocalist is trying his hardest to make you not notice he is a terrible singer.
Earl Sweatshirt Feet of Clay
What is this even? I get the idea behind 'Some Rap Songs' short format, but 'Feet of Clay' just feels like a bunch of half baked ideas that are not even in demo stage yet.
Eartheater Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin
The cover (and my complete lack of knowledge of who Eartheater was) had me believe I'm in for either an ironic hyperpop extravaganza or the avant-garde insanity for the ages. In reality it's a plain, watery ambient-pop album with folk-y elements and boring song-writing. Emma Ruth Rundle on xanax and not much else.
Ed Schrader's Music Beat Nightclub Daydreaming
Ed Schrader and the gang completely dropped the discotheque fun-loving, dancing-the-pain-away aesthetic in favour of a drowsy semi-grunge effort. But their usual song-writing techniques that would have worked with flashy synth-led post-punk-ish approach feel awkward and jammed here.
Eels Extreme Witchcraft
Eels stubbornly pursue the same stylistic features that made their sound captivating and also then made it boring after all the fruit had been juiced. A curious tune here and there for a full length album is barely enough.
Eidola The Architect
For every naturally catchy and easy to digest moment, by and large this is a very dime-a-dozen album. Neither the vocals, nor the instrumentation is in any way remarkable in the grander scheme of current prog-hardcore.
Eileen Gogan and the Instructions Under Moving Skies
'Under Moving Skies' makes little effort to show anything exciting for the 21st century indie folk.
El Ten Eleven Tautology I
Not quite the vibrant diverse soundscape post-rock the band probably hoped for, but a pretty tune here and there, a little mathy also. Can't say I'm confident I'd enjoy spending time with the whole trilogy at once.
Elfsgedroch Gedoemd Tot de Eeuwige Jacht
An exercise in repetitive atmospheric black metal that has been done and is being done better constantly. So all this is is an overlong bland okay-ness.
Elliot Moss A Change In Diet
A downtempo pop can be either an interesting creative ride of atmosphere and emotion or a slog of sloggish slogness. This is a slog. It's just a slog.
Ellis Born Again
Quite in tune with many contemporary soft-built indie popstresses. Only barely standing out in songwriting, no distinct voice or personality though. Lukewarm damp towel: the album.
Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton Choir of the Mind
It's on me for assuming this to sound a lot more bombastic and pop-oriented, what with the cover art and all. 'Choir of the Mind' is quite the opposite, Emily Haines' most scant, instrumentally unassuming project yet. She's playing it the safest she's ever played, often to her detriment.
EOB Earth
Ed O'Brien shows us what would have happened, if 'The King of Limbs' era interest in experiments were applied to 'Pablo Honey' era of uncertainty.
Epitimia Allusion
Very few surprises on a vaguely memorable black metal album. Closing track's darkwave vibe is quite unexpected, though.
Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard
Eric twanging his guitar sloppily with the same vocal expression for an hour straight. A classic of grill diners the world over.
Ethel Cain Preacher's Daughter
Truly packed with great ideas and intense moments, as well as powerful vocal performance and lyrics, but heavily bogged down by the milquetoast song-writing and production. I don't mind long albums, but the songs here are mostly unnecessarily long. They are built often in an annoyingly similar way and not always use their length wisely. So it ends up being exhausting not even halfway through and a chore to finish.
Father John Misty Chloe and the Next 20th Century
I get more energy from lounge covers compilations on youtube.
Fickle Friends Are We Gonna Be Alright?
Fickle Friends go out of their way to sound as middle-of-the-road as possible. Their cliche style unfortunately squanders Natassja Shiner's often very sincere lyrics and themes.
Folterkammer (USA) Die Lederpredigt
Gimmick aside, this sounds like ass.
For Those I Love For Those I Love
Okay, look. Nothing against the sentimentality of this album. I get why, what for, for whom, how it was made and all that. I get it. However, most of the lyrics and the self-serious, overly dramatic presentation is a real turn-off, as it mostly reduces the album into surely unintentionally funny slog.
Foreign Fields The Beauty of Survival
True story, I've listened to this album repeatedly around its release to try and grasp at its qualities. I believe I even found some. But I am not realising horrified that I heard it lastly only maybe some month ago and can remember not a detail. My initial impressions of it being bland and forgettable have turned up unequivocally true and lasting. An album that begs to be wiped from your memory.
Forgotten Tomb Nihilistic Estrangement
Your typical cock'n'balls boring old-school black metal.
Foxing Draw Down the Moon
Dunno why is this sound-off page all just innuendos, but I'll chime in. This is that person you had some action with some years ago, but now they're really weird and vanilla and you're not into it anymore.
Frank Zappa Studio Tan
It is difficult to really pin down all the excess and ridiculousness of Zappa's 'Studio Tan'. One cannot approach with ease an analysis or review or any opinion piece on an album that defies meaningful content. It is half bloated unfunny joke that overstays its welcome and half a mishmash of genuinely curious musical ideas, all kind of colliding with one another.
Freddie Mercury The Freddie Mercury Album
If you ever wanted to hear a 1970s contemporary pop for grandmas rendition of vaguely Queen songs, this is exactly what you need.
Frenzal Rhomb Smoko at the Pet Food Factory
A mixed bag of cheeky lyrics and sometimes decent instrumentation, but often falling into a very bland unexciting pit with obnoxious vocals (par for the course) and song-writing so samey, I keep forgetting which song is which. In the end barely 30 minutes feel like forever. Credit where it's due, the band can pull off a great song and killer instrumentation (their drummer and bass player often carry the weight), but it's always one in five or so.
Fuath II
Even in the realms of generic atmo-bm, this is pretty plain. None of the supposedly epic tunes and harmonies are very distinct or captivating, the instrumentation and sound are mostly samey, and the songs can get quite indistinguishable.
Gang of Youths Angel in Realtime
I am still very much baffled by the appeal of Gang of Youths. Most of their work sounds like superficial hard rock with lyrics trying too hard (rock) to come off as meaningful. And now they've reached Titus Andronicus levels of cocksure ambition barely ever meeting their set heights. It's a generic rock album with a decent tune here and there, a clever lyrical twist occasionally, a nice riff once in a while. That's about it.
Gardens and Villa Gordon Von Zilla
Gardens and Villa, while actually sounding like they're having the time of their lives, have some serious holes that need to be filled in song-writing. The brand of post-disco (or some kind of disco revival) interlaced with staling indie pop tendencies from about a decade ago, mostly set to quite repetitive and uninteresting tunes, becomes a bore quite quickly.
Glass Kites Glass Kites II
kinda boring ngl
God Is an Astronaut Ghost Tapes #10
A little heavier than many contemporaries, but just like any other post-rock album out there today, not very interesting either. Really sorry for where this band and the whole genre went... which is nowhere, really. They stayed put in one place and didn't move an inch.
Grimes Art Angels
The biggest problem dragging Grimes down is not her style of futuristic deranged glitter-spraying love-maniac, but that she cannot make this exhilarating surfeit of glamorous insanities compliment each other. This album only wins over her others for its less all-over-the-place construction. Which in turn leaves it feeling more inessential than Grimes' ballsy aesthetic would like you to believe. So it is her more straightforward project, but even then a less than substantive work.
Gruff Rhys Seeking New Gods
I really struggled here, Rhys' one-note pop demeanor and repetitive melodies all caused this thing to drag unbearably. The crisp production and the generally pleasant atmosphere do save grace a little, but it's all mostly bland.
GUM Out In The World
As far as current psychpop goes and as far as Tame Impala has gone, this specimen is far from perfect, or indeed noteworthy. Credit where it's due, there generally isn't a lot of difficult to digest moments. Most songs are likeable and the vibe is pleasant enough to engage, some tracks are even catchy. But it's in the paltry state of it all where the downfall lies. Plain vapid is what it is.
HAIM Women In Music, Pt. III
HAIM's usual snoozy output turns even sleepier. They used to at least have one or two catchy energetic songs, but this is mostly mood and lassitude. At least everything surrounding the energy and song-writing is quite decent. Some songs are actually pleasant, some lyrics are good, the general vibe is not bad, if not paid attention to too much. Still, sleepy in a bad way.
Half Waif Mythopoetics
The most barebones Half Waif album also reveals the biggest cracks, as nearly every song loses steam halfway through.
Harakiri for the Sky Maere
A few tracks stand out mostly for their accidentally memorable construction, but overall I found the vast majority of this album to be dull. Exhausting length does not equal epic journey, please.
Harry Styles Harry's House
Harry's most milquetoast, I-want-to-show-you-artsy album thus far.
Hayley Williams Petals for Armor
More far from means better. Ambition of dividing an album into a triptych is barely justified here, as each section is pretty much the same in themes and in arrangement. Moody murky musical malnutrition masquerades as abnormally ambitious artistry. But the quality mostly barely supersedes the quantity resulting in a draining and exhilarating experience.
Holopaw Holopaw
Holopaw are at their best when quietly interplaying gentle melancholy of the lyrics with minimally orchestrated acoustic musicianship. It creates haunting imagery with a sense of desperation. However, they way too often become muddled with their own simplicity. Everything becomes very tedious very quickly.
Human Kitten An Embrace of Incomprehension
Acoustic whine-emo for the disheartened.
Hurray For The Riff Raff Life on Earth
Featuring Ocean Vuong was a nice touch. I wish Alynda's lyrics were as profound and cleverly worded. But that's not her style. She is blunt and quite abrasive vocally and lyrically in a way that seems ill-fitted for the carefree and attitude-lacking sound of this album.
Indigo De Souza Any Shape You Take
The DIY indie aesthetic is lost here almost completely, now replaced with sterile production and quite underwhelming song-writing. Only her lyrics and occasional powerful moments are the saving grace.
Invent Animate Stillworld
'Stillworld' is mostly an exercise in stylistic simplicity, never quite venturing too far outside of its one instrumental trick that it milks to insanity. Despite the lyrical content, crisp production, and undeniable finesse, the smothered crescendos are the only things doing the heavy lifting, trying to get this album to sound actually impressive. I am unimpressed.
Isaiah Rashad The House Is Burning
100th rating! I don't know, it's a display of mostly lukewarm beats, all following the same vague aesthetic, half-assed lyrics, and snoozing flow.
Javiera Mena Otra Era
Serviceable pop album, adequately boring and annoying. Some nice tunes occasionally.
Jetty Bones Push Back
Though an album that hits a lot of home runs with its emotional sentiment and even production, its downfall are actually the lyrics, both childish and unintentionally risible. Jetty Bones is not a good lyricist, she can only get her message across at the cost of hamfisted bluntness. Her vocals struggle in one-dimensionality and the obnoxious inbreathing after every bar. The song-writing is the standard barebones indie gentleness with glitzier sound. So much for that.
So the occasional uplifting beat work gets almost always bogged down by lacklustre vocal feature, mostly mixed like bad RnB pastiche.
John-Allison Weiss Say What You Mean (Sideways Sessions)
The lyrics can be great and some hooks too. But for the most part musically - and I don't know if it is just this live version's fault or that's what John-Allison Weiss makes usually - this is a bland indie people used to laugh at in the 00s. At least some occasional surprise instrumental sections add some pleasant personality (like the horns that entirely turn the opener around).
Josefina Dusk Virtues of the Necessary
I admire the sheer number of influences being reportedly borrowed from, the stylistic scope the Czech self-described 'bratty sci-fi fetish synth pop' diva is trying to reach is immense, but her first EP is a swing and a miss, in my opinion. It's a conceptually vague and vocally weak outing mostly consisting of tired pop tropes barely matching their supposed "experimental" tag.
Jun Fukamachi Quark
Sounds like a C-tier video game soundtrack.
Kamaiyah Got It Made
She sure can deliver bars and she sure can craft a memorable song, but for whatever reason that keeps baffling me her debut LP is all one note. One production style is okay, but not when literally every song is indistinguishable from another. It's a textbook definition of 'average album'.
Kassad London Orbital
With a mild shift closer to industrial sound, the songwriting on Kassad's latest took a nosedive unfortunately. It was quite a chore to listen.
Kingpin Skinny Pimp King Of Da Playaz Ball
Way too long and his and his guests' tendency to just bail on delivery and shout rhythmlessly over each other by the end of almost every song is beyond obnoxious.
KVL Volume 1
A rather awkward airy minimalist free jazz album. I like a lot of the sound mixing here, but most of the time the disrhythmic improvisation felt clunky and frustrating to go through for 8 to 16 minutes of tracks' runtimes.
La Luz La Luz
By far the haziest, stylistically most focused, but also most indistinct and one-dimensional La Luz project. Unfortunately, this is more psych-ed out, not so much psychedelic.
Laurel Cherry Limbo
kinda boring
LIFE (UK) A Picture of Good Health
I really want to like it more than I did. The band's style is certainly entertaining and they can write a catchy song (the opener is a real blast). But there is so little variety in sound. It's like they wrote the exact same song over and over again. In spite of its relatively short runtime it ends up being tiring and really boring.
Lights PEP
I'm not familiar with Lights all that much. She seems like a pop-star that found her acclaim and popularity almost entirely off the back of her hard work, which is admirable. And seeing as her tracks now often crack the mark of several million listens, her newest progression is in the direction of amassing as many of these listens as possible. Much to the detriment of quality, that is.
Loathe (UK) I Let It In And It Took Everything
Many times of 'I Let It In...' you will find yourself swathed in imposing atmosphere and awe-striking splendour. Many times. But not most. Because mostly you are bombarded with songs compromising their melodic memorability and concise song-writing for heavy sound and pretend-complex instrumentation. In hopes of sounding bombastic, blistering, emotionally riveted, they come off more as having a musical tantrum, not knowing what to shout or weep first, blending everything into one ugly unintelligible pile.
Lord Huron Lonesome Dreams
Lord Huron's debut is not quite so Americana-influenced as their subsequent releases, as well as not as confident with its overall sound. Which, in turn, makes the almost hour long runtime all the more baffling, as the amount of songs that add nothing to the table take away from all the songs that create the narrative well.
Lykke Li Eyeye
I like the fact that Lykke Li is always striving for a change in her sound, from album to album. I mostly hated her last watered down, low-effort attempt at becoming a pop diva, so I welcome this 180 degree turn a lot. On 'Eyeye' Lykke Li moves into a direction of ambient pop, moderately trendy in the underground pop circles. Her inexperience with patient song-writing, however, leaves most of this album in a semi-fulfilling stage, almost like a "Work in progress" or "Layers to be added" sort of stage.
M.A.G.S. Say Things That Matter
I am sorry to report that this is nothing more than a mildly decent pop-punk/pop-rock with occasional lulls.
Magnog Magnog
Grungy spacey post-rock that could use a trim and a more focused structure.
Maneka Dark Matters
An extremely awkward album that barely ever knows what it wants and barely ever pretends to care. Parts blues, parts improv, parts post-rock (probably?), parts whatever random idea.
Massage Still Life
Saccharine twee revival.
Memoryhouse Mania
Memoryhouse's most awkward work yet, probably made out of the sheer need to do something. The mix is odd and the vocals are often left to carry the tracks, which they cannot.
Metronomy Small World
Metronomy move back to their musical roots with a cutesy twee pop album. Far less synth-laden than their work as of late, but just as quirky. Unfortunately, the same attitudes don't translate as well onto a more straightforward instrumental album. I guess, if your music cannot catch up with your playful persona, then it is destined not to work.
Middle Kids Today We're the Greatest
The album for those who are still growing out of their teenage years somewhere in the early 2010s.
Misertus Earthlight
Misertus are another one of those one-dimensional blackgaze projects like Sadness, In Autumnus or A Pregnant Light that keep pumping new material that all has little impact or real depth. You can only go so far on aesthetic alone.
Miss Grit Imposter
no grit
Mitski Laurel Hell
'Laurel Hell', being Mitski's glitziest album, tries its hands on various old-school pop pastiches, ultimately failing at that and dragging her song-writing down with it.
Mom Jeans. Sweet Tooth
Mom Jeans. make a pop-punk record straight outta ca. 2015 replicas of 2007 style.
Muzz Muzz
At least Knuckleduster is the best Interpol song we got in a decade.
Naked Gypsy Queens Georgiana
Not the worst thing out there, as far as blunt nostalgic cocky blues rock goes.
Negura Bunget Zău
I am a little late to the Negura Bunget hype, as I've heard their shtick done in a similarly plain and generally underwhelming fashion by bands like Thy Catafalque or Malokarpatan. Sure, they package their music in lovely tribal influences in a slightly more creative spin than most pagan-gimmick bands, but underneath all that smoke and mirrors we have here a boring, straightforward sludgy black metal album.
Neil (UK) Neil's Heavy Concept Album
There are plenty of good psychedelic pop songs here, but it's wrapped in a sheet of comedy (?), where the whole joke dries out very very quickly.
Night Club Requiem for Romance
Dime-a-dozen darkwave dance music that at least has some great electronic moments and production choices. Otherwise skipworthy.
Noah Reid Gemini
In many respects, not a bad album at all. But in many retrospects, too long, too repetitive.
O'Brother You and I
In among the plethora of bombastic larger than life I-struggle-to-define-their-actual-genres post-hardcore alt-rock (many also committing metalcore on their work) O'Brother is not a bad example, but certainly a remarkable one neither. Occasional powerful choruses or melodies grab and engage tremendously, but the substance is lacking. That is especially a detriment, given the forgettable writing and bland composition on many of the songs here. It's an album neither here nor there, tries to be moving by virtue of its sound and mature by efforts of its composition and mostly reaches both goals half-way.
Ozzy Osbourne Ordinary Man
hope he got his mortgage money
Palace Shoals
Palace are first and foremost an easy to digest band that shapes its songs around that one trait. All catchiness seems derived from simple syrupy simplicity of their aesthetic.
Paysage d'Hiver Geister
Paysage does as Paysage is, which can be too much of the same over and over. It has its audience and its charm, undeniably. I am not in the state of mind patient enough for this, I suppose.
Pinegrove 11:11
Pinegrove continue to be the pioneers of the sleepiest emo substyles that do not have the word "cold" or "core" in the name.
Planningtorock Powerhouse
I really hate the vocal effects and the songs often feel to plain. It's like the title is ironic.
Polaris (AUS) The Death of Me
A friend of mine said that this sounds like something that came out in 2000. I'm inclined to agree. It is quite a dated style.
Red Fang Arrows
I'll give them that, they are no longer a run-of-the-mill stoner metal band with some decent songs. They try to reinvent themselves as a more left-field oddity, which is admirable. The results (together with their previous album) may be admirable at best, but quite baffling and boring at worst.
REOL Kinjitou
I am not very well versed in current j-pop trends, but I am told they are wild and often difficult to understand. On surface level 'Kinjitou' is easy to unravel, containing all the tropes and attributes of western music that a western mind can find listenable. But these fusions of ideas come together in a haphazardly spastic manner. So despite the songs actually sounding cohesive and well structured, the sheer idea saturation is not easy to stomach. Tl;dr it's annoying.
Rex Orange County Who Cares?
The appeal of Rex Orange County is mostly lost on me. His style often centers around tepid soul-isms and pop-isms with heightened sense of demonstrative melodrama always put me off. Off-colour and awkward choices are ever-present here again. Not much has changed and not a lot seems to be progressing, except for the budget for a big featured artist.
Rilo Kiley Take-Offs and Landings
Occasional good lyrics, occasional good melody, occasional good atmosphere. Mostly stale and repetitive.
RXK Nephew Slitherman Activated
S. Carey Range Of Light
Sean Carey's style, especially on 'Range of Light' hits a brick wall, substantively. Although the album mostly works well as a vessel for Carey's story-telling and personality, its vaguely cinematic ambient-folk appeal is quite lost on me. Maybe because this style has been done in a more tasteful way before and after, maybe because Carey's approach is mostly one-note and relies heavily on the listener's mood going into the album.
Sam Sparro Boombox Eternal
That thick sexy throwback instrumental is the only saving grace of this album. It is very bland otherwise, no memorable hooks or interesting standout track. Just the cool instrumental and Sam's personality.
Seaclones Delete Time
Runs way too long for the little it offers. 'Delete Time' has a few tricks up its sleeve and it exploits them more than too enough times, often to a point of being sorely tiring.
Seiko Oomori Kintsugi
I quite like the music and the song-writing is quite lovely, but her voice is giving me tinnitus.
Shame (UK) Songs of Praise
Shame's first album is an awkward cross-section between rowdy post-punk and some rock mishmash that I can't quite put my finger on. I like the energy, but looking back at it now, knowing how both of their follow-up albums (so far) did the same thing much more effectively, I am simply reminded of how lacklustre this album really is.
Silversun Pickups Physical Thrills
Not that I recall much of Silversun Pickups' work before, nor do I care enough to refresh my memory, but this album felt like somebody's paycheck was due.
Sleaford Mods UK Grim
I will not tolerate unnecessary jabs at artsy new wave of post-punk from this The Streets more frustrated opening act.
Slow Crush Aurora
well, this has been 34 minutes of my life. not sure what else to say
Slow Crush Hush
Slow Crush expand their song-writing into greater lengths, utilising slow pace as a gimmick that is mostly left unjustified.
Soft Kill Dead Kids R.I.P. City
Soft Kill always spearheaded only the most desultory of trends in this our modern post-(goth-)punk, which already has its standards lowered to grave-deep pits. And now it's only and only more of the derivative slog they've come to trademark. Can't even say I'm disappointed. Faux sorrowful tedium is something I've come to expect, only barely scratching the emotional component.
Spiritbox Eternal Blue
An album that takes almost every chance it gets to reek of something that's been done before in a more focused, cohesive way. It's like playing it safe, but the safety is not yours at all.
Spiritualized Everything Was Beautiful
Overall I think that this their 1059th version of 'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space' was a success.
Suuns The Witness
Not that Suuns were ever the most energetic band under the suun (huehuehue), but 'The Witness' drags along, as if the band made an album simply to uphold their label contract. Most songs are pretty much their old style toned down to a tired slog.
Sylvan Esso No Rules Sandy
It's like a quirky album made by somebody who wears exclusively turtlenecks.
There are some powerful anthemic songs here, but also a buttload of very standard and unsurprising simplistic RnB tunes that sound like she's running through the checklist of genre cliches. Run that for too long (a whole unnecessary 1 hour runtime) and the whole thing becomes quite frustrating.
Tears for Fears The Tipping Point
I see why Tears for Fears wanted an album at this time. This has been in the works for many years and reflects on just that: the passing of time. What have you done with your life? What is your legacy after you leave? How do you deal with loss and passing generally, be it of abstract concepts like time and fame or very real passings of people in your life? And the band is now in a state of self-reflection and maturity, where they can ask and answer these questions from experience. But they unfortunately wrap it up in such a milquetoast musical setting that it reduces any meaningful take away. I constantly felt dragged into some storm of creative difference and production process that took too long.
Teenage Wrist Earth Is A Black Hole
Teenage Wrist craft a nice sound and can definitely work with their influences, but their melodies are mostly bland, their palette is often one-dimensional, their flow doesn't offer a lot to anticipate in further listening.
Temples Hot Motion
I am usually a defender of Temples' music and I certainly welcome their return to a more straightforward nostalgia-rock, but the approach to individual songs took a severe nosedive here. This is just boring and there is not a lot to salvage that.
The Answer Lies in the Black Void Forlorn
I wish my initial curiosity for this project carried over the whole album, because the songs individually can be very engrossing. Among the biggest problems here is that the album is repetitive and even though I enjoyed the few first songs, had the tracklist been in a different order, those tracks would have been among my least favourites. Really, the order is quite random, as the songs have no distinct characteristic on their own. So you're left with a slog of an album, where hearing one cut equals to hearing all of it.
The Avett Brothers Closer Than Together
View it on the surface or analyse it in depth, this is mostly a dime-a-dozen modern day country. With that it probably a better example of the more on-the-nose part of nowadays incarnation of the genre. On the nose are also the lyrics, at best curious stories well told, at most ham-fisted attempt at self-and-socially-conscious messaging, and at worst preachy drivel.
The Bad Plus The Bad Plus (2022)
The Bad Plus' newest is not so much a reintroduction, as the album's eponymous title may lead some to believe, as much as it is an attempt at reinvention. The results are quite uncertain, with most of their ambient-to-soft experiments ending up somewhat too airy and distant. I cannot quite put my finger on what this album does right, as it mostly comes off as a late-night, tired jam session, with barely enough energy to support a Spotify algorithm playlist for sleeping well.
The Besnard Lakes ...Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings
I wish that Besnard Lakes put as much thought and care into their actual tunes and instrumentation, as they do into the production and arrangements. So far this is all beautiful in theory, but dull in execution.
The Bronx The Bronx VI
So much cock in this cock rock, I'll have to file a restraining order.
The Cars Shake It Up
The lady on the cover displays more energy than this band ever does on the album.
The Hippie Revolt Lucid Satanik Distortions
Recorded on a whim in 2004 and released on a whim in 2011, 'Lucid Satanik Distortion' (aka LSD) is a half-hour of old-school heavy-psych revivalism with a heavy dose of the repetitive. By all means, a faithful reenactment of that thick 60s/70s psychedelic craze, but apart from the curious circumstances of its creation it kind of fizzles out in interest quickly. Could see it playing in the background on a hotbox party. Matter of fact, I might actually try it out soon.
The Killers Imploding the Mirage
Killers' typical formula of making the production ballistic in the chorus and just relying of Brandon Flowers' vocal range to make you think the song's catchy has been exhausted plenty enough.
The Killers Pressure Machine
When a lifetime of below-average albums make people welcome a perfectly average album as something above-average.
The Levellers Peace
I'm not really one into this kind of simple rock music that can really be described as only rock music with barely any denoting subgenres or clearly traceable underlying styles. And I wasn't much into this either. But for what it's worth, the songs were catchy sometimes, the simplicity meant this album was not difficult to stomach, the production and instrumental side is mostly fine, so are the lyrics. It's just a fine rock album.
The Lice Hoarder House UFO
Not sure what I expected. A bare minimum effort ugly lo-fi Bandcamp bedroom pop release. Its naivete is sometimes endearing, but mostly I was just bored and annoyed.
The Lion's Daughter Skin Show
At least half the songs here sound like the band is warming up for something grandiose that's about to go down, but it rarely gets even close. Unfortunately, the mysterious, riveting sludge and doom influences that were once helping to craft the sound of The Lion's Daughter are now working against them, as their writing becomes more meandering, lacking confidence and repetitive.
The Magnetic Fields Quickies
Only as good as you think their jokes are. I personally found the songs' runtimes often irritating and making me lose focus, while the longer ones were quite one-dimensional. In their best strengths, these songs are charming and cute, but then there are a lot, a lot, a lot of duds. Not the best of Magnetic Fields' thematic concepts and certainly not their best execution.
The Mars Volta The Mars Volta
Mars Volta go Soul Train.
The Proper Ornaments Mission Bells
With their usual lightly psychedelic, folkly tender musicianship, Proper Ornaments unfortunately accomplish but a snooze at best. If taken individually, the songs are pleasant, soft, likeable. But 40 minutes of one song the same as next and all that crisp texture, breezy summer vibe and pleasantness becomes a chore to go through.
The Six Parts Seven In Lines and Patterns
Let's not cut this boring-ass thing slack just because it was released at the time when boring-ass crap was all the rage.
The Vaccines Back in Love City
Why Vaccines insist on that awful booming sound that always finds its way onto all of their albums is beyond me. I liked the song-writing fine, could use a few tweaks here and there, but the sterilised fake-grande production really rubbed me the wrong way.
The Wildhearts 21st Century Love Songs
*England's last decent-to-mediocre rock 'n' roll band
The Woodlands Love Is a Stone
A tired display of simple, mediocre folk-to-pop songs with very unpleasantly flat sound and breathy vocals.
Theo Parrish Wuddaji
If I had to describe the difference between 'Wuddaji' and 'American Intelligence' in the way both records made me "feel", I'd say that the latter in two hours had enough material that breezes by pleasantly or hooks you and infects your mind with its twists and turns. Some songs did overstay their welcome, but their overall aftertaste was pleasant and left you wanting to relisten. 'Wuddaji', on the other hand, feels tense. Not tense meaning exciting and filled with adrenaline, but tense as a mess, uncomfortable and long. Long, even though it is a whole hour shorter than its predecessor. Theo's choice for more abstract, quirkier production leaves a lot to be desired. Many songs go on forever until your comprehension turns them into pure noise for the ears. You might need a break after every other song to relax and breathe out.
This Will Destroy You/Lymbyc Systym Field Studies
Two mastodons of sleeptime music join forces for a split that exemplifies modern post-rock's foremost qualities (see rating).
Thy Catafalque Vadak
The way I see it, Thy Catafalque's supposedly experimental moments never truly justified their mostly basic and dime-a-dozen instrumentation and song-writing. Sure, each song has a quirk of its own, very atmospheric and captivating. But what it really boils down to is a tedious anticipation of that cool instrumental experiement through the rubble of boredom. If only all songs were like "Gomboc".
Tinashe 333
At its absolute best this album showcases Tinashe (and her crew of authors) as a skilled song-writer, but at worst is a tepid display of trite tropes unremarkable even by the current RnB standards. Beside that, her voice is so unexciting, it hurts.
Tired Radio Patterns
The band cheekily calling themselves "melodic punk" confused me at first, as it cleverly rephrases that this is just a run-of-the-mill pop-punk; and barely a remarkable one at that. A lot of simplistic song-writing, one-note instrumentation and archetypical lyrics.
Toby Driver and Nick Hudson Black Feather Under Your Tongue
Driver and Hudson try themselves in drone and noise. Technically, nothing is wrong with this album. Technically, it is as typical noise drone can get. Technically, what else did I expect from a one-off Toby Driver project? Practically, it is all throughout boring or - worse yet - dreadful.
Tove Lo Dirt Femme
I've realised in shock that the Lady Wood lady is three albums deep since those days. She has moved quite a lot away from that embarrassment. But the album has mostly just he production and some song-writing going for it, Tove Lo's lyrics or presence is for the most part as impactful as a breeze on a rock.
Transilience Mouthful of Buildings
Beauty in chaos, I guess. Transilience reach a level of "out-there" rock experimentation that can only be characterised as plain. Although the musical antics do transcend the regular straightforward understanding of song-writing, the outcome of their efforts is mostly mixed to incurious. Here is a fluke of greatness mostly followed by something indistinguishable and shapeless.
tUnE-yArDs sketchy.
Tune-yards in all her hopefully momentarily blundered try-too-hard stage and out-of-steam weirdo persona delivered a mess that sounds out of breath and too unfocused to really deliver a sticking tune or have any consequence even in line with her own discography.
Ty Segall Harmonizer
Ty Segall's even deeper dive into electronicised cock rock is a mixed bag at best.
Typhoon (USA-OR) White Lighter
Greatly ambitious in combining folk and arena rock sized production. I like a lot of the songwriting and some of the more intimate songs feel very warm. But it all comes off tawdry. A lot of flash a lot of flair, also plenty of over the top songwriting and excessive theatrics. The intimacy and tenderness always has to be interrupted by the arrangement getting up its own about itself and the vocals never quite can catch up with the instrumental's grandeur. The word 'bloated' comes to mind. But bloated and morbidly obese. Like Fleet Foxes on steroids and whinier.
Typhoon (USA-OR) Sympathetic Magic
So my core issue with Typhoon's music until now has been that they try to pull of a larger-than-life musical landscape, which is unsupported by the song-writing and definitely not the vocals. 'Sympathetic Magic' is more stripped-down, straightforward, back-to-basics. In theory that should work for the band, but being grounded does not make you better. If anything, it only reveals the flaws in your song-writing and musicianship all the more.
Ustalost Before The Glinting Spell Unvests
Ustalost is a word that in some Slavic languages means 'tiredness' or 'exhaustion'. That's precisely what this album is. It sounds tired and trite, and it's exhausting labour to listen in full sometimes.
Vildhjarta Måsstaden Under Vatten
it will bore you, it will give you migraines, it will change your life
VIQ Crystal Shores
You can't survive purely on vibes.
Vjuga Aeternum
this is kinda boring...
Wale (Brazil) Naufrágio
A polished kind of bedroom pop-rock with very, very plain song-writing and only a few curious experimental production licks to save its life.
When Whales Collide Apprehension
It almost feels like the same progression and melody changed just the minimal bit to seem different and justify being called a different song. Boring and by-the-numbers.
Whimsical Melt
Shoegaze more or less becomes this decade's post-rock, I believe. Although not clad in exhausting crescendos, shoegaze artists also possess unique skill to lull me to sleep. It's a drowsy mess with predictable turns, hoping its a t m o s p h e r e will carry all the weight.
Widowspeak The Jacket
By no means is the new Widowspeak a bad album. It's also not boring by ill-inspiration. Its brand of slowcore (I assume) usually thrives on this dream-like meditation. The problem here is me, because the band did what they could with the style and prevailed inasmuch as one can given the style. The problem is me, because I cannot even pretend to find joy or inspiration in listening to this, I find neither cause for contemplation, nor means of relaxation. It's just void to me.
Wild Beasts Boy King
A very strange twist this was, probably their most effeminate album, yet the one most displaying tasteless cock rock tendencies.
Woodkid S16
Yann Lemoine said in relation with his first album at one point that he wanted to make his listeners feel like heroes. The strong audiovisual narrative certainly made sure they did. On the other hand, 'S19' feels more like some kind of twisted Watchmen situation, where the heroes of yore are seen as dirty, grimy and unpleasant, but this time not at all on purpose. It's an oddly ugly album, despite its faux grandiose presentation.
Wye Oak Shriek
The larger scale appeal of Wye Oak is mostly lost on me. To me this sounds like mostly underwritten uneventful (folk-ish) mature pop album with decent sound and some sophisticated songs in the mix. Other than that, it's pretty much like Typhoon, but with feet on the ground.
Young Prisms Drifter
Young Prisms, for all their good intentions, barely managed so much as to distinguish one song from another. It's a borderline shoegaze record with pastiche and sameness reigning all around.

2.0 poor
A Beacon School Cola
On 'Cola' A Beacon School play their shoegaze on a scale somewhere between safe and upsettingly unremarkable.
A Day To Remember You're Welcome
For Those Who Wish More Of That Architects Album
Accept Too Mean to Die
Kermit the Frog made an album for ages 12- or 60+.
alt-J The Dream
Their most boring experiment to date. Every curious move is squandered by lack of vision.
Anberlin Cities
Anberlin, not that I claim to be an indepth scholar of their work, have always struck me as a middle-of-the-road incurious band with trappings of mellow men trying too hard for something that isn't working out very well. (Actually, seeing the appraisal their work receives and the success they see as a group, the 'not working out' statement is purely subjective) Blunt and often rough lyrics, basic-to-bland progressions and melodies, surface-level hooks. It's not a sin to be accessible, but Anberlin have reached a measure of inoffensive accessibility that is far more difficult to swallow.
Barbarossa Love Here Listen
dull to the point of exhaustion, like James Blake on xanax
Bastille Give Me the Future
I like the general vague concept of feeling like you live in some dystopian science fiction, but everything is unfortunately very real. I do not, however, like the polished sound and them trying to remake "Pompeii" on every song with incredibly tepid results. It's a tacky piece made for charts thinking it's pushing some larger than life ideas. It's Coldplay all over again.
Big K.R.I.T. Digital Roses Don't Die
In what is the most inconsequential and lazy record carrying Big K.R.I.T.'s name, the hardest bops are paradoxically the ones most likely to have been afterthoughts.
Brainbombs Cold Case
Just cause you detune your guitars and play them lo-fi till your ears drop doesn't mean you're playing noise rock. More importantly, just cause it worked once or twice some time in the nineties, doesn't mean you have to keep doing it now on an album that goes on for fucking ever good lord.
By the Thousands Dead Matter
Irredeemably insipid.
Car Seat Headrest Making a Door Less Open
It's safe to say that my first outing to a Car Seat Headrest album was less than satisfyi