A Year End List from Joe Trainor of Wildhoney/Dummy
We continue our year-end list from people we love, one of whom is Joe of Wildhoney; he also shared that there’s a new band named Dummy in the works for 2020. Here’s a few words and a list from Joe! And be sure to hit this jump to check out the new 7″ Wildhoney released via Slumberland Records HERE. There’s a cool playlist at the end, with some extras Joe loved in 2019!
Joe: 2019 was a weird year for me and connecting new music, the things I really loved were mostly reissues, things from the past; newer releases were just not inspiring, and it was the first time I can remember this happening and it was, tbh unnerving. Luckily, towards end of the year some things start clicking and I felt inspired and excited again! So here’s some things I really connected with, 5 new releases, 5 reissues/comps and 5 eps/7″.
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs : A beautiful and haunting folk record, her most accomplished set of songs to date and the production is minimal, but every flourish elevates the songs feel or melody.
HTRK – Venus in Leo : Might be my favorite release of the year, minimalist dream pop that’s filled with calm and dread, and stripped down to the barest of bones, you hear every hand slide of the delay, and the lyrics are beautiful, this is how dream pop should sound.
Operator Music Band – Duo Duo : This band is strange, its one part kind of far out krautpop that is emotionally satisfying also kinda………fun, danceable and wacky. It’s a weird mix, but honestly the songwriting is better than 99% of bands, and it kills their earlier work and I loved those records. This band not being huge is truly confusing to me.
His Name Is Alive – All The Mirrors In The House : This is a release that could sit in reissues maybe cuz it’s from 80s, but was never released until now, but most people know this dude from the heyday of 4AD, and I’m not a fan of most of his work then, its not bad or anything, just never clicked with me. But, this is a collection of ambient/drone/new age stuff he made as a teenager apparently and its brilliant. Perfect for walking alone through California hills to work.
Vanishing Twin – The Age Of Immunology : This record upon reading about it, it seemed like something in my wheelhouse, anything compared to Stereolab or Broadcast I check out, but what tends to happen is that it doesn’t…..and this does sorta of sound like those bands in a sense that they certainly pull from krautrock, early electronic, psychedelia, and 1960s folk, but they distill it differently and at first I didn’t like it mostly due to the production value/it hitting my ears at the wrong time, but then I watched their KEXP a few months later and it clicked. This record is a more hypnotic, far out and much less focused on good POP songs, and more about zoning out in the pulse, that’s not to say its not catchy at times, but mostly it’s about clicking into a groove, and exploring the space in it, I’m excited to see this band in 2020 cuz their coming to US.
Mike – Tears of Joy : One of my favorites of the year.
Steve Hiett – Girls In The Grass : OK, hear me out, what if Kevin Shields got into lounge, and made a instrumental album with minimal drum machine beats, bending guitar layers/loops and a general very chill aesthetic, you’d get this fantastic LP, it rules, and you should listen.
Ela Orleans – Movies For Ears : The first time I came to know Ela was from Papa Slumberland, and when I checked her out was this release which is so so so so so great, if someone would have sent this to me and said “if you like Broadcast, you’ll dig this” they’d be right! This collection of previously release music is fantastic mix of minimal electronic music, loops, 1960s pop/psychedelia, and lo-fi homemade tape recordings. It’s all very disorienting but approachable, and the sound design is *chefs kiss*, highly recommended!
Pacific Breeze – Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1976 to 1986 : JUST LISTEN, ITS PERFECT POP MUSIC.
Michele Mecure – Beside Herself : over the last handful of years I’ve gotten more and more into reissues of lost/under heard of artist who mostly release small runs if homemade tape recordings of electronic, ambient, and new age, labels like RVNG or Music From Memory are a treasure trove of great releases of unknown to most people stuff. This release is a perfection of broody, krauty new age-y-ish music, but like if a punk made it, it’s got this darkness always swirling around, with a sense of anxious tension that keeps it very engaging, its not super passive like a lot of this sorta music can be, it demands yr attention.
Teen Expo: The Cleopatra label :
This compilation is filled to the brim with 1960s pop bangers, the production has tons of weird amazing choices and the songwriting is basically across the board top notch. This is definitely in line with doods like Phil Spector, Curt Boettcher( if you have heard his project The Millennium, yr messing up go!) And Hitsville. Its alllll about the songwriting and killer production, its wild that as far as I know none of these songs were hits, but its that’s probably because these are weird songs, that were far more psychedelic than everything else. If there was a top 1% in compilation land, this would be there, rich as hell.
Hotline TNT – Firemans Carry : Yassss, this is all edges noisy guitar pop, 3 songs, all go, no slow. The song “Trinity” is top 3 of the year. Shoegazey music done right! Also put out a fantastic mini LP this year as well. Youtube Video.
Dreamdecay – N/O b/w H/S : another great slab of “too far out for punk”, this band rules, period.
Temple of Angels – Cerise Dream b/w Breathless : THE VOCALS, this singing on this release is so compelling and beautiful, backed w ethereal guitars and pounding rhythms, just lovely.
Just Mustard – Frank b/w October : What if Medicine was from the UK…..they’d sound similar to this, damaged guitars, somewhat industrial drums and beautiful melodies, extremely exciting new band, cant wait to hear more.
Peel Dream Magazine – Up and Up : the spot gap between LP1 and LP2, great continuation of they moods and aesthetics of the firs LP, but blooming into a full band affair. The name of the game is nuance, urgency and beauty….don’t sleep!