This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on here, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy those albums. I loved Purple Mountains just as much as the next person, same with Weyes Blood, but in a pickle, would I choose it over that Martha LP? Uh, absolutely not. Plus, I ran a lot this year because I got tired of being fat, so the majority of this stuff is pretty upbeat and “runnable.” There’s no order because all are equal under my ears.
Can I not just have this whole Black Marble LP already? This is the third single from the forthcoming Bigger Than Life LP, and again, it’s sure-fire gem. I’m actually really drawn to the beats on this one; they have this energetic pulse faintly tinged with a darkness that seems to match the fogginess of the vocal delivery. It’s probably cliche at this point, but balancing of the light and dark is so well executed that you can’t help but be caught up in your own emotions. But, perhaps the most striking moment comes just before the 4 minute mark, when the song seems to be stripped of its energy, leaving you with heavy vocals draped across minimal notes; it’s a pretty special twist. This new LP drops on October 25th via Sacred Bones Records. Don’t forget the band will be in Austin for Levitation!
As I was sitting down to listen to this song, I was imagining myself dancing around my living room, entertaining the wee 1 year old that crawls about our house; it has an energetic uptick in the sample percussion. But, when Chris Stewart’s vocals come into play, they’re heavy and dark; they almost evaporate that pop sensibility in the best possible sense. It creates this great juxtaposition that definitely lands well on my end, straddling the highs and lows of music, much like we do in life. To me, this feels like the most intimate Black Marble album to date, so it’s not surprise that it is being handled by Sacred Bones Records; they’ll release Bigger Than Life on October 25th.
I’ve loved a lot of music, but one of the acts I always tried to turn folks onto was Black Marble; I’ve even used these here pages to support the project. It seems that promise is finally coming to the forefront, as today they announced their signing to Sacred Bones Records. Chris Stewart, the man behind the project, has altered his craft for this new LP; he’s admittedly pushed the vocals to the front and sort of stripped them of various effects that accompanied his earlier works. And, while this began to emerge on It’s Immaterial, the beats here are pretty sharp, yet also really sparse, letting you focus on their intent as the lyrics sink into your skin. The new LP is titled Bigger Than Life and it will be out on October 25th! There is also a scheduled tour date at Austin’s Levitation festival too!
That very thing happened last Saturday when Austin converged on The Sidewinder last Saturday night. Black Marble was outstanding. They ended up selling the place out. However, I was really taken by Body of Light; they were fully on target for the renaissance of analog synth pop/dark wave I am delighted to see surging right now. The fact that openers Draa held their own here was also worth praise.
Click through for a few thoughts and plenty of pics.
If you are out and about tonight, perhaps you should go say to Big Bill at friends at Electric Church. It is one of the best lineups of the residency. Check it out here. But if you are keeping it lowkey tonight and want to burn it out tomorrow…
We make no bones that Black Marble had one of our favorite records of last year. It’s Immaterial is packed with waves of density, haunting basslines and respites of sparse tension. This show at Sidewinder instantly went on my calendar.
I also want to highlight the openers. I missed the PR blitz when Body of Light‘s record Let Me Go came out last summer. I am bummed about that. It is full on new wave perfection with peppered in samples that will haunt you until you figure them out. Draa rounds out the bill bringing gorgeous echoing pop. Listen to previews of all three below.
This bill is stacked.
You’ve all been waiting, anxiously. Waiting for our arbitrary list of the opinion of four folks who run this site, and what we think were the best albums of 2016. It’s really really important. We’re going to make our site great again with this list. We’re going to win, bigly. But really, it’s just a list of the stuff we loved the most that we covered throughout this year on our site. The comment section is open, so feel free to tell us where we’ve gone wrong or what we’ve got right or anything else fitting. Read more
By now you’ve noticed my affection for the electro-musings of Black Marble, thus when another song pops up, I’m going to share it with you. This new track has the feeling I’ve been looking for as we head into the cooler (ish) months; it’s practically bedroom pop, which very may have been the way it was recorded…and meant to be enjoyed. I also get this faintly haunted feeling from it, giving it another avenue to be explored during my listening excursion. We’re still a good solid month out from It’s Immaterial, which is the new LP being released by Ghostly on October 14th.
I’m gearing up to really enjoy this new Black Marble record, which is being released on September 30th. Hearing this new single, there’s a sensation of solitude that’s incorporated through the echo-effect on the vocals. The electronic progression is pretty restrained, it’s not forcing beats into your ears, allowing the song to slowly settle within the caverns of your brain. For a bedroom electronic project, this is precisely what one would come to expect. This LP is titled It’s Immaterial, and it’s going to be handled/released by Ghostly.
I think I can attribute my re-introduction to electronic music to Black Marble and the album A Different Arrangement. But, the project has been mostly quiet since that release…until now. Yesterday, this track blew up with the announcement that there’s a new home for them, Ghostly International. I think that heavy resonating drum sample is really one of my favorite pieces here, but I’m also enjoying the contrast between the song’s soft emotional pull and the deep tonal quality of the vocals. It’s Immaterial, the new album, will be out on September 30th.