Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!
I don’t know what it is, but even when Dan Bejar seems to go out of his comfort zone, he’s able to execute as Destroyer. For instance, his new track definitely has an early 80s pulse to it, heavy on the synths and sterile percussion. Somehow, Bejar’s unique croon is able to slide carefully in between the grooves, delivering contemplative lines that reverberate as the synths echo in the background. In the video, there’s some great imagery captured in the stills that fill it. Look for his new album, ken, to hit on October 20th via Merge.
While I’m enjoying going through all last week’s tunes, it would be hard to overlook that there’s a new Destroyer tune floating out there today. He’s perhaps one of the most distinctive voices out there in the music world, and he puts that voice on display for this song’s opening two minutes. For that period, the song’s pretty sparse, but then it expands with furthered textures…keyboard, guitar and more pronounced percussion. He’s titled his new record, ken, and it will be out come this October via Merge Records.
Chris Bierden spends a great deal of his time with Polica, but don’t think that Invisible Boy will resemble that outfit too much; it’s clear with this single that he’s got another itch to scratch. Listening through, this sounds like a grander aim, something akin to a lounging version of Bowie. I love the fact that the central figure, aside from the vocals is the piano work…that always gets me for some reason. It almost sounds like Chris is channeling the world of Destroyer as well, crafting a huge operatic pop figure. Look for his debut album on November 11th via Totally Gross National Product.
While each day’s slated program of Primavera Sound 2016 was filled with great bands from all over the world, Thursday, the first day of the festival at Parc del Forum, was for me, the busiest of them all. Thursday had me bouncing around from stage to stage, and hustling to make the most of my time while keeping the headliners in the back of my mind. Read on after the jump to hear what were the best parts of day one and see some pictures.
This is it folks…this is your last chance to listen to some music from Kevin Morby before the release of his new effort on Friday. The song revolves primarily around the strength of Morby’s vocal performance and beautifully rich piano. You’ll get an added bonus when the strings swoop in mid-track, slightly altering the tone in Kevin’s voice. And that’s not all, as a great horn scoots into the picture accompanied by a female vocal counterpart as we fade to a close. There have been some really good albums this year, but it’s beginning to sound a lot like Singing Saw will be a special one. Look for it Friday via Dead Oceans!
You’ll all be interested to know that Emotional is the new project from former Melted Toys member Brian Wakefield; you’ll be more interested to know that our first glimpse of new music from the outfit is perfectly blissful pop. Imagine yourself listening to a more warped, more electronically stimulated version of a Destroyer record, then you’ll find yourself in the place that is occupied by this San Fran outfit. They’ve just announced their first release, Ahh…the Name is Emotional, Baby…which is going to be handed by the trustworthy people over at Empty Cellar Records…and a million others.
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world. Read more
Wednesday night was a packed evening, with tons going on in Austin. But, I know I’ll see Thee Oh Sees at least four more times this year, minimum, so I went with my heart and something a little more rare, Destroyer. Not only that, but we got an extra special treat, as flight delays for Jennifer Castle meant we were treated to an Austin great, Thor Harris & Friends. Read on for some brief thoughts and Brian’s photos.
Perhaps the greatest thing to come out of the New Pornographers explosion (in my opinion) is the mass discovery of Dan Bejar. Now, I don’t want to take away from the rest of the group, but Dan, under his Destroyer moniker, has by and far exceeded my expectations. Everything he releases is ultimately interesting, and this year’s Posion Season is a must have in any modern indie record collection. And live, he’s something else. He’s one of those characters you can’t peel your eyes away from, leaving you emotionally invested in every musical note. Jennifer Castle will open the show early, so show up to support the support.