Daniel’s Album of the Year

January 6th, 2017 By Lauren

Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Woods music occupies a strange space that is uncertain, anxious, pulsating, groovy and weird. Over previous recordings things have trodden fairly familiar ground… a sort of lo-fi-retro-indie-americana that sits beneath Jeremy Earl’s distinctly smooth Falsetto voice and occasionally veers off into ragged guitar wigouts and hypnotic rhythmic interludes. It’s a voice that won’t float everyone’s boat but it’s a core ingredient in the woods sound and a constant that gives the band an undeniable uniqueness.

On City Sun Eater, woods embrace new influences… Dub, Latin, African, Funk and Jazz… the end result is a record that is both a step forward for the band and rewarding for the listener. Things get off to a cracking start on album opener Sun City Creeps with its Ethiopian style muted guitar lick and Jazzy African horns, which gradually build to an epically lo-fi, ramshackle guitar solo. Despite the fresh sound somehow Woods have never sounded more comfortably ‘woodsy’. The production of this record is really great and a pleasure for the ears… especially when enjoyed via headphones. Punchy horn sections, tight drums, silky smooth pedal steel, warm radiating organs and 70’s era cop show ‘chikady, chik, chik wah wah’ guitars are all there in abundance, yet it never feels over worked. A great album with plenty of reasons to come back for more. My favourite secret band.

Other notable 2016 albums that grabbed me…
Angel Olsen – My Woman, Kevin Morby – Singing Saw, William Tyler – Modern Country, Big Thief – Masterpiece, Preoccupations – Preoccupations, DD Dumbo – utopia Defeated, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things, Vol 1

Lauren’s album of the year (not)

December 21st, 2016 By Lauren

Laurens Playlist

This year I haven’t been able to single out one album as my favourite, so I’m going to give away a playlist of my favourite songs of the year instead. I know this is against the rules, but I hope you’ll let me off. There are even a few tracks that were released before this year, but I only discovered them this year. So yes I am a big cheat, but I don’t care. The artists on my playlist are Emilie Levienaise, Bon Iver, Glass Animals, Zammuto, Christine and the Queens, Dirty Projectors, OZZIE, Wiley, Braids, Soft Hair, Patrick Watson, Daughter, Portica, Radiohead and BabBadNotGood.

James’ album of the year

December 16th, 2016 By Lauren

Bon Iver – 22, A Million

My album of the year is Bon Ivor’s ’22, A Million’. On first listen, it’s all rather odd and confusing. After a few plays it continues to be all rather odd and confusing. With strange song structures, samples, chipmunks, distorted vocals and song titles such as ’10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄’ and ‘____45_____’, some people have called it pretentious nonsense. Just strum your guitar Justin and give us some of those hummable tunes you used to write, they say. Not me. Yes, it’s rather odd, but it’s also hauntingly beautiful. And it’s miserable too. Miserably, beautifully depressing. And odd.