I haven’t posted much on here in the past year… hopefully I can work towards changing that in the new year. (I think I just made my first resolution). On that note, here are my favourite albums of the past 12 months.
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Austin, Texas’ Spoon have been weaving sonic tapestries since 1994. The opening track of this album, Don’t Make Me A Target, could have been speaking to my mental state in years past and caught me right from the opening hook. Basically I chalk this work up to just another great release from a great band.
Portugal. The Man – It’s Complicated Being a Wizard EP / Church Mouth
This should technically count as two entries, but since the first one is just an EP, I’ll try to squeeze both of them in. I guess the impact of the Northern Lights is driving this trio to produce more music than most bands seem to manage in 2 years. Either way, they continue to impress with their hard work, rocking live reputation, and a distinct sound that I enjoy greatly (and that’s all that matters on this list isn’t it?).
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Front man Kevin Barnes tapped into some deep emotional wells for this release. The opening tracks are poppy and upbeat, but things begin to turn as the album progresses. Track 7, The Past Is a Grotesque Animal, is an 11 minute long traipse through a field of dead roses… thorny and crinkling underfoot. Dark? yes. Introspective? Definitely. Worth listening to? Most certainly.
Handsome Furs – Plague Park
This release is brought to you by Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, along with Alexei Perry, and a fun hating drum machine. I liked it, even if I was reminded of how crappy snow filled blackness/awesomeness can be in Canada.
The Ponys – Turn The Lights Out
This is the Chicago band’s first release on Matador Records, which they followed up by touring in support of Spoon. Having listened to it, I tend to think more of my mind as an Everyday Weapon now.
Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
Yes… let’s shall we. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Just try not to listen to the enemies too closely. If they don’t shut up then you can just drown them out with this album.
Future of The Left – Curses
When former McLusky front man Andy “Falco” Falkous, and drummer Jack Egglestone, started up this new trio, I was happy to get in on the ground floor. This album is as raucous as anything Falco’s been attached to previously. In conclusion, they play rock like the Welsh Jerks they are, which is to say, wonderfully.
Dungen – Tio Bitar (Ten Pieces)
This is an effort in Psychadelia that would please the ears of anyone fond of such sounds. Gustav Ejstes wrote the entire album and plays virtually every instrument you hear, with some assistance in the form of Lead guitarist Reine Fiske. Virtuoso comes to mind.
Caribou – Andorra
This album displays Dan Snaith’s further meanderings under the title Caribou. The light nature of the album is belied by the yellow texture of its cover. The layering and improved vocal depth of this release only enhance the wonderful drum loops Snaith employed in creating it.
The Shins – Wincing The Night Away
Coming in right at the beginning of this past year, The Shins first release in 3 years was noticeably more aggressive. Most of what needs to be said about this act has been said already. They write great melodies, and the texture of the music is enchanting. Hopefully the next album won’t take 3 years in the making.