5. Kes - The Grey Goose Wing
I did this interview with Karl E. Scullin and got mega excited; we both spoke at ridiculous paces because I'd just heard the album for the first few times and found the ideas to sound so fully-realised and just generally extremely interesting and WEIRD. I think it's hard not to use the word weird but it's also very engaging. It's sprawling and the concepts are visible; they usually work but sometimes they don't but even in the off moments it sounds wonderful and immediate. The production is really nice, done on some old analog setup. Such a unique voice; there's not much else like it.
4. A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Scribble Mural Comic Journal.
I loved this from the get-go. Twee-shoegaze: it doesn't get much better in terms of genre combos. Of course, there's more to it than that; it's noisy, it experiments and meanders and fuzzes about all over the place but all this allows for some beautiful sounds and interesting ones, too. My ears like this. It sounds good on speakers and headphones (especially on a bus in the country) and at work as well.
3. The Clientele - God Save the Clientele
Like Max had written about a band focusing on simply crafting an assured aesthetic, the main reason I've listened to this album such a ridiculous amount of times this year is because this particular aesthetic gives me shivers and revelations every time I hear it. Same goes for their earlier records, this is one of my favourite sounds: it's extremely accomplished and lush and beautiful and I just wish I was driving a nice vintage car through Britain in the springtime because it would be absolutely perfect. When Strange Geometry came out in 2005 I surprised nerdy radio co-hosts on our end of year run down show with my digging on this one. 'It's not that good!' they said. But it is! And this new one is one thousand times better because it has violins and piano and somehow here the band further all those brilliant ideas even more.
2. Deerhunter - Fluorescent Grey EP
Their full-length Cryptograms is stunning but this four-song EP (that actually comes with the vinyl now) has all the best elements of the record sans fuzzy ambience and meandering bits; it cut's straight to the driving rocking bits that I always search for in music but there are surprisingly few bands that do it well, especially not this well, it's a narcotic and warm and positively addictive.
1. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
This is obvious because of the numerous times I've spouted 'OMG BEST ALBUM EVER' way too many times on this blog and on the radio and to everyone but really, Noah Lennox is a visionary and my mind is blown in different ways every time I hear this. I feel like I've thought about this record way too much but most importantly it transcends all that. He's interested in DJ culture, in dance music, 12" singles, beats, rhythms. Apparently Luomo's record Paper Tigers was the largest influence on his making of Person Pitch (amongst other things; dub, falling in love, getting married, having a child, moving to Lisbon). Luomo's is a techno record that not everyone will enjoy; a little too techno for some, I'm sure, a little too abstract for others. He also digs on a record called From Here We Go To Sublime by The Field, which, strangely, I had been listening to before the interview and considering it's similarities to the repetition and beats and rhythms of Panda Bear's music. The Field is driving and relentless. Panda Bear is supremely carefree; wandering, dawdling. Of course, they sound very different, but there's some very similar ideas at work in each. Emmy Hennings has been blogging about notions of the polyrhythmic and the track from The Field at the top seems in line with those sorts of sounds. I can see how Noah Lennox can have heard this sort of techno but I'm constantly amazed at how he could use its influence in such a fucking brilliant and unique and personal way.