I present these in no real order (except for the obvious number 1) because how can you compare a Pink Lady apple with a Granny Cox’s one? Some days one hits the spot better, other days the other does.
Obvious number 1: Big Blood – Unlikely Mothers
I love this album so much it turns me into an idiot.
Stara Rzeka – Cień chmury nad ukrytym polem
This discovery justifies all the trawling through Tiny Mix Tapes that I occasionally subject myself to. You want to know why I rarely get into excessive descriptions of the music I post? Tiny Mix Tapes. Also, this music is almost impossible to describe. Parts of it are like James Blackshaw jamming with Ben Chasny, other bits are Death Metal, still others ambient, and finishing up with what sounds like an elegy.
Thee Oh Sees – Drop
This band can do no wrong. Their consistency is astonishing. ‘Garage’ rock at its best.
Narcosatanicos – Narcosatanicos
I’ve already posted about these…
Villagers Of Ioannina City – Riza
Horseback – Piedmont Apocrypha
Horseback is one dude (Jenks Miller) for those of you not in the know, though some of his recordings feature a backing band. Piedmont Apocrypha is one of my favourite HB releases, combining elements of his rock, drone and noise tendencies to excellent effect.
Midday Veil – The Current
Definitely at the more accessible end of what I listen to, the best song is ‘Without and Within,’ which is very meditative. They are thought of as a psych outfit, but the band they remind me of most is actually Fleetwood Mac! But without the sexual tension, obviously… I cannot give you a valid ‘objective’ reason for that except to report that it is so.
Goat – Commune
Not that these need my help getting any recognition. I will say as a caveat though that a little nagging voice keeps going on when I listen, and it keeps saying ‘passion or pastiche?’ Maybe that sort of thing isn’t as important as I think it is. It’s her vocals that raise these up for me. She’s nearly as raw and true-angelic as Colleen Kinsella, although not quite as fully developed.
Earth – Primitive and Deadly
If you know Earth already, this needs no intro. If you don’t, they’re the original inspiration for sunn 0))) although they moved to a more meditative style some years back. This album sees them cranking it back up again but staying with the compositional style of the last few years, and it works very well, even being able to cope with guest vocalists! (I rarely like albums which have to rely on guest vocalists, although there are exceptions).
The Pack A.D. – Do Not Engage
I will probably do a separate post about these to document how mad my discovery of them was. Stylistically, they’re a 2-woman stadium rock outfit, though they prefer the term ‘garage rock.’. Where are you going? They’re actually really good, particularly the tune ‘Creepin Jenny.’
Verma – Sunrunner
Not only amongst the best of the year, but also they get an award for leaving it til the last minute, though that is not their fault, I only just discovered it in the last week of the year! Features the uber talented Whitney Johnson as part of their line-up, kind of heavyish jam band not afraid to stick a bit of structure in where it can do the most good.
The Wharves – At Bay
Also get an award for late entry onto the list, having discovered these in the holiday between christmas and new year… think Sleater Kinney with some outrageous vocal harmonies. Their energy is awesome.
Prince Rupert’s Drops – Climbing Light
there are a couple of clunkers on this album, but also some songs that make me jealous. This band have a way with the guitar lick, they really do.
And on that note, I should point out that there’s a shedload of stuff I haven’t listened to (such as most of the stuff listed here, some of which may be in a post roughly this time next year detailing stuff I discovered in 2015 from years other than) because you can’t listen to everything. There’s a tremendous freedom in resolutely ignoring all TV/radio and almost all music media and just going by peoples recommendations and your own sense of ‘that’s a cool/interesting/intriguing name/title’ and subsequently building up a completely unclassifiable taste in music. Also, the best music is always underground, and you only find that by going outside, getting your hands dirty and digging with your own spade… you dig?