New York quartet Sunwatchers bring their A-game on their newest LP “Illegal Moves” (out now via Trouble In Mind). Their brand of jazz-psych meets noise-rock swirls and hypnotizes and just before you’re lost in their psychedelic haze they punch you right in the mouth. Give “Beautiful Crystals” and “Greeneyed Pigmen (Get The Blade)” a spin below to see what I mean.
Corey Cunningham has been making music for quite sometime now, most notably in Magic Bullets and Terry Malts. He started Business of Dreams as a way to cope with loss and a life he had left in the past. His second album and first (as BoD) with Slumberland Records, Ripe For Anarchy, Cunningham has focused his songs on moving on and letting go. What he’s created with Ripe For Anarchy is a pure indie-pop gem. A sure fit in the Slumberland catalog. Give the incredible “My Old Town” and “Ripe For Anarchy” a spin below for a taste. I can say with certainty that this will be on my favorites of 2019 list come December. Enjoy.
Eerie Wanda is the musical project of the Netherlands’ Marina Tadic. Her new album is called Pet Town – it’s a poppy affair, full of toe-tappers that don’t disappoint. Take album opener and title-track “Pet Town” (below) for example. Tadic’s fuzzy, yet chilly vocals work nicely with the added snaps,
David Bazan is back as Pedro The Lion with a new album titled Phoenix – his first PTL release in nearly 15 years. Bazan’s writing is as personal and introspective as ever as he conjures up memories both old and new thanks to a tour stop in his hometown and a detour past his childhood home.
I’ve been a big fan of Field Music since Sean’s post about them back in 2006, so I was stoked to find out that Peter Brewis had started up another project with Sarah Hayes (Admiral Hallow) called You Tell Me. Their just released (via Memphis Industries) self-titled LP is hard not to compare to Field Music or to say that it doesn’t sound like Field Music, but the addition of Hayes’ vocals and the way they harmonize with each other along with the orchestral-pop music they’ve created around their vocals make this one heck of a collaboration that definitely stands on its own.
Part Time’s new album Spell #6 (out now via Burger Records) is one of the best releases of 2018. It is a pop-rock/new-wave gem soaked in so much 80’s goodness, it’s 11 tracks could soundtrack a John Hughes film. Take “Shattered Love” and “So Far Away” for a spin below for a taste.
It’s time for my annual blog post…
Without further ado, my favorite albums of 2018:
Khruangbin Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans)
Durand Jones & the Indications self-titled (Dead Oceans)
Bodega Endless Scroll (What’s Your Rupture?)
Jean Grae & Quelle Chris Everything’s Fine (Mello Music Group)
Janelle Monae Dirty Computer (Bad Boy)
Altin Gun On (Bongo Joe)
Smokescreens Used to Yesterday (Slumberland)
Idles Joy As an Act of Resistance (Partisan)
Low Double Negative (Sub Pop)
Cut Chemist Die Cut (A Stable Sound)
I encourage you to enjoy these on vinyl (link will go here as soon as I get off my butt and update the online store).
And because 2018 offered so much more music than can fit neatly in a Top 10 list, here are my 23 favorite songs of the past year…
Olden Yolk, I have done you wrong. Your debut, self-titled, album has been my favorite album of 2018 since it landed on my front porch back in February. I started this post (back in February) to tell the world all about your psychedelic, sometimes shoegazey, all the time rock ‘n’ roll goodness, but I could not find the words to describe the greatness of your 10 song masterpiece. I apologize.
Hello World, if you have not acquainted yourself with New York-based Olden Yolk, now is the time to do it. Their debut album is a solid slab of psych-rock/psych-folk/psych-pop, mingled with just enough fuzz and gaze to make it stand out above all the rest. Give “Vital Sign” and “Takes One To Know One” for a spin below to see what I mean. Olden Yolk is available now via Trouble In Mind Records. I highly, highly recommend it.
Sometimes I need a kick in the pants to get back into gear and JW Francis’ new EP was that kick in the pants for me – I think – let’s see if I can stay consistent with the posts.
JW’s music came my way via an email submission. His 4 song EP of bedroom-pop goodness, I’ll Love You Forever, Bye, hit me right in the feels. His lo-fi, jangly, pop tunes are sincere and obviously about the people he cares most about and that is what captivated me and motivated me to write this post.
I’ll Love You Forever, Bye is available now via JW Francis’ Bandcamp page you can also stream it below. Enjoy.