Albums of 2016

I’ve been away awhile, sorry, but life is busy and I’m hitting my stride/prime. Promise I will give you more of my time, because talking about music is uber cathartic for me and it’s always great to introduce people to new music they may or may not like.

Probably not as many artists on here as there should be, but I fell behind a bit last year. Forgive me and find something here that you like.

Love and kisses, Music Gleaner x

 

The Weeknd – Starboy

I don’t give a shit if Selena Gomez is bangin’ The Weeknd, but I do like this album. Especially the singles, because I’m a complete piece of trash.

 

Touche Amore – Stage Four

How ’bout that tongue twister? Killer post-hardcore stuff from these legends. It’s also easy to fall for the lyricism here, so enjoy that.

 

Swain – Long Dark Blue

Kind of grunge and kind of punk, but I kind of adored this album throughout the bum end of 2016.

 

Gojira – Magma

Co-worker played the shit out of this album and I kind of just ignored it for the longest time. But then I cranked it open on one hungover morning aaaannnnddd damn. I absolutely heart the direction Gojira have taken.

 

Sia – This is Acting

Pop brilliance from one of my favourite artists ever. Wish she would take a break and stop releasing her… less than brilliant stuff. Get in the ocean The Greatest.

 

Wormrot – Voices

Probably the best baby-making music you’ll ever come across. Might need a glass of water after listening to these raunchy grindcore bastards.

 

Telefone – noname

Cosy hip-hop from my favourite, and only, gypsy artist. Kudos to making something that is this easy to listen to.

 

Weezer – White Album

Duh, this album is the return to form Weezer have been needing to pull for some time now.

 

Diarrhea Planet – Turn To Gold

As much as this album frustrates me with so much going on all at once, I still loved it’s general vibe, instrumentation and amount of major key solos. Top banana from this six-piece.

 

Red Fang – Only Ghosts

Yeah, it’s pretty good. Cool album to work-out to if you like heavy, sludgy riffs and mean vocals.

 

British Theatre – Mastery

My dick gets rock hard for anything from Mike Vennart and Richard Ingram. My dick aside, there is some genuinely stellar experimental electronic music here.  Also, seems heavier than Vennart’s solo album Demon Joke, that’s groovy.

 

Radiohead – A Moon shaped Pool

A lovely album from these old chaps. Special shout-out to True Love Waits and Identikit. Everything about this album is just nice and lovely.

 

Cult of Luna – Mariner

How I came across Julie Christmas, who sometimes scares me, but most of the time tickles me pink. Awesome post-metal album that hits that certain metal g-spot.

 

John Congleton – Until The Horror Goes

Angular, catchy, but difficult to explain when people ask you what you’re listening to, John Congleton’s Until The Horror Goes is a welcomed return to the music release scene.

 

The Avalanches – Wildflower

I prefer it to Since I Left You, what are you going to do about it? This is some tight pluderphonic-shit right here.

 

Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis

Graphic metal that just won’t quit and why should it when the riffs are this banging?

Music I’ve Liked During My Absence

I was missing in action for a few months ago until recently, so everyone has missed the opportunity to hear about some of my favourites from the past few months. This post is my attempt at remedying that. These albums won’t necessarily all be new, but you’ll get a good idea of what’s hip right now, in my opinion.

Let’s cut the foreplay and get to the nitty gritty.

Stuff from 2015

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

Yeah, this album was good. This album might grow on me some more, but, until it does, good kid, m.A.A.d city was better. Come at me.

Lo! – The Tongueless

Jesus-tap-dancing-christ. This EP was a pleasent surprise when I heard it in all of it’s crushing, oblivion inducing heaviness. Sounds like a slightly less heavy Meshuggah, but that’s cool. Give this a listen if you like mathy-heavy-proggy metal goodness. Check out the video below too, it’s mental!

Rolo Tomassi – Grievances

UK mathcore band that has been subject to a line-up change recently, but have managed to remain faithful to their original sound whilst slipping a few more (Crazy) jazz moments in there. Holy shit, Opalescent may be one of my favourite tracks of 2015.

Hotline Miami 2 Soundtrack – Various Artists

Brilliant game, but fuck you hard-mode, with another incredible soundtrack. Despite there being a lot more tracks that I skip, it still houses some amazing synth-wave/neo-80s music. Now that I think about it, is weird, since the game is set in the very late half of the 80s and even, on occasion, in the 90s.

Vennart – Demon Joke

Vocalist/guitarist of Oceansize sets foot from under the shadow of Oceansize and his other project, British Theatre and shows off something special that has been missing from the world of music for the past few years. Eclectic, but not rough, Demon Joke demonstrates how a solo album can feel like anything but dull and by the numbers. It feels personal, bombastic and sometimes catchy, but always an absolute pleasure for my ears.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Euclid

Euclid has vibrant and fluid electronic tunes that will fulfil your desire for some bright ambient music and all while not being dull. Maybe something to let bloom from your speakers with the window open, not because you’re an asshole that wants everyone else to hear it, but because it’s getting closer to summer and damn, it’s hot sometimes!

Hop Along – Painted Shut

Loved band with their previous album and actually played it a fair bit when I use to be on the radio, but now it’s a new day! Painted Shut feels ambitious and hits on all the personal notes that you could want from front-lass Frances Quinlan. Special mention for the song Waitress, a bit of a giggle and I always enjoy relatable lyrics.

Stuff not from 2015

Board Of Canada – Geogaddi

I went on a bit of an ambient spree when I was away and let my ears take in some of the sound scenes that I’d missed before I got into music. I just loved how organic and interesting this whole album sounds with its warm nostalgic tones and wondrous use of samples; a recommendation for anyone that likes ambient or even electronic music.

Aerial M – As Performed By

This is the side project of former Slint (known for releasing one of the most influential post-rock albums ever, Spiderland) musician David Pajo and whilst it was released all the way back in 1997, I’ve just heard it. Lots of subtle and ambient guitar work for those bittersweet summer evenings tinged with orange sunlight.

Long Fin Killie – Houdini

Thanks to the Melvins, I can never really think about Houdini without thinking of gert-massive sludge tunes, but these experimental rockers shook that up. This album feels like an incrementally more abstract view on the life and times of Harry Houdini and with its lush and jazz instrumentation, you’ll continue to return to Houdini.

Isis – Panopticon

A heavy an outstanding post-metal album that I only came across recently, where it’s been for the rest of my life, I have no idea. By itself, a killer album, but whack it alongside it’s main theme that draws parallels between the original prison design by Bentham and what’s happening in contemporary society. Themes are dead fun.

25 Albums From This Year That I Really Liked

And so, the year ended with an unsatisfying pop in retail, as sales diminish and people return crap, at least there were some decent albums out this year though, right?  Today, we’re going to talk about some of my favourite albums from this year – there are some well-known bands, there are some lesser known bands but one fact Is clear, in my opinion, they all deserve a mention. Most people number their albums of the year, but not me, I’m going to give you a list of albums that I thought were great this year, then I’ll drop a few lines and you can take it from there.

If I don’t mention an album you think needs to be on here, It’s because I didn’t listen to it (Run The Jewels) or didn’t like it (Swans – Sorry, I just can’t get into them!), so please don’t hate me.

Remember this is just an opinion of someone in front of a computer that you don’t know – enjoy whatever you want.

Grouper – Ruins

As delicate and subtle as ever Grouper’s Ruins is a serene album that begs to be listened to with over-ear headphones so you can be fully immersed in the depth of this ambiance. This album also saw an increase in vocal presence, with some vulnerable heart-broken lyrics.

Dean Blunt – Black Metal

Can I just say that Black Metal misled me with it’s title. Expecting heavy and furious, I was thrown off balance when I heard well-paced and melancholic. Another singer-songwriter album that strikes at the heart-strings with a spanner and lets it ring into something painful to your feels.

Handsome eric – nah i’m good

An underground that I found while skulking through 4chan. Handsome eric is the self-loathing genius, Stephen O’Dowd, and I think it’s a shame that more people have not picked up on this lofi pop album that can touch you in ways that are dreadfully close to the heart – nah I’m good is a relatable mess of an album that I loved.

Megadudes – Postcards From The Past

The Megadudes and their album Postcards From The Past had been circling my interests for awhile and to finally hear it in full was an absolute delight. Lots of accessible pop-rock anthems that are fun to listen to and even better to mash your head around to, do check this bad boy out.

USA Out Of Vietnam – Crashing Diseases And Incurable Airplanes

I loved every second of this Crashing Diseases And Incurable Airplanes – it felt like an incredibly adventurous debut that took no prisoners and just wanted to waltz around in its knickers, so you know what this band is all about. There’s lots of post-rock, post-metal and even some sludge influences in here to keep everyone on their toes – A really rewarding album.

Imogen Heap – Sparks

Sparks is a Beautiful and organic release from the queen of pop (in my opinion) Imogen Heap. Her latest album, Sparks, was in the works for some time, due to the concept of her collecting these samples from her fans of everyday objects and using them in her songs and then releasing them every three months! A long-winded, but ultimately worth it release.

FKA Twigs – LP1

Banging debut album that showcases what can be done with real experimentation, proper talent and an eye for detail. FKA Twigs’ LP1, was most likely one of the best releases of it’s year as it reveled in it’s own sultry and vulnerable source material. If you like trip-hop, or R&B or music, give this music a good, hard, listen.

Perfume Genius – Too Bright

Too Bright felt like a very retro sounding album that completely avoided some of the pointless clichés of retro sounding bands and instead took on a very powerful release with some killer, infectious tunes. ‘No Family is safe, when I sashay, OOM!’ This is some brilliantly done and moving singer-songwriter.

Moonlit Sailor – We Come From Exploding Stars

We Come From Exploding Stars is an album of uplifting post-rock that, despite sounding very typically post-rock, still manages to sound blissful and sublime with its stunning guitar tones and invigorating melodies. Worth every second of a listen, especially if you like your day to sound that little bit more epic.

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!

Catch it if you can neo-jazz with elements of rap that just flattened me the first time I heard it. Although I did want more songs like Never Catch Me and Dead Man’s Tetris, it was still a solid and fun listen. So grab some hooch, some headphones and let the jazz vibes rain down.

St Vincent – St Vincent

This self-titled release is a brilliant poppy double-blade that mixes some glorious pop songs with some rather angular and threatening guitar play. That and it’s always a delight to hear St Vincent mastermind, Anne Clark, rattle off some hard-hitting lyrics as well as solos.

Old Man Gloom – The Ape Of God

Old Man Gloom sound nastier than ever on their two part album, The Ape Of God. Not only are they frighteningly on form with this most recent release, but they’ve also expanded on this form and have shown no fear in putting out some more ambitious material.

Frankie Cosmos – Zentropy

A cute album that was over before it had even begun. Zentropy plays with relatable themes of innocence and coming of age that are often overlooked in a world of super-edgy bands that are all fighting to be as loud as each other. Zentropy is modest, clever and dreary – Come one, come all and be dreary!

EMA – The Future’s Void

I didn’t really get along with EMA’s first album, but The Future’s Void really clicked with me with it’s bold and powerful arrangements of electronica and industrial. Overall, I think this album felt threatening and demanding, which is tip top.

Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Wasn’t sure if this album was going to make it to the list after my first listen, but after a few repeat listens, My Favourite Faded Fantasy stuck me right in the heart. Damien still has his flare for showmanship, but personally, I still prefer the quieter moments of self-loathing on this album. Please take him back Lisa! He’s so sorry.

Britney – Britney

Another release that flew under the radar, could it have been because it was too girthy for the world? Or was it because it was only about ten minutes long? Who knows. This album is vicious, mean and will probably make you hate it in all the right ways.

Kerretta – Pirohia

Pirohia, houses some intense post-rock that soundtracked a lot of my visits to the gym back in August. Needless to say, it was hard to keep up with this album at times, but it remains a powerful release that is as strong as it is subtle (at points).

Aphex Twin – Syro

Long time no see Richard, oh, you’ve made some new tunes? They’re pretty good, yeah. Infinitely more grounded than a lot of the earlier work, Syro stays on its feet and manages to still have some of the better sounding techo/IDM tracks of the year on it.

Milo – A Toothpaste Suburb

I’ve previously enjoyed Milo’s previous work and this may not top I Wish My Brother Rob Was Here, but A Toothpaste Suburb is a delightful listen that still manages to create some simple and elegant atmospheres for him and his featuring artists to rap over.

Calf  – Bastards anatomy use a unicorn go to apathy

Just listen and see what you think – it’s all rather loud and abrasive, but it’s cool.

Dopebody – Lifer

Kickass, psychedelic, trashy rock music that surprised everyone with the calms that they can produce in the middle of a storm of distortion and violence. Lifer surprised me, but that could be because I’d never given any of their previous releases a listen, it’s on my list of things to do though… I swear.

Tricky – Adrian Thaws

If you’re feeling rather naughty, chuck this album on and enjoy some engrossing trip-hop from one of the very best of. It might lack the sauciness and pacing of Massive Attack, but Adrian Thaws is worth every single second of smoke and lust atmosphere that it breathes into your lungs.

Daisy Victoria – Nobody Dies

After having released two EPs this year, I had to decide which one I preferred and it turned out to be the more ambitious and electronic release, Nobody Dies. After initially enjoying the rawness of the first EP, Heart Full Of Beef, more, I eventually got more turned on to the mixture of elements in Nobody Dies. Stellar singer-songwriter with a wonderful command of her instrumentation, check out Daisy Victoria.

Sia – 1000 Forms Of Fear

A vessel for my belief of pop not being dead, but rather, just having a little kip whilst some truely great artists emerge, one by one. Sia’s 1000 Forms Of Fear is bold and enchanting pop album that I’m more than happy to hear on the radio/at work numerous times. The revival of triumphant pop music that no is afraid of liking.

Röyksopp & Robyn – Do It Again

Brilliant and textured music from two big names that create something that sounds dark, while still mixing in some rather bright sounding synth work and beats. An interesting release, if a little short.

FINISH

Those are probably my favourite albums of the year, I’m sure I’ve probably missed a few off that you like, so, why don’t you tell me what yours are?

Until then, I’ll see you on the other side.

Top O’ The Month OCTOBER

This is a new type of post (sort of) where I read you out a few of my favourite albums of the month, so if you missed anything, you can check them out and see what you think. The posts will be covering albums that I have and hadn’t had a chance to review, I guess it depends on the month, mostly. If I’ve done posts on them, then I’ll post a link to all the appropriate pages and such.

So without further delay, here are my top albums of October 2014.

You're_Dead!

Artist: Flying Lotus
Album: You’re Dead
Genre: Electronic, jazz-fusion, hip-hop
Quick rundown: Flying Lotus is a US based musician this is his 6th release, You’re Dead, under Flying Lotus and it’s a great listen, the jazz-fusion parts can get boring after awhile, but they’re short enough not to take away any real pleasure from this album.
Listen Here

NESSERIA Artist: NESSERIA
Album: Fractures
Genre: Crust-punk
Quick rundown: Although this album has yet to get a proper material release, you have been able to stream the album since mid October, so it counts. This is heavy, pummeling and socially charged crust-punk at it’s finest. It’s also well-produced and every blast of the instruments and growls of vocals feels as loud as they should – a must have for any head thrasher.
Listen Here

20140709165029!Cover_of_Weezer's_album_Everything_Will_Be_Alright_in_the_EndArtist: Weezer
Album: Everything Will Be Alright In The End
Genre: Alternative-rock
Quick rundown: A fine, sort of, return to form for the established alt-rock act Weezer. Everything Will Be Alright In The End, has the catchy songs like Cleopatra and Back To The Shack, it also has the self-aware – Had It Up To Here. Give the Weezer another chance with this album and enjoy songs that might take you back to The Blue Album, slightly.
Listen Here

MyBrightestDiamond

Artist: My Brightest Diamond
Album: This Is My Hand
Genre: Art-pop
Quick rundown: I haven’t really been paying attention to My Brightest Diamond since the, A Thousand Sharks Teeth album, so coming back at this point was a surprise. It seems to me that Shara (the mind and hand, heh, behind this band) has really come into her own as more of a pop artist. That’s just fine, This Is My Hand sounds energetic and colourful and while some songs may lack the impact of previous releases, it’s still a solid and fun album.
Listen Here

Primus-And-The-Chocolate-Factory

Artist: Primus
Album: Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble
Genre: Experimental
Quick rundown: It’s a cover album of all the songs from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, done by the amazing and twisted minds of Primus. Not much else to say. Okay fine, this isn’t the best release of October, but it genuinely has some interesting moments that are full of giggles, just seeing how they pulled off the song in signature, bass-driven style. Shout-out to Golden Ticket, best song ever!
Listen Here

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Artist: Dope Body
Album: Lifer
Genre: Noise-rock
Quick rundown: Exciting, unpredictable and off the chain – Just a few words to describe Dope Body and their newest release Lifer. This album sees the Baltimore breathing new life, if rather viciously, into the lungs of the noise-rock scene with chunky and fierce instrumentation and some nicely delivered vocals. At times, I can’t help but think this sounds rather like Lightning Bolt and a more pumped Joy Division.
Listen Here

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Artist: A Winged Victory For The Sullen
Album: Atomos
Genre: Ambient
Quick rundown: Pure and stunning ambient music that I really wanted to review this month, but never got around to. There are plenty of lush ambient tunes here from the Berlin duo, although there is a lack of… self-aware song titles. Very sad times, would have been nice to see more We Played Some Open Chord, style song titles.
Listen Here

Favourite Movie Soundtracks #2

Time for more killer soundtracks for movies that may or may not be killer, although they usually are quite great.

Drive

DriveSoundtrackArt

Lets be honest, who didn’t see this one coming at some point? Now that I think about it, a lot of these movies will probably have people rolling their eyes at me, but who gives a fuck? Drive’s soundtrack suited the movie perfectly, featuring artists like Kavinsky, The Chromatics and the much ridiculed “Reeeeellll human bean!” College. One top of all this, you have the veteran composer, Cliff Martinez, adding his edgy and intense work to the movie.

Movie Music Moment: Human Bean

Smokin’ Aces

ClintMansell_SmokinAces_OriginalScore_zpseaa4c470

I snuck into the cinema when I was 15 to watch this movie and was blown away by everything about it; what 15 year old wouldn’t? It was trashy, stylised fun that didn’t take itself too seriously. On top of all that, it a unique list of artists that introduced me a new world of music, namely The Make Up. Then you have artists like Trivium, Motorhead, The Prodigy and GZA.

Movie Music Moment: Tremors and Trivium

Sunshine

various-artists-sunshine-coverBad science, amazing soundtrack. John Murphy is one of my favourites and this soundtrack (and 28 Days Later) are testament to his capabilities. It’s a clever mix of ambient, electronic and later on, some strange dance with UK techheads Underworld. This soundtrack is beautiful and deadly all at once, buckle up!

Movie Music Moment: Sunshine

The Machinist

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Another atmospheric soundtrack that’s creepy, intense and very brooding. Fits the movie perfectly and I don’t think the composer could have done a better job. The movie really got me as well. Kudos to everyone involved with it!

Movie Music Moment: Looks Like Rain

 The Watchmen

cover_watchmen_soundtrackFuck yeah, I was suckered into this movie and it’s soundtrack. Problem? Most likely the most recent superhero movie that had me in stitches of glee. Of course, that does owe, in part, to the well put together music on this movie. You’ve got that amazing cover of Desolation Row, Bob Dylan (even though I’m not a fan) and everything in between.

Movie Music Moment: Times They Are A Changin’

That’s it for this week, stay tuned for more swanky soundtracks in the near future. Coming to a blog near you.

Actually, it’s only coming to this blog, I swear.

 

Favourite Movie Soundtracks

The title is what it is! These are a few of my favourite movie soundtracks, I think that everyone should own these, because my opinion is the right one (in my opinion). Movie soundtracks are what got me into music, to be perfectly crystal clear, without them, I’d probably only be listening to the most basic of stuff. Like my praised Aqua CD, I wish I was kidding.

I’ll be including both soundtracks and scores, so anything goes really!

I’m only going to do five this week, but every week I’ll add another five, because I love too many to list in one post. Not because I’m a lazy cunt. I swear.

So let’s get this roller-coaster rollin’.

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

DawnOfTheDead 2004 frt

Here’s a little perspective for you: this came out back in 2004 and was basically when I first started listening to music. This soundtrack also contains artists that I would later consider to be my favourites, including Johnny Cash and Richard Cheese. So this was the catalyst for my interest in music, outside of the Spice Girls and such, anyway. The music is a mixture of almost everything, with plenty of rocky moments, mixed in with some incredibly bewildering (but good) choices of song; see the montage with Richard Cheese.

Movie Music Moment: The intro credits with Johnny Cash

Donnie Darko

donnie_darko

Donnie Darko’s soundtrack is an incredibly beautiful and striking mix of stripped back piano music, some electronic elements and some sinister twists; much like the movie. This soundtrack is probably one of the ones I’ve spent the most time listening to, simply because it blends so well into everyday life (and time travel).

Movie Music Moment: Gretchen Ross

Reservoir Dogs

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Plenty of Tarintino movies to choose from, but Reservoir Dogs is the one that has stuck with me through the years. It mixes catchy pop music of the time with samples from the movie and the radio-talk show host that you hear at the beginning of the movie. It gives you an incredibly jarring sense of musical joy, despite the on-screen violence. Lots of music from the 50’s to the 80’s, so there’s mucho happy tuneage to get your teeth into.

Movie Music Moment: Mr Blonde is Stuck In The Middle With You.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

tim-burtons-the-nightmare-before-christmas-51021e10d4464

This one takes me back through the years. I loved this soundtrack before I loved music, but it didn’t really turn me onto the idea of getting more music. I think I was more interested in playing with my Lego and making blanket forts than anything else back then. It’s a grand soundtrack with many gems that will get caught in your head for days. Well done Danny Elfman! You could also check out the Nightmare Revisited, which is the soundtrack, as done by bands like Plain White Tees, Rise Against and so on. That Rise Against version of Making Christmas is the balls!

Movie Music Moment: Jack’s Obsession 

Layer Cake

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A wonderful collection of musicians that all fit this British gangster flick surprisingly well; I would have never been able to imagine Duran Duran in this movie, or maybe I would have? Depends on the song. Either way, this soundtrack has lots of electronic goodness and a few rockier moments from the likes of Duran Duran. A very British soundtrack if you ask me!

Movie Music Moments: Coffee with Duran Duran

That’s your lot for now! I’ll be back next week with a few more glorious movie soundtracks, so stay tuned.

New Music Review – Fargo – Yaron (EP)

a3080318717_10Band: Fargo
EP: Yaron
Genre: Post-rock, instrumental
Social Media: Facebook/Bandcamp

Fargo is an instrumental post-rock band from Germany that have recently put out a name your price EP, called, Yaron. The guys all stick to what they know with spacious guitars, tight beats and smooth bass to hold everything together. Initially, I was worried that everything would sound a little crescendo-core for me, but thankfully the lads stay away from that messiest of crescendos by keeping the listener guessing with their instrumentation.

Königsberg is a seaport city and also the bands first song on this EP, as you’d expect, the song builds itself around the quiets and the silences that the band utilise to create a very wide-open space of sound. The song does eventually gain power and when it does, it’s best heard through a loud set of speakers, just so you can hear every layer of sound lapping over itself to reign supreme.

The second, and final tune, Leipzig, which is also a city in Germany (starting to see the theme here), meanders a lot more, but feels a lot more intense. It relies on a some lightly distorted guitars to build these incredibly textured riffs around the desperate drums, and thick bass, that sound off prominently in the background. All I can imagine when the song finally comes to an end, is how tired the drummer must be; the drums are  fierce and proud throughout the entire piece.

This second EP is a safe second release by the German post-rockers and I’m looking forward to hearing them experiment a bit more. Maybe chuck some tasteless synths in there and see what you can do, who knows? Music is fun. Remember, the EP is name your price, so why not pay a spell, every little helps for these bands; these bands that spend all their time and effort making music and releasing it to the wolves of name your price.