Wednesday, December 23, 2015

To Pimp A Butterfly, Sexwitch, Chvrches, Moon Wiring Club

Oh, and bizarrely, I only just began to pay attention to the Kendrick Lamar record which everyone and their pet hamster loves. I'm highly suspicious of people lauding an album unanimously as the second coming of Christ. My defenses immediately go up. Why was Kendrick Lamar number 1 everywhere? Were people too lazy to deviate from The Consensus? I don't know.

But I do know that I really like Lamar's "Alright" and "King Kunta" and actually, pretty much the whole album, To Pimp A Butterfly. I'm still reluctant to put it in my top albums list because I'm still in the listening mode. But it is pretty amazing -- and I'm actually just talking about the backing music. Haven't paid much attention to the words at all, which I am told in a stern voice, is about all sorts of important shit. The music is pretty FANTASTIC though.... Honest. Take a listen:

Also, a couple of other albums that I forgot or missed from my top list:

Sexwitch - Sexwitch: a collaboration between Natasha Atlas (of Bat for Lashes) and a bunch of other people. They do these amazing covers of long-forgotten 1970s psychedelic / pop / folk songs from Iran, Morocco, Thailand as well as some American stuff. Pretty cool. Check out "Helelyos":

Chvrches: Every Open Eye: I like it! What can I say? It's melodic, it's dancy, it's well-recorded, and it feels like 1983 (or '84?). Technopop from people with thick Scottish accents who seamlessly integrate a whole host of great 1980s pop influences (OMD, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, etc.)

Moon Wiring Club -- this is an electronic band (actually a British guy named Ian Hodgson on the Blank Workshop Label) who have released a bewildering amount of stuff in the past ten years or so. In 2015 alone, he has put out two things, Why Does My House Make Creaking Noises and Playclothes from Faraway Places. Their website is a strange rabbit hole of an imagined world of Victorian curiosity.

Here is their "Velveteen World," which is actually a track from 2013's A Fondness for Fancy Hats. But you get the general idea:

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I didn't really like much-touted albums by Sufjan Stevens (NPR listener music), Courtney Barnett (meat and potatoes guitar music), Tame Impala (completely derivative classic rock), Father John Misty (pretentious), and Adele (she's a good singer but do we have to continue to pay attention to her?).


ghostroad said...

Great list! I'm excited to hear the latest Moon Wiring Club.

One of the albums that I listened to heavily this year was Kuedo's "Assertion Of A Surrounding Presence". It doesn't seem to be featured on any year-end lists, but it stayed with me.

spaceman said...

Thanks for that tip. Had no idea that this album was out. This is the Jaime Vexd guy, I think? He had some good stuff a few years ago. I also have to thank you for getting me into the new Beach House.