Just like every year, there was a ton of great #content produced in the world as we know it. It was so much what was produced that was different, but more about how both artists and audiences change as a necessity. You need art that resonates with you as much as an artist needs to make sure they reach to correct audience. Showing me a painting is a waste, I don’t get it. So let’s be glad I wasn’t the proofer for Picasso.
A lot of stuff outside of my wheelhouse was great, but couldn’t stick in my favorites despite being fantastic. BADBADNOTGOOD’s IV is a great example of that. Same for Dinosaur Jr.’s Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not.
Then there were the bands that I know I’m supposed to like, and do, but didn’t find them revelatory or able to move me like their predecessors did, like Fury’s Paramount.
I couldn’t put A Tribe Called Quest in my list because I barely heard it and it also bummed me out because it made De La Soul’s new album sound weak. Zao’s new album was a surprise, I didn’t even know they were releasing it until it was already out. Recency bias rules it out, I’ve only had about a week to let it sink in.
And then there’s all the stuff that came out and hit me hard right away, but didn’t have the staying power I was hoping for – Deftone’s Gore, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, Gorguts’ Pleiades Dust, Starflyer 59’s Slow, Jimmy Eat World’s Integrity Blues.
It also said a lot to me that Burial had a new release, Young Death/Nightmarket, that no one said much about. It wasn’t all that long ago that Burial was the biggest act on the electronic minimalist front or in Pitchfork’s year-end lists. Now, I had to try to find anything on the new songs.
Nails missed my list, but only because there was a vaguely similar artist that enjoyed more. Milk Teeth missed because I’m dumb and couldn’t eliminate anything else so they had to lose, despite their awesome full-length, Vile Child.
I was swayed heavily by M83’s amazing live performance, but I have to be honest and admit that nothing the band has done since the old days has been quite the same for me. They’re really good and even better live, but Junk wasn’t a regular for me. I had to cut True Love’s Heaven’s Too Good For Us. It’s really good, but I was hoping they could stick with React! Records and also, they fall under the worship category. A steady diet of Champion, Carry On and American Nightmare made for one of the best releases this year, but not a Top 10 Record for me.
And that’s how I got to my 10 at the top.
10. Goes Cube – Shadows Swallowed The Flood
First new music from them in like five years, unless I missed something. It’s really good and different from their previous work. Great to play loud and headbang with your five or six best friends.
9. WRONG – Self-Titled
It’s probably more like I could switch this and Goes Cube at any point and be fine. They aren’t all that dissimilar, though Goes Cube opts for the long, drawn-out jams and WRONG tends to get to the point much faster.
8. Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
I love this band, so I love everything they do. Their live show is unrivaled and they still make some of the best, loudest, most intense music. You know who they are and you love them or hate them. I love them.
7. Devotion – Headspace Astronaut
It’s really good and I wrote a lot about it earlier this year. Heavy post-hardcore with a major throwback and grunge vibe.
6. Weekend Nachos – Apology
As if the Nachos ever apologized for anything. Everything good ends, so does everything that sucks. Everything ends, listen to something that fuels you all the way there.
5. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
I love Danny Brown. This is another example of his ability to step outside the box and still deliver hits. He just doesn’t do bad things, even if he’s extra heavy on the drug references from a user perspective opposed to a dealer perspective. Half of this album jangles and twangs, the other half hits you with the beat, both are great.
4. Eternal Sleep – The Emptiness Of
I love the heavy. It’s the sound of what I was raised on. This is one of the few new heavy projects that doesn’t sound trite or flat. The name is a bit much, maybe hard to get by for some potential listeners, but if you need the heavy, love the heavy: This is the heavy.
3. Sepalcure – Folding Time
It’s ridiculously good. The number one reason I need to get a stereo rigged up in my bedroom. This is both energetic and ethereal. This is the bass that I could fade out to every night or put in on the background while writing a “Best of” list or while hanging out with friends. First album in forever, and it was worth the wait.
2. White Lung – Paradise
Seems to me that people slept on this record and I can’t say why. It’s better than whatever else you want to compare it to. A huge step forward in production and melody from their last release, you basically can’t hit stop after you hit start, it’s just straight through before you’ve even approached fatigue on their sound.
1. Machinedrum – Human Energy
I wrote about this one for the blog, too. Definitely one of the three albums I listened to the most this year and it wasn’t even close. It’s clearly not for everyone, but I’ve had an interest in the more electronic music genres dating back to the mid-1990s. This has all the punch you need, all the bounce you need, all the groove you need, all the intricacy you need. Amazing.
by Daniel Coughlin