In no particular order:
The Avalanches - Wildflower
Genre: Hip-hop, plunderphonics, folk, ???
Favorite track: Because I'm Me
After sixteen years of absence, the Avalanches came back with a different, yet equally bitch-kickin' album that had some fantastic singles on it as well as those intermediary plunderphonics tracks we all know 'n' love. The album has some pretty noteworthy features on it, such as MF DOOM, Danny Brown, Toro y Moi, Biz Markie, and Camp Lo - and many more! It's got a different, more urban vibe to it than 2000's Since I Left You
, but I found it fantastic all the same.
Kero Kero Bonito - Bonito Generation
Genre: J-Pop that wasn't made in Japan, synthpop
Favorite track: Trampoline
"KKB" (as they are wont to call themselves) is a fairly new British pop outfit with heavy Japanese influence. The lead singer, Sarah Midori Perry, sings and raps in Japanese and English on the tracks, and does so quite well. After releasing an EP in 2014, KKB put out their first full-length album this year, Bonito Generation.
It's a feel-good cheery pop album that creates very entertaining soundscapes and really tries to deviate from the norm of pop. It makes me feel like a Japanese 13 year old girl, and I don't know how to feel about that, but it's great nonetheless.
David Fucking Bowie - Blackstar
Genre: Art-rock, rock, jazz, eulogy-core?
Favorite track: Blackstar
This album fucks. Bowie gave us one last gift before bowing out, and that's Blackstar.
It's a smooth, melodic, moody, and somber album at times, and an upbeat jazzy piece at others. Led by what may be my favorite track of the year, the titular Blackstar
, this album is 7 hits long and a goddamn pleasure. It's even more amazing when you factor in his death, and then listen to it. It's a fuckin' piece of music and art history, imho. Rest in peace, you magnificent bastard.
Tomppabeats - Harbor
Genre: Lo-fi hip-hop
Favorite tracks: The Way She, Will You Stay Here With Me
, and Blossom Samurai
Probably my most-listened to album of the year, Harbor
comes to us from Helsinki-based producer tomppabeats
. It's a 35-minute long collection of 37 small tracks, averaging under a minute, but each snippet of sound is a beautifully calm and relaxing moment. If you're a fan of Nujabes, you're in for a treat. Although I hold other albums over it this year objectively,
this album has a lot of personal meaning to me and my current relationship, so I love it to death.
I haven't finished it yet! I'll update my post when I do, as it's sounding fantastic.
A Tribe Called Quest
- We got it from Here ... Thank You 4 Your service
Two Door Cinema Club
This one came out recently, so see Epoch.
It's been very polarizing for his fans, but I still think Junk
's a pretty good album. It's not the usual M83 I know and love, and it still has some outstanding tracks, like "For the Kids"
featuring Susanne Sundfor - however, other bits seem bland and forgettable. Either way, I'm not going to bash Anthony if that's the kinda music he wants to make.
- Painting With
Another AnCo album that's rather hit-or-miss for me. It's colorful, it's fun, and it has some fantastic tracks in FloriDaDa
and Golden Gal
, but others are a little less catchy to me. I'd have to give the album another shot.