Saturday, 10 October 2015

Best of September

Hi there, I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here (ha) but I apologise for not updating the blog as often as I used to. I'm afraid the days of 30+ posts are over; I've just begun the most challenging academic year of my life so far, so I won't be able to update very week like I did in the good ol' days.

That being said, this blog has always been a great outlet for me and a great distraction, so I will try my best to post as frequently as possible. In a year's time things might be different and I might just have a little more time on my hands. But we shall see...

ANYWAY, September was a great month for music and it would be a shame to ignore it. In fact, some of my favorite records of the year were released last month and it's a shame I can't review them right now, but that's the way it is. The write-ups will be short for now but I will hopefully write a lot more in the year-end list I'm planning. 

Julia Holter - Have You In My Wilderness

Now that summer is well and truly over, the cold is beginning to set in and we're all feeling a bit rubbish, the goddess that is Julia Holter has just made life a little bit easier. I knew this record would be amazing from the moment it was announced, this belief was strengthened by the gleaming reviews that began to spring up all over social media. Now that it's finally out, I can confirm that it is in fact, well, AMAZING.Now, 'amazing' has been over-used to the point where all meaning is now practically void, it's almost a bit tacky and redundant. So instead I'm gonna go with 'awe-inspiring' instead. 

Julia first caught my attention with 2013's slow-burning Loud City Song, which opened me up to the weird and wonderful world of avante garde, from which I haven't turned back since. But enough about the past, now is the time to appreciate this absolute beauty of an album. From the opening 'Feel You' and it's gorgeous refrain to the ethereal and left-field closer, this record is consistently bold, elegant and majestic in a classic way, but the clarity and purity of these tracks makes them extremely modern and fresh at the same time. This is my album of the year and it will take a lot to change my mind. 

Empress of - Me

Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that I was (and still am) completely and utterly slain by this album. With the cheer volume of pop music that is being churned out at the moment it is easy to get swallowed up, but Lorely Rodriguez stands out from the crowd and fully asserts her presence. Oh, and her production is on point. This album encompasses the best things about pop in a beautiful package; it's crisp, catchy, funky, modern, emotive, passionate and, above all, it's really fun. And I'll tell you something else, Empress Of has no time for filler whatsoever. All ten tracks are killer, but 'How Do You Do It' and 'Make Up' are the standouts. 

CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

CHVRCHES really don't need me to plug them at this point but I'll continue anyway, because this is pop that is too good to be ignored. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the band's 'promo' comes from lead singer Lauren Mayberry speaking out against some disgusting, greasy peasants ('trolls'), who relentlessly target her on social media with all kinds of creepy shit. This is not only a shame because she's a human being but because the music she creates, along with Ian and Martin, is pretty damn great. Thankfully the band have appeared to have overcome the filler issue from their debut and have delivered a consistently solid collection of tracks. Highlights include 'Bury It', 'Empty Threat', 'Keep You on My Side' and 'Playing Dead'. 

Helen - The Original Faces

For those poor souls who don't know who don't know who Liz Harris A.K.A Grouper is (most of you), allow me to fill you in. She is the mother of ambient and dream pop music, no matter what my mood is I can stick a Grouper record on and be transported to another realm. In her new project, she dips her toe into shoegaze and the results are psychedelic, blissful and lush. So basically exactly what you'd expect from Liz Harris doing shoegaze.


I can't believe I'm writing this but over the past month, no songs (bar one*) have really excited me to the point where I want to devote an entire section to them. I have instead simply picked them out below; I actually think they'll sound fantastic within the context of their respective records.

Oneohtrix Point Never - I Bite Through It
Le1f - Rage
Arca - Soichiro
Joanna Newsom - Leaving The City*
Majical Clouds - Are You Alone?

*So bloody incredible that I might just devote an entire paragraph to it in my forthcoming review of Divers

I fully intend on covering these records when they're out in full. It just so happens that the tracks above are very much album tracks, fantastic, but album tracks nonetheless. 

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