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Here’s what I loved this year:
01. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
02. Tame Impala – Currents
03. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
04. Torres – Sprinter
05. U.S. Girls – Half Free
06. Mbongwana Star – From Kinshasa
07. Denny Lile – Hear The Bang: The Life and Music of Denny Lile
08. Main Attrakionz – 808s and Dark Grapes III
09. Violent Mae – Kid
10. Girlpool – Before the World Was Big
2015 Best-of-Mix Tracklist:
01. Beach House – Levitation
02. Torres – Cowboy Guilt
03. Mbongwana Star – Malukayi
04. Thundercat – Them Changes
05. Jr Thomas & The Volcanoes – Get A Hold Of You
06. Danny Lile – Hear The Bang
07. Tame Impala – New Person Same Old Mistakes
08. Open Mike Eagle – Dark Comedy Late Show
09. U.S. Girls – Window Shades
10. Craft Spells – Our Park By Night
11. Finale – Choppy Waters
12. Courtney Barnett – Depression
13. Deerhunter – All The Same
14. Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman – So Strange Here
15. Flume feat. Andrew Wyatt – Some Minds
16. Heather Woods Broderick – Wyoming
17. Sufjan Stevens – Fourth of July
18. Kenn Starr – The Movement II
Merry Christmas from Future Islands.
[art by Sara Andreasson]
It’s the end of the year, which always means an endless attempt to summarize the year in list form. And this all started well before Buzzfeed figured out that lists were the easiest way to get people to click on provocative images in Facebook feeds.
The new two Wild Nothing tracks, “To Know You” and “TV Queen” are pretty solid, but I think what I like most is the appropriation of an A-side/B-side single release into video format. The song continue his 80s nostalgic sound in the new new wave/dream pop realm.
The wonderful Ghost Capital blog posted this amazing gem of an album, Sons of Ethiopia, from the 80s Ethiopian-by-way-of-Maryland group, Admas. The album dates to 1984, and I feel like you can definitely hear some Ethiopian jazz in there, but laced with 80s synths that bring to mind Phil Collins-era Genesis. This track, “Astawesalehu” is fabulous stuff.
I randomly stumbled across Pinkshinyultrablast, a band in the shoegaze realm of Dirty On Purpose from St. Petersburg, Russia, and holy fuck this is good. Who knew Russian hipsters made such good music? Oh, right.
Beach House live at The Fonda Theatre, photo by Betsy Newman
This weekend I got a chance to see Beach House play the Fonda Theatre here in Los Angeles, which they last played in 2011 (when it was called The Music Box). They started with the opener to the first of their two 2015 releases, “Levitation,” which was fucking fantastic, and such a great reminder of just how romantic their songs can be. The imagery of growing old together, and what I perceive as allusions of embarking towards death together are sublime. And all grounded by that line, “I’d go anywhere you want to,” as if all that matters is the togetherness, not the destination. I mean, fuck.
“Another Love” is a celebration of birth, but it feels just as appropriate appropriated as a song about blossoming romance. The incredible and uncanny video, directed by Michael Langan & Najeeb Tarazi, was created in motion capture of dancers by Kinnects later transposed into 3D modeled worlds.