Sunday, January 15, 2017

Top 30 Albums of 2016

30. Deerhoof - The Magic

29. Minor Victories - Minor Victories

28. The I.L.Y.'s - Scum with Boundaries

27. Iron & Wine/Jesca Hoop - Love Letter for Fire

26. Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered

25. ScHoolboy Q - Blank Face LP


24. Swans - The Glowing Man

23. Preoccupations - Preoccupations

22. Marching Church - Telling It Like It Is

21. The Kills - Ash & Ice

20. Wye Oak - Tween

19. 50 Foot Wave - Bath White EP

18. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

17. Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression

16. Braids - Deep in the Iris

15. Sarah Jarosz - Undercurrent

14. Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP

13. Parquet Courts - Human Performance

12. Lucinda Williams - The Ghosts of Highway 20

11. Mount Moriah - How to Dance

10. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - A Man Alive

9. Death Grips - Bottomless Pit

8. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - Balance

7. Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow - From the Forest Came the Fire

6. A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It from Here...Thank U for Your Service

5. Lady Lamb - Tender Warriors Club EP

4. Angel Olsen - My Woman

3. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

2. Autolux - Pussy's Dead

1. David Bowie - 

Related:

Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow - From the Forest Came the Fire
50 Foot Wave - Bath White EP

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lady Lamb - Tender Warriors Club EP


Upon his rediscovery in the early 60s, Son House cheerfully exclaimed that hadn't touched a guitar in 20 years. The two young guys who found him had to reteach him to play in the style they'd learnt from him in the first place. On The Complete 1965 Sessions, he made multiple mistakes and lacked the deft touch he had 30 years earlier. What he did have, besides his perfectly preserved voice, was a renewed passion for the music, which he channeled every time his fingers touched the strings.

Technical ability is not the point of that analogy - Spaltro has no lack - but her singing and playing are similarly resonant. The entirety of Tender Warriors Club is Spaltro alone and acoustic, with extra layers of vocals the only overdubs. In this way it recalls her early lo-fi recordings, and it's something I didn't know I needed after she showed what she could do with a full band on her first studio album Ripely Pine (2013) and its equally strong follow-up After (2015). Tender Warriors Club seamlessly fuses the intimacy of that early stage of her career with the improved songwriting chops of her more polished recent work. The EP relies little on effects, but its two best songs use them pointedly: "Heaven Bent" leaves space at the end of phrases for the reverb to perceptibly decay, and later adds delay for a more pronounced effect; "We Are No One Else" makes further use of reverb, allowing multi-tracked vocals to build to a near-cacophony before dying out suddenly.

Tender Warriors Club is no mere stop-gap or house clearing exercise, but a cohesive and fully realised release, and another notch in the belt of an already accomplished young songwriter.

Monday, January 2, 2017

We Are the Dead


Paul Kantner - guitarist
March 17, 1941 - January 28, 2016


Prince Be (Atrell Cordes)
May 15, 1970 - June 17, 2016


Leonard Cohen
September 21, 1934 - November 17, 2016


Sharon Jones
May 4, 1956 - November 18, 2016


Dave Swarbrick - multi-instrumentalist
5 April, 1941 - 3 June, 2016


Alan Vega
June 23, 1938 - July 16, 2016


Bernie Worrell - keys
April 19, 1944 - June 24, 2016


George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotu)
25 June, 1963 - 25 December, 2016

Phife Dawg (Malik Izaak Taylor)
November 20, 1970 - March 22, 2016


David Bowie (David Robert Jones)
8 January, 1947 - 10 January 2016


Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson)
June 7, 1958 - April 21, 2016

Sex, War & Robots