Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last entry probably

Albums I've Listened To in 2015

It's New Year's Eve and I fucking hate New Year's Eve, with or without people around. Doesn't help that I think the world is better off without me right now so I'm not attending any social things in order to rid the world of my stupidity. Everyone's better off without me, so goes the logic. As much as I'm aware that's probably bollocks, I'm now distracting myself from thinking and decided to do this.

So albums I've listened to or at the very least downloaded in 2015 and not listened to.

*Masks* - Lucifear
Absolutely no idea what this is. Probably during my brief sojourn into witch-house.

The Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens has probably been my favourite discovery musically this year. This album in itself is one of the weirder, more overblown ones, but I really like the title track. It goes from a weird electronic mess to something beautiful. I have included it in a playlist and as a result have kind of overplayed it to myself but whatever.

The Alan Lomax Recordings - Fred McDowell
I always find recordings like this strangely weird. Alan Lomax is a musicologist and he found some random blues guy and recorded him. I like the idea of discovering talent and stuff but it's odd the way it's done. Why not give the guy a record deal? Instead Alan Lomax gets to have his name all over this. Anyway, it's blues. Pretty good blues too, for a guy who presumably has no teeth.

Just googled and he actually has teeth.

Alas, I Cannot Swim - Laura Marling
I enjoyed this album over the summer. She was only 18 when she did this shit. The lyrics are cool, some lovely melodies, and overall you can see what a talent she was. I'm not sure how she's become shit now but she was a genius for a while. But as usual, seeing a young person succeed at something makes me feel bollocks. Man, I'm mean.

All Summer Long - The Beach Boys
Downloaded all the Beach Boys stuff for some reason. Have listened to one album: the good one.

Ambient 1: Music for Airports - Brian Eno
It's Eno. Can't go wrong.

And The Circus Leaves Town - Kyuss
Just downloaded their stuff. Stoner rock. Pretty cool. That said, I've only listened to one album, and it isn't this one, so this entire section is a waste of words.

Another Green World - Brian Eno

Apollo - Brian Eno

Axis: Bold as Love - Jimi Hendrix
Pretty cool but the stupid jokey parts at the beginning piss me off. Sounds like something we'd have recorded as a joke but then tossed away for being too unamusing.

Beach Boys' Christmas Album - The Beach Boys
Guessing it's a collection of Beach Boys Christmas songs.

Before and After Science - Brian Eno
Fuck off Eno.

Biophilia - Bjork
Usual Bjork stuff. Think I listened once; wasn't as good as earlier stuff; forgot it immediately

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Pretty sure it was this year I first got into them. Don't remember much about this album, except liking it except the song 'Evil Woman'.

Black Sabbath Vol. 4 - Black Sabbath
Best album of theirs imo. I even like 'Changes'. I feel like I've already grown of them though, for some reason. There's always something a bit special about Ozzy, and I feel like if I listen to them for too long I shall turn into a retard.

Blank Banshee - Blank Banshee
Like most vaporwave, initially thrilling but gets boring halfway through.

Bloom - Beach House
Seemed pretty good. Basic shoegaze stuff.

Blues for the Red Sun - Kyuss
Not sure why I'm including albums I haven't actually listened to yet. It's like I'm saying "I have a varied set of musical choices, honest! I don't just sit around listening to the Zelda soundtrack like some aspie cunt, honest!"

Caress of Steel - Rush
Don't ask.

Carl and the Passions - The Beach Boys
Ok this is the last album I include that I haven't actually listened to. From now on you can assume I have all the Beach Boys' works, as well as Rush.

Carrie and Lowell - Sufjan Stevens 
Album of the year. Got it in March, knew within one listen it was the best album I'd hear this year. Just wonderful. If 'The Only Thing' doesn't move you, then nothing will. Plus my comment is up there on YouTube, so that means I'm a) famous and b) all my musical views about anything are all correct.

Center of the Sun - Samsara Blues Experiment
I vaguely recall hearing this. Was coolish. The name kind of tells you the style.

The Christ Tree - The Trees Community
The only album I think this year I got from /mu/. Bunch of religious folks sitting around singing about God. It's actually very good. I'd describe it as psychedelic folk.

Country Blues - Dock Boggs
More decent blues.

A Creature I Don't Know - Laura Marling
Kind of went over my head to be honest. Some of her albums leap out at you, others don't.

Dangerous Days - Perturbator
This is a great album. Its beginning provided the soundtrack to dark and cold mornings on the way to work, which is why it makes me feel tired and cold listening to it. It's good, though.

Debut - Bjork
Pretty good.

Dr Wonderfull - Dr Wonderfull
Seems like a long time ago somehow.

Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
Probably the most interesting discovery for me in the latter half of the year. I really like the title track, but can't remember much from then on. I'd suggest she has better albums, but I'm not saying this is bad. It's probably good. I want to believe.

Fare Forward Voyagers - John Fahey
This comes from 1974 I think. Excellent guitar work. This sounds like the guitar jams I do, except good. I want to be able to play like this, but never will. I really liked this album, but I can see if you're not into guitar then it wouldn't be as enjoyable.

Finally We Are No One - múm
Yes, that's how their name appears. This is one of my favourite albums I've listened to this year. When  I first listened to it, not sure where's it from - maybe /mu/ again, I remember reading a comment where someone said 'this is what childhood sounds like'. I'm yet to think of a better way to describe it. It's just lovely imo. The texture of bubbles.

Floral Shoppe - Macintosh Plus
Must have first heard this in 2014, but in case I didn't, then... yeah. Anything that needs to be said has been said. My favourite track is the one that sounds like a Windows 95 instruction video. Instrumental one. Track seven I think. I'm slightly embarassed that I still like this stuff, but also fuck it.

For Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver
I loved the Bon Iver album, but didn't get along with this one. I can appreciate the songwriting though. I prefer Birdy's cover of Skinny Love over his. Maybe that means I'm becoming a normie.

Gliss Riffer - Dan Deacon
Man, first heard this properly driving to Dean City Farm. That was in January. Fucking ages ago. Apart from that (literally) shitty memory, the album as a whole is great. Took me a while to get it, but I like it now. My favourite track is still Take It To The Max. Needs headphones to appreciate the musicianship and subtle additions to each phrase. It's like listening to Philip Glass if Philip Glass had drunk eight cups of coffee. for some reason the original video was taken down, together with my top comment. This is tragic.

Gunship - Gunship
This really disappointed me. I was expecting awesome and I got pop instead. Fortunately, Dangerous Days made up for it.

I Speak Because I Can - Laura Marling
Can't remember anything about this

The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do - Fiona Apple
Yeah. That title. I kind of loved this album. Could pick any track. This one's pretty much representative of the album. Raw, gruff as fuck. Sardonic. But crucially, there's no self pity, look at me I'm mental stuff. It's just a person being talented. She also has become anorexic as fuck - somehow adds to the glamour :(

Illinois - Sufjan Stevens
First album I heard of his - was fucking blown away. There is so much SIZE in this record, and so many different shifts from style to style... some tracks are thirty seconds, some are ten minutes, but all are beautiful. It's like diving into a universe, listening to this album. The only flaw is that halfway through it gets too much and I end up stopping. Chicago is for the obvious highlight of the album.

In Decay - Com Truise
Pretty good vaporwave/synthwave/outrun whatever the fuck it is. The opening two minutes are like being smacked in the face by the eighties.

In the Beginning - Scott Walker
Okay, before I do the whole list of his albums, I downloaded Scott Walker's discography and tried listening. Hated it from the start.

In The Lonely Hour - Sam Smith
The mainsteam album I'll download and listen to once just in case anyone accuses me of being a hipster. Seriously, this is how I think. From what I can recall, it's pretty nice. Stay With Me is nice, but he overuses the chorus. Should have kept it more restrained.

Interstellar Soundtrack (The Illuminated Star Projection Edition) - Hans Zimmer
Obviously a cool soundtrack. I think he uses organ.

Lazaretto - Jack White
Not bad. Not as obvious in its concept as his previous album. Can barely remember one track. I didn't dislike it, but it hasn't stuck yet. Or maybe it's occured to me that all his music sounds the same.

Les Voix Du Ciel - Charles Trenet
French guy singing French stuff about being French. Made me feel like I want to be a French guy singing French stuff about being French.

Lost In The Dream - The War on Drugs
This, together with the Under the Skin soundtrack, defined my summer holiday playing Fallout: Vegas. I realise, playing Fallout 4, that without new music and/or a summer holiday, the game loses its power. But anyway, the music is a tribute to the style of early Springsteen, which didn't do much for me at first, but upon a second listen, I got it. Anyway, for me the heart of the album is this:

The Magic Whip - Blur
Heard it once, quite liked it, won't listen again. I like the idea that Blur finally won the battle of Britpop, twenty years later.

Master of Reality - Black Sabbath
Yeah, I liked this.

Model Animals - Poulenc
Gave this a listen a couple of nights ago; pleasant.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
I quite liked the opening two tracks, until a) I realised the only bit I liked was a bit that was sampled for somewhere else and b) I fucking hate rap.

Night Drive - Dunno
Weird sounding vaporwave shit. Like standing in the elevator of a Japanese mall for forty minutes. Quite like it though.

Paranoid - Black Sabbath
The first album of theirs I heard. I liked Planet Caravan, but can't remember much else.

Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
Obviously a good album.

Please Turn Me Into the Snat - Connan Mockasin
I listened to it once, because I liked the title. Can't remember a fucking thing :\

Post - Bjork
Not bad. Sometimes she seems like a genius, sometimes she seems shit.

Shader - Sacred Tapestry
Completely fucking monged vaporwave.

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I just Sit - Courtney Barnett
Oh man. Forgot about this one. Every time I think current music is worthless, there's no more rock and roll left, and all that bollocks, I remember this album. Fucking love this album, especially Pedestrian at Best.

John Doe 5 months ago
Brilliantly sardonic delivery of the lines. Echoes of the Dylan groan and Patti Smith sneer. Raucous guitar, an old sound but a welcome antidote to the over-technical and over-produced sound of contemporary singles. tl;dr this is fucking awesome.

Songs of Innocence - U2
Listened once. Absolute bollocks. Kind of sad to see a band I once liked turn into mediocre twats, as opposed to interesting twats.

St. Vincent - St. Vincent
Oh yeah, another good album I forgot about. Twisted sound, guitar with electronics. Songs about the digital age, nothingness, kind of stuff I eat up. "If I can't show it, you can't see me." Also she somehow says the word 'yeah' in an awesome way. Try to get over her stupid appearance and dig the music. Dig it, I say, because I'm cool and so in touch with how people in the sixties were.

Stay Gold - First Aid Kit
Very pleasant second album. A Long Time Ago is just lovely.

Taiga - Zola Jesus
Kind of only got this album because of how she looks on the cover. She's never reach the heights of Stridulum II again, unfortunately.

Ten Love Songs - Susanne Sundfor
It's nowhere near as good as The Silicone Veil, but I still quite like it. There's an interesting classical music section in the middle, and the single from the album is nice. The final track has an interesting bassline that's so deep it feels like my whole room is reverberating when I play it. I don't know really. It's like her songs aren't keeping up with her voice, which for me is one of the most beautiful voices I've heard. Plus she's nice looking as well which helps me stay in the whole beta woman-worship thing as opposed to just being someone normal. Fuck I hate myself.

They All Left One By One, They All Left the Radio On - Gimu
I don't even remember, but I remember liking it. This was worth doing.

Tidal - Fiona Apple
I liked it, but haven't listened much. Getting stuck in my ways.

Turbulence - Miami Nights 1984
Pretty good outrun.

Under the Skin Soundtrack - Mica Levi
The one album that really took me places when I was playing Fallout Vegas over summer. The one album that made me feel happy to listen to, because it just sounded so... right. The way it synced with the game was so perfect I couldn't believe that the music hadn't been composed primarily for the purpose of playing a moody post-apocalyptic game. I tried listening to it with Fallout 4 but it couldn't be the same because the moment of synchronicity and discovery was over. New music with a game belongs only to that game, and the trick cannot be repeated.

I find this track extremely moving. In fact, the entire film, the soundtrack, everything, is just me right now. I know this post has been more about me than anything else, but honestly, it's the only time I have been able to write for ages. And you actually listen, or at least don't dismiss me too much. Sometimes you do and that's ok, because ultimately your job is not to save me from myself. I think that's the issue I've always had with relationships - I assume the person I'm with is going to make everything better, and when they don't, I feel detached and disappointed, and repeat the same mistakes as ever. Donna's probably the only girlfriend I had where I wasn't a massive dickhead to her, but it was paradoxically because I never believed she'd make things better for me. Maybe that's all it takes - complete rejection of hope, and expectation, and just enter the world as a grey slate, shorn of emotive ties.

And that takes me to this music. Never quite major, never quite minor - swings between the two, perfectly depicting the scene taking place in the film. This is the music Schoenenberg would have made if he had realised that having twelve tones doesn't mean making a mess. Chromaticism can offer so much, and a track like this shows it. Never quite reaching the right note, and yet - never reaching the wrong one. Just buzzing uneasily between the two. Like everything in the film. Sad, but not enough to actually create feelings beyond disappointment. Love, but not love. This is, for me, the music of my year. Flat, but somehow alive anyway.

Warpaint - Warpaint
Pretty good follow up, although the band as a whole by this stage seemed to have run out of ideas. Played anyway.

The Way - Zack Hemsey
Notable only for the title track, which is an epic piece used in... everything.

Welcome to Sky Valley - Kyuss
Included because it's the one Kyuss album I actually listened to. Really enjoyed it. Stoner rock, just good technical playing.

When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right - Fiona Apple
Hilarious title, can't remember much about the album except I quite liked it.

1000 Forms of Fear - Sia
Another album from way back at the start of the year. For a while this was the only album I listened to. Then I overplayed it and got sick of it. Still, it's excellent. This song is the sound of alcoholism. The weird melody of the chorus was what first brought my attention to the song. 'I want to swing on a chandelier' has the strangest melody ever. It's like it doesn't know how to end itself. I would analyse properly except I can't be arsed now and you're probably not reading anymore anyway.

Plus the girl dancing is strangely hypnotic.

1989 - Taylor Swift
Actually liked this a lot.

Top Ten Albums Listened to in 2015:

1. Carrie and Lowell - Sufjan Stevens
2. Under the Skin Soundtrack - Mica Levi
3. When the Pawn... - Fiona Apple
4. Sometimes I'll Sit and Think, and Sometimes I'll Just Sit - Courtney Barnett
5. Dangerous Days - Perturbator
6. Lost in the Dream - The War on Drugs
7. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
8. Finally We Are No One - mum
9.  1000 Forms of Fear - Sia
10. Alas, I Cannot Swim - Laura Marling