Cover of Ladytron
In very rough increasing favoriteness
With self-defeatingly defensive commentary
25. David Lynch – Crazy Clown Time
I don’t care to defend myself.
best tracks: Pinky’s Dream, Strange and Unproductive Thinking, Stone’s Gone Up, Crazy Clown Time
24. Summer Camp – Welcome to Condale
Okay, like a lot of other stuff this year, it’s variously retro. English people doing American new wave pop. Not exactly heavy listening, but easy on the ears with the occasional subversive complexity. They have a few gems you can find on https://musiccritic.com. Music Critic is an online place where a lot of mainstream and indie artists’ works are reviewed and ranked. They also have professional audio equipment reviews.
Best tracks: Brian Krakow, Summer Camp, Nobody Knows You, Down, Ghost Train, 1988
23. Wild Flag
This is a great choice. It is. It’s only this low because okay, I couldn’t always listen to all of it. But it’s a supergroup made of the best musicians in 90s feminist indie rock!
Romance, Boom, Short Version, Racehorse
22. Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer
Usually Ladytron would be up near the top of the list, but this is their only weak album. It was about time they made one – it is a grower, as it turns out, much more atmospheric and mature. It’s quite pleasant, because the weakness is only in comparison to other Ladytron, and that’s just not fair.
Mirage, Moon Palace, Altitude Blues, Ambulances, Melting Ice
21. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
Along with and despite of a concept somehow revolving around nuclear world war is some of the genre-eluding band’s catchiest nonsense.
The Merry Barracks, Super Duper Rescue Heads!, Secret Mobilization, I Did Crimes For You
20. Starfucker – Reptilians
This just some great dance music. Plus there are Alan Watts samples.
Best tracks: all of them, whatever
19. John Maus – We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
That there were ads for this guy on Spotify did the opposite thing ads are supposed to do and made me put off listening to him. The guy is a philosophy professor at some college in Hawaii, and what he does is Ariel Pink like.
Quantum Leap, Head for the Country, Matter of Fact, Believer
18. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
It occurs to me that nobody’s paying me to recommend anything.
Youth Knows Know Pain, I Follow Rivers, Get Some, Sadness is a Blessing, Jerome
17. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
Hardcore punk anarchist romance story cycle
Queen of Hearts, The Other Shoe, like most of the songs are worth listening to in order, it’s pretty impressive
16. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
To be honest, I kept feeling like I should like this album more.
Cruel, Surgeon, Northern Lights, Dilettante
15. Neon Indian – Era Extraña
I don’t know how to describe what the kids are doing these days except that I think it sounds like they were conceived to it.
Polish Girl, Blindside Kiss, Hex Girlfriend, Suns Irrupt, Arcade Blues
Well-hyped faux indie that is quite good actually
Abducted, Go Outside, Never Heal Myself, Oh My God
13. Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams
I like the EP they released this year better, but Dee Dee & co’s second album brings the best things about rock n roll from the last 40 years into its girl-group reinvention.
In My Head, Heartbeat, Wasted Away
12. Dengue Fever – Cannibal Courtship
Stand back, everyone. Let the 60s Cambodian pop inspired professionals handle all your amazing music needs.
Cannibal Courtship, Cement Slipper, Family Business, Thank You Goodbye
11. Thee Oh Sees – Carrion Crawler / The Dream
This thing just goes by in a blur whenever I listen to it. A mindblowing blur of psych punk that keeps me churning along in my meatpuppet as long as it lasts.
Fucking everything, okay
10. Ponytail – Do Whatever You Want All The Time
The LAST ALBUM. Probably. Which is too bad because Ponytail could probably be prescribed as an anti-depressant. At least it takes a while to build up a tolerance.
Easy Peasy, AwayWay, Music Tunes
9. Hooray for Earth – True Loves
I don’t know anything about this band really. Nevertheless, I stand behind this album’s high placement.
Sails, True Loves, No Love
8. Cold Cave – Cherish the Light Years
Goth your face off
Confetti, Underworld USA, Alchemy and You
7. Austra – Feel It Break
I’m actually just really emotionally attached to this album by Canada’s answer to The Knife. It may or may not have staying power.
Lose It, Beat and the Pulse, Hate Crime, The Noise
6. Man Man – Life Fantastic
As my date to their amazing live show dubbed them, Man Man Man Man Man. Man, Man Man, Man. Man!
Piranhas Club, Haute Tropique, Shameless, Bangkok Necktie
5. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
In which Polly Jean becomes a belated World War I poet.
Let England Shake, The Glorious Land, The Words That Maketh Murder, Bitter Branches
4. MEN – Talk About Body
It is weird that this shot so high on this list, but I feel like JD Samson fronting an art pop band that may or may not be a queer deconstruction of DEVO was necessary.
Life’s Half Price, Credit Card Babie$, Boom Boom Boom, Rip Off
3. YACHT – Shangri-La
Sci fi dance music. YACHT do what they want. I like her voice.
Dystopia, Love in the Dark, Holy Roller, Paradise Engineering.
Shangri-La the song makes me cry.
2. Tune-Yards – W H O K I L L
Merrill Garber has that voice AND mad percussion skills AND does live loops AND righteous lyrics AND made that energy fit on her second long record. Okay? Can we at least agree on this?
My Country, Gangsta, Bizness
1. Pictureplane – Thee Physical
This year belongs to horny 20 year old kids with synthy gadgets, careful extraction from pop and trance, elaborate retro-futuristic ideologies (like “cyberculture” is still a relevent term here), and an impossible nostalgia for the early 90s. I’m sorry. It probably just hit me at the right moment and won’t appeal to you. Thanks for listening, anyway.
Post Physical, Trancegender, Breath Work