PSF's 2018 Writers' Poll
Our favorite things
Michelle Gurevich, Janelle Monae, Orlando Cela, Sonny Rollins
Even in a digital age, we music nuts still crave collections of songs a/k/a albums. And why not? Artists big & small still put them out despite the time limitations of vinyl and CDís that are now gone. The formula to making a good album is simple (a nice round-up of tunes) and yet allusive as so many bad albums prove. But then again, itís all subjective- one personís garbage is someone elseís gold. We here at PSF still love our albums, new and old so each writer below wants to share their faves from 2018. As always, maybe youíll agree with some choices, disagree with others and learn about some music that you didnít know about before.
Best album of improvised music:
Clairvoyance (Gianni Mimmo, Adriano Orru & Silvia Corda) Clairvoyance
Best album of composed music:
Daniele Roccato & Ludus Gravis Stefano Scodanibbio: Alisei
- Orlando Cela Shadow Etchings
- Gregory Oakes Aesthetic Apparatus: Clarinet Chamber Music of Helmut Lachenmann
- Marco Colonna Foraminifera
- Z Country ParadiseóLive in Lisbon
- Ensemble ILEA Multi.Cosmes
- Erik Carlson Slowly Expanding Milton Babbitt Album
- Quatuor Bozzini/Gyula Csapo Deja? Koja?
- Vigeland/FŁting/Lippel/Popham "...through which the past shines..."
- Gianni Lenoci Earle Browne Selected Works for Piano and/or Sound-Producing Media
- Aviva Endean cinder: ember: ashes
- Ariadne Stabat Mater
- Karoline Leblanc/Nicolas Caloia/Ernesto Rodrigues Autoschediasm
- Anna von Hausswolf Dead Magic
Goes from moody, to frightening, to holy shit this lady has a set of pipes.
- Suuns Felt
Uneasy, rhythmic manifesto for those who understand Sartre.
- Tune-Yards I can feel you creep into my private life
Self-looped pitch-perfect global art-punk.
- Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe
Like a heroin-induced love affair, it gets in your brain and convinces you itís the only one.
- Exploded View Obey
Nonchalant yet insistent vocals, hammering synths, good for working late.
- US Girls In Poem Unlimited
Chunky, textured tracks filled with Bildugsroman angst of kicking bad love to the curb.
- Holy Fuck Bird Brains
Trance dance disco overdrive.
- The Pack a.d. Tintype (Remastered)
Bluesy as hell and sounding super with the remaster.
- Fleetwood Mac 50 Years - Donít Stop
Masters of production and harmony, soundtrack to the 1970's.
- Cosey Fanni Tutti "Tutti" (Single)
We missed you Cosey. Welcome back!
- Psychic TV "Kondole"/"Dead Cat"
Deep disconcerting tracks, audio landscape from a fever dream or myth.
- Monolord "Fairies Wear Boots" (Single)
An old classic wrapped in the heaviest lead apron possible.
- Fishmans Night Cruising
A fine enigma to sink your ears into.
- Holly Golightly - Do The Get Along
Sideways, twangy waltz through dysfunctions of the heart.
- Michelle Gurevich Exciting Times
Cougar cabaret singer on the prowl.
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Jubilee Street - Live in Copenhagen
Latest live iteration of a classic.
- Cat Power Wanderer
All the Chan Marshall feels.
- Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats Wasteland
Heavy psych on the dystopic distortion occult edge.
- Singapore Sling Kill Kill Kill (Songs About Nothing)
More explicit than usual, the Sling donít give a fuck.
- Gary Numan Songs from a Broken World (Expanded Version)
Synths galore like only Numan can.
- Throbbing Gristle 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Yes, yes, released in 1979, remastered in 2017 - but I listened to this album 1000 times this year and itís as relevant today as EVER.
- Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, et al. The Byrds On A Wing Volume One SET Box Set, 8 CD
- Lloyd Green & Jay Dee Maness Journey To The Beginning: A Steel Guitar Tribute To The Byrds
- Moody Blues Days of Future Passed Live, 2 CD
This year was interesting. Not only did I undergo many personal challenges, I found a lack of great and amazing music that really blew my mind. Maybe itís the lack of anything new and exciting and because rock and roll is no longer what it used to be. Rock music just isnít what it used to be and thereís been a severe lack of anything else thatís really interested me this year. With that being said what follows are an unranked list of the best of whatís around from this year.
- Mudhoney Digital Garbage
- Burn the Priest (Lamb of God) Legion XX
- Alkaline Trio Is This Thing Cursed?
- Paul Simon In the Blue Light
- Pennywise Never Gonna Die
- Snow Patrol Wildness
- Tweedy Warm
- Turnstile Time & Space
Best Songs of the Year
- Alkaline Trio "Blackbird"
- Beanpole "Cousins"
- Blues Traveler "Ode from the Aspect"
- Childish Gambino "Feels Like Summer"
- The Damned "Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow"
- Death Cab for Cutie "Northern Lights"
- Burn the Priest (Lamb of God) "Inherit the Earth"
- Mudhoney "Kill Yourself Live/21st Century Pharisees/Messiahís Lament"
- Mumford & Sons "Guiding Light"
- Paul Simon "Love"
- Snow Patrol "What If This is All the Love You Ever Get?"
- Young the Giant "Superposition"
- Low Double Negative
- Janelle Monae Dirty Computer
- Ryley Walker Deafman Glance
- Ought Room Inside The World
- Richard Thompson 13 Rivers
- Body/Head The Switch
- Husker Du Savage Young Du
- Marissa Nadler For My Crimes
- Tim Hecker Konoyo
- The Beatles White Album (50th Anniversary 6-CD Deluxe Version)
- Nicki Minaj Queen
- Various Artists Black Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By
- FAVX Welfare
- Various Artists Dr. Demento Covered in Punk
- Amy Rigby The Old Guys
- Lyrics Born Quite A Life
- Tal National Tantabara
- cupcakKe Ephorize
- Archivist and Fugal Undertow
- Cardi B Invasion of Privacy
- Nvdes Vibe City Utah
- Spook School Could It Be Different?
- Dark Times Tell Me What I Need
- Shopping The Official Body
- Abhi The Nomad Marbled
- Superchunk What A Time To Be Alive
- The Carters Everything Is Love
- Tunde Olaniran Stranger
- Marina Rebeka Verdi: Luisa Miller (Live)
- Confidence Man Confident Music for Confident People
All the rest of my 2018 faves (including books, movies, videos) are here on my blog.
Lloyd Green, David Myhr, Daniel Bachman, A Perfect Circle
- TUNEYARDS live in North Adams, Massachusetts 10-30-18. I like this band. I was impressed. I knew nothing about them except they had a name. First time ive seen a hot band in years. And they were hot, 350 people spent $25 a head-and they all knew the words! It was amazing the energy, the music-two of the songs were good. I was impressed and I enjoyed myself. What they do next I can't wait.
- Dead C live in Gothenberg. No matter who is hip or cool it remains that the DEAD C are the greatest band in the world. Everyone knows that. It's all tones now, Robbie fucking yeats on drums drives the jams. Nobody has sounded like the DEAD C the improvisation the discarding of conventional song structures the DEAD C live in their own world. I love them. For the past thirty two years thereís never been a band as uncompromising. Im being dead serious, thereís no band like the DEAD C.
- The Idles Joy as an act of resistance
- F*cked Up Dose your dreams
- The Oh Sees Smote Reverse
- Daughters You Won't get what you want
- Andrew WK You're Not Alone
- Parquet Courts Wide Awake!
- Eels The Deconstruction
- Jack White Boarding House Reach
- A Perfect Circle Eat the Elephant
- Deafhaven Ordinary Corrupt human love
- Low Cut Connie Dirty Pics. Volume 2
- Father John Misty God's Favorite Customer
- Shame Songs of Praise
- Tropical F*ck Storm A Laughing Death in Meatspace
- HMLTD Hate Music Last Time Delete EP
- Moby Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt
- The Melvins Pinkus Abortion Technician
- Low Double Negative
- Swamp Dogg Love, Loss and Auto-tune
- Clutch Book of Bad Decisions
What a great year for music- and all genres to boot! I don't want to use the term "comeback" but lots of amazing veteran artists clocking in with tight releases. This includes Low, Swamp Dogg, Moby, Melvins, Andrew WK, Eels, and many more! I had to prune my list back from over 100 amazing choices! I hope 2019 shapes up to be the same deal! Can't wait!
Mos Emvy aka Cincinnati, Ohio-based Bryan McCorvey is someone worth listening in a tsunami of sound and his music is available for free via the BlocSonic net label, hosted by the mighty Archive.org. Starting with the Next to Me EP released in 2016, the deft melding of lush electronic music production and smooth lyrical delivery brought the realization, 'this is not your average hip-hop.' Apparently, McCorvey's dad is both an independent music producer and electronic music enthusiast who shared these interests with his son and perhaps guided said fresh directions. There is something there for lovers of both hip hop and electronic genres. 2018ís, full-length offering, Mantra, largely keeps to the idea of melding the two genres, exemplified in tracks like the synth-driven "Come Back" and the whirlwind-like "Forever" with its industrial-style backing vocals. There are flirtations with dubstep, grime and even Industrial, though understated. "Away" on the other hand, is closer to conventional Hip Hop and there is already more than enough of that, not that it is a bad track, far from it. This listener hopes Mos Emvy stick to his electronic palette when crafting melodies and textures and keep pleasantly surprising us.
Mos Emvy, Next to Me EP (2016) https://archive.org/details/BS450033
Forever EP (2017) https://archive.org/details/BS450035
Hands Held High EP (2017) https://archive.org/details/BS450037
Mantra (2018) https://archive.org/details/BSMX0175
Confusion EP (2018) https://archive.org/details/BS450039
- Ty Segall Freedom's Goblin
- Ty Segall Fudge Sandwich
- Civic New Vietnam
- Native Cats John Sharp Toro
- Jerusalem In My Heart Daqa'iq Tudaiq
- Mark Kozelek Mark Kozelek
- Terry I'm Terry
- Orb The Space Between
- Nils Frahm All Melody
- Ryley Walker Deafman Glance
- Nicklas Sorensen Solo 2
- Yo La Tengo There's A Riot Going On
- Luke Howard Open Heart Story
- Daniel Bachman The Morning Star
- Exek Ahead Of Two Thoughts
- Exek Casual Assembly
- The Necks Body
- Vintage Crop New Age
- Father John Misty God's Favorite Customer
- David Myhr Lucky Day
- The Fabulous Poodles Mirror Stars (The Complete Recordings) (Reissue)
- Steven Stark Wandering, Woven World
- Astral Drive Astral Drive
- Van Duren Waiting: The Van Duren Story (Film soundtrack)
- Buffalo Killers Alive And Well In Ohio
- Dino Joubert Freedom In A cage
- Deep Feeling Deep Feeling (Reissue)
- Daniel Carlson Not A Drawing
- Rosemary & Garlic Rosemary & Garlic
- The American Professionals Sympathetic Overdrive
- Be Bop Deluxe Sunburst Finish (Reissue)
- Quiet Island Telescope
- The Lemon Twigs Go To School
- Rue Royal In Parallel
- Bram Tchaikovsky Strange Men, Changed Men: The Complete Recordings 1978-1981 (Reissue)
- Field Music Open Here
- Simon Felton Topsy Turvy
- Tobias Carshey Semicolon
- David Hillyard and the Rocksteady 7 The Giver
- Lee Hazlewood's Woodchucks Cruisin' for Surf Bunnies
- Sunny War With the Sun
- Somesh Mathur Time Stood Still
- Andy Zimmerman Half Light
- Laurie Anderson/Kronos Quartet Landfall
- Kjell Tore Innervik Utopias
- Janelle Monae Dirty Computer
- Hoff Ensemble Polarity
- Neko Case Hell-on
- Noa Fort No World Between Us
- Gabriel Mervine People, Places and Things
- The Ar-Kaics In This Time
- The Smoking Flowers Let's Die Together
- Noshir Mody A Burgeoning Consciousness
- Jeff Tweedy Warm
- Jacqueline Tabor The Lady in the Gown
- Javon Jackson For You
- Sarah Reich New Change
- B3B4 B3B4
- Yagya Sleepygirls [Icelandic ambient techno]
- Erika Stucky + FM Einheit + Andreas Scholl Papito
- King Ayisoba 1000 Can Die [noisy rap + traditional Ghanian kologo + Howlin Wolf-style voice Ė thanks Nina for this one]
- The Fall Singles 1978-2016 [MES = best inscrutable rock poet ever?]
- John Coltrane Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album
- Smooth Contemporary Past [speculative deep-dub-techno]
- DF Tram Serenitay Infinitay
- De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig Leuk [tr: Young People Nowadays - Amusing, Dutch Beastie Boy-esque creative hiphop]
- Rodolphe Burger Good
- Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes No2 [rerelease, turned onto Ribeiro + Alpes by Fabio @ Earwax]
- Sonny Rollins Way Out West
- Marc Sloan Portrait of the Musician as Forever Moonlight
- Nicolas Jaar Sirens
- Vangelis Blade Runner ["BladeRunner Blues" is an amazing track]
- Vashti Bunyan Just Another Diamond Day [In summer 1968 she set off in a horse and cart for Skye where Donovan had a studio. In the year it took her to get there she wrote most of the material for this album. I just discovered her this year]
- Karen Dalton In My Own Time [thanks to daughter Paloma for turning me on to this]
- Murcof + Vanessa Wagner Statea
- Joanna Brouk Hearing Music [re-release of contemplative "healing" improv piano]
- Nicola Cruz & Uji Inversions
Cupcakke, Burn the Priest, Tim Hecker, Mos Emvy
Check out the rest of PERFECT SOUND FOREVER
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