5 Albums You Might Have Missed This Year.

NPR's no 1 choice.

NPR’s no 1 choice.

A few weeks ago the good peo­ple on NPR’s manda­to­ry All Songs Con­sid­ered pod­cast, reviewed ear­li­er here, ran a 50 Best Albums, Songs, Bands and Sur­pris­es of the year so far set of lists, here. Here are 5 from that list that I’d missed and that, hap­pi­ly, I’ve now caught up on.

5. Say Yes To Love, by Per­fect Pussy.

This was the one album that they all had at the top of their lists. 23 min­utes of un-sani­tised, tri­umphant­ly aggres­sive, raw post punk, that some­how man­ages to be sig­nif­i­cant­ly more nuanced that it has any right to be. You can hear Big Stars here.

4. High Life, by Bri­an Eno & Karl Hyde.

Ear­li­er this year Eno and Underworld’s Karl Hyde got togeth­er to record Some­day World, reviewed ear­li­er here. After they’d fin­ished that more for­mal album, they record­ed a num­ber of tracks live, where each would respond to what the oth­er was doing as they were doing it. With Hyde on gui­tar and Eno on assort­ed synths, this is a far more organ­ic sound­ing album, and is a propul­sive echo of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, the album Eno made with David Byrne in 1981. You can hear DBF here.

The debut album from the Family Crest.

The debut album from the The Fam­i­ly Crest.

3. Syl­van Esso, by Syl­van Esso.

This is the sort of mel­liflu­ous, melody heavy indi­etron­i­ca we used to hear from Valerie Tre­bel­jahr with Lali Puna, or The Notwist back in the day – and the latter’s most recent, more pop­py album was anoth­er of their rec­om­men­da­tions. Struc­tured min­i­mal­ism to dig­i­tal beats soft­ened and qui­et­ly trans­formed by the female lead vocal that gen­tly leads the melody. Here’s their video for Cof­fee.

2. Beneath The Brine, by The Fam­i­ly Crest.

These clas­si­cal­ly trained, mul­ti instru­men­tal­ist art rock­ers from San Fran­cis­co are as hap­py ref­er­enc­ing jazz, swing or Weill as they are Bowie of Boland. This is the sort of qui­et­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed, glo­ri­ous­ly epic sound that we had hoped the Arcade Fire would one day pro­duce. Here’s the video for Love Don’t Go.

Dominic Palermo's heady nihilism.

Dominic Paler­mo’s heady nihilism.

1. Guilty Of Every­thing, by Nothing.

Sent to jail for two years for stab­bing a man, for­mer Hor­ror Show front man Dominic Paler­mo (yes, that is his real name) dis­cov­ered Niet­zsche and Dos­toyevsky there whilst evi­dent­ly lis­ten­ing to My Bloody Valen­tine and the 4AD Records back cat­a­logue. This is the debut album form the new band he’s formed. Indus­tri­al, post-apoc­a­lyp­tic noise becalmed by breathy vocals. Majes­tic. You can see the video for Bent Nail here.

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