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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