The Year That Was: 2012, A Delayed Album list (Part One)

wiggoFor those of you who listened, you’ll be aware that my album list of the year does exist and was broadcast on Mixlr before the new year. The writeup for this never existed due to a mix of procrastination, university and going to work; but for those of you still interested, today is your lucky day. If you’d like to listen to the audible version, please click the image to the right and if you’d like to listen to an overarching “tracks of the year” show that features a heck of a lot of awesome tracks that may not neccessarily be on fantastic records, click HERE. I promise it’s not boring and it’ll take your afternoon into the most recent-nostalgia possible.

THE WRITEUP

20. Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
As someone who can only listen to the music of FlyLo when in a certain moodset, this record was never going to be an absolute highlight of the year for me. It is nonetheless, a record full of swirling sounds that are strong without ever being in your face and relaxing without forcing you to sleep. This balance then, is commendable and one that warrants Stephen Ellison’s moniker a place opening the list.
Watch a gorgeous short film for the record here.

 

19. Calvin Harris – 18Months
To put it simply, Calvin Harris continues to appeal to me in a club setting that tends not to. From We Found Love featuring Rihanna through to Sweet Nothing with Florence Welch, 18 Months is impressive and away from the collaborations, it’s the devotion he’s put into the likes of School and summer 2011 hit Feel So Close that really draw me in. Harris just knows how to get you going whilst not being David Guetta or Deadmau5 and for that, he earns a place in the list.

18. Bloc Party – Four
Think anything about the past, say what you like about Kele Okereke and company’s break and expect what ever from Bloc Party; they don’t mind. Post-hiatus, Four is unapologetically what Bloc Party wanted to do and regardless of discussion, was always going to be. From Octopus’ release through to what could be a defining moment for Bloc next month at Earl’s Court, Four is a record that whilst, at times lacks definition has its own honesty and makes sure that the act still stand out of their own accord.
SI REVIEW HERE  //  STREAM HERE

17. Passion Pit – Gossamer
If you’ve written one of the standout records of the last decade and said album was your debut, the follow up is always going to be difficult, but what Passion Pit achieved in following up Manners with Gossamer was at times difficult to appreciate. The “hits” lack, but what you have in their place is, in my opinion a record built on a more solid structure. Take a Walk and I’ll Be Alright (below) lead onto a record that has a narrative and creates a full live show that takes you on a journey. In that respect, job done.

16. Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe
The Womack has had a recent resurgence in popularity thanks in some part to Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz. In The Bravest Man however, he proves that he never needed it. At 68, Womack’s career has spanned 6 decades and continues to grow with his time. Take his booming voice in this record and add a production value that’s second to almost none and you’ve got an album that may well prove timeless.
STREAM IN FULL HERE

15. Mr Fogg – Eleven
I’ll be honest; I know very little about Mr.Fogg. His music, up until this album has eluded me and my negligence to gain more knowledge since its release is a bit foolish. That said, this record has been the soundtrack to every night bus I’ve needed to take in London all year. It’s got the quiet buzz that calms whilst pulsing with a sound that keeps you awake. It’s the perfect accompaniment to so much of the night from start to finish and for that, it makes this list.
STREAM HERE AT NIGHT

14. Jessie Ware – Devotion
I first encountered Jessie Ware at my time at Toast Press earlier in the year and instantly fell for her sound. It’s capacity to be remixed, toyed with and adapted is seemingly endless whilst as a standalone record it’s soulful and transcendant. Ware has achieved Mercury nominations and plaudits across the board and has been part of what was, in my opinion, the best mix of the year from Julio Bashmore and Annie Mac (below). Kudos Jessie.

13.  Crystal Castles – III
Alice Glass and Ethan Kath are insane. This is a generally accepted fact and yet, within that insanity they’ve managed to create three records that hit the boundaries of their genres and have made them one of the most successful “dance” acts of the last years. In III, they did some serious growing up, toned down on the agrression and cemented their place in the hearts of 21st century youth.
SI REVIEW HERE

12. Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
Cloud Nothings started this year in relative obscurity and ended it at the forefront of modern rock. This was in no small part due to the expansive sound of  their third record, Attack on Memory. From the catchy power of Stay Useless (below) through to the elongated 9minutes of Wasted Days, it’s huge and from a group of relative nerds, that’s fantastic.

11. Purity Ring – Shrines
Electronic music is taking step after step these days and in Purity Ring’s debut album, those steps appear to be in the right direction to encapsulate music. The comments on standout track, Fineshrine mostly scream “hipster” and “mainstream”, but what does that matter and since when has YouTube not brought out the worst in human nature? Screw it, the 1.2million views seem to think that both could live in harmony some day and Shrines will be one of those records that can say “they were there”.

MORE TO FOLLOW!!!

Take care of each other
Braden

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SI Update: Tall Ships, Bloc Party, Keaton Henson and more.

Away from ThereGoesTheFear.com, I’ve been up to quite a bit in my role as Live Editor at Sound Influx. We’ve had a steady build so far and its looking good for the future. Here’s what I’ve been covering since I abandoned this blog…

Live Reviews
An evening in Camden
Eyes on Film with Carl Barat, Live at the Proud Galleries
Keaton Henson Live at the Cinema Museum.
Kyla La Grange Live at Scala, Kings Cross

Album Reviews
Bloc Party – Four 
METZ – METZ
Icona Pop – Iconic

Tall Ships
Everything Touching Album Review
XOYO Live Review
One of the most promising acts in the country have finally released their debut album and I took up the campaign for SI. Their live show goes from strength to strength as their new material filters into the set. Everything’s good in Tall Ships world.

Spring Offensive
In Camden
Not Drowning But Waving
Somewhere between Gareth from the Office and Jack Steadman, you’ve got the lead singer of Spring Offensive. The band’s slow rise is testament to their continued strong output and hopefully it will continue.

That basically brings everything up to date from TGTF and SI. I’m happy with how things are going and there’s a heck of a lot more on the way.
In other news, new EVERYTHING EVERYTHING!

Take care of each other
Braden

TGTF Catchup: The1975, Lucy Rose, Dog is Dead and more.

In the last post, I mentioned I’d been writing quite a bit even though I hadn’t been posting it to this blog. Here’s a little catchup for the work I’ve done for ThereGoesTheFear.com

The1975
Facedown EP
Sex EP
With a series of two quick releases under their belts, the1975 have been building up their own hype. I’ve been keeping up with it all for TGTF and whilst some of it is disappointing, there’s real promise in the Mancunian band. Click the links above for my words and listen to “You” below.

The Killers
Battleborn Album Review
TGTF Podcast
Shortly after reviewing their new record, I was asked to partake in a small debate about The Killers in which I sound quite ridiculous and suggest that music no longer needs them. Its all a very strange experience for me. Either way, you can get to either of them from the above links. Don’t expect me to be anywhere near as nice as I was when I suggested that a Killers show was my favourite ever.


Lucy Rose
Like I Used To Album Review
Lucy Rose is the one constant of 2012 for me. She’s been the only artist to genuinely live up to the huge amount of hype around them and not allow it to change them. As you may be able to tell, this quite a nice review.

Dog is Dead
All Our Favourite Stories Album Review
Bands to Watch
Festifeel Coverage
The Nottingham band are a TGTF staple by now. Dog is Dead have been covered for a long, long time there and I was lucky enough to be allowed to take up their coverage for the end product. I’m not sure I gave the review TGTF readers were expecting, but oh well. See the links above and listen to Teenage Daughter below. 

Kyla La Grange
Album Review
Festifeel Coverage
If Lucy Rose is the bright side of Laura Marling from before she turned a bit naff, Kyla La Grange is what would have happened if Marling had done a Bob Dylan and picked up an electric guitar for her darker material. Whilst her music wraps itself in moodiness, it still has an uplifting and rather haunting sound at times. Sadly, the record doesn’t fully explain all of this. Read the review above. More on La Grange to come in the SI update.

That’s pretty much that for now. I also saw White Rabbits, said Tall Ships have more power than TeamGB’s cyclists and suggested that Deap Vally could make a debut record better than the White Stripes‘ Get Behind Me Satan, but that’s all passing comment really.

Tomorrow, the Sound Influx update and a fantastic video from a band that split up almost two years ago!
Take care of each other
Braden

TGTF Catchup: Festifeel and Blur

Whilst I’ve hardly been the most prolific poster on this blog of late, don’t think that’s meant media silence from me. Not at all. The more active and less professional blog over on Tumblr has been lit up with images and musings whilst I’ve also simply neglected to mention two posts on ThereGoesTheFear.com
Firstly all the way back to the Jubilee weekend, I went to Festifeel in the Queen of Hoxton. It’s the reason I’ve now got a wristband that says “CHECK YOUR BOOBS!”  on it (much to the displeasure of my mother) and its also happens to have coinsided with a time I had no camera to use so a nice man named Paul let me use two of his as well as me reverting to Instagram (I’m not proud) to nestle some photos in with my writing. Click HERE or on Newton Faulkner to see what I had to say about the day-festival.


Secondly, you might remember that last week Blur debuted two new tracks to the world-wide-web. I wrote about them for ThereGoesTheFear and Mary (the editor) very kindly said it’s a “thoughtful piece”. High praise which I’m grateful for. Click HERE or on Damon to see those words and hear those songs.

There’s two brand new reviews of two brand new albums coming in the next 24 hours so keep peeled for them. In the mean time, I’m going to locate my wellies because its back to the fields for 2000Trees this weekend. How I’ve missed the English summer and my stupid Ministry of Sound tent.

TodayInFireworks 14th June 2012

There’s a few things that have caught my attention in the last week that don’t really warrant a whole post to themselves or are kind of similar to other things I’ve posted of late, but they do deserve to be mentioned; here they are!

No sooner than I had posted my playlist of University Year 2 the other daty had The1975 finally launched the official audio for their single The City. They’re a favourite over at Hairy Mouth, be sure to check them and the HM out.

Kyla La Grange has announced that her debut album will finally be released on 30th July and will be called Ashes. It looks like the picture on the right and sounds like what happens when you click the picture.
The review of Festifeel which features a half hour set from Kyla will be online within the week and I hold out good hope for this record.

Crywank’s been busy. Having just completed a joint UK tour with his friends Feralus, he’s finally got himself a Bandcamp. This not only means that you can stream his (two free) albums, it means you can also download them and even give him a few quid if you like what you hear. If you remember, his debut James is Going to Die Soon made it into the Fireworks top albums of 2010 so I highly reccomend giving it a listen.

And finally, ISO50, already my favourite blog in the world, has had an upgrade of sort making it even nicer to visit and carouse. It’s the blog of designer and musician Scott Hansen who’s musical project Tycho is sublime and skills as a designer are equally as joyful. He’s joined by a team of other lovely and hugely talented folk to create one of the most interesting blogs around. Enjoy.

That should be all for now
Take care of each other
Braden