Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Musical Advent Calendar - Door Number Fourteen

From Door 13's discordant wonkazoid guitar shredfuckery, Pranam seamlessly segues to a malfunctioning cyborg mothership. That, unlike Matt's pick, is yet to become big at festivals. 

Andy Welch

Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs - Clarietta (Heavenly)

While the likes of Tame Impala and Pond clearly wish they’d been alive on America’s West Coast in the mid-to-late-60s, Charlie Boyer’s Year Zero is about a decade later, in New York, when, so we’re led to believe, Richard Hell, Blondie and Television could be seen at CBGBs every night of the week. I like how trashy the tracks are, Things We Be and I’ve Got A River in particular.

Matt Collins

Foals - Holy Fire (Warner Bros)

As epic an album as its name suggests. Foals have finally added some excellent songwriting and strong hooks to their now gargantuan sound. Big at festivals.

Pranam Mavahalli

Autechre – Exai (Warp)

It's Autechre. You know the score. They make music that sounds like a malfunctioning cyborg mothership. Personally I love this shit, and this double album ranks for me with their best stuff. As good a place to start as any if you're intrigued by their music but are yet to indulge.

Ali Mason

Daughter – If You Leave (4AD)

It’s amazing how many times this year I’ve heard a song on the radio and thought “wow, that’s great, I wonder what that is” and it’s turned out to be a song off If You Leave. This says two things: one, If You Leave has got lots of great songs on it; two, my memory is abysmal because I bought the album when it came out and have listened to it regularly.

Guy Atkinson

Haim - Days Are Gone (Polydor)

Despite my penchant for music at the more extreme end of the scale - by the standards of certain folk on this blog - I've always had a significant soft spot for pure pop perfection and that's exactly what Haim deliver here. It evokes memories of my teenage years where I'd listen to nothing but Destiny's Child for weeks on end. This is actually true.

Dom Farrell

Black Joe Lewis - Electric Slave (Vagrant)

Hang about, Joe. You're ditching the the 'Honeybears' moniker and most of the smokin' hot horn sections that made that all so brilliant? That's a disgrace, I'm not sure I can get on board with that at all. Oh, hang on, you're making the guitars loud, filthy and scuzzy, going for a Stooges-lost-in-the-Southern-States vibe and blasting the horns all over good-time single 'Come to My Party' for good measure? Well, why didn't you say so? That's splendid.

Ian Parker

Jonathan Wilson - Fanfare (Bella Union)

After wearing all of his Laurel Canyon inspirations on his sleeve on debut Gentle Spirit, Jonathan Wilson invited most of them into the studio to help record the follow-up Fanfare - with the likes of David Crosby, Graham Nash and Jackson Browne among the collaborators. But what brings this album to life is the rich, rich production - thick layers of sound that slowly unravel the more you play it. As the nights drew in, the warm glow of this record became almost an addiction. It doesn’t all sound as Neil Young-lite as ‘Illumination’, but it does all sound just as good.

Rory Dollard

Bill Callahan - Dream River (Drag City)

Oh Bill. Smoggy, groggy old Bill Callahan. You had me at:

"The only words I said today were 'Beer' and 'Thank you'. 'Beer…thank you'. 'Beer….thank you'. 'Beer….'thank you'.

He's been doing this forever and long may it continue.

Steve Pill

Kurt Vile – Wakin' On A Pretty Daze (Matador)

The former War on Drugs man goes back to the gold soundz on his fifth solo album, a stoned and rather majestic little record that recalls Spiritualized, Neil Young and Dinosaur Jr. Gone is the more hectic fuzzy pop of old, in favour of a warm and unhurried mood throughout. Songs stretch out like lazy cats in the sunshine. Even the quickstep of Was All Talk has a weird inertia to it. In 2013, listening to Wakin' On A Pretty Daze was the quickest way to make time standstill.

John Skilbeck

Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In (Names Records)

Its stripped-back sound was a touch anachronistic in the year of the twerk, but Caitlin Rose's The Stand-In was a real treat. The second album by the 26-year-old from Nashville could have been recorded 50 years ago, so disinclined was it to align itself with modern tropes of country-pop. It contained little more complicated than classy songs of passion, heartbreak and defiance, themes for the ages. A few endearing edges may have been smoothed out since Rose's first emergence, but sophistication remains front and centre.

1 comment:

  1. Guy's Track of the Day goes to Kurt Vile. It's getting tight at the top:

    Pranam - 3
    Andy - 3
    Steve - 3
    Rory - 2
    Dom - 1
    John - 1
    Matt - 1