08|14|08 My top-5 list on Cheese on Toast :)
I totally adore lists. They suit my temperament. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a tidy person. In fact, in many ways I am a total slob. Nevertheless, my mind has a tendency to prefer tidy concepts, symmetry, order, or really anything at all that would appeal to an obsessive-compulsive person like myself.
What’s the list about? Anything musical that has been on my mind as of late. Old stuff, new stuff, songs, albums, artists, you name it.
Rather than go on some unsolicited messianic mission of opining what I think the “best”, “most important”, “hip”, “relevant” albums are, I stuck to something far more simple and secular: I chose to talk about five albums that I happened to listen to a lot over the last year. There were more important albums, of course, better albums, more I deserve a pat on the back for listening to something this obscure albums that I could have used the column space for, but – in the end – those type of lists always strike me as self-serving and borderline pretentious, if not outright dishonest.
I bet half the people who are in the habit of mentioning some obscure album as their “favorite album” would blush and mumble if somebody actually bothered to check their iTunes playcounts! :)
Obscure album: 17 plays. Latest Radiohead record: 146 plays.
Here are the 5 albums I talked about:
1) Arab Strap – Elephant Shoe
I’ve been listening to Arab Strap a lot over the past years and ‘Elephant Shoe’ is beyond any doubt the album I turn to the most. ‘Cherubs’ is one of my favorite tracks of all time, and had a huge influence on my song writing. The way he delivers his wonderful lyrics, as if he’s just about to drift into a deep night’s sleep, really touched me. The arrangement, too, I find startling. Until I heard that track, for example, I had never thought of laying an earth-shattering 909 kick under what is really a slow and somber guitar-based song. The song structure, too, is just so simple, yet effective. There is no chorus, no moment of self-consciousness. The perfect derelict pop song.
2) Audrey – The Fierce And The Longing
This is one of the very few albums that I’ve heard within the last 12 months that I actually think I might still be listening to in a few years time. This whole album is the perfect soundtrack for those days when you walk through the city, feeling disjointed and separated from the world. The lyrics are just so unbelievably personal they really make you feel like the world is just passing you by in this haze, and all that matters are the few moments in life that were lived intensely enough to spawn the kind memories she sings about.
3) M83 – Saturdays = Youth
I’ve been going nuts over this album ever since it first leaked onto the internet. I had been reading a lot of the pre-release interviews, so, like most M83 fans, I already knew the album was supposed to be quite different from his previous work. Truth be told, I was totally braced for disappointment after hearing the first single, Couleurs. But man am I glad I gave the album a chance, because it’s become my favorite M83 album, and, oddly enough, really restored my interest in a lot of music from the 1980’s.
4) Blonde Redhead – 23
From the day ‘23′ was released, I just haven’t been able to tear myself away from it. I’ve been a huge Blonde Redhead fan for ages, but have to admit that I was really starting to tire a bit from their sound over the last year or two. ‘23′ is just endlessly inventive and catchy. At first it sort of masqueraded as this glossy pop album, but the more I started listening to it, the more all the amazing sounds that hovered beneath the surface started emerging, and the more my admiration for this album grew. Maybe not the “best” album I’ve heard last year, but easily the album I listened to the most.
5) Ellen Allien – Berlinette
Although I’ve owned this album for years now, it’s only within the last year that I really started listening to it more. I’m just absolutely amazed at how well produced this album is. Every time I listen to it, I just feel like messing around with my keyboards for hours.
Other albums I’ve been listening to a lot recently: Khonnor “Handwriting”, Efterklang “Under Giant Trees”, Eluvium “Copia”, Ida “Heart Like A River”, Midwest Product “Swamp EP”, Mojave 3 “Puzzles Like You”, Rodan “Rusty”…
Tell me, if you were asked to write a list of 5 things you’ve been digging lately, what would they be? Come on now… time to let the guilty pleasures out of the bag! :)
Yay! Check out the new Enright House Shop I just finished making! Even if you’re not the type of person who buys music anymore, do take a look at how pretty and shiny it is! :)
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