2018 has been a cracking year for new music and new discoveries for me. Here’s a selection of the artists and tracks I’ve fallen in love with and written about over the last twelve months.
Back in January I posted about Phoebe Bridgers. The first track released from her wonderful ‘Stranger In The Alps‘ album. Truth be told, both single and album were released in 2017, but to me, they were both 2018 discoveries! I missed out on her Ryan Adams produced debut ‘Killer‘ when it came out in 2016. I’m still to see her live too, I’ve missed her for various reasons when she’s been in the U.K.. She’s releasing music along with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus as boygenius at the moment. They are touring extensively in the States, hopefully they’ll make it over here at some point in 2019.
Here’s the sublime ‘Motion Sickness’.
Imarhan are an Algerian Tuareg desert rock band. The front man is cousins with one of Tinariwen and they are Tuareg people from the Sahara. They are signed to City Slang. Their second album ‘Temet’ came out earlier this year.
LUMP is the musical project Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay came up with this year. (Mike was kind enough to answer a few questions for me for this blog here. )
I’ve been a fan of both Laura Marling an Mike‘s various musical guises for years, having put them on at Green Man frequently. Mike’s band Tunng played regularly in the very early years. So, a glorious coupling of two great musical minds here with LUMP.
Brooklyn based Sunflower Bean featuring the fabulous, sassy vocals and bass playing from Julia Cumming. This is from their second album, ‘Twenty Two’ which came out on Mom and Pop records earlier this year.
Let’s Eat Grandma is two teenage, childhood friends, Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingsworth from Norwich. Already on their second album, ‘I’m All Ears‘ released in the summer on the Transgressive label. Wonderful electro pop by any standard, but when you also think about their youth, incredible really.
They’ve actually released 6 albums. They are from Columbus, Ohio. They were formed in 2007 by Zac Little. Love this!
Valley Maker is Austin Crane, a Seattle-based songwriter who first emerged on the fringes of Bandcamp with a self-titled debut that also doubled as his college thesis. This year he released ‘Rhododendron’ on Frenchkiss Records. Really gorgeous stuff.
Bakar “I could be on every single playlist on Spotify and feel at home there”. Born and raised in Camden, north London, Bakar has been making music for a little over two years. Love this music, love how the band look.
Melbourne based band, Midlife, ‘The Magnificent Moon’ from their debut album ‘Phase’ released on Research Records this year. Mildlife are James Donald, Adam Halliwell, Kevin McDowell, Tomas Shanahan. The album is brilliant too.
Klaus Johann Grobe, are a Swiss duo and their new album, ‘Du Bist So Symmetrisch‘ came out in October on Trouble in Mind Records.
Classic Germanic synth music. This is their first single from the album.
Gregory Alan Isakov
Beautiful music. Recorded at a converted barn studio located on Gregory’s three-acre farm in Boulder County, Colorado, his new twelve-track album—via his own label Suitcase Town Music and his first in partnership with Dualtone Records—was self-produced and mixed by Tucker Martine (Neko Case, The Decemberists) and Andrew Berlin (Descendents, Rise Against).
‘Evening Machines’ is his fourth full-length studio album and first in five years, “I’d work really hard into the night. A lot of times I would find myself in the light of all these VU meters and the tape machine glow, so that’s where the title came from. I recorded mostly at night, when I wasn’t working in the gardens. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me.”
I’ve got the whole album, which is magnificent. This is from it –
Brockhampton ‘San Marcos’
An American musical collective, based in California. There are 13 in the band / collective. I think it is wonderful. I love the energy so much. Made me cry first time I watched the video.
Trummor and Orgel
Swedish psychedelic jazz…..’Metropolis‘ from Trummor & Orgel’s first U.K. release, ‘Indivisibility’.
Trummor & Orgel are Anders Ljunggren (organ) and Staffan Ljunggren(drums).
In their own words – “the goal behind making Indivisibility was to find balance between the organic and the electronic, the dynamic and the predictable, then and now; the equilibrium between man and machine. Utterly uncompromising, are the words we are looking for. The result is something we are very proud of: a record that emotionally lands in the place between urban and nature. ‘A symbiosis of man and machine.”
Very nice indeed.
From Dublin. They’ve just signed to Partisan Records and have recently supported Shame on tour.
Speaking about the visuals in this video, director Hugh Mulhern, says it is made up of “low-brow visuals inspired by Buster Keaton, James Joyce, The Dubliners and Jim Henson to discuss high- brow ramblings of some stout swilling stereotypes.”
Love the video and track so much. I think this band is great. The singer strikes me as a Shaun Ryder, Mark E. Smith kind character. I love Shame too, I bet those were great gigs.
Christine X ‘Aldershot’
The first in the alphabet series. The next track ‘Bluetrain’ is released tomorrow! This came out in November and is the first release on the Indie Through The Looking Glass label.
Everyone You Know
I adore these guys. Half brothers ‘from outside London’. This is from the ‘Cheer Up Charlie’ EP. I’m expecting big things.
Bye 2018, thanks for the wonderful music! Looking forward to 2019! X