Here are some of my favourite releases from this year. This list is in no particular order and is by no means completely exhaustive as I’m sure I’ll have forgotten some really amazing stuff that came out over the past twelve months that is currently escaping me, and I really didn’t listen to that much new music this year…
HAPPY TRENDY - Old Friends / Losing It 7” / Die Young EP
Being a longtime fan of Dylan’s earlier synth project Kumon Plaza, seeing him transition into a more traditional style of songs was really exciting for me, especially when the result between his three releases is so effortlessly well-done. Dylan’s an amazing guy with incredible ear for making great pop music.
All of the Purity Ring tracks
Each of the three songs that Purity Ring released over the course of 2011 were so incredibly captivating that I feel kind of embarrassed to share my playcount with most people. These songs could have only come from people as sweet and talented as Corin and Megan.
Elvis Depressedly - Goner
I’ve made it pretty public how much I love Mat’s work as Coma Cinema and how much of a roll it plays in my life and in my own music. After an announcement that Mat would be retiring the Coma Cinema project, he released a series of wide-open emotional EP’s under the name Elvis Depressedly. The second EP from this project, Goner, contains some of my favourite work that Mat has ever done to date and has solidified him in my mind as one of the greatest songwriters of our age.
Ricky Eat Acid - Seeing Little Ghosts Everywhere
Sam Ray’s audio-diary project Seeing Little Ghosts Everywhere is a step away from a lot of his earlier work dealing with pure tonal ambience, glitch and hip-hop instrumentals and into a world of low fidelity 4-track recordings created out of toy keyboards, acoustic guitars and field recordings. This album does the perfect job of isolating specific memories, places and events from over the course of a single summer and turning them into a complete audio world. Still discovering incredible things hidden in these songs.
Atlas Sound - Parallax
However hesitant I first felt about this album and the way that each track was released prior to the total album release and the way it encapsulated Bradford Cox’s singer-songwriter side more than any previous solo album, I kind of now think this the best and most coherent Atlas Sound record to date. The studio-quality recordings really work to these songs advantage too, don’t you think?
Balam Acab - Wander / Wonder
The songs on this album perfectly highlight the kind of otherworldly and floating beauty that I always seem to gravitate towards with certain kinds of music. Every song is perfect. I wish I’d made it.