October saw the release of a few records that will probably make my end of year list. It also saw the release of records by some of my favourite artists.
I’d been looking forward to the new John Grant record for a while, and it ended up being Rough Trade’s album of the month (as well as coming with a CD version, so I have 2 copies). Grey Tickles, Black Pressures sounds like the best bits of his first two records re-imaged, which is just fine by me, and even the pink and orange vinyl didn’t put me off too much. I suspect this is a record that needs repeated listens, and I also think that the variety of musical styles makes it the sort of record that would work on a random playlist.
At the same time I picked up a record by Protomartyr (about who I know very little). The reviews mentioned Joy Division, and it came on green marbled vinyl with a small pamphlet of lyrics and other artwork. The Agent Intellect is a classic 45 minute 12 song album that doesn’t stick around too long but is a perfect example of what it is trying to be.
I’m not going to write too much about The Twilight Sad, Joanna Newsom or British Sea Power. I own every album that each of these artists has made (and a fair few other things as well), so I’m certainly writing from the perspective of a fan. The Twilight Sad record is well worth a listen; the songs are familiar but the arrangements are more stripped down and intimate, and it acts as a nice companion to their last album (from which most of the songs are taken). Likewise, the BSP album is re-workings of old songs, with the addition of a brass band, which adds additional texture and a whole new twist on songs I’ve listened to many times before. Joanna Newsom’s record is all new, took 5 years to make, and is one to listen to on repeat and try and work out what it all means.
The full list is:
Eliza Rickman – Footnotes for the Spring
John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressures
Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect
Youth Lagoon – Savage Hills Ballroom
The Twilight Sad – Oran Mor
Yacht – I Thought the Future Would be Cooler
The Decemberists – Florasongs
Joanna Newsom – Divers (not on Spotify playlist)
British Sea Power – Sea of Brass (2nd disk not on Spotify playlist)
Probably the best single month of music so far in 2015 I think.