This year has provided both threats and thrills. Amongst the chaos there has been creation. It has been a packed year for music, for good reasons and bad. The Stranger Song wanted to highlight some releases from the year that we did not want to go unnoticed. These are albums and EPs that are especially great works. In no particular order, we present to you some of our favorites:
Parquet Courts – Human Performance
The band’s 5th LP does not shy away from their experimental blend of stripped down post-punk mixed with slacker rock instrumentation and a witty lyrical sensibility. This album is up there with Light Up Gold as being the most accessible releases in their catalog.
Big Ups – Before A Million Universes
Big Ups’ gritty sophomore album plays with dynamic, timing, and aggression. Before A Million Universes is sure to delight fans of The Jesus Lizard, Metz, and almost unnecessary to mention – Slint.
Fear of Men – Fall Forever
A gleaming album that floats with hints of dream pop, simultaneously uplifting and melancholic, Fear of Men engages listeners in fantastic sceneries and heartbreaking memories.
Marching Church – Telling It Like It Is
A criminally underlooked album, Marching Church combines orchestral instrumentation with the intense and emotional rock of the members’ other bands. What began as an experimental solo project for Elias Bender Rønnenfelt (of Iceage) has become a complete band. There are traces of Iceage, yet Marching Church is different enough in its own right to have a unique and refreshingly original sound.
The KVB – …Of Desire
An album littered with post-punk, shoegaze, and synthpop sounds ranging from the Jesus and Mary Chain to Clan of Xymox, the KVB craft their songs with meticulous detail, separating them from the hordes of other contemporaries attempting to breathe new life into these genres.
Carla dal Forno – You Know What It’s Like
The debut album from the Australian multi-instrumentalist is beautifully eerie and triumphant. Read our full review here.
Marissa Nadler – Strangers
A dark and brooding folk album that will please fans of artists ranging from Angel Olsen to Chelsea Wolfe. Strangers is a staggeringly honest meditation accompanied by elegant, haunting melodies.