1 – Foxygen – We Are the 21st Centuary Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.
Just a fantastic journey from start to finish that has just the right measures of nostalgia and innovation. If you have the Winter blues then this is the album for you. Also a European tour cancelled for ‘Creative health’ reasons heightens the mystique
2 – Jagwa Ma – Howlin
A great mix of ‘baggy’ tripped out early acid and beach boy vibes. I prefer the tunes that favour the former but it’s a very listenable album that got played in the garden a lot this year. Try the 12 minute Pachanga Boys remix of ‘Come and Save Me’ for the ultimate blissed out version
3 – Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare
For fans of 80s pink Floyd CSN and post Beatles solo projects this album, like it’s predecessor is an embarrassment of riches. I found it required a few listens but the songwriting just gets you. Try Dear Friend as a taster.
4 – DaftSide – Darkside Daft Punk Remix album
This came out about 3 weeks after the original, is totally unauthorised and shows that there is a decent album somewhere in the original. If you think you wouldn’t like a acid reggae mix of ‘Get Lucky’ – Think again!
5 – Holydrug Couple – Noctary
Just really good. If you like Tame Impala you’ll like this. Also they are from Chile. Track 3 is a killer – “Follow Your Way”
6 – Valient Thorr – Our Own Masters
Any year with a Valient Thorr album is a good one. Probably their most commercial single ‘Torn Apart‘ blazed the trail showing that as well as their punk metal sensibility these boys can carry a tune too. I always describe their sound as somewhere between Thin Lizzy and Gallows. Probably the most enthusiastic band live at the moment
7 – Pond – Hobo Rocket
Billed as the band ‘Tame Impala aren’t brave enough to be’, this 5th offering from the Perth Aussies certainly pushes some boundaries. It lurches from blissed-out psych ambience to Sabbath style riffs at the drop of a hat. More of this please!
8 – Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
I was never that fussed by these guys but after a sojourn as Roky Erickson’s backing band they’ve come back much more interesting. Like a mix of early Floyd, the Doors and any good stoner band you can think of.. Great live as well. Try this single “Don’t Play with Guns”
9 – Dogstate – Let It Loose
These guys described their sound as ‘Stripper Music’ to me followed up by a big dirty laugh. I think they’re selling themselves short as fans of Danzig, The Cult, Led Zep and Soundgarden will find things to like in here. Josh Homme would cut off his right arm for a riff like “Gallows” right now
10 – Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is a Killer
Like Valient Thorr, a new DEP album is a blessing, all-be-it a very dark and aggressive one. I’ve come to think of them as the math rock equivalent of the Ink Spots in that a lot of their tunes start off the same. But it’s the detail and intensity that follows that sets them apart from all other bands at the moment. Probably my gig of the year at Kokos in October