Textured and layered music from a Danish five-piece who mix guitars, electronics with the voice of Nanna Schannong. These songs are imbued with a magical ethereal quality that has kept me coming back. The album was released on Bella Union a few weeks ago.
Favourite tracks: ‘Morning’, ‘Word’, ‘Look At The Sun’.
Not only was 2008’s Alopecia the best Why? album in their discography for me, it is also one of my albums of the last decade – so yeah I love that record. Their albums since haven’t really captured my imagination so much but newest release, the home-recorded Moh Lhean has Yoni and Josiah Wolf sounding rejuvenated and less cynical than before. Why?’s music has increasingly prettified in recent years but Moh Lhean feels like it has the balance of indie-folk, orchestral arrangements and a fresh outlook. Wolf suffered a severe health scare that has given him a different perspective and even samples his doctor for the album.
Favourite tracks: ‘Proactive Evolution’, ‘George Washington’, ‘This Ole King’
An imaginative second album of indie rock from a Perth band on 4AD. Everything Is Forgotten feels like stepping into the world of a band who already have an identity that you’ve just caught up on. It’s reminiscent of Metronomy in tone in that it’s got a bit of taut pop funk vibe but definitely of the guitar world.
Favourite tracks: ‘Ubu’, ‘Drink Wine’, ‘L’Heure Des Sorcieres’
John Talabot and Axel Boman collaborate on an album that decidedly more atmospheric and slo-mo than their previous solo output. The Night Lad builds on the duo’s previous EP and revels in Africa-inspired drum-programming, warm spacious dance and distorted ambient productions.
Update: It’s 2016, I found this post and enjoyed it. I’ve now added a Spotify playlist of all of the albums available.
Below is a list of my favourite records of the ten years between the turn of the millenium, the year 2000 and 2010. Ranking these albums was led by a) what the album means to me and b) how often I’d listen to it. Each and every one of these albums blew me away repeatedly at some time between the ages of 18 and 27. Each one has something special going for it, something magical that brings me back to it. For that I can only thank the creators of each.
Without further ado, here are my favourite 50 albums from the decade. And remember, you can’t be wrong if they are your favourites.
Yoni Wolf is heading out on a U.S. tour with his pal Serengeti which rather than rehash songs from his band Why? or play acoustically, will be all-rap centred. To that end, Yoni has released a mixtape of rap versions of re-imagined Why?, cLOUDDEAD, Hymie’s Basement and Reaching Quiet tracks.
There are also a Mobb Deep and A Tribe Called Quest samples, Yoni asking an unknown music on a 9-hour flight to participate in his Wandering Wolf podcast and remixes of Why? tracks by Boards Of Canada and more.
It’s only been a matter of weeks since I digested Why?’s Sod In The Seed EP so I haven’t had a chance to listen to their new album Mumps, etc yet (full stream) but this new video by Scott Fredette & Alex Parks for ‘Strawberries’ might be a good intro for me (and you).
Why?’s songs have always had a double-edged appeal. Over four albums, the music has moved from experimental sounding arrangements into a more orchestrated state while Yoni Wolf’s rasp serves as the narrator who is frequently gutted and guilty.
At the apex of their discography, sits 2008’s Alopecia, the embodiment of both strands of the Why? sound thus far, indie-rock mechanics, confessional narrative, biting and memorable poetic lyrics, it is a visceral and compounding listen every time.
Follow up album Eskimo Snow never really captured that same alchemy, coming across as jaded and a bit more discarded.
So it’s with that in mind we turn to the band’s first release since that album, a 6-track taster for the band’s Mumps, etc album due in October and what good news it brings. On the evidence of this EP, Why? have recaptured some of that spirit that made Alopecia such a personal and stomach-swelling release. (more…)
Good news. Why? are back. New label in the form of City Slang and a new EP Sod In The Seed, out August 13th. Yoni and co. will release a new album later in the year and have European tour dates lined up.
Title track ‘Sod In The Seed’ is a distillation of some of the best of Why?’s best records. Sardonic lyrics (“who am I to judge a man’s heart by his yacht wear?”), a sweet chorus and percussively-driven arrangement.
You’ve probably heard by now that Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch was diagnosed with cancer recently. In a Youtube video on their site, Yauch explained that he will undergo surgery, that it is very treatable and that he should make a full recovery. Naturally, Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1’s release has been pushed back to accomodate him. On the same day, a proper version of their track with Nas – ‘Too Many Rappers’ also appeared and you can hear in this week’s chart.
Well well. A taster from Why?’s forthcoming album Eskimo Snow appeared today and as Pitchfork noted there’s hardly a glimpse of the band’s leftfield rap sound present. This is pretty much a straight-up sweet piano-led tune albeit with Yoni Wolf’s unique and artful lyrical delivery intact.
Eskimo Snow is out through Anticon on September 22th (so 18th here probably). The album was recorded at the same time as last year’s brilliant Alopecia.
Vinny’s solo project away from the furious bass duties for Adebisi Shank was a 26 minute triumph of computer-generated fun. The film of the title informs each 8-bit workout with song titles, samples and theme. It’s the sound of an Atari throwing shapes on a dancefloor.
The Jimmys’ third and best album, a welcome return after five years of silence. Spectre & Crown ebbs and flows wonderfully through Herculean orchestral passages of melody and cadence, leaving an indelible chronicle of nine musicians contributing to a singular and necessary vision. The production is immaculately precise yet organic, the music epic yet controlled; brimming with piano, accordion, clarinet, trumpet, bass and saxophone.
Rollie Pemberton’s second album took us on a journey of his hometown Edmonton, on the way he recounted tales of his friends, failed club nights, hairdressers, tattoo artists and underage youth cliques all set to bouncing dancefloor-orientated hip-hop beats.
Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer from the Strokes hooks up with some friends in LA to make an album of sunshine-infused folk-pop and manages to surpass all other Strokes-related material since Is This It?. Little Joy is the perfect name for these little nuggets.
Key track: No-one’s Better Sake