I knew absolutely zip about O Emperor heading into their latest and final long-form release Jason. There’s nobody else making music like this so well in the country, so their conclusion is bittersweet. ‘Bogey Wonderland’ is a psychedelic funk track, a warped take on something that would have soundtracked a cop show in the 70s.
‘Mopedbart’ is five minutes of delicious electro. A treat not only in how lush and well rounded the synth sounds throughout it are but in the wealth of charisma and personality the group pack into the track. I still have no idea what the lead singer is talking about, but I want to be his friend.
A real gem of a musical discovery this year, Nilufer Yanya composes a compelling brand of melodramatic indie music. ‘Baby Luv’ sits somewhere between the realms of post-punk high emotion and the disaffected cool of mid-00s indie music. For the most part, it’s just Yanya’s voice and an electric guitar with plenty of reverb on it. A simple set up for sure, but so well crafted that it ends up taking on an almost anthemic appeal. That the artist has some Irish heritage is the cherry atop the cake.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
UMO’s ‘Hunnybee’ is my favourite from their Sex & Food LP. A glittery pop track with only the faintest hints of the high-brow psych which the group were founded upon. Nelson’s obviously been making a move toward embracing popular culture, ‘Hunnybee’ is the fantastic result.
Yves Tumor ft. James K
Licking An Orchid
It took me a cool minute to come around to Yves Tumor’s Safe In The Hands Of Love. There’s an abrasive edge to the entire project, aided by both it’s otherworldly production and moody style of lyricism, that takes some digesting. ‘Licking An Orchid’ grows on you, play by play. All of a sudden you have it on repeat, totally immersed in the artist’s world of high-art melodrama. Funny that.
Said Goodbye To That Car
‘Said Goodbye To That Car’ is perhaps the most beautiful song every written about an automobile. It’s the closing track to Nadler’s For My Crimes, a fitting sense of closure too. It’s about nostalgia, about looking back and about the necessity of moving forward. That’s a lot to pack into a track about a rustbucket.
Sex Money Feelings Die
Picking a favourite from Lykke Li’s So Sad So Sexy was a daunting proposition. It’s among my most played albums of the year in terms of a whole. From top to bottom So Sad So Sexy was 2018’s best breakup album. Strangely, I often compare it to Tame Impala’s Currents for that very reason. ‘Sex Money Feelings Die’ is unbelievably catchy, showcasing the strongest elements of Li’s new sound. Namely, trap, R&B, pop and heartbreak.
Old Stuff, New Glass
‘Old Stuff, New Glass’ is the sort of superb stand out single that makes you very excited for a young bands future. That band is, of course, The Orielles. The Halifax bring an upbeat, ultra cool and youthful vibe to all of their music. I highly recommend Silver Dollar Moment as an LP if you haven’t heard it yet.
“Is it too real for ya?”
One of the most critically lauded current hip-hop prospects, Dreamville’s JID has moved right into the foremost of best hip-hop LP’s with Dicaprio 2. ‘Workin Out’ is probably the most vulnerable and self-reflective the Atlanta MC gets on the entire project. A rare moment of doubt from an artist who is rightly optimistic about the future.