15. Jeff Lewis and the Junkyard – ‘Em Are I
‘Em Are I is the fifth album proper from Jeff Lewis and is yet another singular look into the mind of a brilliant lyricist, comic artist and increasingly more intricate musician. Joined as he is this time round by a full band The Junkyard, just like the excellent 12 Crass Songs covers album from 2007 bolsters these personal songs about hair loss, ghosts, love, and public transport. Jeffrey’s appeal is his ability to sing things of meaning with understated simplicity, self-depreciation and deadpan humour.Myspace | Buy: Amazon / iTunes / eMusic ]
14. Nosaj Thing – Drift
This LA boy aka the George Harrison of Low End Theory first made an appearance on this blog back in March 2007. This year he released his stunning debut Drift brimming with head-nodding beats, sinister sci-fi synths and luscious ambient production. It’s like a cross between Flying Lotus, J Dilla and Dabrye while still managing to retain something unique onto itself.
13. David Kitt – The Nightsaver
Kittser has talked of giving up the musical ghost this year but if it means we’ll not receive nuggets like The Nightsaver his most consistent album since The Big Romance , it would be a great loss indeed. The album was recorded at the top of a winding staircase somewhere along Dublin’s Grand Canal in the early hours of the morning (hence the title). It merges his scratchy-voiced guitar songs with inventive homemade electronic flourishes beautifully.Site | Buy: Direct]
12. YACHT – See Mystery Lights
Jona Bechtolt followed up 2007’s I Believe in You, Your Magic is Real by first expanding Yacht into a duo. Claire Evans gradually became Jona’s perfect female foil – a nonchalant cooler-than-thou sidekick to Jona’s nerdy white boy A.D.D. rocker. See Mystery Lights benefits from this union by being a much-more focused and dance-heavy record; it was YACHT’s first release on DFA after all. Apart from some spiel about the album being inspired by the unexplained Marfa lights in the sky over Texas which led to YACHT 2.0 in terms of performances, artwork and belief systems, this is a simply a damn fun record. Jona’s admittedly limited vocal range allows Evans to dominate the vocal hooks while the music reverberates with laser sounds, wooshing synths, insistent bass grooves, funky percussion and superior production all-round.Myspace | Buy: Amazon / iTunes / eMusic ]
11. Super Extra Bonus Party – Night Horses
Following up their debut with a much-better record was the only way to silence the post-Choice Prize naysayers. Everyone else just got on with enjoying an album that was their first performed as a band taking in instrumental rock wig-outs, hip-hop and electronica, acoustic folk and their poppiest moment yet in ‘Comets’ with Irish girls Heathers. The album also features vocals from R.S.A.G, May Kay of Fight Like Apes, Captain Moonlight, Ann Scott and the international talents of Cadence Weapon and Mr. Lif.
[FYI and DOi: I do visuals and artwork for the band.]