Year-end-list season continues with this stellar list from Mike! He’s probably our highest functioning musician on staff. (Seriously, check out his work as the voice of Dusty) His list digs a layer deeper in the new generation of indie-rock, with some jazz, psych, and folk on the side. Check it:
IDLES Joy as an Act of Resistance
You’re gonna hear a lot about this band soon. This, their second full length, is local and global, intimate and broad, aggressive and inclusive, and has quickly become my favorite of the year.
Sons of Kemet Your Queen is a Reptile
It’s on most of our lists, just get it.
Pile Odds ‘n Ends
This is a collection of singles and EP’s from the kings of Boston’s Indie Underground, and a really great place to start with a band that has built one of the most fervent and truly grassroots followings going today. You might hate it, but if you’re into Pile you’re INTO Pile, so welcome to the cult.
Hop Along Bark Your Head Off, Dog
Frances Quinlan has the greatest voice in rock, for my money, and this record showcases it perfectly. The songwriting is just as dynamic, swelling and abating with Quinlan’s hushed whispers and bone chilling howls.
Kikagaku Moyo Masana Temples
Bouncing between blissed out 60’s psych vibes, intimate folk musings, and heavy rock riffs, you’d be forgiven for thinking Kikagaku Moyo are a relic of times past, but they’re very much alive and well.
Young Jesus The Whole Thing Was Just There
This is YJ’s second album this year, both incredible, and you should grab ‘em all. As much improvisational composers as indie rockers, Young Jesus puts on a vibrant live show which definitely translates to their recorded material.
Gillian Welch Soul Journey
For the first time on vinyl, this debut from Gillian Welch illustrates her staying power from the very start. Folk hit after folk hit to getcha nice and melancholy.
All Them Witches S/T
Blues-y, psych-y hard rock with a sensitive side, riffs on riffs, and croon-y dark vocal melodies. How many ambiguous hyphenated adjectives are too many? We’ll never know.
Buck Meek S/T
This one’s an easy listener, but it’s stuck with me for it’s sincerity and light whimsy. Buck is the guitar player for Big Thief, and after listening to his solo debut it’s plain to see the ways in which he’s shaped the Big Thief sound.
John Coltrane Both Directions At Once
It’s such an interesting opportunity to hear a seminal artist right at the brink of the period that brought him his true recognition. You can hear the ways in which Coltrane was probing the limits of his more traditional output up until then, and heading towards the revolutionary territory he ended up in before his all-to-short life came to a close.