It’s already November. Yikes! But with the end of the year comes one of my favorite seasons as a music-nerd. Year-End-List season! We’re kicking it off early, every week we’ll post one of our expert staff’s best-of 2018 lists till the end of the year. First up will be Greg, our web-editor and ghost-in-the-machine.
New music I dug this year :
Ryley Walker Deafman Glance
An artist coming into his own. Still plenty of wild and well-played psych-folk, but way less throwback, more an artist with their own unique voice. Also, read his take on Leonard Cohen.
William Basinski & Lawrence English Selva Obscura
Purest bliss moment of listening this year. Top league minimalism.
Tony Molina Kill The Lights
Wrote this up over here. Pop rock that hits close to my soul.
Sleep The Sciences
I usually boycott post-hiatus records out of some kind of snobbishness. This transcends.
Sons Of Kemet Your Queen Is A Reptile
New energy in jazz of late. These guys, coming out of the UK, fuse some spiritual elements with an almost post-punk fierceness.
Marisa Anderson Cloud Corner
Just a well played instrumental guitar record. Real mysticism and real feeling. Perfect for playing on a gloomy day, also soothes a gloomy mood.
Honorable Mentions / AKA haven’t played enough but really enjoying: new records by Kikagaku Moyo and Doug Paisley.
Discoveries and rediscoveries:
Don Cherry Eternal Rhythm et al
For whatever reason, when first broaching even free-jazz I never clicked with Don Cherry. This year it REALLY clicked. Maybe it was finding his incredible live record Eternal Rhythm, but his ability to create mesmerizing grooves out of seeming chaos really hit me this year. It’s led me to explore the odd edges of his career and there is amazing music in all eras!
Tommy Keene The Real Underground
I’ve seen him labeled the thinking man’s Paul Westerberg, and knew he was a hero to one of my favorite musicians, GBV’s Robert Pollard. But it wasn’t until I scored this singles and rarities collection in a CD bargain been that I really found an entry point to this catalog. Great 80s power-pop full of feeling, maybe my most played album of 2018.
Bruce Springsteen Born To Run
Wow, this one tore back into my life! Had a deep Bruce phase in my early twenties when I felt like a character in a Bruce song. Now a bit older, I can hear him as a nuanced songwriter seeing all the tragedy and hope in all those characters, a lot more of a bittersweet angle. I finally love 10th Avenue Freeze Out.