So far, I’ve not wanted to change my mind with the albums I have written down in my notebook. I’ve written them down because I’ll probably forget, or mention the same album 6 times. Old age, what a bitch you are to me!
This year the sub-genre of Chillwave took over. Well, it took over a few websites and blogs. I don’t think the outside world really cared about it to be honest. Unless you were aware of acts such as Teen Daze or Blackbird Blackbird- Chillwave probably went over your head and you didn’t care for it. A lot seem to also have ripped it apart and just dismissed it. I don’t get why or how they can do this. But, I guess some people think it is “cool” to rip an artist to pieces. Thing is, they just sound like a bitter twat and have nothing better to do but to be negative about others. Projecting their own insecurities I suppose. Brief rant out of the way, I’ll start blabbing on about some records. Two of which are probably labelled as Chillwave. Fuck labels. They are musicians, not a food.
Youth Lagoon-Year Of Hibernation: Year Of Hibernation is probably my favourite album title this year. It is also one of the year’s best debut albums. For me, I love music that makes me feel like I am in some kind of trance. Something that makes me feel like I am having an outer body experience. As someone who has never taken drugs (or even wanted t) the high that people talk about from taking acid or whatever- I get from music. Music puts me on some kind of high that nothing or no one could ever make me feel. Certain bands/singers just make my head spin and cause my body to just tremble, in a good way of course. Last year The Fool by Warpaint was THE album that made me constantly feel like I was in a different universe. I don’t know where I was. Every single time I listen to the record, I feel like I am floating on water towards something. Towards what? I honestly have no idea. With this record, Trevor Powers has created something that makes me feel exactly the same as Warpaint’s album does. That’s what I consntatly look for in the music I listen to. Music should make you feel something do deep and intense- good or bad; that’s how it should make you feel. Year Of Hibernation is just a beautifully put together record. Every single track just perfectly glides into the other, you have to listen to it in full with the lights out and our headphones in. It’s the kind of record you need to play by yourself with no interruptions. You don’t want anyone talking over this. I guess you could hold someone whilst listening to it if you feel the need. Do what you want, but give it your complete attention.
Washed Out-Within And Without: Ernest Greene, you beautiful bugger you! Within And Without has been a debut record that I’ve been waiting for over the past year and a bit since I first heard Washed Out. Everything I said above about Youth Lagoon is EXACTLY how I feel about Washed Out. His music just makes you want to sit on a beacj and let the waves gently wrap themselves around you and just causes you to drift off out into a different world. Probably a better one than this, I’m sure it exist. It has to. Eyes Be Closed is one of the most grand and ethereal songs I’ve heard all year, the build up in this track just blows you away. It’s a gentle album, and you immediately know it will be based on the cover artwork. There’s a couple on the front cover and most would just think “OH GOD THEY ARE EVIDENTLY HAVING SEX I AM NOT BUYING THIS RECORD! COVER MY EYES! SAVE MY CHILDREN!” Or something equally dramatic. If you have any ounce of common sense, you will see it is an intimate, gentle and loving front cover- you get this vibe on the record. It is a tender record that just eases your bones and tends to your soul. It is clearly one of the best things you will hear all year, there’s no doubt about it. If you want to call it Chillwave, go right ahead. Personally I’m calling it a euphoric piece of art.
Blood Orange-Coastal Grooves: I’ve been a MASSIVE fan of everything Dev Hynes has done ever since Test Icicles. I was so obsessed with that trio. I loved the unapologetic noise that they created, then they split up. Then Dev created Lightspeed Champion. Falling Off The Lavender Bridge was such a phenomenal record, Dry Lips still remains to be one of the most stunning songs I’ve ever heard. Midnight Surprise is basically 10 minutes of pure bliss- a total masterpiece. Life Is Sweet, Nice To Meet You! was so underrated- just as brilliant as his debut. Anyway, this is about his new project- Blood Orange. Coastal Grooves makes you think you are wandering around New York City in the 1980s. Now, this 80s feel to some music ia getting tiresome isn’t it. There are a few that can well and truly pull it off an make it look so effortless and natural to them. Summer Camp, Friend and Blood Orange are the 3 that do exactly that. Dev Hynes is a genius, there’s no denying that. He has this wonderful talent and I don’t know if he even realises it- I guess that it was makes you love him so much. He’s so unaware of how inspirational and amazing he is. When someone doesn’t realise how amazing they are, it’s an attractive quality to have. Coastal Grooves is a record I won’t ever get tired of, easily one of the stand out records of the year. The production is just brilliant. Dev is one of the best musicians around. Have you seen him live? I’ve seen him when he was performing as Lightspeed Champion, and every single time I saw him I was just in awe of this talented his possesed. He also came onto the stage to the Star Wars theme, then started a jam to it. Coastal Grooves shows just how thrilling his musicianship is, especially on tracks like Are You Sure You’re Really Busy? The riff at the end, my lord. Dev just bloody well KILLS it. It’s a stunning record and one that you need to own.
Cities Aviv-Digital Lows: I love rap, the real kind, The kind that makes you think. The kind that’s raw but in a none brutal way. Cities Aviv is to rap what The Weeknd is to R&B right now. Both have created this sound that no one has ever heard before. They’re taking both genres to a different level. A level it should’ve been at ages ago, but is only just getting there. Hopefully Cities Aviv can keep this up and start a trend, make rappers approach music the way he does. He doesn’t need to degrade women or brag about what he has in order for you to listen to him. Coastin’ is my favourite rap song of the year, It’s so chilled out and relaxing. You listen to it, and all your worries just escape you. Nothing matters when you listen to his music, you just let yourself fall into his world. You take on his troubles and you see the world the way he does. This is one of the best rap records I’ve heard in a long long time. I want a rap record to make me feel the way Big L’s album, The Big Picture made me feel when I first heard it. They are entirely different, but the feeling I get is exactly the same. The words Citites Aviv uses and how he uses them are just so bloody magnificent. You just want to be part of what he is talking about. To me, this is what rap should be about. This is how it should be done. Is it the best rap record of the year? For sure. You’re not going to find anything else as stunning as this. Die Young is may favourite off the album. It sounds like something Afrika Bambaataa would’ve made or something. Electro meets rap in a way that doesn’t sound like over-produced and hyped up nonsense. I don’t care if you’re not a fan of rap, this record is vital. Get it in your collection.