Albums Of 2011-Part 3.

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.

Chillwave?!

I’ve only cared about two sub-genres of music ;  Shoegaze and Riot Grrrl. The latter isn’t really a sub-genre is it? More of a movement. One that was much needed, and it still needed.  I still hope a wave of it takes over once again booting out all the shit in the music industry. Until then, I’ll just scream along with Kathleen Hanna in the comfort of my own home. It’s frowned upon whilst on a bus or train….apparently.

Over the past year and a bit a sub-genre has emerged. Some have dismissed it without listening, some claim it doesn’t exist and some actually love it. Now, those that are a fan of this sub-genre are frequently called “hipsters” and no feck all. I’m not a hipster and I’m pretty intelligent. So HA! In your FACE dumb music critics who slag things off just to look “cool.” I may rant, stick with me. I’ll try to keep on topic.

Chillwave. Where does one begin when talking about Chillwave. Yeah, the start would probably be wise. It all began a few years ago in America. As America has legit Summers- they can probably capture the Summer vibe, sunshine and beaches feel to their music better than an English band. Summer was a lovely day in England. Chillwave has a very 80s feel to it. Synths, electro, slightly distorted sound. I love it. I’m not sure why. I do think it could be that when I hear a GOOD Chillwave based act, I feel like I am sitting on a beach staring out at the sea- thinking about nothing and everything at the same time. Trust me, this happens about 5 times a day. Real life, you truly bore me.

I’m going to give you some artists that I love that fall into the Chillwave category. They should make you feel like you are floating and that nothing can touch you. I want you to listen to these songs and think about nothing and no one. The last thing/person you thought of- forget it/them. From now until you’ve listened to these songs- nothing matters.

I’ll start with one act that is probably one of the best Chilwave acts. Even those who dislike Chillwave love this guy.

Ernest Greene aka Washed Out has put out one of the best albums of the year. Within And Without is a close to perfection album, and he’s one of the stand-out acts in the Chillwave scene. His atmospheric tone just eases your soul. It’s pissing down with rain outside, but as I listen to his music- it just sends me off to some place beautiful. If you come to dislike Chillave music, I do hope you reserve some love for Washed Out as he’s truly wonderful.

Lay Bac’s music feels like a carnival, it’s just so joyful. Out of all the Chillwave artists I’ve been listening to for the past year or so, this guy is probably my number one. There’s something slightly different to his sound compared to others. His music feels like waves crashing as you watch from a cliff. It’s got this euphoric feel to it, I just love his sound a hell of a lot.

Blackbird Blackbird were another musical discovery at around 3am a while ago. That’s when I usually find new music to fall in love with. In under 3 minutes, this song defines Summer. The bass-line in this song is just simply gorgeous. It doesnt ripple through your chest, it just rocks your heart ever so gently. The music that Blackbird Blackbird create is so soothing and gentle. You just get this warm feeling inside when you listen to it.

If Beach House made a Chillave record, it would sound like this. Youth Lagoon’s take on Chillwave is much more emotional. That’s just what I take from it. I love the lyrics to July, “If I had never let go, then only God knows where I would be now. I made a bridge between us then I slowly burned it.” Aside from The Last Goodbye by The Kills, this song has my favourite lyric this year. It’s just a wonderfully haunting song, and his music is beautiful.

Okay, so Soft Powers isn’t Chillwave but I just wanted an excuse to include him. Who would’ve thought someone that was once in a Post-Hardcore band could create something like this? That’ll teach you to judge! If you like MGMT and Empire Of The Sun, you’ll love this.

I was reluctant to mention Teen Daze as I personally don’t regard them as Chillwave, but after going further into their career- they do have some aspects of it. For Paulina is their most Chillwave-type of song I think, it’s also one of my favourites. Saviour is a beautiful track, but For Paulina- the first time I heard it, I fell in love. For those less curious to explore Chillwave, listen to Teen Daze.

As somone is slowly growing tired of seeing people stand on a stage with an acoustic guitar singing awful love songs, I’m accepting Chillwave with open arms. The feel in the music is more haunting and distorting- the only person who could make an acoustic song sound haunting was Townes Van Zandt. Those NOW that stand about with an acoustic guitar just sing the same whiney songs, I don’t want to hear it anymore. With the dark nights coming early, I want to hear something that doesn’t make my bones feel cold and my soul tired. I’ll stick with Chillwave and Lo-Fi/Surfer-Pop. Oh, and I can’t be called one of those “Hipsters.” I don’t buy my clothes from charity shops- I think I’d feel uncomfortable knowing someone had died in what I was wearing. Oh, and just because it has a rip in it- doesn’t mean it is vintage. Stop wearing those MASSIVE glasses, you have 20/20 vision. Stop pouting in your photographs, you look like a dick.

GOOD EVENING!

2011- Musically, you weren’t that bad.

I know it’s only August, but I feel I need to write this down now. Was 2011 awful? For music? No. For other things? More than likely. Yes this year was shit due to Gaga putting an album out, Amy Winehouse’s tragic death and ITV still allowing X-Factor to exist. Why it exists, I have no idea. But it is does, for those who don’t know any better.

I’m going to attempt to think of 10 reasons (in NO order because I will want to change my mind if I do that) as to why music this year was not shit. I may rant, I may not be able to think of 10 reasons.

-The Kills : Finally my favourite duo EVER released the flow-up to Midnight Boom. Blood Pressures is probably my favourite album of the year. However, come 7th November and I will say Florence’s album is. The Kills are a band that I will always love. They could (I know they won’t) make the most wankiest record ever, and I would still find something to love about it. Blood Pressures has a bluesy feel to it but still has the same raw vibe No Wow and Keep On Your Mean Side have. The Last Goodbye is the saddest song I’ve heard this year. If a song could break your heart, that would be it. The lyrics to Baby Says are stunning. I just ove how Jamie and Alison’s voices fit together. I think their bond is one of the greatest things ever. Everyone needs a friendship like that. “Send your love on a rampage, give her everything you’ve got. And when you come to hate her, show her more than just a spark” is one of the best lines off the album. However, not just from The Kills but my favourite line from a song that I have heard this year is easily, “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” The way Alison’s voice sounds on this is so beautiful but it just tears you up so much. I’m just happy to have another record by The Kills in my collection.

-The Horrors: I still want to slap people who dismiss The Horrors. Just like I want to slap those that think Skying sounds like Simple Minds. I think those that are saying these things are actually deaf. Or just extremely fucking stupid. Skying is the best album put out this year by an English group. I am still in love with the sound they had wth Strange House. But, I love how they have developed with each album. You cannot deny how much of a masterpiece Primary Colours was and still is. They’re just everything a band should be. They don’t justify what they do to anyone. They make music for them. That’s how it should be. They haven’t bought into a gimmick and gotten famous based on that. They are ALL fantastic musicians. Joshua is genius on that guitar. There aren’t enough words for me to describe my love for The Horrors.

-Zola Jesus: Quite simply one of my favourite female musicians ever. Her voice is so haunting. It takes over you and before you know it, you have been thrown into a world that you never thought existed. I love how dark and eerie her music is. I have every faith that her new album, Conatus is going to be nothing short of amazing. I love that her music just blows me away with every listen. I listen to songs such as Trust Me and Run Me Out, and this wave of amazement just takes over me. She has this force within her music that I’ve never heard in anyone before, she’s only 21 years old! I love the build-up in all her songs. It’s like this intense and euphoric takeover. Why didn’t this year suck because of Nika? Well, just listen to Vessel.

-The Weeknd: Of all the artists I found at stupid o’clock in the morning due to not being able to sleep, The Weeknd is hands down, the best thing I have discovered this year on the internet. I love his voice so much. So soulful. I love that he’s sampled Aaliyah’s voice on one of his songs and he’s also sampled Siouxise & The Banshees too. His Mixtapes are utterly mind-blowing. Trust me, you need this guy in your life. Head over to his wesite and get his Mixtapes. You’ll here amazing songs such as THIS TRACK!

-Cults: Okay, so I heard about this duo last year but their debut album came out this year so it’s allowed. What I love about this duo is their 1960s feel they have to their music. Never Saw The Point means so much to me, “I never saw the point in trying, ’cause I would only let you down. And I just couldn’t take you down there with me, I couldn’t stand to see you drown.” It’s just such a gorgeous and fragile song, I suppose that is why I adore it so much. Since its release lat year, Best Coast’s debut album has been played every day- I’m clearly going to do the same with Cults. I love that it doesn’t sound like anything around now. A fantastic debut album.

-Seapony: Seapony make me want to leave everything and everyone behind and just go live on a beach. I can’t swim, so I guess it’d be boring after a day or so. However, there is nothing more peaceful than looking out to a strectch of water listening to your favourite music. I’d love to do that to Seapony. I love the summer vibe they feel. Is it chillwave? I don’t know, I reckon they fit under the dream-pop genre. They remind me of The Drums mixed with Beach House and a hint of The Raveonettes. I just adore the whole sound and the gentle vocals. Especially on ongs such as Dreaming and Late Summer.

-Blood Orange: This year Dev Hynes released the first album of his current project, Blood Orange. I love everything he does. Whether it’s for others (Solange Knowles), as Lightspeed Champion or Blood Orange. Coastal Grooves is a MUST-HAVE in your collection. It’s such a strong album. It feels like New York City must have felt in the 1980s. It has a brilliant feel to it. It’s music you can just relax to and walk round the park  in the sun to. There is no denying the genius that Dev is. He kills the guitar, he’s got such a distinctive voice. I just love love love him. Anything he does is just perfect.

-Summer Camp: Another duo that have won my heart over this year. I love everything about their music, however it is one song in particular that since first hearing it in February this year I have played every day. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t played it since. The synths kick in during this song and it is is SO good. Elizabeth’s voice is stunning. The lyrics to I Want You are so dark, and slightly brutal. But hey, all comes with liking someone, right? I don’t know. I like to think I don’t know. “You’re so smart, you break my heart” if someone said that to me, I’d be so flattered. It’s probably my favourite song of this year. If I was a DJ I’d play this all the time, and if no one danced to it- I’d bar them from the club.

-Morrissey: I could write an essay on this man until my hands were numb from typing. I’ve probably done it before to be honest. This year on Janice Long’s show, she played three new songs by my god, Morrissey. Every single song was perfect. For me, I fell more in love with Action Is My Middle Name. The lyrics are typical Morrissey- witty and oh so bloody charming. People Are The Same Everywhere- well, the title speaks for itself really. So true. What I love about Moz is that he has always done what is real and honest to him, he’s never answered to anyone. It’s something I admire and love about him. It’s why I love him. We should ALWAYS do things for us, that makes us happy- because the day you let others rule you, you are no longer a person. I saw him twice this year- and yes as soon as he walked on stage, I bawled. I’ve seen him 4 times so far, and each time I have gone with my mum. She loves him as much as I do. I could never ever go to a Moz gig with anyone but my mum, it’d be wrong. I told her this, and she agrees. Hopefully he wil release his new album soon. “Biting my initials into your neck. You are my possession, you don’t realise yet. Am I moving too fast for you? Am I begining to confuse you?” Only Morrissey could say such a thing. Hero. Absolute hero.

-Florence & The Machine: I really couldn’t make this list without mentioning Florence could I. After hearing What The Water Gave Me (studio version) I cannot ait for 7th November. I just know that her second album will blow my mind. My last article on Florence just sums up my love for her, so I won’t bore you with another essay. Her album is out in time for my birthday (HI MUM!!!!) and I am hoping there’s a tour. The sound has a more soulful and gospel feel to it which I love so much. I’m beyond happy that the album is out this year, some said that it would be out the start of 2012, I guess it’s too good to make us wait. Besides, she’s worked with Paul Epworth on it- you just know it is going to be THE album of the year.

As I feel like I have missed so much out, here are some tracks by artists that have made 2011 less shittier than it was:

Yuck.

Washed Out.

Anna Calvi.

CocknBullKid.

Marina And The Diamonds.

Love Inks.

Sleigh Bells.

Youth Lagoon.

Warpaint (Video Of The Year.)

Widowspeak.

I’ll stop now because I could carry on with about 50 more artists.