Monday, December 23, 2013

From music-making to taste-making

Swamped by end-of-year album lists? (NB Mine will be along in the new year...) One of the most interesting was put together by Drowned In Sound, who canvassed the opinions of a large number of artists and bands rather than just their own writers. Here are the headline findings:

* There was an enormous, almost universal amount of love expressed for Jon Hopkins' Immunity. I must admit I'd never even heard of him, but have since investigated. While 'Collider' doesn't do much for me in isolation, it does work very effectively in conjunction with its video.

* Other artists whose 2013 records were cited more than once included Fuck Buttons, The National, Daft Punk, Deafheaven, Kanye West, Factory Floor, These New Puritans, Hookworms, Julia Holter, Queens Of The Stone Age and John Grant.

* Frightened Rabbit seem to have an unhealthy obsession with Foals (though, in fairness, I've only heard the single 'Inhaler' from the locals' third LP Holy Fire, and that's markedly better than anything on Total Life Forever).

* Local Natives' Kelcey declared Arcade Fire's Reflektor to be "our generation's Graceland". A bold claim, and one you suspect may be lacking a bit of perspective.

* Laura-Mary from grungey bluesy two-piece Blood Red Shoes surprised no one by endorsing the self-titled debut from grungey bluesy two-piece Drenge.

* Joe Cardamone of The Icarus Line also surprised no one by choosing his own band's record Slave Vows, alongside albums released by two of its most obvious influences, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Swans. The latter's The Seer was actually put out last year, though Cardamone wasn't the only respondent to make that mistake, with Metronomy's Olugbenga naming Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s 2012 comeback his first choice of 2013.

* Credit to members of two bands I'm unfamiliar with - Gavin of Ghosting Season and Ryan of Menace Beach - for endorsing a pair of albums that slipped under many people's radar, if not mine (The Drones' I See Seaweed and Fuzz's eponymous debut respectively).

* Thanks to Polly Scattergood and Editors' Russell Leech for alerting me to the fact that Sigur Ros somehow released an album without me hearing about it. Kveikur is now firmly on the shopping list.

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