Maaaannn… what else can I say here? The best part is that these songs are as groovy as they come. It seems like the audio was recorded, abandoned, then the tape grew mold and the engineers just said “yeah this is fine.” Everything is totally blown out and distorted but still… sounds good? Nearly every vocal passage on this record sounds like a distress signal sent from another star system, begging you to figure out where it’s coming from. In a futile attempt to prolong the Age of Fire, the Witch of Izalith tried to recreate the First Flame. ~~ Dark Sun Gwyndolin Information "Mark the words of mineself, Gwyndolin! Smearing a human soul on a slide and observing it under a microscope. It feels deeply personal and it gets immense power from that. It’s a euphoric, brain-busting moment that sounds just as good on record (very loud) as it does live. Sorry to those who don’t have Spotify, I’ll try and branch out this decade! Although they elevate past the pure “synth pop” tag with lovely piano arrangements and effective percussion on every song, Braids pack powerful statements in songs that appear small but are really large in scope. Polish food! A severe internet addiction grants you the power to open people’s thoughts like opening tabs in a browser. I could listen to “Ode To Viceroy” and “My Kind of Woman” without thinking of a meme of a teen with comically rolled jeans and 10 cigarettes stuffed in their nose. A dark, dripping hand slowly extends from the gaping opening after you recite the incantation. It’s quite the transportive album, handing you the invitation on the album opener and leading you through these heavens as it unfolds from there. If any of those songs come on in public you know I’m going “hoo-wee”. Sure there are the lead singles like any album has that most people generally love, but all of the songs on Golden Hour are all so goddamn catchy and striking that it’s easy to believe someone if they said a non-single cut would be their favorite. ~~ Delicate acoustic guitar, faraway warbling piano, flourishes of flute, and a rogue tambourine all provide Jessica Pratt’s cloud-like voice a place to stay. ~~ ... -mouth-tube monstronsity that broke my damn sword by spitting on it. My heart starts to flutter whenever I hear any of the songs on here. Or do something else here? Really great, satisfying songwriting, hilarious and tragic lyrics, and the endless personality dolloped onto these tracks from FJM makes for something resembling classic in my eyes. Now he blinked dead eyes and remembered. This is a special record for me. Big Thief’s debut Masterpiece was one hell of an introduction, but this really came out with the haymakers: “Shark Smile”, “Capacity”, “Watering”, “Great White Shark” (my personal fav), “Mythological Beauty”, “Haley” and I mean, “Mary”! Either way – although I haven’t been thrilled with the band’s last two records, I still have a Suburbs poster hanging in my room as of writing this, and I hang it with pride. Guitar melodies arc and twirl in the sky like lightning, with booming, thunder-like percussion following quickly after over a turbulent sea. These songs are still vulnerable, but they’re relatively straightforward and sounds almost celebratory at times. “A comeback and a farewell” as written by Aquarium Drunkard, Purple Mountains was by and far my favorite record of the year. FKA twigs’ debut LP is an exciting collection of R&B/pop tracks that benefit from brilliant production, twigs’ swift, commanding voice. Black Dragon Kalameet is a boss in Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss. ~~ After a hard, summer rain, steam rises from a clearing that’s been ravaged by wildfires. Change ). ~~ Katie Crutchfield has some wild way of crafting a song that packs in so much room for wistfulness, about family, about relationships, in such small packages. This is a terrifically unique album that helped breed a new generation of music-makers doing their thing on their own. The gods play chess with lost souls of departed legendary heroes. Your eyes rapidly dart around as if they’re trying to escape their sockets, your limbs have an endless motor trying to remove this excess energy, your brain is on fire and won’t be extinguished. Across a foggy, strobe-lit club, a dancer stares at you intimidatingly. I mean, don’t I pretty much explain it fully above? Making an album over 90 minutes: bolder. It shows that Joanna Newsom is one of the generation’s defining artists. Sitting up in bed after being horizontal for a long amount of time, you punch a pillow over and over until it becomes misshapen and somehow the perfect shape for hugging. Most bosses in dark souls 1 are fair and non-gimmicky though. Are you the Grouper police? A descent down a curved mirror-lined slide with no end in sight, casting your body in alien, dysmorphic shapes as alarming strobes flash at random intervals. They’ve moved past this sound on their most recent album, but I’m happy they gave us this to begin their career. How could I, with such towering anthems tied up in such pretty packaging like these? The Firesage Demon is a potentially optional boss located in the Demon Ruins, after defeating Ceaseless Discharge and cooling the lava, he is in the ruins past Glowing cave moss provides light for a small troupe of bioluminescent forest nymphs putting on a micro symphony for travelers. Although its glitziness has faded a bit for me and three of the tracks were featured on an earlier EP, there’s no denying some of these monster grooves on here makes this a classic album of the decade. Sounds like the comedown after a drunk night out with friends, but still holding the memories of the times y’all spent together near and dear to your heart. She and some of her Daughters of Chaos were devoured, while the rest of the Witch's followers grew mutated demon forms. Throwing a couch off a rooftop into a swimming pool, then comically laying on it underwater. Should I change the bow/Uchi to the dex scaling trees? Smartly described as “pop-house” by a close ally of the blog, Disclosure don’t quite go full pop or full house on this album, so there we go. Man is it easy to listen this record to over and over and over again. Like a gaudy piece of pop art hanging on the wall of a ridiculous mansion. It’s a feeling. A|A is a two-album experience, I’ll have you know. Big Thief employ the ole build-anxiety-and-pay-it-off-with-catharsis trick better. Part of its head is in the clouds and the other half has to go to work every day. Not only that, but I've concocted "Warm Visions" descriptions and wrote blurbs about each record. A record that does its best to keep a normal facade while decomposing on the inside. Purely instrumental electronic bliss with a sly dip into LA beat scene. For Children of Desire, it has three of the best rock songs of the decade and it’s only six songs long. Rays of bright sunlight catching the top of a lake. It’s VERY casual, but maybe that’s why I like it so much. If I ever wanna lay my angst down on record, I wanna do it like this. Girls were the hardest working band of 2018. another try. It’s a chameleon act that gets better after every listen. Git. I think a total of like five people I know will be psyched about this record being so high up, or being on this list at all. AND NOW IM FURIOUS! That's pretty fantastic. Little did they know Future Islands would be one of the more talked-about bands of the mid-decade. Chromatics essentially made a cult classic film in album form with Kill For Love, further entrenching a ravenous fanbase outfitted in too-cool-for-school merch. A sublime instrumental trip into the ether. One of the best synth pop records of the decade without a question! It probably took me over 40 tries, I'm shaking with adrenaline right now. You’re naturally lowered back down to the surface, almost dared to jump right back into your personal heavens once more after such a momentous comedown. Hiding inside a snowman on a mountain, watching skiers zip around you at high speeds. Despite most of these songs being written before Nick Cave’s son tragically passed away, the album carries the intense weight of personal grieving, tapping into themes of death and familial loss. I know there's a cheese method for this boss, but most descriptions of it seem like I'd need to run further away to be able to do it. From atop a dark tower, a hulking titan made of stone and steel robotically forges together ornate chandeliers of diamonds, pearls and other gemstones. Eating a delicious fruit plate and sliding around on wood floors while burning the possessions of an annoying ex. Who cares? If you like homespun southern classic rock songs that you can blast out of your car with the windows down, chock full of soulful steel pedal guitar, dual lead guitars, vintage organ, rollicking acoustic guitar, tender string arrangements, relatable lyrics, and a healthy dose of the best retro radio vibes, you’ll like this to the moon and back. A speedrunner tactic for BoC is to run to the middle of the bed, right under the trunk, equip a bow, and there are to particular branches you can aim at, that you can hit both orbs with. Man Ariel Pink is such a dang weirdo! This no longer makes me feel like I’m together with them, but instead like those days have passed, a glossy picture framed on a wall in a room I don’t go into often. I’ve started other features like User’s Manual, 10 Best Songs, and A Long Bow. It's also nice the bow just in general is a big improvement over DS1. These adjectives come together on a hip hop record that nearly made Danny Brown broke via clearing samples. The first four songs employ huge grooves and flex Kelela’s aerobic range over booming, Fade To Mind-esque beats. Yes I’m looking at you, “I don’t wanna be alone, my heart’s as yellow as an ear of corn”. This and Early Fragments are two great jangle/indie records you need to try this decade. I’m a sucker for Prefab Sprout and these guys have executed the best faithful recreation. Very similar to Smerz, who I mentioned earlier in this list, but these instrumentals and arrangements here hit me in a different way. The result is metallic, harmonium-like tone that sound amazing when bounding across a shifting landscape of colorful electronics. Being thrown down a well that’s lined with fuzzy CRT television sets all showing surveillance footage of you trapped in said well. Even the weird Ethiopian jazz-resembling instrumental track “Reminiscences” has a memorable groove. The overwhelmingly pleasurable songs like “Female Vampire”, “Conceptual Romance” and “Secret Touch” were the anchors and everything in between were buoys along this otherworldly journey. I guess this was the intended way to fight the boss, and after a decade someone finally figured it out. I didn’t find myself listening to it super often since its release, but I appreciate it mightily nonetheless. But with songs like “Under”, “Kora Sings”, “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano” and “Blood Knows” I know I’ll be listening to this for a while, so it better not get lost to time. I love that this album is so easily accessible but breaches topics like gang violence, poverty, politics, drug abuse and relationships. I’m sure once I listen to this even more it’ll connect. You’re not sitting down like for a movie on this one. Stocked full of narrative interludes, jazz breaks, funk, electronic and of course a generation’s worth of hip hop knowledge, it’s remarkable that this thing is able to stay together and not bust at the seams. Grouper at her most minimal. The riffs have a swing to them that most groups don’t have. The best part is that these songs are as groovy as they come. Things definitely did get weird but way too fast and then it burned out. Regardless, they were a daily inspiration to me – a place that people showcase their favorite new music… for free. ~~ Straddling the boundary between the two, the English duo expertly make tracks that allow their all-star crew of vocal guests (for 2013) space to not only flex their prowess as singers, but also to blend into the song and become one, cohesive unit. Groovy, unironic slices of dream pop heaven. I no longer hang out with friends. We already saw a Vivian Girls reunion last decade, who’s to say we won’t see a Babies reunion in the 20s? The queen spider weaves a cosmic web around your head, granting you glorious psychedelic visions before she consumes your brain. Remember when they had people doing bike stunts on stage with them at that GRAMMYS while they performed songs off this record? It also doesn’t help that the music is bleak as hell. Every romance that looked to be sound at the end of a fairy tale is checked in on after the last page ends to find tumultuous, real life problems throwing the fantasy realm into muted chaos. ... did the firebomb cheese but still died because the motherf*cker decided to do the firestorm while i was inside the tunnel i need a break 0. Now for the cheesy stuff for my anniversary. It’s wistful and romantic and has a great sense of humor about itself – they definitely know they’re channeling Sprout here. The Books: a singular entity that was gone too soon! Underneath the old clock tower lies a pitch-black portal to another dimension. I kinda summed it all up (again) in the WVD. Just listen to the music and you’ll see how it instantly imprints on you. Sitting in the corner booth of a 24-hour diner at 2am, watching waitresses and clientele, steam rising out of the kitchen window, woman smoking on the curb outside, your own contorted face in a soup spoon. An extremely likable protagonist is on a journey to recover his lost memories. I have become reclusive and have the feeling that all my friends feel the similarly. A true melting pot of hip hop, r&b, bass, pop, grime, dub, Destroyer (check track “Anesthetic”), classical, and surely much more threads of other sounds and genres beyond. Remember 2012 when Mac DeMarco was a bright-eyed upstart making music for the kids? Following an intoxicating perfume leads you all around a seaside city, ultimately pulling you to a remote jetty where waves crash around you romantically. I think Depression Cherry is a misleading album title for this record. Yes it’s Beach House and the formula is there, but the moods are completely different. But then songs like “No Sound” or “Broken Blue” are microcosms of sound, gently murmuring with singer Nicole Miglis’ pure voice. Her knack for making anxiety in woozy, uncertain moments sound beautiful is near-unparalleled. Front person Kevin Parker has to have a secret key to our dopamine centers, because this album is almost unfair in that way it makes us feel so good. The kicking and thrashing and self-flagellating sarcasm that comes with years of complacency and laziness. It’s multiple darts straight to the heart, with each song punching you in a different way. A dark ballet of seductive electronics and alluring layers of voice. Connecticut’s great Ovlov really hit it home on their debut, stocked full of ultra-crunchy guitars, blown out drums and a mastery of building tension like on song “Where’s My Dini?”. This record had a major hand in kickstarting the major revolution of jazz, hip hop and electronics that LA is seeing right now. The restraint makes the moments where she does go hard all the more impactful. Moments like this and elsewhere on the album, like the bludgeoning bass and unrestricted fetish lyricism on “Ponyboy” or the metallic melodrama of “Faceshopping” or the infectious bounce of “Immaterial” show that SOPHIE has such a deft command of sound, it’s almost literally like play-doh in her hands. The string from “1” to “Shrinking Violet” is just hit after hit. Ultra-funky and accessible pop/R&B hybrid album whose very existence makes me very happy. A mood before saying “mood” was a thing. I only started listening to this a few months ago, so I anticipate I’m only going to keep liking it more and more. There are moments where noise and chaos takes over any intricate arrangement in a tantrum of chaos. If anything, I think the last song there would have fit best as an album name. ~~ Finally, Jay Reatard tribute “He Would Have Laughed” is as genuine as they come in Deerhunter’s catalog, and without fanfare (much like the rest of the record), it cuts out. At first listen, I hated this record. Model and/or were reasonably sized, but as it stands the best way to fight it is to cheese it. ~~ The punchiness of some songs really comes across strong, and Empress Of sounds like a total badass. You really believe that he feels strongly about what he’s singing about. Put a few of these cuts on at your next party. It’s a record that’s got songs for self-reflection, songs for slow dancing, songs for gazing, songs for tea steam, songs for chores, songs for driving, songs for writing. The great shapeshifter, Aldous Harding. You know the ones. For every banger there’s a song that sits you down and lets Lamar do his thing. Of course there’s the ultra-solid bass and classic drum machine, but C&V are the stars. Tim Hecker once again created a world like no other on this album, this time making sounds that are akin to those in a glass-cutting factory or some similar industrial setting where small, sharp objects are being created. A waterfall of shimmering, bright jewels cascades into a space cave, reflecting fluorescent light on the jagged walls. Like being thrust into a chute of metal shards and drifting in and out of consciousness. If you’re not sold, see the band live. I think the more I’ve gotten into Person Pitch and the more Panda Bear’s more recent material has faded in affinity for me, the more Tomboy has gone up in my eyes. I honestly don’t care about the politics behind black metal or whatever, I just love this album because it gets me pumped the hell up, a bit emotional (the shrieked vocals are so effective) and it’s just so satisfyingly well-made. An honest, supportive get-together with old friends helps heal internal and emotional injuries sustained in the time since their last meeting. 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