September is traditionally a very busy month for new releases, and this year was no different. I am completely snowed under with music to listen to at the moment, so instead of publishing a huge list of decent records that came out in September (which would have had something like 20 releases in it) I have decided to concentrate on my absolute favourites from the month. These are the ones I have listened to the most, and I reckon some of them could well be in my end of year list. I have compiled a Spotify playlist of all the choices at the bottom of the page.
I was surprised to like this as much as I do, but it has become probably my most played album of the month.
This album fizzes with a radioactive energy, but perhaps at times it flips around a bit too much. Single 'Today's Supernatural' is typical of most of the album, and the collective is back up to a four piece with the return of Deakin, who sings on 'Wide Eyed'. This will probably jettison some recent-ish converts to AC, but the rawer edge is something long standing fans should welcome back.
Their best album since 'Feast of Wire', this finds Calexico recording in New Orleans, and mixing their already complex sound with the strong musical heritage of that city. There are some cracking songs here. I saw them live a few weeks ago and wrote about it here
A much anticipated record, and one that dooesn't disappoint, managing to be both a worthy follow-up to Veckatimest and a furthering of their considerable talents. Perhaps a touch more prog (and less immediate and pretty) than some of their earlier releases, I love the way the songs are layered and weaved together.
A beautifully warped take on RnB, with a sadness at the heart of it, as it was written as a reaction to a triple loss in Tom Krell's life. Since his debut album came out, he has lost his best friend and his uncle and a long-distance relationship also came to an end. It's an intimate, personal and sensitive piece of autobiography set against some striking music.
my review (the 405)
With no Freakwater releases since 2005 and no solo releases for ten years, it is good to report that Catherine Irwin has come back with a record as strong as this. The songs, the warmth in the voices and the sympathetic production make this one of the finest records in the genre to emerge this year. Features guest vocals from Will Oldham and the all round talents of Tara Jane O'Neil as well.
Woodpecker Wooliams is the alias of Gemma Williams who, due to her voice and choice of instrumentation will undoubtedly get lumped in with Joanna Newsom and Bjork. However, her delicate acoustic moments combine with genuinely original noise-scapes, and mark this out as something special. The opening track 'Red Kite' hooked me from the beginning. In it her memory is triggered by a picture of an ex on Facebook who was "wearing the very same thing that you wore that night when you smashed my face in." This album is by turns creepy and fascinating, folky and industrial, and it reveals more surprises with each listen.
My review (the 405) would perhaps be even more enthusiastic after a few more listens, as I think this is one of the finest records of its kind to be released this year.
"If you have seen Woods live or heard some of their earlier releases it is likely you have a preconception of what Bend Beyond might sound like. However, although it isn't as radical a change as some might claim, this is the sound of an invigorated band, breathing new life into traditional rock and pop structures and pushing those boundaries as they do it."
Honourable mentions for some fine albums which may yet grow on me even more, some of these I just haven't heard enough to write about.
Thee Oh Sees Putrifiers II, Deerhoof Breakup Song, Cat Power Sun, Dinosaur Jr I Bet On Sky, Sic Alps Sic Alps, The Sea and Cake Runner, The Orb vs Lee Perry presents the Orbserver in the Star House , Mount Eerie Ocean Roar and Bob Mould's Silver Age, the last one on the list and one which I only heard today!
I have compiled most of these into an unweildy ten-hour Spotify playlist which you can find embedded below