BY PETER LILLIS
Well, here we are in 2013. We spent most of December discussing our favorite albums, songs, books, shows, plays, videos and accomplishments. Although we honored well over 100 albums across our lists, there’s still plenty of great music we regretfully didn’t cover on the site. Here’s a quick round up of what we missed, expect Part 2 next Monday.
Do you kneel before the Altar of the Six-String? Do you have a framed LP of Electric Ladyland? Do you own homemade tie-dye? Then this record is for you. While many leaders in the psychedelic scene are reviving the British Invasion style psychedelia, Golden Void reach directly to Hendrix, Sabbath and other pioneers of heavy. A definite honorable mention to our 10 Best Psychedelic Albums of 2012, and a must listen.
If you’ve ever found yourself griping about the bleating goat-like voice of The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, then you’d probably dig Black Prairie, a side-project for everyone in the band except him. Their sophisticated Americana/bluegrass/klezmer/indie rock sound is a supremely talented breath of fresh air in the rapidly growing genre of commercial folk. Recommended if you took a pass on this year’s records from Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers.
A sort of punk rock supergroup, Forgetters is the newest songwriting outlet for Blake Schwarzenbach (of Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil) with former Against Me! drummer Kevin Mahon and Bitchin’ bassist Caroline Paquita. While their self-titled debut lacks the urgency of 24-Hour Revenge Therapy and the desperation of Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Forgetters gets by on Schwarzenbach’s adept songwriting and his newfound interest in dad rock.
More masterful garage psychedelia out of Austin, this time using Crazy Horse and Pavement as prominent reference points, Matador’s The Young are a band to look out for. Less interested in style than their popular cowpunk peers The Men, The Young craft dense jams that take you on many surprising twists and turns. Let this band be overlooked no more.
Phil Elverum is a hard worker. Last year we saw the release of Clear Moon and Ocean Roar, companion records of calm and unrest. While Clear Moon fell flat with navel-gazing synth work, Ocean Roar is a brazen combination of indie-folk and drone metal. If you ever thought Sunn O)))) need more introspective lyrics, look no further.
Captain Murphy – Duality
My three top artists of 2012 are, in no order: Andrew Bird, Ty Segall and Steven Ellison, a.k.a. Flying Lotus and Captain Murphy. What these three performers have in common consistency and depth of vision, and their ability to draw precisely what was needed out of their collaborators. Of those three performers (and all others, I suppose), none was more diverse and effective than Ellison, taking us down paths he’s as of yet only hinted at. While Until The Quiet Comes is a painfully serious exploration of the soul, Duality exudes a playful but equally as mysterious side of Ellison. Not to mention, the beats are top notch, featuring world-class producers Just Blaze, Madlib, Teebs, TNGHT and Samiyam. Download the full tape over at Dat Piff.
Fortunately, Deftones will not go quietly into the night. The only artful band to ever be considered “nü metal”, Deftones are one of the most consistent groups of the last two decades, believe it or not. Koi No Yokan—the follow-up to 2010’s strong Diamond Eyes—is their heaviest and most atmospheric record since their 2003 self-titled effort. Time and time again, Deftones prove they are the only successful bridge between Refused and Sade.
With only two tracks on the almost 40-minute record, Pansophical Cataract certainly isn’t for everyone. These droning compositions are an exploration in the power of percussion, with as many as 5 drum tracks running at once. It’s a carefully constructed post-rock stampede, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Danger Mouse has the Midas touch. His production turned The Black Keys and Cee Lo Green into household names, and he holds the title as the ultimate mash-up artist. When combined with Norah Jones universally likeable character, voice and songs, Danger Mouse’s studio magic strikes gold again. It’s the closest Norah Jones has ever come to being Debbie Harry, and somehow it works in spades.
In a year where so many bands looked to the emo and hardcore of the 90s for inspiration, it’s easy to forget the high points of the genre in the last decade. Joyce Manor are a rising Los Angeles punk band that carry on the sound of Jawbreaker and Pinkerton as much as their inspiration more recent punk greats like Say Anything and Against Me! Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired works much like the second half of Abbey Road, just with a lot more self-loathing and faster tempos.
Peter Lillis is Managing Editor of Frontier Psychiatrist. He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve for 2013.