PLAY LIST 2018
Not quite the monumentally new chapter that the departure of a guitarist and the arrival of a keyboard and synths man might have led us to expect. Still a vigorous and smart demonstration, yet again, of the Ferdinands' superior command of the craft of songwriting.
Franz Ferdinand, "Always Ascending" (Domino)
A concept album from a truly singular songwriter, exploring the complex and contradictory social dynamics faced by a sexually and otherwise unconventional human being in a Trump world. Musically, it's a hugely enjoyable mixture of rampant, electronica glam, a hint of punk, and some quieter moments, too.
Ezra Furman, "Transangelic Exodus" (PIAS)
The odd band name and a cover without any information hides a grungy gem of an album and a "supergroup" of sorts consisting of Frightened Rabbit's Hutchison brothers, one Editor and one Minor Victory. The beauty of these powerful, loud songs lies in the quality of the writing and Scott H.'s passionate vocals. "Teething" is the stand-out track - incredible! R.I.P. Scott Hutchison.
Mastersystem, "Dance Music" (Phys Ed. Recs)
DB used to be in Bombay Bicycle Club and Yuck before releasing the woefully underappreciated Hebronix-album. He has now fetched up with a crowd of musicians from the improv venue Café Oto, including drummer Jim White, cellist Ute Kanngiesser and violinist Billy Steiger. The songs begin quietly with vocals and piano, only to be dragged into all sorts of gloriously dissonant directions by the guests. Truly superb.
Daniel Blumberg, "Minus" (Mute)
Khruangbin, "Con Todo El Mundo"
"This Texan band are obsessed with Thai funk, crafting hypnotic, spacious, drifting soul music with a cinematic dreaminess," wrote the Guardian. It's vacuous, repetitive easy listening noodlings without a trace of funk or, indeed, wit.
Jerry Paper, "Like a Baby"
Ghastly muzaky noodlings and warblings from some LA boffin with various pseudonyms and a steady line of painfully hip production jobs. A crying baby would be more rewarding to listen to.
The Bin of Bile
The Bin of Bile