Quarterly Release Roundup 4 (2017)

Here we are again. Time flies when you’re having fun. Having fun listening to music anyway, the rest of 2017 can go F itself. What follows are some albums released in the final quarter of 2017 you might want to check out. Soon we’ll give you our overall 2017 choices. This is by no means comprehensive. There’s too much good music out there for that. There’s always great music we miss – it’s impossible not to. Some things you just don’t get round to listening to for whatever reason. So don’t get your pants in a knot about it yeah? Yeah. Good.

Already covered on the blog are Sam Gendel, Andrew Hung, Jump For Neon, and Jonti. All great LPs. Give ’em a whirl. I want to give Beck a mention. Because he’s Beck. This man has created some of my favourite works so it would feel wrong not to mention his album, ‘Colors’. But I think this is my least favorite Beck album I’ve heard. There are some standout tunes on there. And it’s very well honed and exquisitely crafted pop music which is I think what he wanted to accomplish – so fair play to him, he achieved what he set out to do. But too much of it, for me, sounds like it could have been created by any pop artist and I like my Beck to be uniquely Beck – know what I’m saying? Yes I thought you would.

If you’re looking something a bit more unique you might be best opting for ‘The Curious Hand’ by Seamus Fogarty. We covered him on the site well before he experienced mainstream critical acclaim because, you know, we have our fingers on the musical pulse (click here). This is an enchanting modern folk album with intermittent ambient sounds bubbling up from underneath and peppered with electronica. The more abstract artistic impulses have been reined in slightly, the required amount to let Fogarty’s solid, songwriting skills shine through.

Something that is also unique is ‘Lotta Sea Lice’ by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. Yes I know these type of duet projects have been done before and as great as both artists’ individual output is they’re not reinventing the wheel, but this is the first project by these two together and it sounds great. A real gem. It’s easy to focus on the songs and the separate personalities and not think about the production and engineering because it’s so understated. But in some ways that’s what I love about it – it sounds really warm, bright and crisp on the old lugholes and doesn’t get in the way of the songmsithery and musicianship. I’ve a feeling this will be on our end of year list.

I’m really pleased to find that King Krule’s album ‘The Ooz’ was released in the final quarter of 2017 because now it looks like I didn’t miss the boat on that one. It’s a name I kept hearing but I didn’t quite get round to checking out his stuff in any great detail apart from the odd video. Then people started raving about this record in countless end of year lists so I thought I should buckle up and take a ride. I’m really glad I did. It’s increasingly difficult to find music that sounds genuinely different to what’s gone before but this guy comes close to nailing it. It’s a real trip of an LP. Lie back and listen on headphones.

Another instant classic creeping into the final quarter of 2017 is St Vincent’s ‘Masseducation’. This record finds this amazingly consistent artist at the peak of her powers. Rather than knocking her off her stride, the stresses and strains of her increasingly public profile have only served to give her more to channel into her work. Apparently she played the material live with backing tracks rather than a band too which is an interesting move. If you enjoy subversive pop music then this could well be the record for you.

There have been some other notable releases, Bjork for example, but I’ve not listened yet. So there. TSOFDs are gradually moving towards a less is more strategy with these pieces. We’ve been working hard to do more full album reviews and Q&As so if we continue these quarterly reviews into next year expect them to be a bit more concise and straight to the point. Bye!


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