Blimpy’s Best LPs of 2014 go up to 11 – Part four

seraphine

New household member and French princess Seraphine says she only listens to old school jungle and sometime glitch-step. I don’t quite believe her silky continental sophistications as I’ve seen her secret stash of Serge Gainsbourg, rare groove and booty bass LPs.

2. “Annabel Dream Reader”The Wytches

I’m a 90s kid through and through. Cut me and I bleed jangly indie, shoegaze and pre-major-label grunge (when it was called alt. rock). I’m pop but Sub Pop. I’m sub Sub pop Pop. Pop.

Some folk might think that the terms wretched, noisy & abrasive are negative words to describe music with. I think things went bad when the only audible influence bands took from Nirvana ended up being Nickleback, Puddle Of Mudd, Creed, et al. There are so many bands influenced by Kurt, Thurston, J Mascis whose music sounds nothing like them,  but it was Bleach or Nevermind that made them pick up a guitar.

Rarely a band dares to occupy a space made sacred by Saint Cobain over twenty years ago. Rarer still is a band with the ideas or the chops or the tunes to pull off anything worthwhile.

Filtered through a sixties freakbeat awareness, pre-nevermind rhythm section and a throat shredding south coast accent, The Wytches scream their fucking heads off in memorable pop tunes as distortion reigns supreme. From the fuzz comes transcendence. Touch me; I’m quick.

1. “Soft Friday”Coves

Noise ridden wall of sound pop melodies fuzzy skygaze shoegaze hazy days; the (beautifully sub-40 minutes 10 tracker) Coves record has myriad sparkling & eclectic psyche pop delights that I haven’t stopped listening to since April. 

I just love it so much.

Blimpy’s Best LPs of 2014 go up to 11 – Part three

Hectanamo

4. “United Ghosts”United Ghosts 

Poppy hooky shoegaze with dual male/female vocals. There needs to be some sort of internet widget where this stuff gets posted straight to my door without me even hearing it first.

joint 3rd. “New Gods”Withered Hand

Dan’s long awaited follow up to Good News (his first record which was my favourite of 2009) was a worryingly together effort with a backing cast of Scots indie royalty behind him (King Creosote, Eugene Kelly, Frightened Rabbit to mention a few). The old bumbling charm has diminished a bit, the songs are bigger and looking out rather than in. I think the album just lacked a “No Cigarettes” or “Love In The Time Of Ecstasy” and time had increased my expectations to silly levels. It’s a great record, don’t get me wrong.

joint 3rd. “St Vincent”St Vincent

I like my pop music like I like my coffee: bonkers & unpredictable, taut & skewed, arty & twisted (never ask me to make coffee). It’s Madonna brought up on Talking Heads rather than disco. An incredible record from an incredible talent, and had I picked it up earlier in the year it may well have been higher up the list.

Blimpy’s Best LPs of 2014 go up to 11 – Part two

mews

Mewsli finds it hard to choose too. Here’s the next three best LPs of 2014.

7. “Ganglion Reef”Wand

I like my 60s inflected psychedelic pop music COVERED IN RIFFS AND NOISE AND MENTALISM. Thanks Wand!

8. “Sun Structures / Sun Restructured”Temples

I like my 60s inflected psychedelic pop music incredibly authentic sounding. Thanks Temples!

This record was so 60s beat pastiche that I initially dismissed it but I’m very glad I went back to it as it’s chock full of fab songs. The remix album that is now bundled with it is the whole record taken apart by acid drenched wizards (actual wizards! Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve to be precise) in a fevered high and put back together all wonky and could well be better than the original. Excellent value for money for sure.

6. “Days Of Abandon”The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

The growing Pains continue. The first LP noise-twee made way for LP2’s angry teen stompbox (my fave LP of 2011) and now their third sees them getting Jen from Fear Of Men to sing half the songs in a polished 80s Smithsian fashion. Jangle and sparkle and huge pop songs – not indie pop – just POP. Fit to burst exuberance and sky grazing ballads.

Blimpy’s Best LPs of 2014 go up to 11 – Part one

LP tree
End of year lists for a music geek like me are the equivalent of the “hurts in good way” duality of S&M, right ‘Spillers? Right? No, come back! Um…anyway my list goes up to 11, mainly because of the first choice.

11. “Everything Will Be Alright In The End”Weezer

My secret weapons at “work” over the last year or so have been coffee and perky helpings of Weezer’s dumbest big rockest tunes, and their latest album was a return to form with some ridiculously huge unapologetic bangers on it  and a three part rock ‘suite” to finish the LP.

10. “Burn Your FIre For No Witness”Angel Olsen

Angel turned out a record that stylistically was all over the place but held together by a distinct voice.

9. “God’s Dream”Ringo Deathstarr

This was an EP really, unless you count the extra tracks that Japan got, but acted as a good signpost towards the LP I hope they make next of big-thinking-stadium-shoegaze-1992-pumpkins-rock. The dude from Swervedriver popped up, and a non-classic Pumpkin too.

8. “From Scotland With Love”King Creosote

Specially written to soundtrack a lovely film made from archive footage of Scotland, this was prime Kenny through & through.

Winter Popfest 2014

It’s not them, it’s me. If DsD is falling for sappy ballads in his dotage, i seem to be going for feelgood pop in mine. I really wanted to be hooked on droney stuff, like the Swans and Temple and Parquet Courts. Or grab my pipe and slippers and hang out with Beck, or stare out the window at the dismal weather with the War On Drugs, or brood with Bonnie Prince Billy. But seems that most of what i found this year that hit the spot is a spectrum of pop.

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What’s new in heavy psyche and slacker, you ask?

Drones, drums created by planets smashing together, noises that were futuristic fifty years ago, vagueness, heaviosity. These  are all things I look for in a potential mate. We’re living in post-Impala times now. Wand are very hard to google and if you look in the dictionary under Noise-Throb, they’re there, looking back at you.

I can’t for the life of me embed the Wand player, but if you click here, it’ll open in a new window. 

Also, a nice young man named Galkin wrote in and asked us to listen to his psych/slacker-rock EP. Of course I always listen to anything described as “psych/slack” and quite frankly it fits the description perfectly. It makes me want to lay on the edge of the submerged quarry and watch the last rays of summer fade over the horizon. Galkin played all of the instruments on the tracks, and you could compare it to Unknown Mortal Orchestra perhaps.