12 Releases That Took Me Away ❦
2011 has left me with strange afterthoughts of leaving behind EPs + 7”s from this list, so I’ve decided not to separate the two from LPs despite the differing runtimes. I mean what I’ve really based all of this on is a distinct feeling captured from the repeats of these releases. Again, numbers aren’t emphasized here and it’s all meant to take a personal approach at the music I’ve invested into this past year.
⇒ Happy Trendy ● Die Young EP
Die Young’s recent release doesn’t change how quickly this EP has grasped me. Happy Trendy fit just about the perfect sound to wrap up 2011; simple piano melodies stamped throughout overlapping vocals and all weighed down by an over-thinking approach to life’s naturally given angst.
Ambient fields connecting distinct scenes in the most one-on-one situation an album can build; that’s what we find here with Grouper’s A | A releases. Note: none of its effects would have been nearly as interlacing without separating the music from all other noise; a true headphone experience paired with the comfort of multiple pillows.
⇒ The Weeknd ● House of Balloons
Domino-risen-fame behind one of the most compelling r&b releases gave The Weeknd our complete and total attention. Early on there was a lot of mystery, but the soon Drake-praised project never needed any explanation. It was just amazing to be able to come back to this release and to be able to begin at any point throughout the 9 tracks without losing any of its character.
⇒ Keep Shelly In Athens ● Our Own Dream EP
Those moments from the Keep Shelly In Athens playlist cauldron were made complete from this release specifically. As Our Own Dream carried on, the presence of this duo’s past releases began to separate themselves and you could draw out the direction of Keep Shelly’s essence. Moreover, you find their mark is clearly made and a distinctive individuality became naturally present.
⇒ Hooray For Earth ● True Loves
Synth-felt arpeggios all over, while percussion-led intros defined True Loves and Hooray For Earth’s disguised vocal indifference, made this release singular in its overall arrangment. Yes, Hooray For Earth’s specific tracklisting and all, was something I especially took note of with this release and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Truth be told, I couldn’t decide which one of these tracks was my favorite from Purity Ring, so instead I’ve listed them here, as three tracks whose whole persona felt much more dynamic than just about every album that came out this past year.
⇒ Mutual Benefit / Philip Seymour Hoffman ● Split Cassette
Nothing made more sense this past year than the thought of Mutual Benefit teaming up with Philip Seymour Hoffman on this split cassette. Throughout its first experience, its connectedness hooked around a compliment of tangible feelings; where nothing was ever made clear, but every other thought adjacent to its first told me that this release was truly something to hold on to. Things never became any different after each listen, but nothing ever had to and the two sides seemingly guided the feelings to a parallel finish.
⇒ Braids ● Native Speaker
Braids’ 43 minute & 54 second venture as Native Speaker created one of the most profound experiences in its series of longitudinal / transversal compression. Raphaelle Standell-Preston led the entire experience where I absolutely fell in love with about every vocal performance on this release and while it became easy for me to simply play “Glass Deers” and move on, starting from the beginning and diving into it all is and will forever be a favorite listen of mine.
mp3//Braids — Lammicken
⇒ Ricky Eat Acid ● Seeing Little Ghosts Everywhere
I covered this release and the idea of being alone here and, still, after each listen I can’t help but fall back on it all. Where usually I find myself looking away at what I’ve written for various reasons, here I’m looking back to find more examples through experiences and soundtracking the thoughts along the way with Ricky Eat Acid’s release builds upon every initial thought from my first listen.
⇒ Balam Acab ● Wander / Wonder
Couldn’t help but imagine a lone-mariner throughout each listen of Wander / Wonder; a submerged pioneer given an all-important task. Frankly, the depths of the ocean fit along Balam Acab’s depth of frequencies. My favorite way to listen to this album was to have it running through my decent 2.1 setup, given its wonderful range in low frequencies from the sub provided. Though, W/W’s entire magnitude is absolutely clear through any output.
mp3//Balam Acab — Expect
⇒ Coma Cinema ● Blue Suicide
My overture towards Blue Suicide connects some of the most personal experiences I’ve had this past year. Early on this past summer I even got the chance to meet Mat Cothran and Coma Cinema when they all kicked off their tour in Jacksonville; genuinely extending all feelings towards the release. The release which accordingly ties its own particular stories among its 15 tracks.
⇒ Jane Jane Pollock ● Self-titled
Soaring spooky / experimental vibes built over a live atmosphere completed the feeling from this release. To hear the kitchen-made instruments of percussion behind the 60s halloween-tied organ patch in person spelled out the very nature of what Jane Jane Pollock was about; a smeared & blistered avant-garde experience, hopefully not limited to only Florida / Georgia exposure in the future.