The 10 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2015 06:38pm | Post a Comment

best albums of 2015

Now that the year is officially half over, we’re checking back over the albums that have been released thus far in 2015. Maybe all of this will change in six months, but for now, here are the albums I’ve been most excited about this year. We’d love to hear some more under-the-radar albums that came out this year that haven’t been as covered by the blogosphere, so please leave a comment and suggest some more picks.  

1. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear

father john misty i love you honeybearThe former Fleet Foxes drummer has put out the most emotionally manipulative album of 2015, and that’s a good thing. Songs like “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” are all sweeping melodrama on the surface, horns and strings and Southwest jangle decorating Joshua Tillman’s sonorous voice, but his words destroy the superficial veneer the handsome troubadour puts out on first blush, sneaking snarky lines into a love song to his new wife (“I wanna take you in the kitchen/Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in”). Songs like “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.” and “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow” dismiss young would-be groupies with borderline arrogance (the oft-quoted “She says, like literally, music is the air she breathes/And the malaprops make me want to fucking scream”), Tillman’s use of detail flip your impression of him from douche to annoyingly charming dude who’s just telling it like it is. And as the album progresses, Tillman’s observations turn more self-effacing, and his pathos makes for some brutally candid moments—“Bored in the U.S.A.’s” white people problems are played for literal laughs, and the self-loathing present beneath the beard transcends its trappings and becomes entirely relatable. It’s also a great love album because it’s romantic but doesn’t sugarcoat shit, starting semi-sarcastically using the pet name “honeybear” and later featuring the line “Maybe love is just an economy based on resource scarcity/What I fail to see is what that’s gotta do with you and me.” There have easily been more sentimental singer/songwriter releases in 2015, but Tillman’s cynicism feels like the most honest thing I’ve heard this year.

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Album Picks: Bjork, Courtney Barnett, The Go! Team, Surf City

Posted by Billy Gil, March 24, 2015 11:11am | Post a Comment

Bjork - Vulnicura

bjork vulnicura lpVulnicura is the album Bjork fans were longing for. Co-producing with white-hot underground beatmaker Arca, Bjork crafts some of her most singular and affecting music yet, writing complex string arrangements that elevate the drama in songs like “Stonemilker” to that of classics like Homogenic’s “Joga” or “Bachelorette.” Vulnicura measures the effects of the end of a relationship—the end of Bjork’s partnership with artist Matthew Barney serves as the catalyst—and she acts as an emotional scientist on tracks like “Lionsong,” tinkering with what’s left in the aftermath (“Should I throw oil on one of these wounds? But which one?”) amid vocal manipulation that calls to mind her work on the voice-centric Medulla. As that striking album art portrays, the core of Vulnicura is a gaping wound. On “History of Touches,” she sees every touch and sexual ecounter as a singularity, illustrated by electronics that glow like an aurora borealis. But her shield of objectivism crumbles on “Black Lake,” Vulnicura’s absolutely devastating centerpiece. Over 10 minutes, Bjork details how hitting absolute bottom at the end of a relationship that feels like a life’s worth of work coming to and end. Every so often, the music, a dark swirl of strings and beats supplied by Bjork and Arca, cuts out for a strange, long coda that feels like a necessary swallowing of air before she delivers the next stanza, sometimes wearily, sometimes desperately. Each time it hits like a punch to the gut. She’s simply never done anything so affecting before; given her catalog, this alone is remarkable.

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Bjork's 'Vulnicura' Has Insane New Cover Art

Posted by Billy Gil, March 3, 2015 02:00pm | Post a Comment

Bjork can always manage to surprise us. After Beyonce-ing her new album, Vulnicura, online earlier this year, she's just revealed the cover art for Vulnicura's upcoming physical release on March 24, and it's a doozy.

Designed by Bjork and Andrew Thomas Huang, the image still has the open heart featured on the album's digital release, but instead of looking like the Rubber Man from "American Horror Story," now the figure on the cover (I'm guessing it's Bjork) looks more like a victim from Pompeii, frozen in ash while doing yoga.

Bjork's albums have a history of looking pretty badass, especially the Alexander McQueen-designed cover for her masterpiece Homogenic. Speaking of that album (and all of her others), they're also due on LP reissue this month.

Check out that back bend below! You can also preorder Vulnicura now on LP and CD.

bjork vulnicura lp new cover art


Hear "Black Lake," the harrowing centerpiece to Vulnicura, below:

Reissue Report: Bjork, Broadcast, Led Zeppelin, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Posted by Billy Gil, February 3, 2015 03:42pm | Post a Comment

bjorkLots of exciting vinyl reissues have been announced for early 2015, starting off with Bjork, whose major studio albums all will be reissued by One Little Indian March 9.

The first 5,000 copies of the reissue will each come in “the hue that personifies that album character,” One Little Indian says. After that, the imprint will issue the LPs on black vinyl.

So just which hue is Debut? What cula’ is Medulla? Check out the descriptions below for each album, which you can preorder now (I didn’t write these, assuming Bjork did):


bjork post lp reissue

Debut (1993) [Beige]

shy beginner humility virgin beige silver mohair the messenger

Post (1995) [Pink]

greedy euphoric absorb promiscuity urban pink

Homogenic (1997) [Green]

10 More Albums to Look for in Early 2015

Posted by Billy Gil, January 26, 2015 10:33am | Post a Comment

bjork 10 albums blog

A little while ago, we called out 10 albums to look for in this nascent new year (some of them are out now, and they’re great!). Here are 10 more that we’re excited about.

A Place to Bury StrangersTransfixation

a place to bury strangers transfixiation lpOut Feb. 17

Available on LP, Colored Vinyl and CD

A Place to Bury Strangers are known for their high-volume shoegaze played with custom-built guitar pedals, but new album Transfixation is said to be more experimental. The first single, “Straight,” sounds a little like Spacemen 3 jamming with Battles, with a frantic beat and strange noises rounded out by Oliver Ackermann’s cool delivery. We’re so down.

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