I’ve spent a lot of 2018 revisiting old music, call it my age or a lack of imagination. Talk Talk, King Creosote and the Cocteau Twins consumed a lot of the year. As did my new found love for The War On Drugs (first to the party as always). Anyway, 2018 did provide some wonderful albums. Here’s the obligatory end of year list:
I’m writing this listening to yet another great Pop Ambient release (2019). However, this came a little too late to make the cut.
1. = Veriditas – Helios
1. = Occasus – Goldmund
I flipped back and forth over which of Keith Kenniffs albums I preferred. I came to the conclusion that they couldn’t be separated. To me this could be one of the best double albums ever released but bringing out Occasus in the spring and Veriditas late summer meant there was a supply of glorious ambience throughout the year. The albums also reflect the seasons. Veriditas contains Eventually which was by far my favourite tune of 2018. Occasus comprises pure melancholy throughout. I’ve heard both albums virtually everyday since I bought them. I will remember 2018 through these 2 masterpieces.
3. All Melody – Nils Frahm
This was worth the wait. A variety of styles forming a near flawless body of work. Nils is a genius. Shame the gig in March was cancelled due to the ‘Beast from the East’. Maybe I’ll see him next year as his world tour comes back to Scotland.
4. From When I Wake the Want Is – Kathryn Joseph
I saw Kathryn play this album in September and it was an intense experience. As near an exact replica of the album as you can get. An amazing singer songwriter with a voice sitting somewhere between Bjork and Kate Bush.
5. All That Was Lost – Stray Theories
A beautiful album from an artist that can do no wrong. No drones just beautiful melody. Micah is a genuinely nice chap to boot. A back catalogue worth checking out.
6. Parallel – Warmth
Drones ‘n’ stuff. An album to entice sleep. Warmth are well named. A blanket of ambience.
7. Bottle It In – Kurt Vile
Only found out about this later in the year. Woozy, blissful and catchy. Tunes from this album still run through my head.
8. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys
I was unsure of this at first. A complete change of direction as they do from album to album. Over the summer this grew on me and became a favourite – Mark speaking….
9. Consequence Shadows – Ian Hawgood & Guilio Aldinucci
My first purchase of 2018. It’s dark, really dark. A huge building sound. Only 5 tracks including a 20 minute original/remix combination. A beast of an album.
10. Kin – Mogwai
What can you say about my favourite band. They never disappoint. Whilst this soundtrack didn’t reach the heights of Atomic or Les Revenants, it was a very good album including another vocal following on from Every Country’s Sun. Scotland’s finest.