I spend so much time listening to music, either to relax or when evaluating equipment and doing client demonstrations I thought it only fitting to highlight some of the albums that caught my attention during 2018. I’m only selecting 5 albums, although I could have easily selected 20 or 30 albums.
In no particular order……..
GoGo Penguin – A Humdrum Star
GoGo Penguin hail from Manchester and are best described as contemporary jazz crossed with electronica. A Humdrum Star is their 4th studio release and my favourite album they’ve released to date. GoGo Penguin are a simple 3 piece with piano, percussion and double bass. They are signed to Blue Note records and as with anything they release the production is impeccable.
A Humdrum Star is a truly capativating album from start to finish……jazz with breakbeats, frenetic piano which almost floats over the top of bass notes and paints a huge sense of space and air. Highlight of the album for me is easily ‘Bardo’, but the whole album is magical – highly, highly recommended
Father John Misty – God’s Favourite Customer
Otherwise known as Josh Tillman, Father John Misty came to attention initially as the drummer for Fleet Foxes, he parted company with them in 2012 and God’s Favourite Customer is his 4th solo album and was written over a couple of months in a New York hotel room, with a large portion of the album allegedly written on the toilet! Lyrically it’s very strong and full of humour. The majority of album takes place in hotel rooms and reception areas, Mr. Tillman and The Palace are brilliant tracks, but to be fair there are no weak songs on the whole album –
Nils Frahm – All Melody
Nils Frahm is best described as a post-classical composer, think ECM crossed with Keith Jarret and you are getting close. All Melody is his 7th album and this release was recorded in his new studio, built especially for this release, a refurbished former East German broadcast centre, the Funkhaus is an iconic building in Berlin on the banks of the River Spree.
All Melody was largely recorded in a Chamber called Saal 3 in the Funkhaus (and a well in Majorca) and is a brilliant fusion of classical and electronica with a bit of jazz thrown in for good measure, spine tinglingly good stuff!
Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere
Girl Going Nowhere is the debut album by country singer-songwriter Ashely McBryde. To me this is pure country music gold, songs about hard times, smoking, biker bars and the like. The title track and ‘A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega’ are the standouts for me, but there are no real fillers on this album and it certainly doesn’t sound like a debut album…..
That’s it! Other notable albums released in 2018 that had plenty of airtime were from David Byrne, The National, Kamasi Washington, Janelle Monae and Roseanne Cash along with a load of others!