6 Albums You Should Be Listening To

6 Albums You Should Be Listening To

1. Boris – Dear
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One of the most mind-boggling and refreshing albums I’ve heard in a long time, Dear finds Japanese experimental heavyweights Boris crushing their way to the forefront of the new age of music. The trio of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Takeshi, guitarist/vocalist Wata, and drummer/vocalist Atsuo has consistently stupefied critics with their ability to shift between pummeling sludge, towering doom, murky psychedelia and garage, and everywhere in between. On Dear, the sounds are cavernous and overwhelming, immense and heavenly. Crystal clear vocal harmonies soar over seismic guitar and bass while electrodes deconstruct the world around them. The drums are a heaving ocean, enveloping and gargantuan, with just enough soft and melodic moments to let you catch your breath. It’s something else.

2. Ty Segall – Ty Segall
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More and more I find myself getting into the all-over-the-place, loosely-held-together stylings of the raging garage rock/hard psych scene, and few are more intense or prolific than Ty Segall. Having played with a few different backing bands through his career thus far, Segall’s style is hard to pin down, as he floats between crunchy noise rock, delicate folk tunes, loping jam band numbers, and intricate, technical garage rock. His newest self-titled album is a freewheeling and exuberant collection of crunchy, epileptic garage-psych, floating, pensive folk, churning Sabbath-esque riffs, and your general guitar-hero bravado. Great album for driving, getting a party going, or thrashing around your apartment with a broomstick guitar. Ty Segall has since released a new album, Freedom’s Goblin, that you should probably check out as well.

3. Floating Points – Reflections: Mojave Desert
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British neuroscientist/musician Sam Shepard’s Floating Points project is one of the peak acts of psychedelic jazz-fusion touring today. After the well-received debut of Elaenia in 2015, Reflections: Mojave Desert is the next step. Recorded in Joshua Tree, California, the album captures the echoes and sonic resonance of the area in an electrifying way; the music seems to fill your ears with the vibrations of the region (if you’ve been to Joshua Tree, you know the effect that place can have on you). Crystalline synths and guitars bleed into each other over a swelling rhythm section. The album really gets in your head and takes you on a trip.

4. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup
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When they promised to release five albums in 2017, many fans of King Gizzard were cautiously hopeful. While they’ve always had a prodigious output, five albums in twelve months is quite the undertaking. However, just before the New Year, they released Gumboot Soup, the prophesied fifth of the year. Whereas the other four records this year were highly concept-based, Gumboot Soup is exactly that: a soup of different snapshots of King Gizzard’s vast well of material and ideas. From crushing stoner metal to sleek vocoder/flute harmonies, abyssal psychedelic drones and spastic wonkiness, lazy morning jams and upbeat desert rock, Gumboot Soup gets better with every listen and provides some new aspects of King Gizzard’s style. After an exhilarating 2017 of top-quality tunes, I can’t wait to see where they go next.

5. Tobacco – Ripe and Majestic
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The brains behind the enigmatic and dreamlike Black Moth Super Rainbow, Tobacco (real name Thomas Fec) has always been a prolific solo artist as well. Ripe and Majestic is a compilation of rarities and B-sides from 2007-2017 that really showcases his versatility. From muscular and slippery to ethereal and mystical, the grooves never disappoint, and it’s very cool to hear some extra material from the cutting room floor of one of the coolest musical minds out there. The 8-bit video game soundtrack style meshes perfectly with his own brand of acid-drenched electric analog grit and spaced-out, pensive psychedelic madness, with stuttering lead synths over gloopy, full bass and chittering snares. Tobacco is a mad scientist, and Ripe and Majestic is his laboratory.

6. The Seven Fields of Aphelion – Keep the Ocean Inside
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This is the second appearance in this list about the solo project of a Black Moth Super Rainbow member. Maureen “Maux” Boyle, better known by her stage name The Seven Fields of Aphelion, is the synth master in BMSR, and her second solo album is a glorious wash of sky-high synths, cascading waterfall melodies, and vibrating hums. The chorus of different instrumental voices is much like a tide; receding slowly, leaving droplets of melody, until it comes crashing back in to a roaring crescendo. Ideas drift in and out of the mist, with otherworldly effects that are equal parts staring into space, sinking in the ocean, or watching grass grow. Hypnotic and graceful, it’s a wonderful sophomore effort from a singular artist mind.

I hope there’s something for you in this list. I’ve had a winter fraught with personal strife and trouble, but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and this music is helping me see it. I hope if you need something to get you through some hard times that there is something here to help. As always, happy listening.

I do not own the artwork in the photos in this article. They are the property of the original artists.

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