Favourite Records of the Year. Selected by: Thou
Thou from Baton Rouge are the mightiest doom force on the planet for some time now, as their spotless, overwhelming discography impressivly proves. And still, 2014 will be remembered as a unprecedented peak in the bands history, with one stroke of genious after the other: ‚Heathen‚ and ‚The Sacrifice‚ and ‚Released from Love‚, the first of two epic collaboration with The Body, which will find it’s imposing continuation in 2015. And while a visit to Europe seems to remain a pipe dream for now, Thou do the honors and take care of day 24 in the Heavy Pop advent calendar: guitarist Andy Gibbs presents some of his albums of the year.
…in no particular order and excluding many other excellent releases:
Grouper – ‚Ruins‚
I find myself listening to Grouper more and more these days. When I first encountered ‚Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill‘ I thought of it as a really beautiful record to put on while doing other stuff or falling asleep. After the ‚Dream Loss‘ and ‚Alien Observer‘ records I learned to pay closer attention, and the songs resonated so much deeper. ‚Ruins‘ is no exception despite being such a sparse and fragile record.
Weyes Blood – ‚The Innocents‚
I discovered the last Weyes Blood record (‚The Outside Room‘) a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love. It quickly went into heavy rotation at my house and I pushed it on anyone willing to click a Youtube link. This new record is considerably less cerebral put paints with many of the same colors. I’m really hoping she tours the West Coast so I can see how this translates live, but in the meantime I’m content to listen to ‚Hang On‚ twenty times in a row.
Bohren & der Club of Gore – ‚Piano Nights‚
Perfect for cold and rainy nights. Less perfect when you’re on hour 6 of an 8 hour shift in a kitchen, which is when my coworker always chose to put this slow-burner on. If nothing else, I have to give this group credit for using tasteful saxophone in a non-jazz setting and for the sheer patience it takes to play through plodding songs with minimal changes. I can relate to the latter, for sure.
Holly Herndon – ‚Chorus / Home‚
A year or two ago I probably wouldn’t have even given this a chance, but there’s been a steady stream of electronic artists subtly drawing me in with a noise aesthetic and then keeping me hooked with more danceable sounds. I like Holly Herndon not only for being genuinely „out-there“ but for the inventiveness with which she deploys her sounds. This is music whose means of creation I can’t fully understand, which makes it all the more intriguing. Perfect music for the dystopian tech-industry hellhole known as the Bay Area.
Pharmakon – ‚Bestial Burden‚
Metal bands take note: this is what scary music sounds like. Between this album and The Body’s collaboration with The Haxan Cloak lies a world of terrifying music I hope more adventurous artists will explore. Abject fear and contempt.
Many Thanks to Andy Gibbs / Thou for the participation to the Heavy Pop Advent calender 2014!