So… last year I confessed in my annual blog post that I couldn’t keep up with my usual listening habits so my list of favorites was pulled from a very limited pool. This year was even worse in terms of listening time! As such, my list is super short.
But, thankfully, not having time for listening did not mean no musical activity. Ever since my daughter was born I have been writing lyrics again. I only managed to write and record one of those songs this year. Click through to give a listen…
presented in alphabetical order…
Altin Gün — Gece
Amsterdam band that nails that 70s fuzzed-out Turkish psych rock sound.
The Andretti — Suicide, Italian Style
My friend, Joe Ferrara, released this new project and asked me to write a blurb. Here’s what I wrote:
Suicide, Italian Style by The Andretti is epic. It is sonically epic, taking the sweeping drama of Ennio Morricone and the melodrama of Scott Walker’s first solo album and infusing 90s noise rock rawness and a millefoglie of textural details. It is musically epic in its ambition. Every track twists and turns through a labyrinth of shifting genres and time signatures. It is stylistically epic in its breadth. Spaghetti western and crime drama soundtracks, vintage Italian pop, “math” rock, surf rock, exotica, and doo wop are skillfully woven together into a unified whole. There are no nonsequitors, only interesting surprises. It all makes sense because all the details are perfect. If the atmosphere of a palm-muted baritone guitar dripping with spring reverb piques your interest as much as throat-shredding, amp-melting intensity then you will enjoy all the journeys contained within Suicide, Italian Style.
Asuna & Jan Jelinek — Signals Bulletin
This is a patiently paced album that builds tension and atmosphere through repetition and layering. The album’s scope expands from simple loops to field recordings and synth baths with arpeggiated melodies worming up out of the thicket to keep the surface in motion. The finale brings the emotions back down with the abstract beating of sine tones that recalls raster-noton’s stark aesthetic.
King Midas Sound — Solitude
As the title implies, this is a lonely listen. The mood is crushingly heavy, even in its quietest moments. Roger Robinson’s deadpan reading perfectly suits Kevin Martin’s greyscale yet emotionally turbulent sonic settings.
Edmond Cho — Little Baby
Here is my song. I wrote the lyrics with a punky energy in mind, but one day realized that they would perfectly fit a rocksteady song. I’d like to give big thanks to my bandmate, Scott DeDecker from The Twilights, for recording drums, piano, and organ parts for me.
RIP Jared Balogh
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge and recognize a great loss from this year. My friend and bandmate in Pink Hex, Jared Balogh, died suddenly this past April. Jared was an extremely broad-minded listener and musician. He was a self-taught musician and a talented visual artist. He was prolific. He was tireless in his pursuit of creative collaboration. He pushed Pink Hex further than Joel or I ever envisioned and created opportunities for us constantly. He was also gentle and funny and sarcastic and goofy. I miss him.