Tags: As Ondas, Bentcousin, Chook Race, City Yelps, Cold Pumas, Field Music, Flyying Colours, His Clancyness, Honey Radar, Hooton Tennis Club, Kate Jackson, Kikagaku Moyo, Lake Ruth, Lawrence Arabia, Lion's Den, Lithics, Martha, Monomyth, Omni, Proto Idiot, Puberty, Quilt, Radio Dept., Real Numbers, Rebel Kind, Savak, Snails, Terry, Terry Malts, The Finks, The Goon Sax, The Jangle Band, The Pooches, The Prophet Hens, Tyvek, Ural Thomas, Verner Pantons, Whyte Horses, Witching Waves, Woods
1. Bentcousin – Bentcousin (Team Love)
I was genuinely surprised this record did not get more recognition, but maybe the world no longer pines for wonderful pop records? The Orange Juice meets St. Etienne album had it all, including a dynamite Dino Jr cover.
2. Chook Race – Around the House (Tenth Court/Trouble In Mind)
A lot of people still worship at the alter of Flying Nun. If you are one of those folk then I’m sure you were bowing down to this record all year. Best jangle pop album since the Bats’ Fear of God.
3. Whyte Horses – Pop Or Not (CRC)
Another record that seems to have flown under the mass media radar. Shame, because it is classic sounding stuff that shares a love of Stone Roses, Broadcast and Free Design.
4. The City Yelps – Half Hour (Odd Box / Emotional Response)
A noisy little thing full of piss and vinegar that had the lo-fi sensibilities of a Boyracer album and great story telling of Animials that Swim.
6. Terry Malts – Lost at the Party (Slumberland)
The Bay area’s Terry Malts struck pop-punk gold on album number three where they combine old school punk like 7 Seconds with post punk wonder of the Chameleons. Every song is a killer sing-along anthem.
7. Woods – City Sun Eater In the River of Light (Woodsist)
Sometimes you lose track of a band after they release LP after LP of similar sounding music. On Sun City Eater the band incorporate African influences to brighten their sound and make a stand out record.
8. The Goon Sax – Up To Anything (Chapter)
Brisbane teen band who count Louis Forster the son of the Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster as a member got a lot of attention for that mere fact. Due to the album contained top quality indie pop akin to Beat Happening and the Pastels the attention kept coming all year.
11. Kikagaku Moyo – House in the Tall Grass (Guruguru Brain)
These Japanese renaissance men paint from a pallet of folk, psych and prog that meanders into dark fantastic places and then blasts out them into dry canyons on the California coast.
14. The Pooches – The Pooches (Lame-O)
I love bands that write songs about obsessing about records and the Pooches Heart Attack is perfect in that regard. Combine that with a lazy southern jangle that reminded me of REM and you have a great album.
15. The Finks – Middling (Milk)
If you combine the easy going erudite nature of the Lucksmiths with the down home comfort of label mate Courtney Barnett you have this wonderful record from Melbourne’s Minks.
16. Real Numbers – Wordless Wonder (Slumberland)
Minneapolis’ Real Numbers finally release a full length album and their Television Personalities meets Buddy Holly inspired DIY pop is more then enough to fill two sides.
17. Terry – Terry HQ (Upset the Rhythm)
Terry and the Shifters (they shared a split cassette release a few years ago) carry the Fall torch down under. Terry are the hippy-Pavement side of the coin and dial up just the right amount of dissonant yawp on their debut LP.
18. Lion’s Den – Lion’s Den (Lazy Octopus)
Lion’s Den take their innate Swedish pop sensibilities and dirty them up with their brand of idiosyncratic garage rock, sounding sort of like the Intelligence meets Neil Armstrong.
21. Radio Dept. – Running Out of Love (Labrador)
These guys work at a slow pace so every record feels like an event. With barely a guitar in the mix this event was their mellowest outing to date, but no less arousing or compelling.
23. Omni – Delux (Trouble In Mind)
Delux caught me off guard with its tightly wound and spiraling guitars that reminded me of Joseph K and Magazine, yet there is a slick 80’s quality to their sound that also evokes mainstream bands like Flock of Seagulls and Thomas Dolby.
24. His Clancyness – Isolation Culture (Maple Death)
A Classic Education’s Jonathan Clancy other band is a tour into a darker side of things. Book-ended by two excellent motorik tracks and stuffed with exquisite downtrodden pop reminiscent of East River Pipe and the Shins.
25. Tyvek – Origin of What (In the Red)
Origin of What is not quite the tour de force that 2012’s On Tripple Beams was, but Kevin Boyer and crew still deliver. The scope is broader and their social consious punk rock addresses wider topics beyond their native Detroit. Extra points for including Tyvek Chant because every band should have their own chant.
27. Verner Pantons – First Album (Curly)
The Paisely Underground is long gone, but its influence is lasting as evidenced in Portland’s Verner Pantons. Dusty psychedlia with a slight country tinge will remind many of the Syd Griffin and the Long Ryders.
28. Kate Jackson – British Road Movie (Hoo Ha)
Former singer of the Long Blonds, Kate Jackson made this album years ago with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and there it sat until this year. Lucky for us that Kate decided to finish it. Jackson has a great voice and Butler’s guitar is a perfect compliment.
29. Savak – Best of Luck In Future Endeavors (Comedy Minus One)
Once a punk always a punk and these punk veterans made one of the best politically aware records of the year. A soundtrack for taking to the streets!
31. Ural Thomas & the Pain – Ural Thomas & the Pain (Mississippi)
Ural Thomas has been a fixture in the underground PNW soul scene going back to the 1950’s. This record hasn’t received the attention that Charles Bradley’s Changes has but it’s just as good if not better.
32. Martha – Blisters In the Pit of Your Heart (Dirtnap)
UK sucre popsters deal in high fructose pop like Joanna Gruesome and Los Campesinos! It sounds better the louder you make it with power chords slapping you to attention and choruses that will make your head explode.
34. Puberty – Puberty (Born Bad)
Intelligence side project that sat in moth balls for a couple years. More tongue and cheek than the Intelligence with a decided nod to Tones on Tail, it may never have been said before, but this Puberty is fun.
35. Hooton Tennis Club – Big Box of Chocolates (Heavenly)
Produced by Edwyn Collins, the sophomore LP from Hooton Tennis Club takes the good parts of Britpop and adds their laid back style for a winning volley that sustains itself into extra sets.
37. Flyying Colours – Mindfullness (AC30)
Australian shoegazerrs who like extra letters also like extra tremelo. A classic sounding record that sits comfortably next to MBV, Chapterhouse and Slowdive.
38. The Jangle Band – Edge of a Dream (Pretty Olivia)
Appropriately named Australians descending from the Rainyard and the Palisades, Edge of a Dream is a record you immediately feel comfortable with. Like an old friend you haven’t seen in years, but the conversation picks up like you saw each other yesterday.
39. The Prophet Hens – the Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys (Fishrider)
Wonderful Shapes was not as immediate as the Prophet Hens’ debut, but it has a lasting power to it. More complex and varied, it continued to delight and surprise me throughout the year.
40. Lake Ruth – Actual Entity (The Great Pop Supplement)
New York City’s Lake Ruth have an elegant baroque sound that feels a little bit like Broadcast meets Left Banke. Actual Entity was their debut album, yet it sounds like they’ve been at since the 60’s. A timeless sounding record with memorable songs.
Tags: Minneapolis, Real Numbers, Three Dimension Records
Look at the numbers. The numbers don’t lie. My days are numbered. I’m a numbers guy. They did a number on me. Treat me like a number. I’ve got your number. My number is up. My Lucky number. Take a number. I’m not making these numbers up. These are Real Numbers folks!!
More great stuff from Minneapolis. They share a label with the Sleaze and are friends, but where the Sleaze travel in through the gutters of the world, Real Numbers roll through it on scooters. The band have a new record that was released earlier this month on Three Dimension Records. It’s a 12-inch called Only Two Can Play with six short sweet songs that mine untapped veins of Television Personalities, Razorcuts and Art Museums gold. This is jangly, modish and very accomplished pop.
Numbers permeate out lives. Put this record on while you balance the books, count your records or play Yahtzee. The Greek philosopher and professional Yahtzee player Proclus famously said “Wherever there is number, there is beauty.” Mathematician and record geek Philip J. Davis stated “The numbers are a catalyst that can help turn raving madmen into polite humans.” I don’t know Real Numbers personally, so I like to think that they’re raving madmen who are adept at polite pop beauty. I hope they continue to make more of it.
- It’s February Already, What Happened?
- Belated List of 2016 Seattle LP’s
- Albums of 2016
- Singles of the year, part 2: 1-20
- Singles of the year, part 1: 21-40
- Monomyth Go 2 the Pop Place
- Tired of Talking: Basementcast #23
- Catching Chook Race While They’re Around the USA
- Life is a Lion’s Den
- Inching Into Autumn with Snails
- It’s Not Easy Being Green
- No Hand Sanitizer Required In This Honey Bucket
- Chris on It’s February Already, What Happened?
- novas-loft.de on Barbaric City Yelps
- Toby on Albums of 2016
- Chris on Albums of 2016
- Singles of the year, part 2: 1-20 | the finest kiss on Singles of the year, part 1: 21-40
- Cloudberry Cake Proselytism » Blog Archive » :: Hopkirk & Lee on Wishful Thinking or Taraxacum Officinale
- Andy on Whyte Horses
- The Prophet Hens foresee new releases | Fishrider Records on Best of 2013: Albums
- Very Contemporary: Field Music at the Crocodile | the finest kiss on School of Language at Nectar
- Witching Waves at Finest Kiss « Crashing Through Publicity on Scum Surfin’ with Witching Waves
Upcoming Shows in Seattle
Pere Ubu @ The Crocodile, 3 December
Sløtface @ Barboza - 7 December
Cate Le Bon & Tim Presley @ Chop Suey - 17 January
The Intelligence @ The Tractor - 20 January
The Lemon Twigs @ Barboza - 31 January
Priests @ Vera Project - 16 February
Los Campesinos! @ Neptune - 20 February
The Radio Dept. @ Neumo's - 1 March
Ty Segall @ Neumo's - 2 March
Jens Lekman @ Neumo's - 5 March
Sleaford Mods @ Neumo's - 5 April
Visit these Places!Seattle Based Stuff
10 Things Zine
And More Again
Line Out (Stranger)
Reverb (Seattle Weekly)
Seattle Rock Guy
Sound on the Sound
Three Imaginary Girls
Stuff Based Elsewhere
A Layer of Chips
Austin Town Hall
The Creative Intersection
Did Not Chart
Gorilla vs Bear
Manic Pop Thrills
Requiem Pour Un Twister
Too Much Apple Pie
Drowned In Sound
Line of Best Fit
Gorilla In the Room
Other Places to Go (Seattle and Beyond)
Adored by Hordes
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