Best Records of October 2019 DIIV, Kim Gordon, Pelada, Ernest Hood

This was the month where I wanted to give Bach a slot in this most hallowed of albums of the month lists. But I figured, old Johann has probably received more than enough plaudits in the last three centuries and instead we should give some young 'uns the chance to shine. The Bach record Jonny Greenwood released on his new label is phenomenal, mind. Once you've finished listening to the 10 albums below, why don't you give it a try?

Best albums this month

DIIV - Deceiver 

First time I heard it, I assumed DIIV’s third album was yet another decent 90s shoegaze album, remembered only by our resident expert of the genre, as well as the members of the various fan forums he frequents. The reason being is that it had a bite and a tenacity generally lacking from DIIV’s contemporaries. Basically what I’m saying is that it sounds a bit like My Bloody Valentine. That’s a good thing.

Pelada - Movimiento Para Cambio

Pelada are a Montreal based duo who make music that sounds like 90s UK acid and, to quote their Resident Advisor biography, combine it with “aggressive singing (Spanish)”. The result is as intense as it is surreal. The music is so familiar, and were it not for Chris Vargas’ yelling, would probably come across as a little trite. With Vargas, it’s strange and brilliant, the sort of thing I dream of seeing live.

Boa Morte - Before There Was Air

If you type Boa Morte into a search engine it brings you picture of Luís Boa Morte, a football player who once played for Arsenal Football Club (by far the greatest team the world has ever seen… ahem). He has not suddenly kicked off a music career, no, Before There Was Air is instead the third album in three decades from the Cork band of the same name. It’s achingly beautiful folk music, thoughtful instrumentation fleshed out with intimate vocal harmonies that haunt my dreams.

Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis

After the reveal that Sufjan Stevens never planned to release an album for each of America’s United States, it’s become all too easy to be cynical about ambitious multi-album projects. Matana Roberts’ Coin Coin series is envisioned to reach 12, and at four has already doubled Stevens’ efforts. Chapter Four: Memphis is the project’s highpoint, Robert’s genius free jazz sax and distinct spoken word cadence are joined by post-rock heaters and some heart wrenching choral work. 

Battles - Juice B Crypts

With Juice B Crypts, Battles retain their status as the funniest band in music. Note they aren’t explicitly a comedy band, rather they treat comedy as just another tool in their sizeable tool box. They may have lost another member on the way but they’ve lost none of their edge. The Xenia Rubinos featuring ‘They Played It Twice’ is Juice B Crypts best joke. Rubinos sings something that wouldn’t feel out of place on a euphoric house record, while Battles provide the wonkiest least euphoric backing imaginable. 

Kim Gordon - No Home Record

No Home Record is Kim Gordon’s debut solo album, and unsurprisingly, it is extremely good. What is surprising is that I liked it. I’ve never vibed with Sonic Youth (shame on me), but I do vibe with this. Gordon comes across as utterly voracious, mixing the genre she basically invented, noise rock, with the sorts of ideas you’d expect on records by Sunn O))), EMA, and of course, Metro Boomin. 

Kyle Eyre Clyd - Eggshell

I’m still not sure what I’m listening to here, but I think I like it. Whatever you’re listening to, odds are it’s rearrange something in your head, but with Eggshell you can actually feel that happening. Using some cursed combination of bowed metal and electronics Kyle Eyre Clyde  makes what I imagine cyborg locust must sound like. Her press release describes her as a multimedia artist which with music like this, is a given isn’t it.

Listen here.

Fenella - Fenella

Everyone likes horses right? They’re big and fast and sometimes people make experimental psychedelic animated films about them. Fenella is a project from one Jane Weaver, and their self-titled debut is inspired by an experimental psychedelic animated film about horses. This is the sort of music that words like ‘kaleidoscopic’ are reserved for, and rightly so! The form of kind-of soundtrack gives Weaver the chance to really flex her psychedelic skills. Thank you horses!

Ernest Hood - Neighbourhoods

The moment Neighbourhoods was when Ernest Hood sampled some children singing “naa nana nanaa naa” you know the one), and then echoed it on one of his synthesisers. This becomes the album’s key musical motif, as well as its conceptual one. In this one moment you can find all the charm, the homeliness, and the nostalgia which makes Neighbourhoods such a pleasure to listen to. Indeed, Hood has managed to make an easy listening ambient record.

clipping. - There Existed an Addiction to Blood

It never ceases to amaze me that the Daveed Diggs making noisy and kinetic rap music in clipping. is the same Daveed Diggs who plays the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton, the musical whose songs my girlfriend won’t stop singing. There Existed an Addiction to Blood sees clipping. in fine form, with Diggs spitting out rhymes over all sorts of horrid scrapes, screeches. And to top it off, the sounds of an actual piano on actual fire.  

Coming to a shelf near you this November

  • Leanord Cohen is going to make me cry again.
  • Warp Records celebrates birthdays just like the rest of us.
  • I can’t make head nor tail of this new Danny Brown title. UK now ha, Tim’s a yin? What’s a yin? Is this a Brexit thing?
  • You can buy 23 Beatles singles in 1 box if you are so inclined.
  • We sell Taylor Swift records now. 
  • AND Lady Gaga.

I can’t get no release (schedule).