Best Stuff Day 15: Albums 15 to 11
Telling you what you should be listening to, exactly 50 words at a time.
15. Ghostkeeper – Ghostkeeper (Flemish Eye)
Twisted and tweaked blues and roots that know when to strut and when to stomp, and isn’t afraid to feed a little Beefheart into its Leadbelly. The melodies keep winding, then stop cold just when you think you’ve got them figured out, pretty much demanding to be played on loop.
Sample song: Haunted
14. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot… The Son of Chico Dusty (Purple Ribbon/Def Jam)
Forget vocal gymnastics. Big Boi’s more of a vocal tap-dancer, pulling out rhythms that hardly seem possible, bouncing off snares and gliding under bass hits with just the right blend of precision and effortlessness. Kanye’s Fantasy has the better production, but with Chico, at least there’s never a wasted beat.
13. Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)
Wispy Southern California folk-pop with Joanna-Newsom-meets-Mercury-Rev vocals that’ll either endear themselves or send you running in short order. Like you’d expect from a 19-year-old songwriter, it’s sad, funny, horny, angry and confused, but angst doesn’t apply here. By pulling all those strands together, Avi Buffalo makes teen pop for adults.
Sample song: Five Little Sluts
12. Tindersticks – Falling Down a Mountain (Constellation)
Lets get abstract. Falling starts with a peyote-soaked journey through a desert dust storm, summons the ghost of soul, grapples with velvety (and Velvets-y) monotone grooves and ends with strings-and-piano swells that’d take the comfort out of any end credits sequence. Albums like this make me wish I had synaesthesia.
Sample song: Black Smoke
11. Meligrove Band – Shimmering Lights (Last Gang)
How the Meligrove Band went from pop-rock also-rans to a distillation of the best bits of the decade’s Canuck-pop is a mystery, but sometimes you don’t need to know how the sausage was made. Sometimes you just eat that sausage, and do a little dance because it’s just that delicious.
Sample song: Halflight
Previous best stuff:
The Anthology Project
El Guincho’s “Bombay” (NSFW)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Eye Spy zine
Julia Tiller, illustrator
Hip: The History
Comedy Death Ray
Metropolis + the Alloy Orchestra