Matt Nerney Poop 2020

Well. I don’t think anybody will be waxing nostalgic about 2020 any time soon, so I certainly won’t start here. Let it suffice to say that I did listen to a LOT of new music this year and that is always a good thing. Also, I can’t wait for January 20 … a new beginning!

Sit Down I Think I Love You

Buy Alabaster Deplume ~ To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals, Vol. 1 New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
1. Alabaster Deplume ~ To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals, Vol. 1: A beautiful, meditative jazz album with hints of the Orient floating like gauze in the background. It sounds, in a way (a very sentimental way), almost like a return to the musical sensibilities of the 1920’s. A welcome outlier in our very homogenized now.

Buy Kairon; IRSE! ~ Polysomn New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
2. Kairon; IRSE! ~ Polysomn: An intriguing mix of prog rock and shoegaze. Think Yes meets MBV meets Radiohead. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Regardless, one of my favorite new bands. From Finland no less!

Buy Spun Out ~ Touch the Sound New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon
Rent via iTunes [?]

3. Spun Out ~ Touch the Sound: A great new Chicago band that wouldn’t have been out of place in that city’s 90’s scene. On the poppier end of the Chicago spectrum, to be sure (think the Sea and Cake).

Buy FACS ~ Void Moments New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
4. FACS ~ Void Moments: Another recently-formed Chicago band who look to a diverse past for inspiration. Icy guitars, fuzz bass, and, in turns, metronomic/chaotic drumming are the key elements in this take on spooked gothic rock. In the same world as A Place to Bury Strangers and Preoccupations.

Buy Deeper ~ Auto-Pain New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
5. Deeper ~ Auto-Pain: Yet one more very cool Chicago band, but with a more wiry sound (re:Television).

Get Dummy ~ EP1 via Bandcamp
Get Dummy ~ EP1 via Bandcamp
Get Dummy ~ EP2 via Bandcamp New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon

6. Dummy ~ EP1/EP2: A contemporary California band who sound like they were brought up on a steady diet of Stereolab, My Bloody Valentine, and Eno (maybe). I’m looking forward to where this band will go.

Buy Thurston Moore ~ By the Fire New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
7. Thurston Moore ~ By the Fire: This sounds like the perfect convergence of Thurston Moore’s jammy tendencies and his more experimental, extended mood pieces. A second life for this alternative icon, who has been on a real roll in the past couple of years. Ecstatic Peace! to you, sir. Thank you.

Buy Linkwood & Foat ~ Linkwood & FoatNew or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
8. Linkwood & Foat ~ Linkwood & Foat: Greg Foat must be the hardest working musician in England. This time out the sound is more akin to Kruder & Dorfmeister than his usual jazz inflections. Cool.

Buy Shabaka & the Ancestors ~ We are Sent Here by History New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
9. Shabaka & the Ancestors ~ We are Sent Here by History: Another Englishman who just doesn’t seem to stop. This is definitely a throwback to the early 70’s fusion scene, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Buy The Soft Pink Truth ~ Shall We Go On Sinning, So That Grace May Increase New or Used via Amazon
Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
10. The Soft Pink Truth ~ Shall We Go On Sinning, So That Grace May Increase: A band that I was not familiar with, but apparently this album, an instrumental, rhythmic, ambient thrum, is an anomaly. Too bad, as it really is a thing of beauty. It reminds me a little of Bing & Ruth or COW by the Orb.

11. The Orb ~ Abolition of the Royal Familia: I’ve just really been into this band for the last few years. Everything they put out sounds good to me. Dubbed-out ambient house … who would have thought?

12. Psychedelic Furs ~ Made of Rain: While not as edgy as their classic material, it’s still worth a listen.

13. Protomartyr ~ Ultimate Success Today: I wasn’t familiar with this Detroit post-punk band, but the song “Processed by the Boys” just seems to sum up the existential dread of 2020 in an incredibly visceral way to me. It makes me want to weep and annihilate all the evil in the world, all at the same time.

14. Pottery ~ Welcome to Bobby’s Hotel: A weird and wonderfully strange band from Montreal. They kind of seem like a mix of Talking Heads and Zappa (kind of). An odd fellows union, in the best possible way.

15. Pretenders ~ Hate for Sale: A very welcome return to early form. My 4th favorite Pretenders album.

What I Like About You

Flaming Lips ~ American Head: mellow Lips. Nice to see Wayne and company veering back to form.
Hey Colossus ~ Dances/Curses: definitely channeling a 90’s alternative spirit.
Julianna Barwick ~ Healing is a Miracle: lovely ambient soundscapes.
Kruder & Dorfmeister ~ 1995: sounding as if they never left (but they did).
Mary Lattimore ~ Silver Ladders: still gorgeous, but not as deep an impact as prior releases.
Covet ~ Technicolor: a wonderfully fluid guitarist, with a great jazzy/mathy band behind her.
Idles ~ Ultra Mono: not quite as heavy-hitting as “Joy as an Act of Resistance”, but still good.
Field Music ~ Making a New World: harkens back to the sound of some of their earlier albums.
Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini ~ Illusion of Time: synth-based, soundtrack-like album.
numun ~ Voyage au Soleil: a nice, chilled-out space-ambient album. Very relaxing.
Sufjan Stevens ~ The Ascension: a more pop-oriented Sufjan this time around.
Tunng ~ presents Dead Club: a treatise on death and its impacts on the living.
John Vanderslice ~ Dollar Hits: JV goes digital and it sounds pretty good (and weird).
Greg Foat ~ Symphonie Pacifique: a definite mood piece, with a very cinematic, 70’s vibe.
Gogo Penguin ~ Gogo Penguin: more of the rhythmic, minimalist jazz that GP is known for.
Young Jesus ~ Welcome to Conceptual Beach: an actual art-rock band? Cool.
Jessie Ware ~ What’s Your Pleasure?: clubland is my (guilty) pleasure, thank you.
Aksak Maboul ~ Figures: arty French duo. Apparently they’ve been around for awhile.
Arbouretum ~ Let It All In: gloomy guitar rock in the vein of Richard Thompson.
Fontaines D.C. ~ A Hero’s Death: gloomy post rock with that detached Irish voice.
Babeheaven ~ Home for Now: in the British trip-hop tradition (most like Supreme Beings).
Heliocentrics ~ Infinity of Now: maintaining that same moody groove as last time.
Sonic Boom ~ All Things Being Equal: lots of synths and lots of drone (and vocals).
Holy Wave ~ Interlopers: sounds like the American version of Tame Impala (to me, anyway).
The Homesick ~ The Big Exercise: intricate and refined pop from the Netherlands.
Kassa Overall ~ I Think I’m Good: a really interesting and leftfield hip hop album.
Makaya McCraven ~ We’re New Again: a retake on Gil Scott-Heron’s last album.
Rustin Man ~ Clockdust: another album of strange and disturbing mood pieces.
KMRU ~ Peel: kneeling at the altar of the drone. Check it out if you like Eluvium.

Something Good Coming

Susan Alcorn ~ Pedernal
Badge Epoque Ensemble ~ Self Help
William Basinski ~ Lamentations
Bent Arcana ~ S/T
Bing & Ruth ~ Species
Dezron Douglas/Brandee Younger ~ Force Majeure
John Foxx & the Maths ~ Howl
Nubya Garcia ~ Source
Gorillaz ~ Song Machine: Season One (Deluxe)
Imaginary Softwoods ~ So Extra Bronze Lamp
Thanya Iyer ~ KIND
Jadu Heart ~ Hyper Romance
Yves Jarvis ~ Sundry Rock Song Stock
Makaya McCraven ~ Universal Beings (E & F)
Ela Minus ~ Acts of Rebellion
David Nance ~ Staunch Honey
Noveller ~ Arrows
Kassa Overall ~ Shades of Flu
Pallbearer ~ Forgotten Days
Photay ~ Waking Hours
Population II ~ A la O Terre
Ricky Eat Acid ~ When They Align …
Secret Machines ~ Awake in the Brain Chamber
Sigur Ros ~ Odin’s Raven Magic
Richard & Linda Thompson ~ Hard Luck Stories
Unwed Sailor ~ Look Alive
upsammy ~ Zoom
Kamaal Williams ~ Wu Hen
Immanuel Wilkins ~ Omega
Yo La Tengo ~ We Have Amnesia Sometimes

Have You Ever Been Disappointed?

Shirley Collins ~ Heart’s Ease
Elvis Costello ~ Hey Clockface
Roger Eno/Brian Eno ~ Mixing Colours
Fleet Foxes ~ Shore
Four Tet ~ Sixteen Oceans
Jonsi ~ Shiver
Khruangbin ~ Mordechai
My Morning Jacket ~ the Waterfall II
Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams ~ Aporia
Richard Thompson ~ Bloody Noses