Record of the month – February 2017 – Aquaserge “laisse ça être”

Second edition of our new regular review. Once again, there is a bit of frustration as there are a few albums I did not have the time to listen to at all or not enough but I guess it will be the case all year-long hence the importance of the full year best-of list! This month, my choice was made after listening to…48 new records released in February. We are living in strange times when life as a musician is tougher than it used to be and at the same time there has never been so much music available. Lots of great records in all styles this month and I am happy to say that the album of the month is an amazing record!

  • Album of the month: Aquaserge“Laisse ça être” – Pop/Rock –  I often had the reputation amongst my blog followers to be a anti-French music snob and this despite my constant support to great artists such as Phoenix, Air, Benjamin Biolay, Mellow, Daft Punk, Serge Gainsbourg, Dominique A., etc… Anyway, this month’s best record comes from a French band from Toulouse…which by the way took much more risks and played with more inventive gimmicks than their football team. This album is a never-ending pleasure, mixing male and female voices, psychedelic and krautrock influences, incredible horns’ sounds and an overall dreamy pop feeling. Can meets Stereolab meets The Cocteau Twins meets Mellow…. Difficult to describe but the kind of records that deserves to be massive. Discover it!
  • Runner-up: Jesca Hoop – “Memories are now” – Folk/Rock – A beautiful record where Jesca Hoop has clearly upgraded her game either by the melodic simplicity of her songs or by the power of her words.
  • Also recommended:
    • Shannon Wright “Division” – Rock
    • Tinariwen– “Elwan” – Malian Blues
    • Dutch Uncles“Big Balloon” – Pop/Rock
    • Thundercat“Drunk” – Jazz/Funk
    • Stormzy “Gang Signs and Prayer” – Hip Hop/Grime
  • Lest we forget: album of the previous month The XX“I See You”

 

 

Record of the month – January 2017 – The XX “I See You”

Due to a global and very pushy demand, here is a new category to start the year with! The principle is simple: I will listen to as many new records as possible each month and give my beloved readers a few listening advises. There is obviously one caveat which is related to a timing issue as a record needs sometimes a bit of time to be digested but I guess this is part of the game. I thought January was a good month to initiate such posts as a) this is the start of a new year b) this is generally a slow month. Actually I was not really right on the second part as I listened to a total of…37 new records this month!

  • Album of the month: The XX“I See You” – Pop – The return of one of the most original British bands with their third album. After a few difficult times and a self-confidence crisis, these three school friends decided to go back to their original friendship to produce one of the most moving and original LP’s of the year. For fans of intelligent pop music and those who consider that Young Marble Giants or Everything But The Girl are both great influences.
  • Runner-up: Michael Chapman“50” – Rock – Excellent album from the folk guitar master veteran who sounds like a 20-year old guy. Steve Gunn and Kurt Vile guest on this album.
  • Also recommended:
    • Piano Magic “Closure” – Pop
    • Loyle Carner – “Yesterday’s Gone” – Hip Hop
    • Cloud Nothings“Life Without Sound” – Rock
    • Mark Eitzel“Hey Mr. Ferryman” – Rock
    • Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau“Thile/Mehldau” – Jazz