Below, an alien rave taking place with universal pop grooves bridge foreign barriers, ushering interstellar peace on the dance floor. ~~ It’s just such a lovely companion to have. Doing a dance around a sunflower in the middle of your apartment to help it grow. The last born of Lord Gwyn, Gwyndolin is the leader of the Blade of the Dark Moon covenant and the only remaining deity in Anor Londo. Jessy Lanza is a master of a minimal groove. I already wrote about the magic of Frances Quinlan’s raspy, powerful voice on my blurb about their most recent album Bark Your Head Off, Dog (turn to spot #93! Someone you care about gently squeezing your hand in theirs. You best be paying attention to me or else I’ll make you pay”. You should note that you can't leave this area until you reach the end, so proceed forwards along the rickety rope bridge to the other side. The careening guitar coalescing with red-hot sax, the chemistry between the hand drummer and the kit drummer, the showmanship of the trio of singers, the bond between the whole band. Listen now it still definitely feels like sitting in an old car with carpet-lined seats and just cruising around town. I just feel lucky we got another D’Angelo record, seriously. An observation of a conflicted city block nestled within a lava lamp. An autonomous silk suit encrusted in mirror shards boogies and slides its way through tropical parties to find its chosen owner. No one said anything to me. One of the best synth pop records of the decade without a question! Not to mention, jazz also flies into this record with help from new and old masters like Sam Gendel, Shahzad Ismaily and Milford Graves. The sun is setting, the freedom of the night is setting in, the misty vibes on this record come rolling out and coil around me. Merchandise make the best of the 80s post punk + shoegaze formula that so many bands have done, but like I said, they do it the best. Before this was released in early 2019, I had Burial’s Kindred and Street Halo EPs at different positions on this list. Well, it’s pretty infectious and unlike anything (most things) out at the time. Everything here is bigger: Victoria Legrand’s vocal melodies, Alex Scally’s minimal, shimmering guitar passages, the angelic keys that sound beamed in from a heaven-type dimension, and the thundering, mix-filling percussion (you can measure the intensity of a Beach House song by how much cymbal is used). Sometimes it sounds like the recording has somehow broken into a single note played on the piano and is examining it on an atomic level, the hidden dynamics and quarks that make up the energy that is used and comes from striking a chord on the piano. This is the most complete Perfume Genius album, with luscious instrumentation featuring strings, epic flourishes in the choruses and tender keys. Ancient alchemy brings to life a humanoid figure made of diamonds and jewels for an astral dance ceremony that happens once every 1000 years. I would be listening to this in headphones and just feel myself vibrating from the excitement. PAN did something really special with this release and I am eternally thankful for it. – Finding liberation in a cybernetic sacrifice circle. A mysterious R&B singer from Canada dropped an album for free with songs about drug use, sex and dark consequences all paired with downtempo, sultry instrumentals that just ooze cool. Being cursed with an overflow of electricity that won’t expel unless you dance endlessly. ~~ An idyllic paradise of post-grad existence wherein your friends live next door, you all have nice apartments (but not too nice, more quaint and quirky than elegant), and you all party together with no consequences in your bustling, urban neighborhood. There are two glowing orbs in his chamber, one on each side of the room. Thank you Angel! A series of instrumental suites set to dreams of rooms. Jessy Lanza is a master of a minimal groove. I went long on this album in late 2018 when I was conflicted about either counting it as a 2018 record or revising its spot in 2017. charmed the hell out of me in 2016. You just use a bow to aim, and then throw firebombs in the correct spots. The high quality songcraft heard in the string of songs “Water Water”, “Standard”, “How Do You Do It”, “To Get By” and “Kitty Kat” is borderline insane. ~~ Gorgeous fusions of sweeping strings, balladic piano, sweet guitars, plush synthesizer, and of course Natalie Mering’s calm yet dramatic vocals. It’s like all the best moments of Funeral and Neon Bible without the youthful, poorly-aged naiveté, plus lush instrumental backdrops. The one song I keep referencing? An entire city of people that look incredibly cool in an 80s way, but hold music comes out of their mouths when they try to speak. ~~ Not only is the record bold in lyrical content but it spreads itself out among a variety of great instrumentals and guest features. ~~ Twigs and Arca team up like they’re in the same skin, moving in tandem in a dimly lit glass tank trading sultry, seductive touches in the form of breathy, falsetto vocals and throbbing instrumentals. Heck, when I joined the game the music blog empire was on its decline anyways. It also helped change my mind about autotune. An extremely likable protagonist is on a journey to recover his lost memories. Then “Hundreds and Thousands” to “Kill em With Kindness”? So many one-liners. In February 2018 I posted a song a day. This is what I’m getting at when I say it reorganizes your brain, you’re never quite concretely sure of what’s happening). And THAT my friends, was my first taste of Arca. Stellar “futuristic” R&B record with booming bass, dark/non-traditional textures and a bit of “deconstructed club” atmosphere morphed into great vehicles for Kelela’s voice. Let me know what your "shortcuts" are for this game. SL 62. thanks. It is a true modern epic. It’s VERY casual, but maybe that’s why I like it so much. I started this decade discovering Pitchfork and quickly embarked on a slippery slope of rapid new music consumption from there. A high-speed, gravity-defying plummet down a blinking, strobing, throbbing chasm. Sorry, other records! Stompy folk music had been a genre I’d avoided at the start of the decade as corny bands seemed to flood radio waves with it, but Saintseneca changed my whole outlook on the genre. Zoning in on the prize only. Feel free to argue with me viciously if you don’t agree with anything on this list. As terrible as the boss is Fromsoft actually tried something different, it may have failed due to lost izalith being rushed, but the concept is not terrible. It’s a cool, collected night alone, walking through a city. Should I change the bow/Uchi to the dex scaling trees? ~~ “You haven’t washed since the night I shot you. It is an amalgamation of parts built into an alien that operates on another level of consciousness. Just listen to the music and you’ll see how it instantly imprints on you. These are records that at one time were on my Top 200 list, but were eventually bumped out by new additions. ~~ ~~ I initially had a list of 100, but thought why not expand to 200? Both bold and vulnerable in the same breath. This has been a record that has stuck with me consistently since its release in 2012. It rolls, bounces and strikes poses, granting confidence to any listener. This album continues to be an inspiration to me, despite some of its obtuse edges. I no longer hang out with friends. No big deal. Knicks? It’s like the character Florentino Ariza in Gabriel García-Márquez’s novel Love In The Time Of Cholera, who ravenously eats the flowers he wanted give his love interest if she didn’t reject him, only to get sick on the beach. Putting in the most work for potentially the least reward? From atop a dark tower, a hulking titan made of stone and steel robotically forges together ornate chandeliers of diamonds, pearls and other gemstones. ~~ Eventually they all die and are easily replaced. The amount of luck that you have to have here is such bull. 80s synth nerd soaked pop jams. Not only do they go hard as hell (like on personal highlight “Remains” and single “Exhumed”), they also enhance the emotional impact of gutting songs like “Siphon” and “Witness”. As we all know, not many of those outlets exist or regularly update anymore. What else did you expect? Don’t really listen to much like it though. Maneuvering through an abandoned space station in zero gravity and piecing together the final transmissions of its crew. Bittersweet, ultra dramatic, noir/Chinatown-like vibes with a good dose of psychedelia thrown in. Like being strapped inside a metal box that has one small window to look out of and being pushed down a large, snowy mountain. ~~ Check it out you can see tha Brookllln Bridge from my ma’s window! “Sensitive” and “Rude Boy” churn light foam into the twilight-soaked air, establishing the loose mood for the party’s attendees. It’s a damn good one. Jessica Pratt’s otherworldly voice keeps the listener transfixed, as lush arrangements of acoustic guitar sway and shine underneath. Red carpet with golden accents constantly sprouts beneath the feet of a fabled chosen one, causing paparazzi to brainlessly gather around them like moths on a porch light. As you’ve probably gathered, after four Grouper albums on this list (most of any artist), I treasure this album greatly. While it does have tracks from established experimental mavens like Yves Tumor and M.E.S.H., it gave a chance to newer artists like Malibu, Kareem Lotfy, Oli XL, Sky H1 and more to kickstart their profiles. 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