Ben Walton picks out ten of his favourite albums of 2015
10. Metz - II
Toronto's Metz returned with their obviously titled second outing this year, offering up a relentless 30 minute blitzkrieg of feedback riddled guitars and pounding drums. They didn't make any huge changes to their usual formula, but II adds some impressive new tunes to the bands back catalogue, including the unhinged opener Acetate, the aggressive dirge of Spit You Out and the blistering I.O.U. Metz are an incredible force and are fast cementing themselves as, if not the best guitar band on the planet right now, then certainly the noisiest.
9. Ringo Deathstarr - Pure Mood
For a few years now, Ringo Deathstarr have plied their trade as a solid, if fairly unremarkable shoegaze act, but on Pure Mood - their third album in four years - their time spent touring with The Smashing Pumpkins has rubbed off, and the grunge dial has been turned all the way around to 10. There's big riffs aplenty splashed all over Heavy Metal Suicide and guitar histrionics in Guilt. This album is a huge step forward for Ringo Deathstarr.
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top Albums Of 2015
Andy Peterson's picks his top albums of 2015
10. King Midas Sound ft. Fennesz- Edition #1
Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug), poet Roger Robinson and singer Kiki Hitomi joined forces with Viennese avant garde composer Christian Fennesz to chart almost certainly the most enveloping travelogue of the year. The journey itself proved deep and magical.
9. Gengahr - A Dream Outside
One of the features on 21st century music is how 2nd and 3rd generation disciples of truly great bands - in this case golden oldies like the Beach Boys and Teenage Fanclub - are managing to make their inspirations sound so cool. London quartet Gehgahr replaced the now departed retro-future outfit Avi Buffalo in our hearts, to great effect.
Continue reading: Andy Peterson's Top 10 Albums Of 2015
Josh Tillman, better known as his cool, charismatic, sarcastic and relentlessly sexy alter-ego Father John Misty is currently embarking on his tour for his second album I Love You, Honeybear. Released in February of this year, it merges both the beautiful and brutal honesty of love in all its forms. It touches on the adoration of your loved one when by yourself with them, to the self-loathing and paranoia one may develop in relation to that and every funny minutiae of detail in between. It's lovely, melodramatic, truthful, heartfelt, meta and bloody hilarious. That's the condensed review of the album and description of its creator, so you can imagine how good it and he is. If you haven't listened to it yet make sure you rectify that immediately.
Father John Misty's music has the capacity to draw in an incredibly diverse crowd. His soaring and crooning vocals alongside the bands beautiful composition juxtaposed with his ridiculous, LasVegas-esque caricature and witticisms draws in those who take him more seriously than he would ever care anyone to, those who find him hilarious, couples who he resonates with both young and old, and fundamentally, people who either want to sleep with him or learn how to become him (mostly they desire both). That aside, everyone is there simply because this man, Father John Misty, Josh Tillman or otherwise, knows how to perform.
He was welcomed warmly to the stage as he broke into the title track I Love You, Honeybear while he spread across a stage which seemed frustratingly too small for him. Lifting the mic stand above and around his neck and dropping down to his knees and gyrating into the air there was little to do but be absolutely mesmerised by his captivating stage presence from the moment he sauntered into view. After a couple of songs he briefly talks about spending the day in Sheffield and describing it as "absolutely lovely" (as a first time visitor myself, that is the most apt description of the city), interestingly, it seemed as he let his guard down a little bit and somehow sprung more into his eccentricity by the time he performed When You're Smiling and Astride Me and instantly merging it with a Fear Fun favourite I'm Writing a Novel.
Continue reading: Father John Misty - Plug, Sheffield, 26th October 2015 Live Review
What's to look forward to with this year's Green Man?
Tickets for Green Man Festival 2015 are now totally sold-out, and looking at this year's stellar line-up so far, there's no surprise there. With just eleven weeks to go, Green Man continue to unveil more upcoming surprises, so we take a look at what we know so far.
There's already a ton of great acts listed to play at the Brecon Beacons event in Wales, with a bill headed by Oklahoma singer St. Vincent, London collective Hot Chip, who have just released their newest album 'Why Make Sense?', and local Welshmen Super Furry Animals.
Producer Emile Haynie teams up with Andrew Wyatt, Lana Del Rey, Brian Wilson and others.
Grammy winning record producer Emile Haynie makes a career turning point by unleashing his first album as a recording artist, 'We Fall', complete with collaborations with some of the biggest talent in the music industry today. But who exactly is he?
Emile Haynie releases debut album 'We Fall'
His name will be doubtlessly familiar to those fans of the rap world, having began his career in hip hop, but now he's set to make waves as a songwriter, enlisting some of the greatest vocalists and performers to work with him on his first release; an impressive feat for someone who started out working in a home studio in New York before dropping out of school. Luckily, it wasn't long before his work was picked up by Proof from D-12, who introduced him to Eminem, and the rest is history. He won a Grammy after producing Eminem's album 'Recovery', went on to discover Kid Cudi and worked with some of the world's greatest rappers including Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg to name but a few.
Continue reading: Who Is Emile Haynie? New Album 'We Fall' Features Some Impressive Guests
When Father John Misty announced that his second album under that name would be both a concept album and something of an unashamed open love letter to his wife, I felt a slight twinge of uncertainty. Had Father John Misty gone off the deep end? Would this album be just too ridiculous for words? Is self-indulgence ever a good thing? On 'I Love You, Honeybear', the artist formerly known as Josh Tillman (ex-Fleet Foxes drummer) demonstrates that the answer to all three of those questions is probably a resounding 'yes', but sometimes pompous, ridiculous albums are just the best.
It begins with a title track which acts like a perfect overture for the rest of the album, as it demonstrates almost all of the sounds showcased throughout in microcosm. You get delicate acoustic guitars interplaying with gently fingered piano keys, which mutate into blustering melodrama by the conclusion; you get tasteful string arrangements that both compliment and drive the song into the stratosphere, you get Tillman's deep, soulful voice and you get amazing referential lyrics such as, 'You're bent over the altar and the neighbours are complaining that the misanthropes next door are probably conceiving a Damien'. If that isn't one of the greatest lines ever written, I don't know what is - the man has quite a way with words.
Up next is recent single 'Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins)', perhaps the most saccharine moment of the LP. This mariachi assisted blast of folk pop is somehow mellow and smooth while also being more upbeat than a Duracell bunny on crack. It is also somehow sickeningly sentimental while staying pretty tasteful.
Continue reading: Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear Album Review