Turn the pages
December 12, 2022

Five recent music books worth reading

usic books released recently. Among them are 'Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music' by Ann Powers - "an ambitious and brilliant examination of US pop that puts sex front and centre in the importance of music", as well as 'Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm' by Dan Charnas, the "rare biography that explains the how and why of the music".

"Vigorous, explorative and righteously angry, nothing struck quite so profound a chord with us in 2022 as this extraordinary record from Baltimore’s Infinity Knives and Brian Ennals" - Loud And Quiet argues in favor of their choice of the album of 2022. Their top 10 are:

10. They Hate Change: 'Finally, New'

9. Dry Cleaning: 'Stumpwork'

8. Katie Alice Greer: 'Barbarism'

7. Kendrick Lamar: 'Mr Morale and the Big Steppers'

6. Thank: 'Thoughtless Cruelty'

5. Caroline: 'Caroline'

4. Charlie XCX: 'Cream'

3. Kai Whiston: 'Quiet As Kept, F.O.G.'

2. Jockstrap: 'I Love You Jennifer B'

  1. Infinity Knives and Brian Ennals: 'King Cobra'

They love you electro-pop
December 06, 2022

Jockstrap top Quietus' best albums list

Quietus' writers have assembled a wide list of best albums of 2022. It looks into the art, alternative, metal, classic, alt-pop and other scenes. Plenty to listen to there. The top 10 are:

  • 1: Jockstrap – 'I Love You Jennifer B'
  • 2: Diamanda Galás – 'Broken Gargoyles'
  • 3: caroline – 'caroline'
  • 4: Richard Dawson – 'The Ruby Cord'
  • 5: Decius – 'Decius Vol. I'
  • 6: Sea Power – 'Everything Was Forever'
  • 7: Kendrick Lamar – 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers'
  • 8: The Ephemeron Loop – 'Psychonautic Escapism'
  • 9: Emeka Ogboh – '6°30'33.372"N 3°22'.66"E'
  • 10: Oren Ambarchi – 'Shebang'

"2022 was the year of the comeback. As the music industry stumbled out of its pandemic fog, many artists finally delivered long delayed, highly anticipated, and sonically experimental albums that met some of the expectations built up for them" - Pitchfork introduces its Top 50 albums of 2022 list. The top 10 are:

10. Alex G: 'God Save the Animals'

9. Yaya Bey: 'Remember Your North Star'

8. Lucrecia Dalt: '¡Ay!'

7. Big Thief: 'Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You'

6. Rosalía: 'Motomami'

5. Bad Bunny: 'Un Verano Sin Ti'

4. Special Interest: 'Endure'

3. Alvvays: 'Blue Rev'

2. Sudan Archives: 'Natural Brown Prom Queen'

  1. Beyoncé: 'Renaissance'

Ladies choise
December 02, 2022

The Forty-Five chooses 45 albums of 2022


The Forty-Five collective of female-led journalists has selected 45 best albums of the year, which "attempt to make sense of the troubled times we live in, that capture the zeitgeist or just provide an hour of much-needed escapism". The top 10 albums are:

10. Sampa the Great: 'As Above, so Below'

9. Weyes Blood: 'And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow'

8. Taylor Swift: 'Midnights'

7. Rosalia: 'Motomami'

6. Beyonce: 'Renaissance'

5. Sudan Archives: 'Natural Brown Porm Queen'

4. Mitski: 'Laurel Hell'

3. Shygirl: 'Nymph'

2. Wet Leg: 'Wet Leg'

  1. Jockstrap: 'I Love You Jennifer B'

Top of the pops
December 01, 2022

Rolling Stone chooses best albums of 2022

"It was a very big year for very big albums... a year in music we have a feeling we’ll be thinking about (and dancing to) for a long time to come" - Rolling Stone writes introducing its list of best 100 albums of 2022. Their top 10 are:

10. Wet Leg, ‘Wet Leg’

9. J-Hope, ‘Jack in the Box’

8. FKA Twigs, ‘Caprisongs’

7. King Princess, ‘Hold on Baby’

6. Pusha T, ‘It’s Almost Dry’

5. Harry Styles, ‘Harry’s House’

4. Rosalía, ‘Motomami’

3. Taylor Swift, ‘Midnights’

2. Bad Bunny, ‘Un Verano Sin Ti’

  1. Beyonce, ‘Renaissance’

Snow operator
November 24, 2022

A nice selection: Jazz in a snow globe

All About Jazz writer Chris Vella made a collection of songs that allows you to get lost and "have it transport you to a state of bliss. Like the diamonds of the music, no matter the era or style, they just shine... They're not splashy or overly complicated... You can just hang inside the groove like it's in some kind of snow globe heaven".

Music lining
November 23, 2022

Pitchfork chooses 15 books of 2022

The best music books this year kept it personal" - Pitchfork points out introducing the best 15 books of 2022. Among them are "affable, conversational, and always funny, with surprising insights and ear-catching phrasings gliding in from every direction" book 'The Number Ones' by Tom Breihan about American No. 1 pop hits, as well as "an astoundingly intimate book-length conversation on art and grief" with Nick Cave by Sean O'Hagan. and 'Queer Country' by Shana Goldin-Perschbacher who draws "a vivid portrait of a movement at a point of breakthrough".

Good days are coming
October 26, 2022

Stereogum picks out the 40 best new bands of 2022

A nice list - Stereogum chooses 40 musicians who have done "something... in the past year that makes us feel like they’ve reached or are about to reach their full potential". It's not really a global list - the vast majority is American, and a few come from the UK or Australia - but still, it's quite colorful. The full list: Age Of Apocalypse, Anxious, Blackbraid, Caroline, Chat Pile, Dazy, Dijon, Doechii, DOMi & JD Beck, Dummy, Dust Star, Ethel Cain, Fugitive, Glorilla, High Vis, Jane Inc, Jane Remover, Jockstrap, King Hannah, Knifeplay, LF System, Lowertown, Maria BC, Mess Esque, MSPAINT, Naima Bock, Pool Kids, Rachika, Nayar, Rat Tally, Ripped To Shreds, Romero, RXK Nephew, Saucy Santana, Scowl, They Are Gutting A Body Of Water, Trapland Pat, Undeath, Why Bonnie, Zoh Amba, and ZORA.

Pitchfork is looking back 30 years - they selected "150 albums that... shaped the way music would sound in the decades to come", and "250 songs that would make up Pitchfork’s ultimate ’90s mixtape". Here are the 10 best albums:

Nirvana: Nevermind

A Tribe Called Quest: 'The Low End Theory'

Hole: 'Live Through This'

Janet Jackson: 'The Velvet Rope'

Björk: 'Homogenic'

Wu-Tang Clan: 'Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)'

Liz Phair: 'Exile in Guyville'

Radiohead: 'OK Computer'

Lauryn Hill: 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'

My Bloody Valentine: 'Loveless'

Consequence made a list of 100 best albums of all-time, It's a list that "assessed the mercurial value attached to art, from perceptions at the moment of creation, to retrospective consideration, to the impact on ever-evolving fashions". Check out what lies between Janes Addiction's 'Nothing's Shocking', and Pr

The List Pistols
April 27, 2022

The 20 best punk movies

"The best punk movies are stories that tap into the spirit of the time through imagined characters and invented situations. A biopic can’t help treating its protagonists as exceptional figures—stars commanding the stage of History—in a way that undercuts the iconoclastic, 'no more heroes' spirit of punk" - the Simon Reynolds writes introducing his best punk movies list, which goes from "the first punk movie" 'Jubilee' to 'We Are the Best!' by Lukas Moodysson.

Experimental music newsletter Tone Glow selects 31 albums and songs from the first quarter of 2022. An interesting selection of albums by ASP Doze, Voivod, Toshimaru Nakamura, Bengt Berger, Matches and others. Check the full list here!

Good titles
April 02, 2022

Top 11 songs that became movie titles

A nice little blog post by Medium about movie titles inspired by songs. The top spot is taken by Inner Circle's 'Bad Boys' - a song "about teenage life and becoming semi-aggressive as you start growing up... it’s about troubled kids who have problems at home”. The song was picked up in 1995 by the 'Bad Boys' action comedy franchise, which stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as two Miami narcotics detectives.

Very interesting facts in Rolling Stone's article about last year's highest-paid musicians. The world’s 10 highest-paid musicians of 2021 made in a combined $2.3 billion, which is more than double what they were making annually in the years before Covid-19. Only Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Taylor Swift made the top 10 without a massive catalog sale, the others like Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, and Red Hot Chili Peppers made a majority of their income by selling their catalogs.

The tone experiment
January 01, 2022

Tone Glow's favourite albums of 2021

Dean Blunt

Tone Glow assembled a list of their favourite albums of 2021 (not the best). An interesting list of experimental music:

Michael Pisaro-Liu - 'Revolution Shuffle'

Yvette Janine Jackson - 'Freedom'

Wild Up - 'Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine'

DJ Sprinkles - 'Gayest Tits & Greyest Shits: 1998-2017 12-Inches & One-Offs'

Éliane Radigue - 'Occam Ocean 3'

Jana Rush - 'Painful Enlightenment'

Dean Blunt - 'Black Metal 2'

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt - 'Made Out of Sound'

Haptic - 'Weird Undying Annihilation'

Injury Reserve - 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix'

L’Rain - 'Fatigue'

Lucy Liyou - 'Practice'

Juçara Marçal - 'Delta Estácio Blues'

MIKE - 'Disco!'

Lucia Nimcová & Sholto Dobie - 'DILO'

William Parker – 'Migration of Silence into and Out of the Tone World (Volumes 1–10)'

RP Boo - 'Established!'

ThouxanBanFauni - 'Time of My Life'

Richard Youngs - 'CXXI'

RXK Nephew - 'Slitherman Activated'

New is a matter of perspective
December 30, 2021

Boston Globe and their favorite music discoveries of the year

"The curse of being a music hound is that you’ll never be able to hear everything; the blessing is that there’ll always be something new to discover" - Boston Globe writer points out in the article about musical discoveries from this year. It's actually all well-known names, but not for everybody, some had the luck of finding out excitement in something all else knew.

Remembered after reading
December 29, 2021

Rolling Stone recommends 22 music books released this year

"This year, many of the books we loved most used music as a lens through which to examine broader issues of politics, history, and identity — whether it was the story of capitalist circulation as heard by Joshua Clover in the Modern Lovers’ 'Roadrunner', Hanif Abdurraqib riffing on everything from 'Soul Train' to 1920s dance crazes in his panoramic 'A Little Devil in America'or Eric Harvey exploring depictions of African American life in Eighties pop culture" - Rolling Stone starts the introduction to their selection of the best 22 music books released this year.

December 28, 2021

Brooklyn Vegan's Top 50 albums of 2021


"It's hard to narrow down all the albums we loved this year, but we whittled a list down to 50, which spans over a dozen different genres of music, from breakthrough debut albums to career-high peaks from veteran artists and plenty of the in-between" - Brooklyn Vegan points out introducing their Top 50 albums of 2021. Here are their Top 10:

10. Japanese Breakfast - 'Jubilee'

9. Billie Eilish - 'Happier Than Ever'

8. Every Time I Die - 'Radical'

7. Cassandra Jenkins - 'An Overview on Phenomenal Nature'

6. The Weather Station - 'Ignorance'

5. Little Simz - 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert'

4. Tyler, the Creator - 'Call Me If You Get Lost'

3. Low - 'HEY WHAT'

2. Jazmine Sullivan - 'Heaux Tales'

  1. Turnstile - 'Glow On'

Guarding us from bad music
December 26, 2021

Guardian chooses best albums of 2021

An interesting list of the 50 best albums of 2021 chosen by the Guardian writers. Before that, let's mention their list of the best global music albums, headed by Toumani Diabaté and the London Symphony Orchestra's 'Kôrôlén', and their list of best folk albums, with John Francis Flynn taking the top spot with 'I Would Not Live Always'. Going back to their general list, the top 10 are:

10 Mdou Moctar – 'Afrique Victime'

9 Arlo Parks – 'Collapsed in Sunbeams'

8 Olivia Rodrigo – 'Sour'

7 Dry Cleaning – 'New Long Leg'

6 Sault – 'Nine'

5 Tyler, the Creator – 'Call Me If You Get Lost'

4 The Weather Station – 'Ignorance'

3 Little Simz – 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert'

2 Wolf Alice – 'Blue Weekend'

1 Self Esteem – 'Prioritise Pleasure'

Sometimes lists might be summarized
December 26, 2021

Little Simz tops BBC's best albums list

'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert' by Little Simz has been named the best record of 2021 in BBC's summarized list. The album topped a BBC News "poll of polls" that combined the results of 30 critics' end-of-year lists. BBC points out that this "journey through her family background and artistic struggles" has been "praised for its 'razor-sharp lyricism' and 'extravagant, orchestral' songs". The best songs list is topped by 'Good 4U' by Olivia Rodrigo.

The top of the needle
December 23, 2021

The Needle Drop selects 50 best albums of 2021

YouTube music critic The Needle Drop also comes out with his selection of best albums of 2021. A really very versatile selection, covering genres such as death metal, classical music, rock, conceptual pop... The top 5 albums chosen by The Needle Drop: St. Vincent, Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra, Arca, Lingua Ignota, and Spelling.

Xmas came different this year
December 21, 2021

Vice's... different list of the best Christmas songs of all time

"Christmas songs vary hugely in genre – you’ve got everything from Songs-of-Praise-core to “Mad World” – and as you will see throughout this list, we are not afraid to challenge boundaries and perceptions. (One of the songs included, for example, doesn’t actually exist.) Not all Christmas songs mention Christmas, and not all Christmas songs are even “songs” as you may know them. Your mother screaming at you to get the dog out of the living room while there’s ham out, say, is just as much a Christmas ditty as “Silent Night” herself. You may not be able to play all our choices on your little Spotify, but they are all undoubtedly Christmas songs in that they contribute to the sounds and the mildly deranged mood of the season" - Vice kind of argues in favor of its list of 50 best Christmas songs. A mad list.

"The jazz and experimental music that left the biggest impression this year did so primarily because it challenged us to find momentum in life" - Pitchfork argues in favor of their selection of best jazz and experimental music. Some interesting music there - political poet Anthony Joseph who got a helping sax from Shabaka Hutchings, Pakistan singer Arooj Aftab, free-improv team of guitarist Bill Orcutt and drummer Chris Corsano, broad collab by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and The London Symphony Orchestra, rap poet Moor Mother and others.