Six months down - six to go. Over the past few days I've been taking stock of the newly released albums that I've dug the most during the first half of 2017. I came up with a list of 20 off the top of my head and narrowed those down to 10 after further consideration. So, in no particular order;
Flotation Toy Warning - The Machine That Made Us (Here)
Long awaited 2nd LP (13 years!) of wonky far-out chamber pop.
Richard Dawson - Peasant (Here)
'Medieval concept album' and 'most accessible work to date' aren't phrases often seen in the same sentence. It's a bloody masterpiece folks.
Peter Perrett - How the West Was Won (Here) 21 years after Perrett's last LP of new music, this sits comfortably with his very best work. Heartwarmingly terrific.
Sacred Paws - Strike a Match (Here)
Recent (and deserved) winners of the Scottish album of the year award, even though we're only at the half-way point. A poly-rhythmic post-punk joy.
Yazz Ahmed - La Saboteuse (Here)
Psychedelic Middle Eastern jazz. That'll do nicely.
Big Blood - The Daughters Union
The most recent missive from the prolific cottage industry, psych-folk outsiders is a 'pay what you like' download (Here), which is frankly ridiculous. Go grab it.
The Myrrors - Hasta La Victoria (Here)
Spiritual sonic explorations. '...unrefined, unrestrained and unforgettable'.
Joshua Abrams - Simultonality (Here) Malian infused kosmische trance. I think I invented a new genre there.
Jake Xerxes Fussell - What In The Natural World (Here)
This passed me by on first listen, but I'm forever grateful to Ramone666 over at For The Sake Of The Song, who persuaded me to give it another spin. 'Transmogrified folk/blues koans' is the much quoted descriptor - and who am I to argue?
The Prophet Hens - The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys (Here)
'Melancholic songs about hope & despair, joy & regret, ambition & reality, coming together & drifting apart.' The Dunedin Sound is alive and well.
There are of course other albums I need to investigate further and many that I haven't checked out at all yet, but hopefully I'll get to 'em all eventually. Some of my favourite stand alone tunes so far in 2017 have yet to appear on album and I'm particularly looking forward to new full length releases from Low Chimes, Bas Jan, Pins, Nadine Shah, Girl Ray and Meatraffle. Let the second half commence!
Meanwhile, here's one from This is the Kit, whose new LP is due out on Friday.