Another day, another list, this time the first of the admins, The_Red_Agent. I've basically put off listening to many albums until the last second, so I haven't really been able to give some albums much time to settle (Agalloch, Afrirampo, etc.), and the entire list is basically half-brained, but I still think it works to highlight my favorites from the year.
Several notable exclusions, but narrowing down to 10 was a heartbreaking adventure.
10. Alcest - Écailles de Lune
I'd feel bad if I didn't put it on here. It helps that it's an incredibly good album.
9. Chrome Hoof - Crush Depth
One of the funnest albums released this year, mixing bright, "disco-rock" with a subtle complexity similar to side projects of the band, like Kavus Torabi's Guapo. The Cardiacs of the 21st century perhaps, and this really is my only hope for that as Tim Smith really seems to be done.
8. World's End Girlfriend - Seven Idiots
I'm still not exactly sure how I feel about this. Sometimes it's too catchy, sometimes it's too incoherent, but it is incredibly amibitious, and seeing as I did obsess over it for a good while, it deserves a spot.
7. Lantlôs - .neon
Oh Niege, you've done it again. Probably the most satisfying black metal release of the year.
6. Envy - Recitation
I originally thought that it would be a fight between this and my number one for that top spot, but on repeated listens, it cleared up. Even if I'm not as big on it as I originally was, this is still a fantastic, powerful record.
5. Cosa Brava - Ragged Atlas
I thought I was kind of falling away from the sort of "RIO", avant-prog stuff, but after hearing this, I think I'm wrong. Born of Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, Zeena Perkins and more, it's a supergroup that doesn't disappoint.
4. Yellow Swans - Going Places
It's thick, noisy, repetitive, but somehow endlessly beautiful. Much in the same reason I love Burning Star Core, this isn't empty experimentation; experimenting just to be different. It's knowing a sound, and going out and getting it. It's meticulously crafted, and it's a wonderfully dense journey.
3. Afrirampo - We Are Ucho No Ko
Hard to really say this belongs here, as I heard it for the first time just a couple of hours ago, but all I can say it's that it's incredibly depressing that they break up after something like this. Their most emotive of albums, and yet it has the same fiery, intelligible intensity they've always had. This is the kind of work that I can accept to culminate a career, even if I don't want it to end.
2. Arcn Templ - Emanations of a New World
I still have no idea exactly where I found this album, but it's definitely creeped on me. It's beautiful, it's haunting, it's ethereal, it's the type of music that words don't work to describe.
1. Heaven In Her Arms - Paraselene
It couldn't have been anything else. After a career of following and evolving, I feel they have finally hit a ground that they can truly call their own, and it's stunning. Very powerful music that really hit me, in a year that I thought lacked such albums.