Sunday, September 18, 2016

Listening Habits 07-09.2016

After releasing about a dozen albums in five years on Bandcamp under the name Car Seat Headrest, the amazingly prolific and exceptionally talented Will Toledo is now taking his music to the next level.

His thirteenth album (and second for Matador), "Teens Of Denial", is his first one recorded with a full band, in a proper recording studio, with the help of an experienced producer (Steve Fisk, whose credits include Nirvana, Screaming Trees, Beat Happening to name but a few!) and the results are nothing short of spectacular! The sprawling, 70-minute record, is an indie-rock epic, the kind of which we have not heard since the heyday of Pavement or Modest Mouse. Toledo may wear his influences on his sleeve (and that got him into trouble in the case of The Cars), but he proves to be an excellent songwriter who puts his personal stamp on every Car Seat Headrest song. Have a listen and discover some of the most original guitar tunes you'll hear this year - "Teens Of Denial" is classic indie-rock in the making!

Another exceptional work that stands out among our 16 favorite albums of the last few months is the latest installment in Swans' series of new millennium epics that started with 2010's "My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky" and reaches to new heights with "The Glowing Man", another monumental record that stands alone in a universe of sound of its own creation, far removed from anything else you'll hear in 2016. Don't take into account the ranking order in our list; Swans work can only be compared with previous Michael Gira creations and "The Glowing Man" is without a doubt counted among the greatest achievements in the history of his unique band!

Although September is not over yet and at the moment of compiling our favorite new albums list I only had time to give it just a couple of listens, Angel Olsen's third album "My Woman" had such an immediate impact that I simply had to include it here and in one of the top spots, no less! Fans of her previous work already know and admire the power of her amazing voice, but what makes "My Woman" special is that her songwriting has kept evolving, going beyond folk and country, adding all kinds of rock flavors in it and producing her strongest collections of songs to date. I think we have already found our September Album of the Month!

Add to the above the latest albums by Dinosaur Jr., The Julie Ruin and Factory Floor, another trio of records that will definitely be in the running for our Top 20 of the Year, and I think we have a pretty strong album list in our hands! Here are C.M.C.'s favorite albums and tracks for the period July - mid-September 2016:

Top 16 Albums

1.  Teens Of Denial - CAR SEAT HEADREST
2.  The Glowing Man - SWANS
3.  My Woman - ANGEL OLSEN
4.  Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not - DINOSAUR JR.
5.  Hit Reset - THE JULIE RUIN
6.  25 25 - FACTORY FLOOR
7.  Pussy's Dead - AUTOLUX
8.  Ash & Ice - THE KILLS
9.  Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future - UNDERWORLD
10. X-Communicate - KRISTIN KONTROL
11. The Bride - BAT FOR LASHES
12. Eyes On The Lines - STEVE GUNN
13. Jesu / Sun Kil Moon - JESU / SUN KIL MOON
14. Nocturnal Koreans - WIRE
15. Tell Me If You Like To - SPRING KING
16. Acoustic Recordings 1998 - 2016 - JACK WHITE

Top 20 Tracks

1.  Shut Up Kiss Me - ANGEL OLSEN
3.  Finally, Peace - SWANS
4.  Tiny - DINOSAUR JR.
5.  I’m Done - THE JULIE RUIN
6.  Dial Me In - FACTORY FLOOR
7.  I Exhale - UNDERWORLD
8.  Soft Scene - AUTOLUX
9.  Sunday Love - BAT FOR LASHES
10. Impossible Tracks - THE KILLS
11. Nocturnal Koreans - WIRE
12. Ancient Jules - STEVE GUNN
13. America’s Most Wanted Mark Kozelek And John Dillinger - JESU / SUN KIL MOON
14.  Gertrudis, Get Through This! - MOURN
15. X-Communicate - KRISTIN KONTROL
16. Rectifier - SPRING KING
17. Carolina Drama (Acoustic Mix) - JACK WHITE
18. 100% Or Nothing - PRIMAL SCREAM
19. Consequences of Love (Chris and Cosey Remix) - DEATH IN VEGAS

 Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me

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