Eliot Odgers (Rough Trade East)
1. Haley Heyndrickx - I Need To Start A Garden
Haley Heynderickx album I Need to Start a Garden is an intimate alternative folk album with haunting vocals, intricate broken guitar and lush production throughout. There is an incredible amount of depth in Haley's songwriting and production on her debut album. The moments of silence in her music are incredibly powerful, truly grabbing the listener. When I first discovered this album I instantly connected with it. I was also fortunate enough to see her live in a 100 person capacity and was blown away by her solo show - it was so silent you could hear a pin drop! If you haven’t heard this album definitely check it out!!! (And go see her live as well!!)
2. White Denim - Performance
I had never heard of White Denim until this summer when Performance came out but was really glad to discover them as this album is quite simply banging! Full of catchy as hell melodies, funky T-Rex style guitar riffs, cool keyboard harmonies. The songs are really nicely arranged and stray away from conventional verse chorus pop structures but manage to maintain their instant catchiness. You’ll be still singing these tunes months after you’ve heard them if you just give them a little time!
3. Rose Droll - Your Dog
Having only came out a couple of weeks ago Rose Droll’s Your Dog instantly climbed to the top of my top ten. This album is the kind of album I was wanting back in January and to be honest If It had came out earlier there’s a good chance this album would be my number one. It’s experimental pop with elements of other genres such as hip-hop, and spoken word to name a few. The songs are really unique like nothing I’ve heard before but noticeably influenced by a lot of different genres and sounds.
Parquet Courts new album Wide Awaaaake! Is their greatest effort to date. Definitely best mosh pit of the year! Well worth a listen.
5. Caroline Rose - Loner
This was one of the first albums I really loved this year. The album is full of catchy hooks and diverse instrumentation. You can hear a wide variety of influence on the album ranging from Kate Bush to Haim. A massive favourite to everyone here at Rough Trade East!
6. Brockhampton - Iridescence
Brockhampton exploded on to the hip-hop scene last year with their Saturation Trilogy (also well worth checking out). This year they released Iridescence a slightly more somber, darker album than the three albums that came before. Although, arguably not their best album, you can really hear that Kevin Abstract and co are perfecting their craft. Especially on a track like Tonya, where towards the end of the track the vocal harmonies are comparable to that of the harmonies in a track like God Only Knows by The Beach Boys.
7. MGMT - Little Dark Age
MGMT's Little Dark Age is an amalgamation of their three previous records, taking the great pop songwriting of their debut and combining it with the psychedelic/experimental elements of Congratulations and their self-titled third LP. Full of funky bass lines, epic synth's and great collaborators such as Connan Mockasin. This is MGMT at their best.
8. Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain
Now what can I say about this record? Courtney Marie Andrews’ album May Your Kindness Remain is like a gateway drug but instead of drugs it’s a gateway to country music. There isn’t a single person I’ve shown the title song who didn’t enjoy it, a lot of them originally laughing at the very thought of country music. In fact when I initially told my flat mate to listen to this song he apparently cried when hearing it for the first time. So yeah you really have to check this one out!
9. Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel
Just like the collaborative record between Kurt and Courtney last year this album grew on me slowly, initially dismissing it. However, this album is a real grower and is one of those records where the more you listen to it the more you love the songs. Great effort Courtney!
10. Ty Segall & White Fence - Joy
Ty Segall & White Fence are back with Joy an album that is full of fun and weird experimentation. Definitely my favourite Ty Segall release of the year!