Paddy (Rough Trade Office)
1. Moses Boyd Exodus - Displaced Diaspora
Moses Boyd and friends (feat. Nubya Garcia, Theon Cross, Nathaniel “The Quincy Jones of Catford” Cross, Zara MacFarlane, Kevin Haynes, many more) create a concept album about a “day in South London”. It is funny, disquieting, mesmerising and filled to spill with life. His musical mind knows no bounds building a jazz network that reflects the familial, uncharted, domestic and foreign; twisting, turning, pausing and running like the streets he grew up on. And this is but a jot on his live performance. Peckham perfection.
2. BC Camplight - Deportation Blues
Danny Nedelko has been classed as THE pro-immigration anthem. BC Camplight kicks the shit out of that idea by getting kicked the shit out of Britain. The story is personal but the issue is universal and he handles it with as much class as acerbic wit. The most interesting subject matter and musical experimentation of the year.
3. Goatman - Rhythms
There is something so primal about Rhythms. The name simple. The drums tribal. The brass hypnotic. Guitars screech and tear through your speakers. Sweat inducing, heart racing. Like a 4-day ayahuasca binge with a witch-doctor in an Ethiopian forest (like I would know).
4. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Bass Hotel & Casino
The Arctic Monkeys best stuff since their first. Turner’s best since Submarine. The imagery on this album is stunning, true sonic architecture. A luscious return to form, dripping with grandeur, seduction and derision.
5. Homeboy Sandman and Edan - Humble Pi
Long-time fan of Sandman, but after failing to reach his potential on so many occasions I found my enthusiasm wavering. Cue Edan, acid-rock, psyched-out beat making recluse who has proven to be Sandman’s catalyst for greatness. Long-live this duo.
6. Pusha T - Daytona
This is only half true. I actually wanna put Teyana Taylor - KTSE but it ain’t out here yet so I have to put the second best Kanye production. Damn though, Taylor's is such a saucy album. She has so much bite and 90’s bad-assery.
7. Ice Baths - Ice Baths
Some punchy put your fucking phone down post-punk. It’s gritty, it’s grim and it’s great. More DIY than a Nick Knowles in B&Q looking at a kitchen unit.
8. JP Bimeni & The Blackbelts - Free Me
What is it about certain soul singers and their ability to capture a feeling, tenderly portray heartbreak and defy opposition? Gaye did it, Cooke did it, Redding and so many more. JP Bimeni encapsulates the same struggles, ambition and triumph. A honey soaked voice with a Hollywood story (Must check it out).
9. Kristin Hersh - Possible Dust Clouds
Like the name suggests this album comes rolling in like a sand-storm hitting you all at once, a real blitzkrieg of a record. Hersh’s own mental illness comes to the fore, she wrestles with her demons and draws on her paranoia. Cyclone-level catharsis.
10. CHAI - Pink
This EP creeps in at #10 as their Rough Trade in-store was my favourite, hands all the way bloody down. 4 fierce young women from Japan. Fuck they were cool. Subverting Kawaii culture and kicking ass all over the world. WE ARE CHAI. Flashes of ESG, Le Tigre and Jamiroquai. Matching outfits and ABBA covers. WE ARE CHAI. This is what music is really about. Being taken for a ride. And sometimes it’s better when you have no idea who the hell is in the driving seat. WE ARE CHAI.