Ed Zed's Albums Of The Year - 2018
1. Lolina (Inga Copeland) - The Smoke
Possibly the greatest work yet from that inscrutable genius, Inga Copeland. Her angular electroacoustic non-pop continues to charter new territories, with a jazzy piano inflection snaking in amongst the sideways electronics and musique concréte twists. Copeland's singing voice is more prevalent on this album, simultaneously delicate and dispassionate as she paints a picture of contemporary London in all of its idiosyncrasies. Brilliant and unique as ever - she's the freaking best.
2. Gazelle Twin - Pastoral
Elizabeth Bernholz‘s searing critique of Brexit-scarred Britain holds a mirror up to those lurid faces clamoring for a land that never was. Discordant electronics seethe beneath her demonically processed voice as she skulldrags us through the scorched landscape.
3. Lucrecia Dalt - Anticlines
The whole of Lucrecia Dalt's minimal masterpiece is wonderful to the point of absurdity, but if you try to tell me that Edge’s journey into the human body isn’t one of the most beautiful pieces of poetry you’ve heard this year I will tell you you’re a damned liar.
4. Tirzah - Devotion
I've been waiting years for Tirzah to release a full-length album, and by god, was it worth the wait. Eleven spartan soul vignettes delivered in Tirzah's lilting murmur - intimate, melancholy and utterly joyous all at once.
5. Miss Red - K.O.
The unstoppable Miss Red’s debut LP is a glorious, writhing monster. Her trademark falsetto shriek and machine gun-rapid chat weave in and out of The Bug’s brooding beats as they drive dancehall to wild new plains. Pure fire.
6. U.S. Girls - In A Poem Unlimited
I was initially a bit concerned when I heard Meghan Remy had added a nine(?) piece live band to her previously stripped down operation, but hearing In A Poem Unlimited proved how bloody foolish I was ever to doubt her. The transition is seamless, and every track on this smoldering opus pulses with an angry energy, making it one of 2018’s most vital works of dark, political pop.
7. Kepla and DeForrest Brown Jr. - The Wages of Being Black is Death
Kepla and DeForrest Brown Jr.’s excoriating indictment of white apathy - told in the form of a weary comedic lament - explores in grim detail the subjugation of the Black Body still so prevalent in contemporary society. Harrowing, profoundly stirring, and essential.
8. Kali Uchis - Isolation
Pop music - I love it so, and it don’t get much better than this. A rainbow of lush r’n’b, reggaeton, funk and even some straight up synthpop form the backdrop for Kali Uchis’s sardonic, poignant songs full of sadness and strength.
9. Sugai Ken - Tele-n-Tech-Da
The always excellent Sugai Ken explores the rigidity of old Japanese customs via the lens of modern computer music. The result is a gorgeous mélange of musique concréte, vocal cut-ups and contorted electronics that feels completely timeless.
10. Just the Right Height - Let Forever Be Only You Tonight
A superb piece of left field pop from New York’s Keke Hunt, formed out of fragments of various chart hits fed into an online lyric generator. The results are at once hilarious, disquieting and moving as Keke repurposes the disjointed lines to comment on female objectification, delivering each one in a deadpan monotone over jagged electronics.