Kris' Albums Of The Year 2018
1. Panopticon - The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness - Part 2
Stewart is generally the first one in the store in the morning, and therefore often sets the musical tone for another day of pulling and packing records. He played this one quite a bit. This album is a 2-parter, but the second half is the part that really snagged me. I don’t know much about folk, bluegrass, or Americana but The Scars Of Man …brings to mind (Rough Trade Essential) Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen, its somber and limited instrumentation painting raw and tragic portraits of the aftermath of contemporary society. Totally brilliant.
2. US Girls - In A Poem Unlimited
US Girls’ sixth album tips the scales from soulful sampling to raw, live grooves and hits a new high water mark. A perfect soundtrack for smashing stuff, smooching, or engaging in some herbal bliss.
3. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
I’ve never heard an Arctic Monkeys record before, (more of a Franz Ferdinand fan here, to be honest) but I’m a sucker for a concept album, especially one about a hotel in Outer Space. Mr. Turner channels Jarvis and Momus in equal measures, unreliable narrators ramble over lush instrumentation, shaken and in a rocks glass, please and thank you.
4. Crooked Man - Crooked House
Mr. Barratt (Sweet Exorcist, All Seeing I, etc) and his team of bleepers, bloopers, shouters, and belters have crafted one of the best House Music LPs of this, or any other era. It’s a long one, so feel free to just listen to sides A and B over and over again, like I’ve been doing.
5. Laurel Halo - Raw Silk Uncut Wood
I don’t recall actually listening to this record, but the painting on the front is so wonderful. Laurel Halo always has such great art on her records.