You thought I was done with lists? Well, fortunately (or unfortunately) I am still keeping them coming. I have to continue the Month in Review series, as there is always albums that go under the radar and we limit ourselves to how many we discuss as well.
December is also the time of the year when things start to slow down release wise. But I still managed to find 5 quality releases, and some of them even surprised me. A few did end up on my year end list but generally I haven't had enough time with each album to know if all would make my list or not. Being busy with the holidays, year end lists, and other events around this time of year, it is just hard for labels to release music this month. On the bright side it gives everyone time to catch up on albums they missed out on, or dive deeper into already favourites.
Already in 2019, here's the first post of the year talking about the year 2018 still. 2019 will also be Intune's year (I hope)!
An album title that rivals the emo scene for most forward and edgy album title. Though not an emo band, $ilkmoney is a rapper who's sound is most comparable to Tyler, the Creator (who also happens to be on two tracks). Fans of Tyler will for sure eat this up, but also $ilkmoney gets a little to close to his influence where at some points I think I'm listening to a Tyler track. I believe with time, $ilkmoney will grow into his own and since this is his first release, I don't think it is a complete downfall that my criticism is he sounds too much like Tyler, the Creator.
Speaking of artist and influence, MIKE is another one that comes to mind recently. Though this time around, it is Earl Sweatshirt who took the influence from MIKE and turned it into his great own album Some Rap Songs. On War in My Pen, MIKE continues his signature sound of lo-fi, tape lop induced hip-hop. Like Some Rap Songs, the lyrics touch on deeper subjects as MIKE raps in a monotone voice that almost is reminiscent on someone giving up on their problems. Of course this isn't the case, but the impressive delivery to make topics on the album nihilistic. I have to mention obviously, if you even remotely liked Some Rap Songs, you'll love MIKE.
Japan loves their math rock, but I'm not complaining. Jyocho are a fairly new band to the scene, with some parts sprinkled with emo. They took me by surprise last year with the album Days in the Bluish House, and the new album is no different. Fun and energetic rock music, that's also very intricately put together. The lyrics are sadly all in Japanese, so I can't go off much to say on what they are about (maybe someone can help!). Fans of emo and math rock alike should check out this release, and maybe the Japanese scene in general because there are tons of great bands out there.
Most "bedroom" recording artists I generally find incredibly boring. Sometimes I find the greats, and beabadoobee is one of those greats. Though on the surface it sounds like just another folk artist, the mixture of her guitar playing and voice is too lovely to deny. Lyrically she tells a story in ways a lot of millennial's can relate to. With Patched Up she adds a little more production value to her music, instead of the generally lo-fi sound she produces. Touches of ambience, piano, and strings are present throughout to give the release a more fleshed out journey.
I love Iceland. I especially love Icelandic black metal. The entire scene is interesting out there, where it is composed mainly of the same people each jumping into different bands creating widely unique sounds. Most of the Icelandic scene takes huge influence from the French band, Deathspell Omega, who are no strangers from making dissonant, off the wall black metal. Not to mention they are also one of my favourite bands ever, so of course bands like Svartidaudi appeal to me. Revelations of the Red Sword is adventurous, chaotic, and epic for that especially mythical feel.
Dirge - Lost Empyrean
Lubomyr Melnyk - Melnyk: Fallen Trees
Isorinne - Stumhetens toner
Scandinavian Star - Solas
Princess Nokia - Metallic Butterfly