Back in 2009, I listened to approximately 75 records that came out of Atlanta that year. This year, I blogged about roughly 75 records, and for every album I discussed, there were at least five I listened to and didn’t blog about. The quantity of music being made in this city is growing exponentially, and the Atlanta music scene runs extraordinarily deep. So needless to say, this was the most difficult year-end list to put together yet.
On a technical note, my 2011 year-end list eligibility extends through the 2010 holiday season because I like to be able to spend enough time with a record to properly evaluate it. So, any record that was not widely available before Thanksgiving this year will go into consideration for 2012.
Here are my twenty-five favourite albums from Atlanta this year:
25. Cassandras : Hari Pari Mandala Gosthi
24. Dark Room : Gothic Picnic
23. We The Lion : Boy Oh Boy
22. Easily Suede / Carey : Good Health Guide
21. Cassandras : Cassandras: 3 Songs
20. Book Club : Ghost
19. Warning Light : Wild Silver
18. Djarum : Don’t Let Me Down
17. Places : The Future
16. Nomen Novum / Magicicada / Tree Creature : Three Way Split
15. The Back Pockets : Fast Cloud Slow Cloud
14. Lid Emba : Terminal Muse: Blue
13. Vocabulary : Faded Days
12. Time Wharp : later.
11. Atlas Sound : Parallax
10. Mastodon : The Hunter
9. Places : Half-Dones
8. New Animal : Eleven Songs
7. Places : March
6. Spirits and the Melchizedek Children : We Are Here To Save YOU!
5. Lyonnais : Want For Wish For Nowhere
4. The Electric Nature : Mount Analogue
3. Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun : Wildfire
2. Little Tybee : Humorous To Bees
1. New Animal : New Animal
The story of Atlanta’s independent music scene in 2011 was the rise of a new wave of artists that came out of nowhere and upped the ante on everyone else. Only four acts on this list (veteran mainstays Mastodon, Atlas Sound, The Back Pockets, and Nomen Novum) have appeared on my best Atlanta album lists in either 2010 or 2009. That’s a symptom of the fact that there’s a new generation of local musicians dominating the scene. And at the head of this new class is New Animal.
New Animal‘s meteoric rise over the course of 2011 is unparalleled. Without a label backing them, with very little major publication support, and without even playing a single show ever, New Animal became one of the Internet’s buzziest bands early on in the year solely based on the strength of their 75-minute self-titled masterpiece. It’s hard for me to think of another record with fifteen songs where I love each and every single one. And what’s even more impressive is that they continued to output new material seemingly on a monthly basis, creating a catalog in one year vaster and more compelling than most artists do over a lifetime. There is simply no musical artist in the world that’s had a more impressive year.
My #2 and #3 spots went to outfits that have been on their own upward swing lately, each respectively creating an epic record that delivered on all the brilliance and potential they had displayed in recent years. My #4 is probably the most inaccessible record to come out of the city this year, but if you can find your way inside, it’s a monster. And my #5 goes to a band that I had previously written off, but there’s no denying what an amazing album they’ve put forth.
Of course, everything on this list is spectacular, and if you missed one, be sure to pick it up.
- Posted by Davy Minor on December 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm
- 1 Comment
Now that this blog only covers local music, I decided that all of my year-end lists this year will be Atlanta music specific. There’s plenty of sites that do national/international lists anyway. So then, this is my 40 favourite songs of the year by artists affiliated with Atlanta. I spent a lot of time with each of these songs, and if you are unfamiliar with any of them, I strongly suggest you click on the song titles below to give them a listen.
40. “Black Leaves” by Slowriter
39. “A Letter To The FDA” by Where Are We?
38. “Nerve Pop” by Small Reactions
37. “Tomorrow’s Garden” by Imagination Head
36. “Barcelona” by Dark Room
35. “Islands” by Kinisi
34. “The Battle of East & West Virginia” by Mediocre Machine
33. “Santa Maria” by Beachtapes
32. “mandelbrotset” by Time Wharp
31. “Control” by Young Again
30. “Who’s In Bed” by Jungol
29. “Children” by Vocabulary
28. “Black Lion” by Places
27. “Movie Night” by Easily Suede
26. “Edita V” by Balkans
25. “Passion Seekers” by Little Tybee featuring Adron
24. “Q ‘n’ A” by Spirits and the Melchizedek Children
23. “Lights lights” by Beachtapes
22. “Breathe” by Exact Index featuring Casey Harper
21. “No Tomorrow” by Places
20. “Far From The Best” by Cassandras
19. “Things I Like” by Vocabulary
18. “I Think It’s Working” by New Animal
17. “Pacer” by BOSCO
16. “Rise Up” by Cassandras
15. “Creature Lives” by Mastodon
14. “They Don’t Know” by New Animal
13. “Sweet Melinda” by Places
12. “cuspcake” by Time Wharp
11. “Out There” by New Animal
10. “Ivan” by We the Lion
9. “History” by Little Tybee
8. “Old Monster” by Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun
7. “Wicca Chimes” by Nomen Novum
6. “Lift You Up” by New Animal
5. “Distinguished Critter” by Places
4. “Still In Mind” by New Animal
3. “Water Story” by Wowser Bowser
2. “Millennials” by Nomen Novum
1. “Two Faced” by Living Rooms
- Posted by Davy Minor on December 5, 2011 at 5:39 am
- 3 Comments
Atlanta has quite a few record labels doing cool things right now, but one of the best new labels to crop up recently is Primitive Patterns. Their aesthetic seems to line up very close to my own taste. So give a listen to this great mix put together by Primitive Pattern’s Adam Babar of Easily Suede and Faun And A Pan Flute.
- Posted by Davy Minor on October 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm
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Vocabulary just released a new EP called Good Things. For the most part, the six pieces feel more like sketches than finished songs, but they’re intriguing sounds and ideas nonetheless. I’m looking forward to catching Vocabulary live this Saturday (Oct. 8th) night at Wholly Roller’s showcase at The Cottage with Places, Gem Club, and Holy Spirit. Here’s the bonus track, my favourite from the new EP:
- Posted by Davy Minor on October 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm
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Being a huge fan of mixtapes, I decided it would be fun to have musicians, bloggers, labels, etc contribute mixes to Ohmpark. This latest guest mixtape comes from Savannah, Georgia’s Cameron Allen, aka Vocabulary. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer listening to Vocabulary‘s Faded Days, which Pitchfork reviewed earlier this year, and if you have yet to give it a spin, you should really do so because it’s one of the year’s most underrated records. So, here’s the mixtape he put together for us, complete with photos he took. Enjoy:
1. Cornelius : “Bird Watching At Inner Forest”
2. Klaus Wunderlich : “Summertime”
3. Stereolab : “Brakhage”
4. Anna-Anna : “Mirrors of America”
5. Jacob Hoffman and Kendal’s Orchestra : “Dinoa & Hora”
6. Arthur Russell : “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face”
7. Cocteau Twins : “Lorelei”
8. Clark : “Ted” (Bibio Remix)
9. Kamar & Black Diamonds : “Egun Dude”
10. Vocabulary : “Walk In The Park”
11. Ty Segall : “Finger”
12. Magical Power Mako : “Oh, Sunny Day”
13. Takagi Masakatsu : “Fore”
14. Antena : “Frantz”
- Posted by Davy Minor on August 23, 2011 at 11:06 am
- 1 Comment
Places, aka Nico Giarrano, has unveiled yet another record, Loft Session:
Recorded in 2 hours in a room you can’t stand up in. one take for music, one for vocals. vocabulary was asleep on the floor until I woke him up for “fit end”.
You can pick up the four song release now for $4 on bandcamp, and Places plays Wonderroot July 16th.
- Posted by Davy Minor on June 27, 2011 at 3:25 am
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I just noticed this cover of an early Grizzly Bear tune by Atlanta via Savannah artist Vocabulary over at Their Bated Breath. Not only do I dig the song choice, but Cameron Allen manages to transform the feel of it into something substantially different while remaining very true to the original. Give it a listen:
- Posted by Davy Minor on June 6, 2011 at 4:02 am
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Video by Cameron Allen, aka Vocabulary.
- Posted by Davy Minor on May 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm
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Savannah’s Cameron Allen, aka Vocabulary, just recently moved up here to Atlanta, so I decided to give his album, Faded Days, a good listen. So far, I’m very impressed with the experimental bedroom pop record. It has a slow drifting momentum, but there’s so many interesting sounds throughout that it still manages to keep the listener engaged. I have a feeling this one is going to grow on me the more I listen. Here’s a song, and then pick it up for whatever price you want:
- Posted by Davy Minor on May 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm
- 2 Comments