There are bands that catch like fire, spreading from one social circle to the next as their music consumes the attention of everyone who touches them. You first see their names crop up here and there on the edges, among members who are most well versed in new music being released and have their probes deep into the community, always searching for the next big (and best) thing. From there, the hype travels up into the core functions of the group, disseminated by those (like me) who like to plug themselves into as many of those entry points as possible. Soon, everyone you know is listening, roped in by the initial hype.
This is exactly how Heavy Blog’s obsession with Rolo Tomassi‘s latest release, Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It began. Those who knew the band from their previous releases suddenly perked up and started telling the rest of us to pay attention. Those who did were immediately captivated and grabbed the rest of us by the scruff of our neck and dragged us, kicking and screaming, into this album. And boy did the fire catch hard; regardless of their (very respectable) position in our Top 25 List for this year, I can’t think of an album that was more wildly celebrated within our group. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I estimated that this album has been spun hundreds of times by members of our inner group alone.
Thus, you can understand why we’re excited to host this guest list by vocalist James Spence! We left this list for last because we were very excited and anxious to receive it; getting a glimpse into the mind of an artist you adore is a very special experience and we got to experience it six times this year! So, without further ado, please read on below for James Spence’s guest list, our final for this year! It’s a doozy.
Olafur Arnalds – re:member
I’ll start by saying my list isn’t in a particular order but this is easily my favorite release of the year. Only further backed up by a stunning live show I was lucky enough to catch in September, which easily went straight in to the top 5 concerts I’ve ever been to. Constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of contemporary classical music without making it inaccessible. A true genius to my mind.
Drug Church – Cheer
Sneering vocals, intelligent/fun lyrics, huge hooks and great punk songwriting.
Jon Hopkins – Singularity
I loved Immunity and have been patiently waiting for a follow up since. For me this album has greater contrasts; the big tracks hit a lot harder and the ambient works are a lot more delicate. I loved reading all the interviews that explained the process behind the making of this as well. Similarly to Olafur, I feel Jon Hopkins is another artist constantly pushing himself.
Møl – Jord
The kings of the blackgaze movement. This album is close to perfect.
Conjurer – Mire
Best debut album of the year bar none. It’s scary how much the song writing has improved from the debut EP. Really excited to see what they can do next.
Bliss Signal – Bliss Signal
So many bands have historically tried to mix electronic music and heavy music and failed miserably. This hits the marks perfectly.
Cabal – Mark Of Rot
I was lucky enough to see this band play twice this year. They’re astonishing live and released an album that fully backs that up.
Ian William Craig – Thresholder
An album full of beautiful subtleties. I had this in my headphones for the majority of our recent tour of the US and its the soundtrack for a lot of staring out of a van window on long drives admiring the landscapes. There is so much in the detail here and I love being able to pick out new detail with each listen. It’s music that continues to give with every play.
Cassus – Separation Anxiety
We were lucky enough to have this band open for us. I loved the energy of the record and they had a brilliant live show to back it up!
Blind Girls – Residue
We played with this band the last time we were in Australia and they stuck in my mind as being phenomenal live. I stumbled across this release late into the year and it blew me away. It’s almost anachronistic, harking back to late 90s ‘real’ screamo.