Every year, I endeavor to have at least one guest list on which I know zero of the picked albums. I should have known this year’s list would Alex Hurst’s. If you’re unfamiliar, this gentleman does vocals for the inimitable Boss Keloid and, if I’m being honest, I’m tired of telling you that Family the Smiling Thrush is not just one of 2021’s best albums but also one of its weirdest. I’ve already told you! You have no excuses! Listen to this album!
Anyway, I already knew Hurst has a varied and deep musical taste and this list is more than sufficient proof of that. It has noise rock, reggae, dub, folk, drone, more dub, electronics, and more, and more. The themes covered are even broader, with sadness, moroseness, hope, light, catharsis, and a lot more being represented in this absolutely diverse list of music. And, naturally, Hurst is not one to stick to conventional structure, choosing to elaborate in a sporadic manner on some albums and stay silent on others. Was this intentional? I didn’t check! On purpose! Embrace the weird! Embrace music! Happy listening.
Alex Hurst’s (vocals) List
1) New Age Doom & Lee Scratch Perry – Lee Scratch Perry’s Guide to the Universe
New Age Doom teaming up with Lee Scratch Perry on vocals was something I never thought I’d read. This was recorded just before Lees passing this year. The album took me on a stoned trip through drone, jazz, stoner rock, noise and (of course) dub. All mixed up perfectly in one big unreal sounding album. I put this album on with an open mind and it took me by my brain and give me a good shake. Absolutely love it. It’s like OM crossed with Lee Scratch Perry. Highly recommended!
2) The Bug – Fire
This album from Kevin Martin AKA The Bug is heavy as hell but not in a heavy metal sense. It’s bass heavy electronic sounds grabs you by the face and melts it with its power. You can’t help but to pull that face of disgust when the bass lines kick in. It also includes some amazing vocal guests from the likes of Flodan & Nazamba. Play it loud and let it ruin your speakers.
5) John Francis Flynn – I Would Not Live Always
I had never heard of this fine chap until I went to see Lankum play in Leeds and he opened up the show. I was instantly hooked by his presence and his voice. A beautiful folk album that is dark yet uplifting. Johns voice is incredible.
6) Biga Ranx – St.Soleil – Tape
7) Tomahawk – Tonic Immobility
8) Akae Beka – Polarities
One of my favourite artists and singers who sadly passed away in 2019 but still unreleased music is coming out to see the light of day. This is the last official release from Akae Beka and it’s absolutely beautiful. Every song is filled with emotion and beauty. It’s reggae music at its finest!
10) Nick McCabe – We are are we.
This is the first proper solo release from The Verve’s Guitarist Nick McCabe. Nick made The Verve for me with his spaced out individual way of guitar playing like no other. This is one piece of music that will take you on a trip! Using guitar loops and effects to create something quite unique.