Friday, January 5, 2001

McQ's Best Of 2015 Vol 7 - Dream Weavers

1. Mouth - Ghost Culture
2. Crosswords - Panda Bear
3. For Marmish - Floating Points
4. English Subtitles - Swervedriver
5. Chorus - Holly Herndon
6. Bleak And Beautiful - Haiku Salut
7. Stonemilker - Bjork
8. Breaker - Deerhunter
9. Elegy To The Void - Beach House
10. Child Of Rage - Oneohtrix Point Never
11. Golau Arali - Gwenno
12. Tearing Me Up - Bob Moses
13. That Battle Is Over - Jenny Hval
14. Snakeskin - Deerhunter
15. Lucette Stranded On The Island - Julia Holter

Track List / Mix Write-up / Spotify /
McQ's Favorite Albums Of 2015
McQ's Favorite Songs Of 2015

About The Albums/Songs On This Mix:

Bleak and Beautiful comes to us from England, from the well received 2015 full-length release Etch And Etch Deep by the instrumental act Haiku Salut.

An all-female trio renown for never speaking a word onstage, Haiku Salut specialize in a gentle, organic form of electronic music that also incorporates a broad range of traditional instruments and ethnic styles.

Also hailing from England is Ghost Culture (the performing/recording name for young studio engineer/DJ James Greenwood), who with his self-titled debut become one of the latest roster editions to the highly influential electronic music label Phantasy.

Very much in the flavor of Dan Snaith's Caribou, but with a darker, post-punkish vocal-vibe, I've chosen the debut's fantastic first track Mouth, originally released as a single in 2013, to represent here. With its eerie, glitchy opening build that's both haunting and dreamlike, it just felt like the perfect track to start off this mix, though another favorite track from the album that didn't make the mix, Guidecca, might have served almost as well.

Beach House - the well-regarded though in my opinion often more sleepy-than-interesting dream-pop duo out of Baltimore, Maryland - released two full-length LPs in 2015 just two months apart, and both the first released Depression Cherry, and the second release, Thank Your Lucky Stars (recorded at same time as Depression Cherry in but incorporating songs written from a different time period) portrayed a band trying to simplify things after the increasingly complex production of prior albums Teen Dream and Bloom, but did so in distinctly different ways.

Depression Cherry was a straight-on retreat, not in sound but in complexity, to the simpler and less interesting orchestrations of their so-so sophomore effort Devotion.  It possesses a couple decent songs, particularly opener Levitation and Sparks, but for the most part didn't impress me.

Thank You Lucky Stars, however, was very interesting...showing the band trying to break away for the first time from its up-to-this-point very narrowly defined core-aesthetic...and it's a much better album than Depression Cherry because of this.  From the synth-pop of All You Yeahs, to the Velvet Underground-ish One Thing, to Elegy To The Void's phenomenal, Loveless-styled closing guitar solo (our representative track for the band's 2015 efforts on this mix), I really enjoyed this album.

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