The Maroon

Album Review: 2015 Record Recap

Blaise Radley

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When looking back at a year’s best albums, it is often hard to gain perspective on what records truly made a mark on the aural landscape. Sometimes the influence of an album has been lessened by its release early in the year, or the impact is felt too keenly due to its proximity to December. Sometimes an album slips completely off the radar with critical plaudits under its belt, but a distinct lack of extended recognition. Therefore, as we move through the third month of 2016, I want to look back at three releases which either missed public perception or failed to establish themselves there firmly.

Platform – Holly Herdon

Ask any of your more electronically oriented friends what their favorite full length release of 2015 was and a lot of them will probably say Holly Herndon’s Platform; an album with operatic tendencies that often verges on the esoteric. Listening to Platform is such a cohesive and overwhelming experience, that to commit to clicking play on the first track is to commit to 50 minutes nestled deep within the uncanny valley. Whilst many still view electronic music as a seesaw that rocks between background ambient noise and thumping club music, Herndon’s work is a continuation of Aphex Twin’s mission to find beauty and melody in abstract noise.

Inji – La Priest’s

To describe the next record, La Priest’s Inji, as merely a change of pace, is to miss the point entirely. On the exterior this is a wholeheartedly pop affair, by way of funk and dreamlike synthesizers, but underneath the surface that same spirit of dysfunction is rampant. Sam Dust pulls apart song construction at each and every turn, vanishing into meandering guitar loops before grounding things again with a delectably funky bassline. Though it is short at ten tracks, this is another album which makes indecision an art form, throwing ideas and riffs around with reckless abandon. When Inji does find a groove, as on the house-influenced ‘Night Train’, it meticulously recalls the funk classics, whilst still bringing something entirely new to the mix.

White Men are Black Men Too- Young Fathers

My final slot for overlooked gems from last year is filled by the wonderfully named White Men Are Black Men Too by Scottish hip-hop outfit Young Fathers. Though the politics of the record aren’t as prominent as you might expect, the lyrics are refreshingly progressive for a genre that often feels depressingly outdated. Hot off their Mercury Music Prize win, Young Fathers continued to collate rap, alternative rock and electro in an effortless manner, whipping between the unashamed pop of ‘Shame’ and the discordant rhythms of ‘Old Rock n Roll’. In fact, it’s this collation of chaotic ideas that is central to all three of these records, and by carefully stitching together disparate musical concepts, all three deserved to make a more pronounced mark on 2015’s music scene.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Album Review: 2015 Record Recap”

  1. Ieuan Callaghan on March 11th, 2016 2:11 pm

    Enjoyed

    [Reply]

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Album Review: 2015 Record Recap