10! Nowhere near enough is it. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

CASS McCOMBS – MANGY LOVE

(Anti-)

cass-mccombs-mangy-love-album-new

8th trip to the well for Cass and it’s a masterpiece.
From the opening Kurt Vile-esque ‘Bum Bum Bum’ followed by the swamp-rock meets T.Rex-isms of ‘Rancid Girl’ on into the floating flute-soaked sun-drenched swoon of “Laughter Is The Best Medicine” the album keeps going from strength to strength demanding and rewarding repeated listens.
If push comes to shove and I hate being shoved, this MAY be my album of the year.
Somebody just shoved me.
It’s my ALBUM OF THE YEAR.

 

BOWIE – BLACKSTAR

(Columbia Records)

david-bowie-blackstar-2016

What a way to go.
End of story.
Or just the beginning?
That’s up to you isn’t it?
And I still can’t believe he’s gone.

 

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS – SV11B

(Vagrant Records)

school-of-seven-bells

Glorious synth-pop, sweet, sensuous and often epic.. Catchy as all hell too.

 

KEVIN MORBY – SINGING SAW

(Dead Oceans Records)

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A wonderful, diverse 3rd album that sees this Dylan/ Cohen-esque guitar playing singer-songwriter throw everything except the kitchen sink into the mix and produce a gem. Whatever you fancy in terms of rock, pop, folk you’ll find most of it here, whether it be fuzz-guitar, mariachi horns or just piano ballads. Take your pick. Fill your boots.

 

KING GIZZARD AND THE WIZARD LIZARD – NONAGON INFINITY

(ATO Records)

king-gizzard

Sensational psychedelia on prolific Aussie’s 4th album in 2 years!
Nuts. In the best possible way.
Play it loud and in its entirety for maximum impact and enjoyment.

 

JAMBINAI – A HERMITAGE

(Bella Union Records)

jambinai

It’s not often one gets to hear a new sound anymore.
This is a new sound.
Not if you’re an expert on Korean classical music of course.
So, take some Korean classical music add some post-rock and PRESTO!
You have Jambinai.
Robin Guthrie’s Bella Union label is a constant source of fine music across many genres and this revelatory album is no exception.
Any volume less than 11 is just not acceptable.
Kick out the jams people and make those ears bleed!

 

LAURA MVULA – THE DREAMING ROOM

(RCA Records)

laura-mvula-the-dreaming-room

R&B? Probably. Pop? Probably. Idiosyncratic? Definitely.
In a good way.
Lots of reference points; unique results.

 

RYLEY WALKER – GOLDEN SINGS THAT HAVE BEEN SUNG

(Dead Oceans Records)

ryley-walker

Carrying the torch for Tim Buckley, Van Morrison and Nick Drake fans, this modern-day troubadour is starting to become as prolific as he is adventurous. A lovely organic sounding album full of Ryley’s dynamic jazz/ folk guitar style and emotive voice I’ve yet to play him for anyone who hasn’t been immediately smitten.

 

GREGORY PORTER – TAKE ME TO THE ALLEY

(Blue Note Records)

gregory-porter

Jazz? Soul? Funk? Who cares.
It’s all about the voice. And what a voice. Effortless, crystalline in its clarity, bottomless in its depths. Probably a bit too close to MOR for jazz aficionados tastes but…that voice.
What a voice.
Reeks of Grammy winner too.

 

FIONA BRICE – POSTCARDS FROM

(Bella Union Records)

fiona-brice-postcards-from

An instrumental album that drifts by calmly soothing fevered brows as it goes.
Strings and piano to the forefront it’s a haunting baroque enchantment that works wonders with Sunday mornings and late warm evenings, many of its tunes will probably end up in movies or (God forbid) TV adverts.

 

DISCLAIMER:
I own none of the vids, they belong to the artists and you should do what I do and go out, buy their stuff, on vinyl for maximum aural impact, and spread the word. Thanks for that. They say thank you too.

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About The Author

Gary A. Rutland
Collaborator - RREVERB

Gary’s been listening to music since the 60’s and has the scars to prove it. Failed dalliance’s with violins and guitars couldn’t stop him fronting the Punk band Moscow and being spat on by 2000 Welsh punks in the summer of 1977 while supporting John Peel faves The Motors at Cardiff Top Rank. He spent 15 years selling some of the finest music by some of the best musicians in the world.