Ada Babar – (2018 Leaked)
Even though it isn’t technically out until next February, 2018, Ada Babar blessed us with putting it up on their Bandcamp this year. Their music is filled with seemingly inconceivable midi controls and even airhorns (as heard on “fav chair”). Ada put out a rather spontaneous album in a seemingly repetitive genre.
Body Meat & The Washboard Abs – Redux
This split was the second of three releases from Body Meat and one of two from The Washboard Abs. Body Meat’s side of the split are a few of the best songs is filled with experimental songs that feels amorphic and as if everything in pop makes sense all at once. The Washboard Ab’s side features full band songs from previous songs and unreleased songs that seem to make the Washboard Abs as full sounding as they have ever been.
Pleasure Systems – Antumbra Pull
Although I’ve listened to this album for critique several (several) times before the release and know Clarke Sondermann well, hearing the progress and emotions that went into the release in anticipation is why it made this list. Dedicated to their partner and is filled love and thank you notes to him, makes it one of the most sincere albums to be put out this year.
Ben Varian – The L.A. Concession
One of my favorite artists is also seemingly one of the hardest working ones as well. Having put out seven (7) releases (this EP, a live album, a 72-track “food journal” with Jake Tobin, a “Christmas gift” with his partner, a 24-hour recording session, a full-length album, and another album?), as well as go on tour with Dent May over the summer, this EP is both surprisingly nd unsurprisingly one of the best pop releases of the year. Ben never seems to dissappoint with absurd lyrics mixed with almost always upbeat melodies.
Lily and Horn Horse – Next to Me
The third release this year from Lily Konigsberg and second with this project with Matt Norman, it is filled with everything they claim to be inspired by, which is the “Baby One More Time” era of Britney Spears and Bill Callahan at his coziest. This collaborative album feels as though they have been making music together for years even though this is only their second release together.