But what about the music I have been listening to in 2017? To be honest, I’m that much occupied with creating and producing my own stuff that I don’t spend that much time on listening to music of other artists. It’s a shame, I know — but there’s only a limited amount of listening time left between working in a full-time job and running Antichrisis in your spare time. Anyway, there have been 5 albums in 2017 that caught my attention:
• „Every Valley“ by Public Service Broadcasting: this is an album of such emotional intensity that it really made me cry. When following the story of this concept album that depicts the history of the mining industry in Wales while focusing on the rise and decline of the country's coal industry, one has to have a heart of stone if not being close to tears when listening to the album’s last track „Take Me Home“. An absolutely fantastic and inspiring album.
• „Selections from 50 Song Memoir“ by The Magnetic Fields: It's as simple as that — Stephin Merritt never ever failed me (you hear that, Morrissey?)! Each and every album of his band The Magnetic Fields contains pearls and jewels in form of wonderful, out of the ordinary and enchanting Pop songs. To me, he's one of the finest, wittiest and most astute songwriters in contemporary Pop Music. "Selections from 50 Song Memoir" is nothing more than an adorable, stirring but also deeply entertaining album. One can't do much better — but I guess Stephin Merritt will.
• Almost the same goes for „Goths“ by The Mountain Goats: A band being bold enough to call one of their songs "Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds" is just my cup of tea, especially when that song is performed with the disarming charm of singer John Darnielle. The Mountain Goats started as some kind of LoFi-Folk-project but developed swiftly in broader musical directions. On "Goths" they sound like an anti-gloomy version of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — or like Paul Simon's Californian kinfolk.
• Although I'm not a fan of digital distortion, I have to admit that I was deeply impressed by "The Underside of Power" by Algiers: they're raw energy and fury reminds me of the early recordings by the Bad Brains — only that Algiers are not rooted in Hardcore or Reggae. Instead they deliver a hot boiling mixture of Gospel, Soul, Industrial, Metal and HipHop, and that Franklin James Fisher is a really fantastic and powerful singer! The only fly in the ointment is the production of "The Underside of Power": less distortion and compression would have done a much better job in my opinion.
• „Is This The Life We Really Want?“ by Roger Waters: agreed that Roger Waters’ voice has lost much of its tonal capabilities in recent years, but nevertheless this album radiates so much anger and rage that it left a real impact on me. But please, Mr. Waters: get off of that annoying BDS-involvement of yours: of course one can quite justifiably criticise Israel’s home policy (and I would opt for a two-state solution, too!), but according to that scale you would have to stand up against China, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or the USA just as well! When I last looked, Israel was still a functioning democracy — something that is hard to find in the Middle East. To me that BDS-movement is just another disguise for yer plain old and nasty antisemitism!
So all that’s left for Ayuma and me to do is to wish you all the best for 2018 — and don't forget: many people await New Year’s Day just to make a new start to their old habits. We wish you otherwise.
Happy New Year and see you again in 2018!
"Alice's Curiosities" is available via At Sea Compilations' website - and don't forget to donate!