It's the most wonderful time of the year. Finals are almost here!
Kidding. We hate finals as much as you do. But that also means that it's year-end list season. The staff at Radio 1190 is putting together a listener list, so check out radio1190.org or visit 1190's social media and submit your top 10 albums of 2015.
Now tune into Radio 1190 and hear these albums on rotation this week:
Though many bands come out of the East Coast, none have stood out quite like Philadelphia band Palm. The group's November release, Trading Basics (Exploding In Sound Records), is their biggest release in a very short career. Though it may not be as experimental or wild as the June release Ostrich Vacation, Trading Basics, is still an uncompromised, visceral listen.
The second track, "Crank," is a jagged, angular track charging forward in a solid groove and finishing with a guitar-based cacophony. Over the course of the album, the group heavily utilizes polyrhythms and dissonant melodies that sound influenced by experimental punk bands, like This Heat. Though many of the songs forego traditional melodies and song structures, catchy hooks burst out of nowhere. The refrain on standout track "Ankles" (which repeats the mantra "I don't need you any more") can easily get stuck in a listener's head.
Although the music is interesting and mind-bending, it can be quite taxing over the span of 11 songs. Regardless, Palm has an incredibly unique sound, unlike any band right now, which could quite possibly make Trading Basics the sleeper hit of 2015.
Film director Paul Thomas Anderson's documentary "Junun" documents the making of an album of the same name and its organic process of musicians coming together and creating something unique. The director recruited musicians from East and West for the project — including Israeli composer Sjye Ben Tzur, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and The Rajasthan Express (a group comprised of 19 traditional Indian musicians).
Filmed at Mehrangarh Fort in Rajasthan, India, the Western musicians infuse their style into traditional Eastern music — and the results are fantastic. Hints of electronica and rock music riddle the album throughout. The two-disk collection, Junun, is diverse, emotive and enjoyable.
It was just a matter of time until Ty Segall released another album. This time around, Segall dropped a tribute album honoring his favorite band, T-Rex, aptly titled Ty Rex.
Covers of "20th Century Boy" and "The Slider" are fantastic homages to Marc Bolan and company, featuring Segall's signature sound in the mix. Notably, Ty infused fuzzier, grittier and more raw guitars and production into the mix. Unlike his previous album, Manipulator, we hear a more punk-leaning sound from Segall — which brings him closer to his roots than ever. Obviously since it's a cover album, there is no new territory on Ty Rex, but it's the perfect way to hold over garage-rock fanatics until the next original Segall LP.
James Calvet is Radio 1190's music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists.