To round off the Music Liberation's Writers takeover week we have Moker...
"Well this is a little surprising. Looking back at the artists I’ve managed to review in 2011, the one thing that’s abundantly clear is that I’ve heavily favoured music with female vocals and shoegaze, layered guitars. This must be some kind of subconscious shift in my tastes as I’d never have normally ticked such boxes if I had to describe my favourite music. I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s a bit the reverse of when you go through your record collection and wonder why there’s so much awful metal in there. Or is that just me? (ED: Nope!)
Anyway, out of the all the reviews this year, my three favourite would have to be Sea Oleena’s beautiful new EP, the New York duo Acrylics single ‘Molly’s Vertigo’ and EMA’s fantastic debut album ‘Past Life and Martyred Saints’.
If I had to rank these three in order (and I do) it would go as such:
3) Acrylics - Molly's Vertigo : If only because it was a single review rather than a whole body of work. This dreamy 80s tinged pop song was truly fantastic. || Acrylics
2) EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints : Already in many critics’ top ten lists, this wide-ranging and off-kilter debut is a true masterpiece. I wrote that it sounds as if she was on the verge of a breakdown and letting every emotion flow out into the music and I stand by that verbose description; perhaps because it’s a gloriously verbose record in all the right ways. Every listen will bring something new. Also album opener ‘The Grey Ship’ is a worthy contender for Single of 2011. || EMA
1) Sea Oleena - Sleeplessness : There’s no escaping the beauty of Sea Oleena’s music. Both her most recent EP and her self-titled debut are an intoxicating mix of ghostly vocals and layered ambient noise. Intimate, emotive and leftfield, she’s been my favourite find of this year. || Sea Oleena
With regards to next year, there are a few artists on my radar who are worth keeping an eye out for. The first is angular metal band Alright the Captain. Their album was released all the way back in January and despite being a perfect slab of relentless jagged noise, it didn’t get the coverage it deserved.
The second recommendation would be a band from the North of England called Pengilly’s. An unusual name for an unusual band. Their honest, heartfelt and spacious approach to music is a little like a folk band remixed by James Blake. The future can only be bright for these trendsetters. (ED: The keen eyed amongst you will remember we featured Pengilly's on Music Liberation back in September with the video for 'Toby's Hill'.)
The final recommendation would be the well established and long running Belgium electro band Goose. Some might know of them but I’ve listed them here as they’ve always been at the peripheries of the funky house scene, dominated by French acts such as Daft Punk and Justice. They most recent album, released last year was superb and surely the high profile coverage they deserve should come to them off the back of their fantastic efforts.