Herewith some albums I enjoyed but that just fell short of the Top 10…
Objekt – Flatland
What’s the aural equivalent of ‘tactile’? This is an impeccably-produced whirl through some very futuristic techno. Like that ribbon on the cover, it’s a little weird but also fascinating.
Jo Johnson – Weaving
Already mentioned in Tracks Of The Year this is a lovely debut of ambient synth-tronica, with elegant poise and a pervading sense of melancholy.
Alt-J (∆) – This Is All Yours
Didn’t seem to be critically as well received as their Mercury Prize-winning debut, this nonetheless showed them still capable of some of the most inventive song-writing around. I never thought a Miley Cyrus sample could work this well, either.
Liars – Mess
Nicely summed up by its cover, this was stark, brash dance-punk – knotty and vibrant in equal measures. Have to love the opening moments of the first track, with its evil robotic vocodered voice inciting you to “Take my pants off / Use my socks / Smell my socks / Eat my face off / Take my face / Give me your face …” Kind of scary but also ridiculous.
Hands – The Soul Is Quick
A low key vinyl-only release from Axel Willner, better known under his Fields alias for his loops-upon-loops maximal interpretation of trance. Here he went for a far gloomier, beatless approach, filled with foreboding.
Alcest – Shelter
Also having featured in Tracks Of The Year. Whatever his (Alcest‘s) background, this was an uplifting combination of heavy guitars, post-rock and shoe-gaze, with a very keen ear for bittersweet melodies and harmonies. There’s an exhilarating power to many of these tracks but none of it could be described as actually ‘heavy’.