Weval – (self-titled)
I am amazed that this superb album didn’t get more exposure this year. It is a compliment that I have been really struggling to find comparisons: the closest touchstone I can come up with is Caribou‘s excellent Our Love (2014), although this is definitely the shade to Caribou’s light. Both share a similar restraint, employing aural spaces to allow listeners to fill in the blanks. These spaces exist in time but also across the aural field, with Weval employing a limited number of instruments – clipped electronic beats (brilliantly augmented by crisp live percussion), often just a single synth and voice, often down-pitched (a nice contrast to the frequent chipmunk-ed high-pitched vocals in dance music).