(photo courtesy of dummymag.com)
Hello my internet biaz!
My dear friend and arch nemesis Alex came at my Best of 2014 lists for being overly genre-centric. I therefore asked him to compile his own list of albums that DJ Mustard had nothing to do with. So without further ado, I present to you five albums from 2014 as curated by the feisty, the quick-witted, the discerning – Alexander J. Rose, the one and only.
Five Albums You May Have Missed While You Were Throwing Hundreds At The Club
by Alex Rose
DVA DAMAS - Nightshade (Downwards)
If your list of favorite things involve black lipstick, Quentin Tarantino, surfing, and revenge by poison, then DVA DAMAS’ Nightshade is something you should look into. She has a simple formula: her voice echoes unintelligible lyrics across a throbbing rhythm infused with foreboding guitar twangs. You can’t help but be pulled into her nightmarish yet badass world. It’s unapologetically leather, chains, and vengeance. It’s a fast album and stylistically the tracks don’t stray much from one another. Regardless, you’ll want to dance -- maybe with that special man too. But most likely that man is shackled to a chair, aroused and terrified as you twist and bounce around him to these pulsing, erotic beats.
Tracks to Love: ALL
Leisure Cruise - S/T (Last Gang Records)
“Change your name, change your life, run away, save yourself” commands Leisure Cruise’s Leah Siegel. It’s her debut record alongside Broken Social Scene’s Dave Hodge. Instilled with dreamy guitar, italo disco influences, and seductive, smoky vocals, Leisure Cruise blasts off from earth from its first second (the electropop rocker “Double Digit Love”) and doesn’t look back. While some songs veer into syrupy pop (like its third track “Sailing”), they are so well executed it’s hard to deny their power. As a whole, the album provides the soundtrack for the optimistic escape from our doomed planet. The end of times never sounded so fun.
Tracks to Love: Double Digit Love, Livin’ It Up, Believer, Revelation
TOPS - Picture You Staring (Arbutus Records)
Say it was 2007. Say you were aimlessly driving because someone broke your heart. (And let’s say this isn’t a personal story or anything). And say you played Feist’s acclaimed album, The Reminder, over and over again until you couldn’t cry anymore. If so, the sophomore release from this Montreal four-piece (backed by Grimes’ former label) might be for you. It’s as if you walked into some seedy out of the way bar/lounge because you needed a quick drink, and TOPS was the house band that made you stay for a few more. While the album is less produced and refined than Feist’s release years ago, the intimate vibes remain -- plus 80s infusions -- and who doesn’t love that?
Tracks to Love: Way To Be Loved, Change of Heart, Blind Faze, Outside
Ariel Pink - Pom Pom (4AD)
Ahhh, Ariel. Currently, Indie music’s most polarizing figure (and on stage, an aesthetically demented cross between Kurt Cobain + Courtney Love). Some adore him, some hate him, and some are still saying, “Ariel who?” But those who have listened to his inventive lo-fi/chillwave concoctions can’t argue that the man knows how to make songs that transform the old and familiar into something new and exciting. “Pom Pom” re-injects Pink’s slimy goodness into the music world just when things were getting slightly predictable in 2014. It’s a frantic, relentless, psychotic, whimsical, and brooding magnum opus that toes the circus high-wire perfectly between farce and solemnity.
Tracks to Love: Four Shadows, Lipstick, Not Enough Violence, Black Ballerina
Todd Terje - It’s Album Time (Olsen Records)
For a good time please dial Todd Terje (that’s pronounced “TER-YEA”). On the scene for about ten years, Todd has provided remixes to disco classics (his edit of Chaka Khan’s “Fate” is forever burned into my mind), and dropped singles here and there. “Inspector Norse” which has been around for nearly 3 years (and without fail fills a dancefloor with revelers) makes its appearance on Terje’s debut alongside 13 other tracks that make you want to grab a tropical cocktail (preferably in a coconut), toss some confetti, jump onto a table and groove like you don’t give a single fuck. Weaving in lounge music with smooth electro and bubbly disco, it’s the happy-go-lucky, party music for a future generation. But the future is NOW -- and according to Todd Terje’s soundscape, it’s paradise.
Tracks to Love: Strandbar, Delorean Dynamite, Swingstar Pt. 1 + 2, Inspector Norse, Johnny and Mary (ft. Bryan Ferry)