December 28, 2019

HCTF's best of 2019 (20-16)

HCTF's annual list of the 20 albums that will be in regular rotation for many years to come. As per usual many genres are represented. This blog covers a lot of ground and it shows in this eclectic, final tally.

Today: countdown from number 20 to 16.

Please shop at your local record store, buy directly from the artist, attend live shows. Don't block anyone's view with with your phone (better still, switch it off altogether). Shut the fuck up while the band is playing. Educate your friends. Word-of-mouth can't be beat as the prime source to discover new music.

20 Black Operator: Black Operator

Dirty low strung swamp rock from The Netherlands

The energy comes howling out of the speakers. This album is the answer to the question of what the White Stripes or The Black Keys would have sounded like as a full band. The band reaches a peak during the freaky Desolation Blues, powering down the tracks like a runaway train. Turn it up, until everything is louder than everything else.

» Full review

19 Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls: Shake Them Rattlin’ Bones

Scary good time music will get the party started.

(...) a steaming broth of cabaret, blues, ska, Veudeville, voodoo and skiffle. Horror stories are the main course, with a side orders of sex, trouble, and all-night parties. Singer Jo Carley is smack in the middle of the mix, with a snarl and a twinkle, while Tim Carley uses all his limbs to play his wide array instruments. James Le Huray provides both the bottom end and a joyful banjo to lighten the mood.

» Full review

18 Typical Sisters: Hungry Ghost

Improv jazz trio walks a tightrope with ease

They use the middle ground between composed section and free-flowing spontaneity. Hungry Ghost pushes all the right buttons, without using force, but with determination to create something worthwhile and memorable: quiet intensity at it finest.

» Full review

17 The Petals: Seven Stops

Soul searching, multi-layered indie rock.

Searching for hidden meanings, both real and imaginary, is what drives them. In Quiet Down an answer is almost tangible, only to slips away again, leaving them flustered. With their for amalgam of noise and gentle pop The Petals have created a string of closely linked songs about doubt and trying to let go. The plea in Nyugalom to "Disengage wherever your are" sums it all up.

» Full review

16 Jumble Hole Clough: 17 Photographs Of Audrey Hepburn Riding A Bicycle

Prolific avant-garde artist is never short on ideas>

In a parallel universe this album could almost be considered as a radio-friendly. Take The 21 Grams Experiment, a composition about a prime example of selective reporting by a daft physician. That is a way to teach the youth of his native Hebden Bridge and far beyond about scientific values. Changes are they he will remain a cult artist, catering to avant-garde loving breed of cognoscenti, the kind of people who tend to dance to Captain Beefheart songs in a style that is quite peculiar.

» Full review

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