We asked to different musicians, producers, bloggers, journalists, label owners to make a short list of their best albums of this year. This is the list curated by Welsh singer-songwriter Novo Amor.
Adrianne Lenker – Abysskiss
I think Adrianne Lenker is just amazing, one of the best songwriters around. I would regularly fall asleep to this album in my bunk on tour. I think it’s going to become an important record to me.
Gia Margaret – There’s Always Glimmer
I found this while searching for support artists for my first North American tour. I completely fell in love with it, Gia’s voice, her songwriting, production and the sombre – but almost upbeat – mood that’s present across the whole record. We ended up touring together.
Pinegrove – Skylight
Though I wish some of the songs on this album were longer, it’s still been one of my most played albums of the year. I grew up listening to a lot of Emo music, which I seemed to trade for Folk in my late teens. So, Pinegroves emo-tinged Americana really hits home for me. I love how conversational Evan’s lyrics are.
Valley Maker – Rhododendron
Based on the debut, this follow up was one of my most anticipated albums of the year. He’s on of my favourite voices in music. I love his guitar tones and repetitive songwriting. You’ll often find that his songs are built from multiple verses interspersed with instrumentals. Who needs choruses!
Stephen Steinbrink – Utopia Teased
A super-fun and interesting album by an eclectic writer and producer. This album sounds like it came straight out of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s all at once, while still feeling very modern. Vague. It’s full of slap-back vocal reverb, sampled drums, smooth synths, harmonised guitar riffs and obscure lyrics. Last month, I found myself in playing in Seattle on the same night as Steinbrink, and after my set I rushed across town, arriving at a record store, where the back room had been converted into what was no more than a 50 capacity theatre. I turned up as he stepped off stage. I bought this album that night and it has been one of my most played over the past few weeks.