As we now countdown to the final few sleeps of 2019, it’s time to share more of these End of Year lists from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe. Norwegian dark doom band Fauna Timbre released their excellent new EP, Altering Echoes recently via Red Orchard Records. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Marius Sjøli has shared his eclectic and thoughtful Top 10 albums of 2018.
Emilie Nicolas – Tranquille Emile
It’s hard to find words to describe the impact of this album. It spans over different genres and emotions. This is simply an amazing piece of music – slow, honest and beautiful.
Khôrada – Salt
This album sounds like something I haven’t really heard before. It’s brave, heavy and it’s continually evolving throughout the album. And it’s weird, and I love weird and challenging music. Give this album some time and will grow immensely on tired neurons.
Exit North – Book of Romance and Dust
I’ve been a fan of Thomas Feiner’s music for a long time, and I’ve been waiting for a new full length for almost as long. Book of Romance and Dust is his collaboration with Ulf Jansson, Charles Storm, and Steve Jansen, and it’s a slow moving, subtle, atmospheric, and beautiful album. Somehow it feels like this music is flowing between hope and despair.
YOB – Our Raw Heart
The song movements, the roughness and the beautiful heavy chords that breaks up the riffing makes this band and this album stand out to me. The songs are incredibly well crafted. It reminds me a lot of moving in open landscapes. A great album.
Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses
After Emma Ruth Rundle’s amazing last album, Marked For Death, I had quite high expectations for this one. It took some time for it to materialise for me, but ended up being one of the albums I listened to the most this year. The guitar work is very interesting, and together with the great lyrics and vocal arrangement, it makes up a very special album. The new album also works very well in a live setting.
Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit
It was hard to believe that Zeal & Ardor could follow up the thing they had going on Devil is Fine. While Devil is Fine was an interesting and good album, this album is truly a special album with a high replay value that will stick with me for a long long time. It’s different, brave and very atmospheric in its own way. The closer on this album “Built on Ashes” is probably my favourite on the album.
Nils Frahm – All Melody
This album is so much better than the (a little) boring album title suggests. The acoustic instruments are recorded perfectly to fit the warm beat-oriented sound. It may seem a little repetitive at first, but the forever evolving details is what makes this album so good. Listening it’s easy to loose track of the song lengths, which is a very good thing. Also seeing him perform it live was a truly amazing experience.
Rome – Hall of Thatch
Acoustic guitars (Neofolk) mixed with a lot of samples is an interesting mix. Hall of Thatch a little harder to get into than (some) of Rome’s earlier releases. Maybe because it’s colder and harsher and more intense, but that is also the albums strength, best illustrated by the track “Martyrs”. Rome also recently released a new single that sounds really good.
Other great albums this year:
Ben Howard – Noonday Dream
Sangre de Muerdago – Noite
Toby Driver – They are the Shield
Joep Beving – Conatus
Lydia Laska – Ego Death
Kamasi Washinton – Heaven and Earth
Olafur Arnalds – re:member
clipping. – Face
Tigran Hamasyan – For Gyumri
Frode Haltli – Avant Folk
Death Grips – Year of the Snitch
The Body – I Have Fought Against it, But I Can’t Any Longer
“+++ more I can’t remember at the moment.” – Marius Sjøli