Tanya Tagaq’s fourth album Animism is going to get a UK release this January, and this why you should be excited about that fact; it has already won the esteemed Polaris Music Prize in her native Canada, beating the big name likes of Arcade Fire and Drake. ‘It won an award, so what?’ You say.
Well, what if I told you that Tanya Tagaq is an Inuit throat singer and Animism is perhaps one of the most brilliantly experimental albums you are likely going to hear? How about that you cynical prick? Seriously the album is genreless and Tagaq is peerless as her music fuses together elements of electronica, avant-garde, folk, art-rock, classical, and I guess post-rock too, but then that doesn’t even cover the obscenely amazing things that Tagaq is capable of doing with her vocals.
Oh, and how’s this, even back in 2004 she was getting serious props by featuring on Bjork’s Medulla and the tour that followed. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
Nothing But Thieves
This five piece based out of Southend on Sea have that classic band origins story that rarely happens, or it if does rarely survives, anymore; schoolmates getting together enjoying music playing instruments and thinking fuck it, let’s do this ourselves, and then having a crack at it a few times in a variety of bands but persevering through sounds and names until they hit who they really are.
Who Nothing But Thieves really are? A rock band that cite all the classic influences but sound like none of them, and that’s all you can hope for from an exciting new band really isn’t it? The five piece write songs that can be quiet, and beautiful, others that are a more passionately driven but equally serene, then some that just rise and fall or others that hit you hard and heavy. If you had to draw a musical comparison it would be somewhere between Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and early Muse.
This four piece from Merthyr Tydfil managed to get record company attention before they’d even played a gig proper, the record label attention even made the journey to Redhouse in Merthyr to see their live debut. When was that debut gig? Oh, it was in December… 2014. Yeah, just fucking now.
Oh, and you know how they got that label attention after having only forming in 2014? Well, they only went and got their debut anything Cave Song playlisted on Radio 1 didn’t they? Oh, and yeah their oldest member is only 18 – more fucking talented fucking young people, fuck’s sake.
Though, seriously Cave Song is an absolute fucking belter of a rock song, straight up angular and punchy riffs, frenetic rhythm section, and raspy, broken, and impassioned vocals to boot. With all they’ve achieved after forming in 2014, fuck knows what they’re going to do with 2015 with a debut release proper due.
Bastards Anatomy Use a Unicorn Go To Apathy, I mean that’s an album title isn’t? The title of what? Well, of Greek four-piece Calf’s sophomore album that they released in December, following on from 2011’s debut album, A Constant Loss Departs From The Sentiment Of The Abandoned, and it is one noisy bastard of an album. A really, really, relentlessly, noisy bastard of an album and it’s awesome.
Calf are a kind of indescribable sort of band, but of course I’m going to now ignore that and give it a good crack because I wouldn’t be doing my job very well would I? You could describe Calf as a post-rock band, but they work in much darker and mysterious ways than that implies, taking in elements of absolute noise rock, and post-metal, perhaps even a touch of instrumental black metal, but where the most interesting stuff happens is structurally, as the songs seem to kind of flow in a free form way of unpredictable waves akin to the way a sort of noisier, more experimental modern orchestra might.
Kuniva is a Detroit rapper who might be better known as a member of the infamous D12, but in 2010 he dropped a solo mixtape and began the process of steadily making a name for himself. This came to fruition proper in 2014 with the release of his debut solo studio album, History of Violence, in December. Late in the game for a big 2014, but the earliest bird to catch 2015’s worm.
With an already well established history, Kuniva’s already got the groundings to kick out a huge solo career, but it’s the strength of his performance on History of Violence, delivering solid lyrics and wordplay through a tight flow, alongside the quality of the beats and the production on display. 2015 Kuniva makes it big solo.
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