Here are 10 of my favourite albums released so far this year, with links to listen to them. All ten albums are available on Spotify: if they hadn’t been, I probably wouldn’t have heard half of them and wouldn’t have been able to tell you how good they are!
- Genre: Industrial, EBM
It took 15 years to release, but it was definitely worth the wait. Sounding like a Best-Of album, Industrial Complex seems to track the history of Nitzer Ebb but with all-new songs. If you’re new to to the industrial or EBM genres, this is a great place to start!
- Genre: Industrial, Goth
I’m a relative newcomer to Signal Aout 42: Spotify has four of their albums going back to 1989. Vae Victis takes part Front 242, part Die Form, and add their own chilling atmosphere. This album is perhaps more commercial than previous releases, but that’s no bad thing.
- Genre: Synthpop
I must admit, I’ve never quite “got” Hot Chip before, and was always a bit puzzled as to why my fellow synthpoppers rated them so highly. But then I heard lead single One Life Stand and my opinion changed overnight.
- Genre: Alternative, Chamber pop
I don’t think Tindersticks will ever equal their seminal Curtains album from 1997, but this album is a very close second.
- Genre: Chip-pop, Bit pop, Synthpop
Perhaps taking over the mantle of mainstream chip-pop from Thermostatic (RIP), R.E.T.R.O is a brilliant tribute to gaming soundtracks from the 8-bit days. Like Thermostatic, Mind.In.A.Box merge their chip-pop with a fuller synthpop sound, making this one the surprise best albums of the year so far.
- Genre: Futurepop, Synthpop
De/Vision have released about a dozen albums over the years. I’ve heard many of them and always listened a few times but then filed them away as “nothing special.” Popgefahr however is something special: a short but excellent album full of great synthpop.
- Genre: Synthpop, Disco
Goldfrapp returned with an album that presses all the right buttons (none of that folktronica experimentation from their last album). Some fans were disappointed by the return to synthpop, but for me this is Alison’s best album yet (but then I always was a sucker for a good ABBA tune 😉
- Genre: Synthpop
After an introduction on Kitsune records and a series of singles, The Golden Filter‘s debut album was hotly anticipated in synthpop circles. Luckily it doesn’t disappoint, and fans of Marsheaux should especially enjoy this one.
- Genre: Rap, Rap-rock, Hip-hop
Rise Up is Cypress Hill‘s first album in 6 years. I’ve followed them since Black Sunday and always enjoyed their releases, although the last couple weren’t quite as good. Rise Up is a slight return to form: they’re still tokin’, still jokin’, and I still love them for it.
- Genre: Krautrock, Indie
Finally, a new band that probably would have passed me by were it not for joebuck and his excellent Spotinew site. Sweden’s This Is Head take the krautrock sound of the 70s, the indiepop sound of the 80s, and inject their own Nordic twist.