Bandcamp Magic from 2019

Here’s a load of my favourite Bandcamp releases of 2019 – aside from Liam’s record being my favourite, they aren’t in any real order.

The three conspicuous absences are three of the artists I subscribe to on Bandcamp – Thomas Truax, Andrew Howie and Corey Mwamba. All three released a TON of great music this year, but I couldn’t pick out a best thing. Go hear it all and subscribe to them 🙂

Anyway, all these are fabulous and worth investigating. Go treat your ears and buy something beautiful:

The Long Game by Liam Noble

Probably my favourite record of the year. A pretty much perfect melding of melody, improv, experimentation and incredible sounds and feel. A dream trio.

Scenes From The Flood by Bryan Beller
An epic undertaking, writing a massive sprawling mostly instrumental epic exploring huge themes and personal change. Bryan’s best album, and definitely my rock album of the year.

Transmission Suite by 808 State
A reminder that 808 State were so much more than a ‘rave’ band – beautiful experimental EDM, with some of the coolest analog sounds you’ll ever hear.

Hey Jester by Hey Jester
If, like me, you find a lot of modern ‘edgy’ rock sounds like it was designed by committee, you may find the Hey Jester album to be a breath of fresh air. Packed full of great tunes, killer ideas and epic playing from all three of them. There’s a load of Jeff Buckley and Muse and stuff like that in there, but it’s way more fun than a load of corporate rock references could ever do justice to. Go listen.

Daughter Of Ocean by EchoTest
Another year, another absolutely killer record by EchoTest. Julie and Marco going from strength to strength.

Æ by Anton Eger
Just when it felt like the ‘Nu Jazz’ tag was getting a little stale, Phronesis drummer Anton pulls out this magical mix-up of jazz and electronica, with a ridiculous cast of musicians. Really amazing.

Lullabies For Monsters by Lullabies For Monsters
A spectacular bit of instrumental story-telling (with an accompanying written story), meticulously constructed and deeply moving.

KUNDABUFFA by KUNDABUFFA
Almost as prolific as me, Andy and Theone put out a ton of great music, broke the band up (one of the albums is called “KUNDABUFFA Is Dead”!) and then carried on releasing amazing music. A project to keep an eye on, cos so many good things are going to come from this…

Devotion by Dave Douglas | Uri Caine | Andrew Cyrille
Spiritual bass-less improv. always a good thing 🙂

You Are Beautiful; We Are All Beautiful v2 by Candy Says
More electropop genius from Candy Says. Everything that do is gorgeous – Juju’s ear for melody is absolutely golden.

Metamorphosis by Mai Leisz
I’ve been a Mai Leisz fan for many, many years – one of the most brilliant bassist/band leaders on the planet. Lots of 70s melodic fusion influence here, tons of killer writing and playing, and nothing annoying at all. Go buy her entire catalogue.

Pull Back for Sound by Clatter
New music from Clatter!! Many, many years after their last one, and it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. At times angry and deeply moving, the production is as great as the songs. Absolute prog magic.

All Will Be Said, All To Do Again by Sarah Gail Brand / Steve Beresford / John Edwards / Mark Sanders
Possibly the best recorded example of the magic of the London improv scene (though Mark’s from Birmingham 😉 ) – Lo and I saw this quartet live not long before this album, and were absolutely blown away. The most engaging, coherent, beautiful and challenging of improv records.

45 by School of Language
Protest funk from one half of Field Music. Just brilliant

Blurring Into Motion by Charlie Cawood
Orchestral prog? Post-millennial chamber music? Who knows, just gorgeous music overflowing with exquisite melodies and the most incredible arrangements.

Happy Bread (and Cruel Hangovers) by Hope and Social
That this isn’t my favourite H&S album but is still one of my favourites of the year tells you loads about how great they are. The opening track is one of my favourite things of the entire year.

Round One by Jumpstarted Plowhards
New old school punk with Mike Watt on bass. An adrenaline shot to the heart.