FLYING OUT'S BEST OF 2017
Using highly technical algorithms (that involved quick maths, deep thinking and a the odd coin toss) we are bringing you Flying Out's Top Ten Albums Of The Year... plus notable extras!
This is for all of those who are slap bang! in the middle of a ven diagram where music is one circle and lists are the other one. Some choices will be obvious, some are more further down the beaten path of musical exposure but they are all bloody good.
Read on and remember, if you like it, buy it!
ALDOUS HARDING- PARTY
I don't know about you but this year Party has definitely taken us on an unexpected, otherworldly journey. The composed yet crying voice of Aldous Harding within 'Party' is not something that can be easily forgotten, nor would you want to forget it. Throughout 'Party' you can hear the sweetness in Hardings voice slowly transforms itself into a bitterness that bites through each word. You begin chewing and lingering in her bed of words. 'Party' is completely Aldous Hardings own self explored, exquisite and challenging, as well as sometimes rather daunting.
THE COURTNEYS- COURTNEYS II
The Courtneys consist of powerfully playful Vancouver trio Courtney Garvin, Sydney Koke and Jen Twynn Payne. This year they captured and released their incredibly charming sophomore album. 'Courtneys II' is a freeing blend of sing-along, velvety and undeniably sun-kissed lyrical content. The instrumentation behind the vocals is stripped back, fuzzy and creates unique moments of 90's style dream pop. We have been consistently going back to this album because of how well it stands on its own two feet and delivers a bunch of supremely catchy tunes.
Staff Quote from - Matthew "I always smile when I hear this album"
You can both wake up with this album and fall asleep with it. 'Morningside' is the debut album by Fazerdaze, and it sure does turn your body into a spin. Whether you have this album on Vinyl, CD or Cassette I'm sure you have noticed its unique ability to adapt to your different listening environments. 'Morningside' has reached out to the young, confused youth who are on a search of self-discovery. Musically this album is filled with balanced reverb, fresh playful strokes of the guitar and a delicate edging of pop vocals (the kind we all love). The album is limited in its range of instruments, but there ain't nothing wrong with that! 'Morningside' has made us feel truly at home.
KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH- THE KID
An orchestra of synths has arisen and is reborn within 'The Kid'. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith sure has made a name for herself over the past couple of years, she has been seen as following in the footsteps of explorative moog synthesizer expert Wendy Carlos. The Kid is complicated, it leads you through phases of discovery, curiosity and also uncertainty. The album grows from elements of dispersed sound into a new world of whole and balanced pieces that we would identify as being 'songs'. It's truly remarkable and refreshing to see synthesizer sounds opening a new window for musicians and their music. 'The Kid' runs through polyphonic movements and is accompanied by a powerfully processed voice. You go girl!
KANE STRANG- TWO HEARTS AND NO BRAIN
Kane Strang has captured the hearts of every indie gal & guy in New Zealand, and why not?! But aside from that, this year he also released his debut album 'Two Hearts And No Brain' and it's quite a treat. It is an album about heartache, which may put some of you off, but it really does its job of making you wanna feel the love that was lost. The melody of each track is captivating, Strang pushes his vocals to the forefront and uses interesting harmonic elements which come both from his backing vocals and guitar. 'Two Hearts And No Brain' is masterfully composed with Strang having combined bright songwriting elements to lyrical content that has a slight bitter sting.
MERMAIDENS- PERFECT BODY
Dwelling within Mermaidens second album 'Perfect Body' is the provocative turning and twisting of conflicting personal themes. You become soaked in the haunting instrumental dance that occurs between the guitar, drums and bass. Deep rich vocals are sung by both Gussie Larkin and Lily West, this creates an added drive to the album as you are tossed between their different vocal textures. Mermaidens have made the ideas around being 'perfect' undesirable, its presence is subtle but effective. 'Perfect Body' bursts with striking rhythms that mix differing tones together within one compositional piece. The album is a deep exploration, it awakens your mind and hollows out the social norms of what it means to be 'perfect'.
NADIA REID - PRESERVATION
Brooding, deeply sensitive and lyrically empowering is how we would describe Nadia Reids album 'Preservation' . Reid sure knows how to tell a story and that is exactly what 'Preservation' does. Through the balanced relationship she has composed between her voice and guitar playing you experience a one-on-one intimate recollection of her past-times. Each song runs through a separate vein which then makes up whole spectrum if parts to the album. As you float amongst the differing tunes, you hear subtle expansions in the sound. 'Preservation' is truly mind numbing, it will stick with us for forever.
We all know how long everyone had been waiting for this album to be released, and thankfully it was as good as we hoped it would be. Showcased within the album was Slowdives incomparable capabilities to compose a dream like landscape which slowly builds upon itself. The album really does live up to its titled name, they take you on a slow dive down into delayed moments. Slowdive have composed a moving, striking and poignant entrance back into the music world. It is a detailed exploration that stretches out each tonality struck from the guitar. This is in combination with vocals from both Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell which drives the album through its absorbing textures. It is a vibrant album that we are happy to place as a favourite.
US psych band Wand might be the only group this year who have the audacity to adorn their album cover with Microsoft Word Clip Art. That kind of artistic boldness can be found in their depth of songwriting on their fourth LP Plum. Wand's back cat of gargantuan riffs hasn't proven to be an albatross around their neck, the band seemingly comfortable shifting gears to palate of shimmering six strings, entwined vocal harmonies and an abundance of piano and synth. Strip back the psychedelic shell and you'll find good honest songwriting.
Staff comment: "Are you listening to Radiohead?" - Matthew
YUMI ZOUMA- WILLOWBANK
We love Yumi Zouma and have admired their work for quite some time now. But there was something different, expansive and more grounded within their second debut album 'Willowbank'. When listening to 'Willowbank' you are driven with a similar sense of longing that is entangled into the theme of the whole album. The calling melodies of the guitar dance alongside the softly sung voice of Christie Simpson. 'Willowbank' is contrasting, sometimes you feel like your in a glide other times in a spin. Heading into the summer this a perfect album to close the year and start a new one.