There’s something to be said for the albums that can be listened to all the way through without having to skip a song. Albums you can press ‘play’ on and zone out until it stops, without having to skip songs you don’t like or just don’t seem to fit, are modern musical masterpieces. They can be great for background study music and long journeys, but beyond this they really are just a joy to sit and listen to through for an hour.
With the onset of winter, here are a few such albums to listen to on dark walks home or those rainy hours spent indoors.
The New Age Travellers - DMX Krew
When I first listened to this album I was instantly transported to 90’s game show The Crystal Maze, and by the end of the album I got the impression David Upton (the name behind DMX Krew) meant to do exactly that. The opening track, ‘Approach to Stonehenge’ is rich with retro beats and a twang to the synths reminiscent of old RPG arcade games, and the whole album is a nod to the 90s revival of electronic music. The tracks are short and snappy but are each carefully designed components in an album which embodies 'braindance', the sound Upton pioneered.
Tarot Sport - Fuck Buttons
The album artwork for this one should be enough to convince you to listen to it on your next megabus journey across the country. Better described as trance-inducing than relaxing, this album is incredibly easy to sink into. This is an album of complex, experimental sounds and tracks which flow seamlessly into one another. With songs named ‘Space Mountain’ and ‘Surf Solar’, you can guess the sort of journey the Bristol duo wants to take their listeners on.
Currents – Tame Impala
Currents is an album which is consistent without being boring. Though the tracks don’t flow into one another, the album has a distinct flavour present in every individual song. Better known ‘Let it Happen’ and ‘The Less I Know the Better’ are in no way surrounded by filler tracks, and though each song is unique, matching psychedelic synths and reverberating vocals across the whole album mean no one stands out above the others. A dozey, winding album that gets better with age.
99.9% - Kaytranada
Kaytranada’s album dropped at the start of summer, and it still never ceases to perform. A rich array of vocals on each track provided by a huge variety of names gives each its unique charm, but it’s Kaytranada’s personal sound that brings them all together to a whole as colourful as the album cover. A complex, genre defying melting pot of R&B, funk, soul, and dance – 99.9% is a beat driven album that will propel the listener through to the end.
Zaba - Glass Animals
Glass Animals have just released their second album, prompting a nostalgic listen to the first, Zaba, which provided the soundtrack to an entire summer two years ago. Their two 2014 singles, ‘Black Mambo’ and ‘Gooey’ are situated comfortably in a tracklist of layered and audibly interesting songs. With its alternative percussion and soft vocals, Zaba takes the listener to a jungle in the middle of the night and invites them to listen to put their ear to the forest floor and absorb every tiny sound.