1. Nina Nastasia - On Leaving
It has a real unfinished vibe that I love. It sounds like the musicians are playing the songs for the first time, but it all works out.
Very hard to get the balance right. A great achievement.
The record is a departure from her last record Run to Ruin in that the songs are more to the fore and the instrumentation is more minimal with maximum three people playing at once.
The songs are great and Albini's recording is pretty good too.

2. Scott Walker - The Drift
I was a big fan of Tilt and indeed the early records as well, but nothing really prepared me for this. The record works in stages (blocks) of soundscapes with carefully chosen sounds.
Its unlike anything else I've listened to, apart from Tilt. But this is much less accessible that Tilt. There is a lot of mileage in the listening, not so much in that new sounds reveal themselves, but more in the melodies and the way notes pass. I started getting into the lyrics and there really is a whole lot of depth to the writing.
There's a song about the Balkan wars and Jesse is a parody of Elvis summoning a connection with 9/11.

3. Joanna Newsom - Ys
Another Steve Albini recording - he recorded the voice and harp initially. Sonically very expansive. The whole record is overstated, but in a very effective way. The performance and the writing is totally full on. Like Bjork or Kate Bush, but even less contained.

4. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
It's a very forward thinking take on traditional songwriting. The drums are really weird and wonderful - not generic at all. Love the mix on 'The Seedling'.
On 'Strange form of life' they get the heaviest acoustic guitar playing - real conviction. The vocals are a hugely important part of the record.


Howe Gelb - Sno Angel Like You
Tom Yorke - The Eraser
TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain


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