It’s tough. There are so many good options.
There’s Björk’s Utopia, which I’m convinced is going to be an extraordinary album but is literally only out tomorrow.
There’s LCD’s American Dream, which is a riot which was always going to capture my heart
There’s Grizzly Bear’s Painted Ruins, which is undoubtedly the album I’ve listened to the most. I don’t think it’s even a ‘perfect’ album but it has stuck with me and I think always will
There’s Taemin’s Move, which is probably the most sophisticated K-pop record I’ve ever heard and is something I’ve squealed in delight over
There’s Do Make Say Think’s Stubborn Persistent Illusions, which is probably the record I was most thankful for and surprised by. It was good for my soul.
There’s Richard Dawson’s Peasant, which is the British approach to Joanna Newsom folk-lyricism that I never knew I needed
There’s UUUU’s s/t, which explodes electronic music into post-rock in a way I never knew could actually happen
There’s Upgrayedd Smurphy’s HYPNOSYS, which splatters mutant techno in a way that I will always love discovering
There’s PAN’s mono no aware, which made me take ambient music seriously again and was my comfort blanket in times of real need
There’s Kelela’s Take Me Apart, which is the sexiest and most arresting thing I’ve heard in ages
There’s Nathan Fake’s Providence, which is a shining beacon of heft and depth and physicality that shoved a soul back into techno
And there’s Lee Gamble’s Mnestic Pressure, ripping it back out again and putting the phantom corpse into a cyberpunk spaceship with a bottle of absinthe and the collected works of Derrida and Deleuze.
But yeah, there isn’t really much doubt what takes it for me. It’s Arca’s Arca.
It’s the album that fits me at this moment in time and in this frame of mind. It does it uncannily well. Formed, twisted, indelibly queer, in a lot of ways strung out and nasty, always on the move, always searching for more, always in the realm of the transcendent, always bloody and dirty and streaming from the guts as much as it is seeping into the mind. It’s amazing.
Long live the new flesh.