1. The Drones — I See Seaweed
The oceans are rising. The politicians are corrupt. Humanity is venal and cynical and short-sighted. Cameras watch us wherever we go. And Gareth Liddiard’s lyrics catalog it all. The Drones’ singer is one of the finest writers working in music today — his songs are unrelentingly morally demanding, but never at the expense of reality or subtlety. They approach the world from oblique angles, turning an unrelenting light on humanity. And as ever, we’re found wanting — “lockstepping in our billions,” as this album’s title track puts it, “lockstepping in our swarms/ Lockstepping in the certainty that more need to be born.” I See Seaweed encompasses subject matter as disparate as looking at your old hometown on Google Maps, the ennui of the perpetual traveller, and Laika the space dog, but as a whole, the result is a portrait of a human race racing headlong toward the edge of a cliff. As ever with The Drones, the experience of going along for the ride is harrowing, and visceral — and utterly imperative.