Laurel Halo’s debut album Quarantine is out this week, and it’s just as good as we were hoping it might be, full of strange and wonderful sounds, all topped by Halo’s distinctive vocals. Experimental music has a long and proud history of female involvement, from the work of electronic pioneers like Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire through Cosey Fanni Tutti and Ikue Mori and Laurie Anderson to latter-day examples like Diamanda Galas and Gudrun Gut. To celebrate the release of Quarantine, and the fact that there seem to be more fascinating female experimentalists around than ever, we thought we’d put together a selection of contemporary talents whose work we love — some you’re probably familiar with, some you might not be, all of them are great. And, of course, let us know your suggestions. … Read More
Is it just us, or do most of the “best albums of 2011″ lists this year tend towards a certain amount of sameness? That’s understandable given the undeniable greatness of a handful of records, but on the whole, when we’re facing down a few weeks of holiday stress, travel woes, and inane over-festivity, we’re generally not in the mood to listen to something as milquetoast as Bon Iver. Give us something darker, moodier, bleaker to get us through those days of familial celebration. Something from, say, the record label Blackest Ever Black.
So, both as a holiday coping mechanism and as an alternative to all the best albums lists that have placed that unfortunately boring Real Estate record so near the top, we present an alternate best of 2011, recognizing 15 records that are twisted, dark, and out there. Take note: we’ve purposely left out metal, as that could be its own list entirely. … Read More
We’re as addicted to end-of-year list-making as your average bloggers. But after a while, we get sick of seeing the same names over and over again. Hey, did you hear about that Kanye album? How about The Social Network — pretty great, huh? That’s why Flavorpill is launching a new yearly tradition: The Underrated Awards, honoring our favorite people and things from the cultural universe that we feel have been criminally under-appreciated. Our second installment focuses on 2010’s most unfairly overlooked albums, from records released early in the year that were forgotten by the time best-of season rolled around to releases too strange to garner much attention outside of a small niche. … Read More