Best From The Nest: 2019
As always, the year’s biggest challenge musically was just trying to keep up with the veritable explosion of jams. It’s merely scratching the surface, but here’s nine favorites in no particular order from The Nest, including Chelsea Wolfe, Solange, Otoboke Beaver, Bat For Lashes, Chasms, Jamila Woods, Karen O/Dangermouse, Sasami, and Drab Majesty.
CHELSEA WOLFE: Birth Of Violence (Sargent House) Sean @SaneIsCrazy
Most mortals wouldn’t embrace trying to top a masterpiece like Hiss/Spun. Chelsea Wolfe goes deeper and darker on Birth of Violence, making “Deranged For Rock & Roll” into a mission statement.
SOLANGE: When I Get Home (Columbia) Mayumi @myyoume_moto
Arguably the greatest love letter to one’s home town. There’s an unhurried fondness in the meandering repetition throughout that wraps you up in Solange’s memories and perspective.
OTOBOKE BEAVER: Iketoma Hits (Damnably) Wayne @waj1
From Kyoto, Japan, Otoboke Beaver have come to seize your brain on second full-length ‘Iketoma Hits’ (Damnably). The very definition of controlled chaos on “I’m Tired of Your Repeating Story” and “Six Day Working Week Is A Pain”.
BAT FOR LASHES: Lost Girls (AWAL) Mayumi @myyoume_moto
Thank god Bat For Lashes is back. Lost Girls perfectly captures the magic of the unknown – whether it’s uncertainty in love or the mysticism of the desert. It’s all right here.
CHASMS: The Mirage (Felte) <staff>
A wholesale embrace of their dub side adds a new prism to the balance of light and dark/endings and beginnings that is Chasms on The Mirage.
JAMILA WOODS: Legacy! Legacy! (Jagjaguwar) Wayne @waj1
Legacy! Legacy! is a celebration of Blackness that captures the essence of characters ranging from Nikki Giovanni and James Baldwin to Miles Davis and Muddy Waters, tied together in a tour-de-force by Chicago’s Jamila Woods.
KAREN O/DANGER MOUSE: Lux Prima (BMG)
Mayumi @myyoume_moto With Karen O’s dynamic vocals combined with the genius of Danger Mouse, Lux Prima garners the strengths of these two artists with the sum being bigger than their collective individualities.
SASAMI: Sasami (Domino) Wayne @waj1
Stepping out from Cherry Glazzerr, Sasami Ashworth focuses her prodigious talents on a self-titled debut album on @Dominorecordco deep with songs, ranging from the shoegaze blast of “Not The Time” to the incomparable “Free”.
DRAB MAJESTY: Modern Mirror (DAIS Recordings) <staff>
Drab Majesty’s Modern Mirror captures the enduring pulse of the classic synth generation of Heaven 17 and Depeche Mode, while keeping it anchored in contemporary angst.