Saturday, 18 January 2020

2019 End-Of-Year List From Mikey Ortega (This Noise Is Ours Contributor/Reader/Noise Musician)

Here's the second EOY list, this time from longtime overseas friend, noise musician and occasional review contributor Mikey Ortega. Mikey provided a list last time I did this early last year, so it only seemed right for me to include another one of his lists, as his music taste is way more varied that mine. I hope you enjoy this one.

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Another year has gone by, and in a few days not only will we be starting a new year, but a new decade. The 2010’s has been a really interesting one. Lots of bands and artist I would have never thought I’d be a fan of. Doom Metal and Noise have mostly dominated my music collection. But as the years gone by, post-punk, indie, and folk, have been creeping up into my playlist. While compiling my list for Best Of 2019, I’ve noticed that my Top 10 doesn’t consist of Metal bands. Of course there’s some heavy bands and artists, but I wouldn’t consider them “METAL”. I have to admit, this is a list that I’m very proud of and I hope someone will take the time to check out some of these albums.


10. GOLD - WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING?



When this Dutch band put out OPTIMIST back in 2017, I thought they were a killer addition to the Post-Rock/Post-Metal scene. With WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING?, Gold have established a sound that can only be there’s. Once you listened to “He Is Not”, you can’t mistake that what you’re listening to is a Gold song.




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9. ANGEL OLSEN - ALL MIRRORS




If there’s one thing to say about ALL MIRRORS, it’s that it shows how much Angel Olsen has grown as a musician and a songwriter. Every track was composed with a very dreamy tone that only an inspiring singer-songwriter can dream of. It’s awesome to see all the attention that it’s brought to Angel Olsen, which goes to show what an amazing album ALL MIRRORS is.



Angel Olsen Website - https://angelolsen.com/

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8. VR SEX - HUMAN TRAFFIC JAM



Never in my life did I ever thought a post-punk album will make me feel dirty. Not only by the lyrics but the music arrangement and tone. Even though this features a member of Drab Majesty, VR Sex is nothing like Drab Majesty. This is more raw and dark, but still you can still dance to the songs.  HUMAN TRAFFIC JAM will make you feel like you’re in a dark underground club in NYC or London.




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7. SUN BLOOD STORIES - HAUNT YOURSELF



One of many bands that cemented my love for the Boise music scene. After listening to IT RUNS AROUND THE ROOM WITH US back in 2017, I’ve been anticipating for what Sun Blood Stories will brew up next. And HAUNT YOURSELF did not disappoint.  It’s everything that you expect from Sun Blood Stories. Not that HAUNT YOURSELF sounds like their previous album.  It’s that it goes to show that Sun Blood Stories are capable to take their sound and songwriting to the next level.



Sun Blood Stories Website - https://sunbloodstories.com/

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6. CHELSEA WOLFE - BIRTH OF VIOLENCE




I did not think that BIRTH OF VIOLENCE would be on this list. But after many many listens, this album has become a favourite of 2019. Of course this is nothing like HISS SPUN. But this is a perfect combination of Chelsea Wolfe’s early acoustic stuff and her current work. The album was promoted as an acoustic album, but it wasn’t what I expected. I thought it was going to be a “return to roots” album, but BIRTH OF VIOLENCE turned out to be more than that and goes to show why I will continue to be a Chelsea Wolfe fan.



Chelsea Wolfe Website - http://www.chelseawolfe.net/

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5. BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT - VEILS OF WINTER




One of my favourite finds of 2019. VEILS OF WINTER by Blackwater Holylight is a heavy album that you will find yourself singing along to. This Portland band made a killer album that crosses doom and 90’s indie/alternative rock. The riffs are awesome and the harmonies are amazing.  It’s one of the reason I love the PNW scene. Definitely one of the best releases that Riding Easy Records has put out.



Blackwater Holylight Website - https://www.blackwaterholylight.com/

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4. SWANS - LEAVING MEANING

Another album that I’ve been anticipating for 2019. A while back, Michael Gira mentioned how the recent Swans line-up was coming to an end. So it only made me wonder how the new line-up was gonna turn out like. Upon hearing the first single “It’s Coming It’s Real”, it really made me excited for LEAVING MEANING. Swans continue to bring a whole new experience to the listeners and take them on a trip to the mind of Michael Gira. Gira’s vocals still bring a chill to my spine and with the way the music was composed, it really made for a great experience that only Swans can create.



Young God Records/Swans Webstore - https://younggodrecords.com

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3. ORVILLE PECK - PONY



Holy shit! I have not been excited for a country album since Nico Case. Really surprise to see Orville Peck on a legendary label like Sub Pop. And after listening to PONY, I can see why Sub Pop added Orville Peck to their roster. This isn’t the kind of country that you hear on mainstream. This is very old school and very fresh to hear. Orville Peck has a voice that you hardly hear anymore and with adding elements of indie and shoe gaze, it really makes PONY stand out, not only in country, but music in general. Yee-haw!



Orville Peck Website - https://www.orvillepeck.com/

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2. THE FRENCH TIPS - IT’S THE TIPS



This is a band that KRBX in Boise, Idaho really got me hooked on. The French Tips created an album that is a perfect combination of melody and attitude. IT’S THE TIPS is a album with some bad ass tracks and catchy songwriting. With songs like “Buzzkill” and “Burn It Down”, it does bring me back to the days of college, watching bands playing at a DIY venue. Just hearing the album, you can tell they put their heart and soul into this and because of that, I was really able to connect with the record and it is why it made my list.




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1. LINGUA IGNOTA



Any Extreme Metal band that put out an album in 2019, I like to think that they knew they would be no match to what Kristen Hayter was going to unleash. For a couple of years, there have a been a huge buzz surrounding Lingua Ignota. 2017’s “ALL BITCHES DIE” left a huge impression on me. It reminded me of why I love experimental music. With “CALIGULA”, this album exceeded all of my expectations. It not only shows that Hayter is a amazing composer, but that she really knows how to think outside of the box. And because of that, “CALIGULA” sounded very refreshing. The rawness and dark atmosphere are taken to a whole new level. It’s not a album that tries to scare you, but make you understand of the World we live in.



Lingua Ignota Website - https://linguaignota.net/


Mikey eluded to this in his opening paragraph, but his list is probably the "least metal" list that you'll read on a site that covers the genre. That's okay though, because with the lines between genres continually being blurred, so it makes complete sense. Thanks to you Mikey for sending this in.

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