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Great Music of 2018

As a new year begins, the Music Lovers team have put together a list of some of the best recent releases that were added to our library catalogue in 2018.

 

Chills and Fever
Samantha Fish

American blues-rock musician Samantha Fish is an excellent singer and guitarist, and her most recent album, “Chills and Fever,” is arguably her strongest to date. Featuring a prominent 1960s soul influence, as well as a great cover of the ‘60s Barbara Lewis classic “Hello Stranger,” this album is great fun for any lively party. Play loud!

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John Lee Hooker's World Today
Hugo Race and Michelangelo Russo

Melbourne musician Hugo Race has been experimenting with the blues since starting out in seminal 1980s bands Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and The Wreckery. On this album, Race and long-time collaborator Michelangelo Russo reinterpret songs by blues legend John Lee Hooker, blending roots music with minimalist electronica to create timeless, dark and atmospheric soundscapes.

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All Nerve
The Breeders

Fans of The Breeders were excited by the recent release of “All Nerve.” Apart from being the band’s first release in 10 years, the album also features the same line-up that created the band’s much-loved 1993 album, “Last Splash.” Listeners who liked “Last Splash” and other Breeders albums will be happy to hear that “All Nerve” continues along similar lines, with catchy, melodic and slightly twisted indie pop rock songs that always seem to take unexpected turns. The Band’s distinctive sound remains pretty much intact on this release.

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Utopia
Bjork

For her ninth album, unique Icelandic musician Bjork shared production duties with Venezuelan electronic music producer Arca. “Utopia” is a long album full of meandering melodies and atmospheric soundscapes that combine electronic beats with folky textures and sounds of nature. Listeners may not remember a single individual song after the first listen, but fans of Bjork’s music will enjoy getting lost in this unusual and epic world of sound. It’s an album that is never predictable and full of surprises.

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Anatomical Venus
Black Moth

Anatomical Venus is the third album by this UK band and what a rock feast it is! Black Moth plays hard, heavy rock, with doom and stoner influences. Think Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains or Electric Wizard. “Anatomical Venus” is Black Moth’s heaviest album yet. The riffs are absolutely monstrous, but the band still infuses the right amount of melody into the songs, while the album’s production is clear and polished. The band’s second album, “Condemned to Hope,” was one of the best heavy rock albums of the year when it was released, and the same can be said of “Anatomical Venus.”

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Vector
Haken

Some bands have a clear, defined style, while others change constantly. Haken, is one of those that keeps growing and changing. Their first three albums showed enormous growth with a very clear progressive metal style, but having reached the peak with “The Mountain,” Haken decided to spice things up. “Affinity” had 80s sounds and textures, and “Vector” has a more modern, fat sound – a bit djent at times. This is album sees Haken experimenting with different sounds. Nevertheless, through all the changes, Haken still sounds like Haken, and it’s a joy to hear. This was without a doubt one of the best metal albums of 2018.

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Bad Witch
Nine Inch Nails

Back in the 1990s, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor said that he wanted to make music that challenged the listener. Bad Witch, the third in a trilogy of EPs (although this one, at 30 minutes of duration, has been labelled an album by Reznor), certainly lives up to that intention. The songs here are dense and raw. Reznor’s perfectionism is still present. The songs are complex and multilayered, but the production and the mood are more akin to an underground band playing in a dingy smoke-filled club late at night. It seems that David Bowie’s shadow and the Twin Peaks Roadhouse may have influenced this album. It’s raw, dense, thick, and requires multiple listens, but it’s certainly rewarding, and the best NIN release in a long time.

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Eat the Elephant
A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle were once one of the biggest alternative rock acts around. Their first two albums delivered strong, warped songs, infused with just the right amount of influence from the band The Cure, and Maynard James Keenan’s distinct singing voice. After 14 years, the band has returned with an album that sounds familiar, that is undoubtedly A Perfect Circle, but with a different tone. The guitars are mostly gone and a new maturity and reflective introspection has set in, driven by Howerdel’s piano and Keenan’s soulful voice, which is arguably sounding better than ever. This is a beautiful and haunting album.

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