Album Review

Album of the Year: Top 20

Disclaimer: There’s no actual album of the year here, just Peanut Mixtape’s top 20. Basically it seems daft to narrow it down when there’s so many great ones and chances are I’d have re-wrote the list every single day since I made it if I had. Every single one of these albums has been top of the list at some point so just sit back and have a scroll.

Mr Jukes God First: By any means quitting a job can be hard but for Jack Steadman it lead to shaving off all his hair and spending a few months on a container ship. However the result was the Mr Jukes moniker and a section God First. The album explores soul through an indie set of eyes with guest vocals from De La Soul and Lianne La Havas this isn’t to be missed.

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Radiohead OK Computer OKNOTOK: Since its release 20 years ago OK Computer has been celebrated as one of the turning points in British music, marking the start of Britpop counter culture and it continues even now to light the spark for British alternative rock.

Yeek Sebastian: There’s an irresistible little twang to Yeek’s music, with simple beats played expertly within the indie formula tracks like ‘Let’s Shake’ are guaranteed to go down a treat. Most tracks on Sebastian land direct hits and just hit the spot.

The Amazons The Amazons: The future of rock music is a big talking point at the moment, with it’s biggest stars dropping like flies and The Amazons are doing a mighty fine job flying the flag for the next generation. Their live shows are sensational and now they’ve coughed up an album that proves they’re the real deal.

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Oh Wonder Ultralife: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again for those not listening in the back, we need more bands like Oh Wonder. There just isn’t enough pure, unadulterated pop music in the world. No one quite pulls off an indie pop synth like Josephine and Anthony.

Panic! At the Disco All My Friends are Glorious: Its been over a decade since emo classic I Write Sins came out yet Brendon Urie, like cheese, has only gotten better in time. This album proves both the band’s legacy and Urie credibility as a artist and a showman.

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Tom Rosenthal Fenn: Fenn is a touching introduction to the world of dependency, friendship and starch based foods for Rosenthal’s young daughter. Fenn is a thing of purity and beauty, it’s a message from father to daughter which the rest of us are lucky to glimpse in on.

Grizzly Bear Painted Ruins: It really is true, absence makes the heart grow fonder so after a five year hiatus Painted Ruins is positively heavenly. Tracks like ‘Mourning Sound’ and ‘Four Cypresses’ capture an elegance and delicate balance that Grizzly Bear pull off so effortlessly.

Nothing but Thieves Broken Machine: My Southend loves return for their sophomore album and bring with it a wider view of the world. With bolder statements, bigger sounds and the balls to back it up Broken Machine packs a punch.

Maximo Park Risk to Exist: With the world at war Paul Smith and co. have plenty to talk about on Risk to Exist. They take their early indie sensibility and splatter it with a little Depeche Mode and New Order. NME argues the beats are too polite for the subject matter, that ‘no one ever changed the world over cocktails at Club Tropicana’, but I say not with that attitude you wont.

Youth Killed It Modern Bollotics: In a time when everyone demands a morbid seriousness, Youth Killed It are a breath of fresh air. Still talking about the same issues as everyone else, they have a tongue in cheek way of writing that makes belting along to the likes of ‘Popstar’ a little more fun.

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Dan Croll Emerging Adulthood: Just when you think Dan Croll can’t get any better he drops an album to rival Sweet Disarray. Finetuned down to the individual note, the singer/songwriter/musician/producer extraordinaire creates indie pop bliss so good you’ll have to give it a second spin.

Lucy Rose Something’s Changing: It’s easy for artists to say that they learn when they go on tour but for Lucy here there was a rather large amount of personal growth. After arranging a tour fully sorted by fans from the venue to staying on fan’s sofas to getting lifts to and from airports, Lucy Rose travelled round South America, Something’s Changing being the result of the trip.

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The Horrors V: They’ve come a hell of a long way since Primary Colours with very little to show for it on V. Taking a new approach they use a guitar a little more sparingly, with a heavy sprinkling of Depeche Mode. Despite the new methods there’s a clear confidence in the band as they know they’re on to a winner.

Bonobo Migration: Sometimes quiet speaks volumes, especially here where Bonobo takes an understated approach to his sixth studio album. The rich textures of songs like ‘Break Up’ reveal a new depth to Bonobo.

Father John Misty Pure Comedy: While sonically this doesn’t seem a stone’s throw away from I Love You, Honeybear, the lyrical content far surpasses any of Tillman’s music that came before. There’s an almost uncomfortable self aware especially in ‘Leaving LA’, the layers of consciousness in this album are astonishing.

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King Krule The OOZ: Artfully brooding and utterly broken by the world around him, Archy Marshall delivers nothing short of a masterpiece, depicting a personal account of a world void of all things worth living for. The OOZ falls at our feet like forbidden fruit. Delicious but dangerous.

Lewis Watson Midnight: In a world full of finely tuned, highly strung music, Lewis Watson is a breath of fresh air. The simple way his songs come together is a cleansing experience on midnight where the songs drift into one another like a babbling brook, gathering momentum into a wider river as the album goes on.

Girl Ray Earl Grey: It’s hard not to admire the honesty of a girl that declares ‘I’ve been shat on a few times’ on the opening track of her album. It feels like if Lana Del Ray was a little rough around the edges, that sort of tough love vs. sweet sentiments which works so well. It takes a pinch of britpop and it sprinkles it over a generous helping of gritty indie, left in the oven until it’s perfectly done.

Declan McKenna What Do You Think of the Car?: At the ripe age of 18 Declan McKenna’s debut is quite frankly remarkable. Truly a child of the internet and the modern age, McKenna approaches topics such as LGBT rights, teenagers getting ignored in politics and wealth inequality with an easy tact. Even with such heavy subject matter McKenna still gives us plenty to dance about in tracks like ‘Make Me Your Queen’ and ‘Isombard’.

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