Hello hello hello hello hello, and welcome to a brand new edition of, that’s right, you know what it is due to clicking on the link, Phil’s Phive. This month is a special UK Edition of the Phive due to a whopping 4 of the 5 acts on the list being from England. Blimey! You’ll notice a certain beloved The Rapper is not on this month’s list. Do you guys wanna talk about that at all…should we just get onto the albums…? Nah, let’s talk about it for a second. Why isn’t Colouring Book, the world’s current favourite album/mixtape/not actual colouring book, featured in this article? To be honest I haven’t listened to it. I don’t like Chance. He’s extremely talented and creative, charismatic, inspiring, personable…its almost like…he’s perfect. I don’t trust perfection. Plus truthfully I am way too god damn miserable of a person to not be annoyed by the uplifting nature of his music. List time!
5. Ghold – PYR
Whooooooooa this is some heavy shit. I spent most of May listening to airier, lighter music as aural therapy for my stressful job so when I came across this record near the end of the month, it was like a meteorite of sonic sludge pulverizing me back down into Earthy reality. I don’t really know much about Ghold except I think its just two guys and I’m pretty sure they’re cavemen. Ghold sounds like if wizard neanderthals fronted Conan, the only other act that make music this furiously primal. Recommended for people who purposefully drive bicycles behind transport trucks on rainy days so they can get sprayed in the face with mud.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: sludgy drone metal
4. Skepta – Konnichiwa
By all rights, Konnichiwa is supposed to be the most important grime album of all time. After an outstanding international break out last year, UK grime vet Skepta is posed to take the world by storm, carrying the banner of grime with him across the globe, finally giving the genre the recognition it has lacked in its almost thirty year life span. Will Konnichiwa be that album? It’s hard to say, but probably not. Unfortunately for Skepta, the modern collective attention span is fleeting and our appetite for fresh content is insatiable, and grime will remain a mostly local curiosity. This unfortunate fate will not, however, be due to Skepta’s lack of effort. Konnichiwa is, by all rights, the definitive modern grime album, legit to the core yet still open enough to crossover potential to find space in any library in any hemisphere. Skepta mate you’re a legend! Wait I think that’s an Australia thing.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: international grime
3. James Blake – The Colour In Anything
or, Docile Man Grows Molars. I don’t really want to like James Blake. Check out the hilariously godawful original cover art for Overgrown, his previous record. LOL. Dude looks like his mom only gave him one pastry with his garden luncheon instead of two or some shit. It’s really bad. Overgrown wasn’t that great of a record either. Yeah, admittedly, the title track is, like, one of the best songs ever, but the rest of the record was pretty boring. Because, as talented and groundbreaking as James Blake has been, he also has this higher musical education background that unfortunately results in some pretty overwrought, dull moments. The Colour In Anything, his third full length, isn’t without those same problems, but with this record, its more of a numbers game. Blake has stuffed this record with so many songs that its easy to just simply remove the ones you don’t like and you still have a solid full length album on your hands. So when you cut out all the fluffy, prissy fat, you’re left with what is arguably Blake’s best record to date, and definitely his most all over the place. Blake pioneered a sound that has been done to self-parody at this point, so it’s nice to finally hear the man add a few new colours into the mix.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: Modern Soul (his words)
2. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
All I gotta say is, its a good thing this album is good because, well, “A Moon Shaped Poo” is just too easy.
Okay I have a few more things to say. Radiohead is back, and they DON’T SUCK. After The King of Limbs and five years of silence, you can’t blame myself, and surely others, for worrying that wouldn’t be the case. However, seemingly out of nowhere, the band’s ninth studio album is here, and it most assuredly does not suck. In fact it is quite good. How good, though? That’s the unfortunate question that lurks around releases by bands of this stature; you’re always competing against yourself, and when you’re freakin Radiohead that’s a pretty rough competition. So you know what? Fuck it, let’s do this right here. I’d say A Moon Shaped Pool is definitely better than Pablo Honey and The King of Limbs…probably better than The Bends? This is where it gets rough. How can you say where a few week old record will sit amongst the classics? What made the majority of Radiohead’s discography classic was how these records have all stood the test of time. OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, and In Rainbows all remain as enthralling and vital now as they did when the first dropped. That’s what make Radiohead such a special band, and why the inevitable internal ranking A Moon Shaped Pool will receive in the hearts of all Radiohead fans is such a conundrum. Only time will tell if AMSP stands among the great Radiohead records. But listening to this record again as I write this, I’d say it has a pretty damn good chance.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: space forest indie
1. Jessy Lanza – Oh No
Oh yes! I had to. Oh No is like what would happen if you combined Grimes and FKA twigs but subtracted all the pretentious bullshit and replaced it with a Teklife member. In a music year full of surprise drops, marathon run times, conceptual labyrinths and the like, Oh No is refreshingly straightforward in its enjoyability. Sure, you can pick apart the impressive technicalities of Lanza’s impeccable cross-genre hybridization of footwork and pop, but you’ll be having too much fun listening to it to actually do so. Lanza’s work has always been this cutting edge, but on Oh No she brings a never seen before level of songwriting that launches these songs to heights never seen before in her career. The whole album is great, especially highlights “Never Enough” and the title track, but its “It Means I Love You” that solidifies Oh No as the pop album of the year thus far. This is the track you can catch the kid twerking on the beach to all summer with an a beverage in each hand and a dumbass smile imprinted on my burnt pasty white boy face. Plus she’s from Hamilton, and I know Hamilton. Anyone who can create something this good while also being from Hamilton deserves more credit than most of you will ever know.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: protofuture footwork pop