[sic] Magazine

Albums of 2017 – The Indie Dad

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[sic] Writer ‘Team’ implies some kind of direction, unity and leadership. We are proud to say we have none of the above here at [sic] Towers. Rather and eclectic bunch of individuals, most of whom have forgotten more about music than NME will ever know.

Rounding them up is a bit like herding cats of course. ‘Ten albums you say, Mr Spaceman? Righto here’s, erm… thirteen assorted EPs and gigs. And good luck finding a picture of Laura Palmer (band) because a) there’s a Melbourne act with that same name and b) Twin Peaks.’ No matter, picture I found and damn fine list as always from the one and only Indie Dad.

Enjoy:_

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10/ MINI ALBUM Papernut CambridgeMellotron Phase: Volume One.

We all love Mellotrons, right. I used to have to carry one about for a prog band and while the shape was awkward they were pleasingly light as basically a MFI box with looped tapes and a keyboard. Well Papernut Cambridge don’t even need to lump that around as they used a programme replicating the Mellotron sound for this brilliant instrumental album. Every slightly wonky DJ set needs this…

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9/ ALBUM Alt-J Relaxer.

A very brief album but rather daring in places. A band that are difficult to completely get a handle on. Indie? Prog? Electronica? But at least interesting.

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8/ GIG $uicide Boy$ @ Electric Ballroom 20th June –

Black humour, drugs, despair and the odd hint of redemption for the clearly countrywide network of fans turning up. Lil’ Peep was a bonus on one song. Didn’t realise at the time what a bonus R.I.P.

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7/ GIG Alice Cooper @ Wembley Arena 16th November –

Probably seen Alice well into double figures. Around 5 songs by original surviving members of Alice Cooper band fulfilled my boyhood dream. Kicked ass, actually.

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8/ GIG Laura Palmer @ The Palace, Hastings 25th November

New band from Hastings getting local kudos. Very assured melodic Indie for this early stage of career. May need name change a la “Fish” to “Sorry” to improve ease of Googling. Was exciting to see what looks an emerging scene by the sea.

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5/ SINGLE through Flying Vinyl HorseyPark Outside Your Mothers House.

I know nothing about them but this is OTT baroque pop magnificence. It will be my mission to see them in 2018.

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4/ ALBUM Yung LeanStranger.

Is he A stranger? Is he stranger? Is everything stranger? Clearly it is in the outside world – Yung Lean brings a slightly more melodic presence to his established brand of hip-hop, 80s Sheffield electronica, frosty minimalism and up to minute R&B production but the sum total is strangely (see what I did there) emotional. Emotion with a certain distance, but emotion nonetheless.

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3/ ALBUM MilkavelliCult Member.

I have to accept I now have to rely on tips from my kids sometimes on “new” music. Milkavelli looks like the sort of chap your parents would hate, but I’m not that parent. This album (largely digital release but I’m in for the 300 ltd vinyl) is a little more smooth than previous – though that’s very much relative in the after hours drug den that this sounds like a soundtrack to. A delve back to earlier work with Children Of The Damned crew suggests a good grounding in Jazz sides too.

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2/ ALBUM SparksHippopotamus.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been this satisfied by a Sparks album. Always a few wonderful tracks but they can be patchy since – in my opinion – Terminal Jive. Hippopotamus recalls the glory days of 74/75 when they were the louche art rockers with a whiff of L.A. Noir mixing with European chic. Kicking around with FFS seems to have done them a power of good. This is as good as anything by anyone from the last few years.

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1/ ALBUM Pale Seas Stargazing For Beginners.

Saw this band do a show for the completion of this album (they were great) and it appeared several months later. This is simply the best melodic, guitar based Indie of the last several years. That greatest of musical delights a near perfect LP. It could easily become a classic picked up by music lovers through the years rather like The La’s. Although hopefully it will be the first of many (they have waited a while to actually commit to an album) rather than a lone milestone like The La’s.

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