Top Tunes ’19: Chris Dodd< < Back to
Every year WOUB Culture spotlights what music-centric folks in the region have been listening to all year round right in time for the holidays in our annual Top Tunes feature.
Chris Dodd is a record collector and local musician on hiatus. An OU alumnus and general manager of the Union, Chris has spent the last decade riding the wave of Athens, Ohio.
12 releases from this year that sunk in. Mostly from artists, save a few, who are new to me.
In no particular order:
Froth – Duress
On first listen, I found myself part way going, “Wait, this is the same band?”. Certain tracks could be hidden the middle of a Yo La Tango or Duster album, but this isn’t to say Froth doesn’t have their own thing going on here.
Recommended track: “Xvaños”
DIIV – Deceiver
Sad boy music warning. If you aren’t going through a breakup you may as well be for the next 44 minutes. This is one polished album. In true shoegaze fashion, the tracks here are impossibly relaxed for how heavy the guitars hit. But the vocal harmonies and hooks are were this really shines.
Recommended track: “Horsehead”
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete – De Facto
This album comes in right away from another dimension and leaves you dazed, before moving into synth heavy dream pop without ever losing its edge. Having prior releases mastered by the likes of Sonic Boom, the Spacemen 3 worship is clear in the stretches of heavy psyche spread throughout. Definitely a band not afraid to play the same chord for a really long time.
Recommended track: “Inundación”
Modern Nature – How to Live
Sounds like Bedhead if they were krautrockers, with occasional, restrained Pharaoh Sanders-esque sax freak-outs thrown in the mix. Tall order if not for a supergroup with members of Beak>, Woods, Ultimate Painting, and Sunwatchers. Strikes a difficult stance between driving and laid back.
Recommended track: Footsteps
Sarah Pagé – Dose Curves
Ever since hearing Alice Coltrane for the first time, I have fallen for harp playing. While Pagé’s approach is a different all together, it too encapsulates what I find mesmerizing about the instrument all while pushing it into new territories with a slide, bow, and tasteful use of effects pedals. This one really should be played start to finish, with the slow burn of drones building into the melodic flourishes like the one here.
Recommended track: “Ephemeris Data”
75 Dollar Bill – I Was Real
A friend got me into this group with their last album a few years back. This release reminds me again how grateful I am for that recommendation.
Recommended Track: “Tetuzi Akiyama”
Michael Vincent Waller – Moments
Aptly named Moments, this album is a series of vignettes for piano and vibraphone. While Waller was a student of Le Monte Young, one wouldn’t know it as this post-minimalist’s work sits more in line with the pre-minimalist Erik Satie than with the long drones of his mentor.
Recommended track: “Return from L.A.: I”
TENGGER – Spiritual 2
TENGGER is a couple who travel and perform with their child. They straight up remind me of Neu! and I love it! Great music to wake up to.
Recommended track: “High”
Bill Orcutt – Odds Against Tomorrow
Orcutt’s guitarwork has always sounded to my ear a frantic reach for something absent and distant. It seems that may be a grasp toward the ephemeral beauty present between crashing runs across the fretboard in Odds Against Tomorrow. Orcutt at his best.
Recommended track: “Odds Against Tomorrow”
Medicine – Scarred for Life
Medicine are one of those early nineties noise rock groups where the pop sensibility present is equally matched with abrasiveness. A lot to take in for some. I’m all about it. Scarred for Life is a milder cover album that spans a wide range of artists from Codeine to Miles Davis. This release sent me back to revisit Medicine’s first two albums, Shot Forth Self Living and the Buried Life which I recommend as well.
Recommended track: “Scarred for Life”
Los Mundos – Cator Central
This EP is raw, fuzzed-out desert rock at its finest straight out of Monterray, Mexico.
Recommended track: “Sin Vértigo”
Leo Svirsky – River Without Banks
Apparently one album of solo piano is not enough for me. Although this might not accurately be called a “solo” piano album as there is a distinct doubling of the instrument spread across the stereo field that warrants use of headphones.
Recommended track: “Trembling Instants”