There’s a common thread with records I regard as my favourite releases of the year.
And it is that they take risks.
Take ‘Pang’ by Caroline Polachek, where the album is full of wild production choices, insane use of vocals both in lead and accompaniment and unique sound worlds.
Or ‘Sawayama’ by Rina Sawayama that sounds as equally influenced by Nu Metal as it does Britney Spears and unapologetically tackles themes of dysfunctional families.
Nothing makes my eyes roll quite like music that plays it safe. Predictable choices through and through with structure, sounds, and performance.
That’s what the radio seems to lap up, and the majors for the most part. There’s a refusal by many to take risks and choices made to cater for what people think other people like.
But what I’m interested in is bold, courageous creativity that doesn’t pander for anything else. Uncompromising artistic vision made with integrity.
That means it might not work, most of the time it won’t, but when it does, that’s where the real magic happens!