Albums of the Year: Maciej's Picks

by Maciej Lewicki

Albums of the Year: Maciej's Picks

Bigger Better Sun - Adjust to Wellness (Counter Intuitive, July)

Adjust to Wellness is really a misnomer, because if anything you’ll be adjusting to greatness while listening to this album. The sophomore release from the band expands on their stereotypically Long Island sound from Comfort Foods into something truly their own. Introduced by a vintage-sounding calm guitar riff, Adjust to Wellness takes you on a nostalgic trip with their calming, drawn-out vocals and overtly patient instrumentals. It feels like cheating to compare them to fellow Long Islanders Oso Oso, but it’s hard not to say that in many places, the album hits close to basking in the glow. The ending, Some Important Things, is one of those as it reaches its climax and perfectly wraps up the album with the words “QUIT WORK, MONETIZE YOUR SOUL.”


Cruel Tie - Simplicity You Lack (self-released, November)

An important piece of context here is my discovery of Yuck this year, immediately followed by my chagrin at the knowledge I’ll never get to see them live. Imagine my relief then, when I pulled up Cruel Tie’s Цех live session and found a band whose latest effort, Simplicity You Lack, brings back the highs of Yuck’s self-titled. The Moscow-based band hop between calm moments, like the beginning of Ennui pt. 1, and a heavier, more energetic sound like Shitfaced, with ease. There’s even some Beatles moments on songs like The Greatest Martyr, and the album ends with the two-parted My Worst Days and the author realising maybe it’s simplicity they lack. It’s really an incredibly neat little package of music.


Без Культуры - Мрачные Дни (Bez Kultury - Mrachnye Dni) (self-released, February)

This album’s a bit of a conundrum for me. It’s maybe not the best sounding thing that came out this year, but there’s gold hidden in its muddy depths. The obvious comparison here is Molchat Doma and their incredible 2018 album, Этажи. The driving, chorusy bass riffs backscore the simple walking guitar riffs that are the staple of Russian post punk. Their reverberated, depressed vocal reminiscent of Viktor Tsoi, Bez Kultury brings forth music that feels right at home between grey soviet blocs.


Albums of the Year: Maciej's Picks

by Maciej Lewicki

Albums of the Year: Maciej's Picks

Bigger Better Sun - Adjust to Wellness (Counter Intuitive, July)

Adjust to Wellness is really a misnomer, because if anything you’ll be adjusting to greatness while listening to this album. The sophomore release from the band expands on their stereotypically Long Island sound from Comfort Foods into something truly their own. Introduced by a vintage-sounding calm guitar riff, Adjust to Wellness takes you on a nostalgic trip with their calming, drawn-out vocals and overtly patient instrumentals. It feels like cheating to compare them to fellow Long Islanders Oso Oso, but it’s hard not to say that in many places, the album hits close to basking in the glow. The ending, Some Important Things, is one of those as it reaches its climax and perfectly wraps up the album with the words “QUIT WORK, MONETIZE YOUR SOUL.”


Cruel Tie - Simplicity You Lack (self-released, November)

An important piece of context here is my discovery of Yuck this year, immediately followed by my chagrin at the knowledge I’ll never get to see them live. Imagine my relief then, when I pulled up Cruel Tie’s Цех live session and found a band whose latest effort, Simplicity You Lack, brings back the highs of Yuck’s self-titled. The Moscow-based band hop between calm moments, like the beginning of Ennui pt. 1, and a heavier, more energetic sound like Shitfaced, with ease. There’s even some Beatles moments on songs like The Greatest Martyr, and the album ends with the two-parted My Worst Days and the author realising maybe it’s simplicity they lack. It’s really an incredibly neat little package of music.


Без Культуры - Мрачные Дни (Bez Kultury - Mrachnye Dni) (self-released, February)

This album’s a bit of a conundrum for me. It’s maybe not the best sounding thing that came out this year, but there’s gold hidden in its muddy depths. The obvious comparison here is Molchat Doma and their incredible 2018 album, Этажи. The driving, chorusy bass riffs backscore the simple walking guitar riffs that are the staple of Russian post punk. Their reverberated, depressed vocal reminiscent of Viktor Tsoi, Bez Kultury brings forth music that feels right at home between grey soviet blocs.