Another 5 Obscure Albums
Another Saturday evening at home, going through my playlists between my travels this month. Here are five more albums that I am a fan of and that did not achieve mainstream success, but deserve more attention. That’s the problem with modern music consumption: people listen to lists, sampling music rather than enjoying an entire album. I suppose I am old school. I still prefer reading paper books, and when I find an artist that I really like, I purchase the cd and sometimes the vinyl record. Check out these albums and let me know what you think:
Josef K – The Only Fun In Town (1981)
A Scottish post-punk band that was only around for a few years, Josef K formed in 1979 and was gone by 1982. To me, they sound like a mix between Fad Gadget and The Jam. What I love about this album is that it highlights the sound from that era as bands made the transition from punk to new wave.
Swimming – The Fireflow Trade (2009)
I came across Swimming after traveling to Nottingham, England to see beatboxer/guitarist ThePETEBOX (Pete Sampson) perform. I was in town for a SharePoint Saturday event, but was such a huge fan of Pete’s and was thrilled to be able to see him perform live in his hometown show. Pete was the former drummer of Nottingham-based Swimming, which was co-founded by his brother John Sampson. Swimming produced a couple studio albums and a string of singles and videos in their 9 year run, and collaborated with Dallas Simpson on a fascinating series of live recordings and performances, which are well worth the YouTube search.
Discovery – LP (2009)
Per Wikipedia, Discovery is an American indie electronic recording project of Rostam Batmanglij (formerly with Vampire Weekend) and Wesley Miles (from Ra Ra Riot), friends who began recording together in the summer of 2005. Only active for 4 years, this is one of those albums that I discovered surfing through Spotify lists, and instantly added the album to my favorites.
Violet Indiana – Roulette (2001)
Violet Indiana is a collaboration between Cocteau Twins co-founder Robin Guthrie and Siobhan de Maré (formerly of Mono). As with all of Guthrie’s work, the music is heavily layered and dreamy. I think of it as a wall-of-sound-meets-lounge style. If you like Cocteau Twins, Portishead, the 4AD label compilations of This Mortal Coil, or Lush, then you’ll dig this album.
Mackintosh Braun – The Sound (2007)
I don’t remember how I discovered Portland-based Mackintosh Braun, but I remember it was in 2008 while I was with my first team at Microsoft. It was an instant connection for me. Love this album. Formed by Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun in 2006, the duo now has 3 studio albums and while Ben Braun released a solo album in 2017, they are still writing music and performing.