The Contortionist released the first single “Reimagined” from their new album Clairvoyant a few days ago. The song is beautiful and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since it came out. This single carries over the style they developed on 2014’s Language, which is one of my favorite albums. I can’t wait for the auditory bliss Clairvoyant will (hopefully) bring.
What I’m currently listening to: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
I was introduced to this incredible band from Melbourne by a YouTube recommended video suggestion. They’re the most fun, innovative, and creative rock band I’ve heard in a while.
What I’m currently listening to: Skyharbor
I’ve been listening to a lot of Skyharbor the past few days. Something about their music appeals to my current state of mind.
I’m super excited for their new album.
I’d been toying with the idea of buying a seven string guitar for some time now. Most of the bands I listen to (TesseracT, Periphery, Skyharbor, etc.) all use seven string guitars, and it would be awesome to be able to play some of their songs. Plus I feel reasonably comfortable playing a six string guitar. Minus solos. So last week I walked into Guitar Center and bought a Jackson seven string guitar.
I’m super happy with my new guitar – it sounds incredible, is very comfortable to play, and it looks beautiful.
I’ve currently tuned the seven string to BEADEAD so I can play songs from Polaris by TesseracT. I found a guitar transcription for the entire album and am very slowly working through Messenger and Tourniquet. TesseracT songs are quite challenging to play on the guitar, but the feeling of playing songs by your favorite band is sublime.
What I’m currently listening to: Bonobo
This is the kind of electronic music I enjoy.
2016 Favorites: Album
My top 20 albums of 2016, in no particular order, are:
- Winter’s Gate by Insomnium
- Air by Astronoid — This album blew my mind. I’ve literally never heard anything like Astronoid before. Their combination of blast beats + crazy guitar shredding + clean vocals is quite awesome.
- Mariner by Cult of Luna — Julie Christmas’ vocals compliment Cult of Luna’s sound perfectly.
- Your Wilderness by The Pineapple Thief — I probably listened to In Exile 2923492384 times in a row after this album came out.
- The Madness of Many by Animals as Leaders
- Errai by TesseracT — a fresh take on one of my favorite albums from 2015.
- Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest — 2016 was the year I discovered this amazing band.
- Dreamless by Fallujah
- A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead
- 4 1/2 by Steven Wilson
- Disassociation by Dillinger Escape Plan — a perfect swan song.
- Doom (Original Game Soundtrack) by Mick Gordon
- Sonderlust by Kishi Bashi
- Handmade Cities by Plini
- Magma by Gojira
- All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us by Architects
- Periphery III: Select Difficulty by Periphery
- The Fall of Hearts by Katatonia
- Gore by Deftones — the only word that accurately describes this album is “beautiful”.
- Epoch by Tycho — my favorite instrumental album of 2016.
If I had to pick one album as “Karan’s Album of the Year” for 2016 I would say that would have to be Magma by Gojira.
When Gojira announced that they were releasing a new album in 2016 the Internet was abuzz with excitement. Me? Not so much; at that point in time I liked maybe 1-2 Gojira songs. However, given the excitement I sensed online I decided to give Gojira (just like I’d given Deafheaven) another chance.
I’m so glad I did.
Gojira’s music blew my mind. The guitar and bass riffs were groovy, dark, and crushing. Joe’s vocals were perfect for the tone of the music. Mario quickly became one of my favorite drummers. The musical atmosphere they created with each album was unparalleled.
In the months leading up to Magma‘s release I listened to Gojira almost every other day.
When Magma finally came out I listened to it on repeat for several days. I fell in love with this record. It was very different from Gojira’s previous releases — it was less heavy, featured clean(er) vocals, and was shorter and more straightforward (in terms of musical composition). But it was still a fantastic, beautiful record. It dealt with love and loss in a way only Gojira could. The picture it painted with its music was sublime. Each song is powerful and evocative on its own, and together they mesh together to create a aural masterpiece.
What I’m currently listening to: The Contortionist
I purchased Language (Rediscovered Edition) a few days ago. I loved Language, and the reinterpretations of 4 songs from the original album are absolutely incredible and mind-bogglingly beautiful. I love it when bands do different versions of their own songs (like TesseracT did with Errai).
What I’m currently listening to: Animals as Leaders
Animals as Leaders’ newest album The Madness Of Many came out recently, and it is ridiculously good.
What I’m currently listening to: The Dillinger Escape Plan
Dissociation is The Dillinger Escape Plan’s last album, and it is a masterpiece of chaotic sonic elements. I’m sad that there will be no more new music from this incredible band.
“If you were stuck on an island and had to pick three songs to listen to for the rest of your life, what would you choose?”
Well. I’m glad you asked. Here’s what I would pick.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen: This is (in my humble opinion) the greatest song ever made. Freddie Mercury’s mesmerizing vocals, Brian May’s incredible guitar work, the changing sections and tempos — all combine to form a masterpiece. This is also my favorite karaoke song.
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin: The guitar solo is gorgeous.
Master of Puppets by Metallica: This song defines heavy metal music for me. It was the first Metallica song I ever heard and I fell in love instantly. When I started playing guitar this was the first Metallica song I tried to learn. And no, that didn’t end too well for me unfortunately.
What would you pick?