It’s been one hell of an inaugural year for our weekly new music round-up Unknown Pleasures, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke takes a breather to survey the finest of his four months’ worth of finds.
As the Dickensian spectre of wrought-up yuletide revelry begins to raise it’s garishly-garbed head above the parapet for yet another year, for those of us who’ve spent the last twelve months submerged amid the avalanching onslaught of the year’s artistic offerings, it can mean only one thing – the gratuitous, vainglorious, yet entirely essential journo-decadence that is the ever-exalted end-of-year review, and here at Unknown Pleasures corner we were never really going to be any different.
Since our disorganized debut in the altogether less depressing climes of mid-August – before we heard the antebellum death-knells sound for Mello and felt foundations quiver under Wolstenhome Square; with little but a piss-poor Joy Division pun and a perpetually malfunctioning SoundCloud account to arm us – it’s been nothing but a joyous weekly scour throughout the depths of the internet’s mob of music both melodious and malevolent, all for the cause of assembling the finest possible lineups of as-yet unreached artists from all corners of the globe.
From Gosport to Melbourne, Sweden to Peru – and then back to Sweden quite a few more times – over 17 weeks and 51 tracks we’ve seen all manner of symphonic delights come our way, from the silky-smooth guitar-pop of the very first band featured, Gosport’s Popobawa to the husky French-Canadian Americana of the barnstorming Lisa LeBlanc, the enswarming new-wave warmth of Santiago’s Nader Cabezas to the gorgeous, enveloping electronics of Malmö’s Dimman.
It’s quite the four-month haul if we do say so ourselves, testament less to us but rather to the rude health of international music and the value of the much-maligned uploading of the industry. Never before could such a myriad of exciting, visceral, tender, heart-warming and important new bands have come our way, a swathe whose surface this column can only skim across, it seems unlikely we’d ever have been able to even hear any signs of the Inner Ear Records-led Greek psych-pop explosion for example – and that’s something that just cries out to be cherished.
That said, we still have quite literally no idea who UP#9 featuree Lenain Boit Du Vin even is…
Hyperbole aside and without further ado, then, here’s just a slice of that slither; 15 of the best from what’s been a truly galvanizing, inspiring 17 weeks, and what we hope is just the starter for plenty more Unknown Pleasures to come.