La Di Da Di by Battles
We’re at the heart of the Top 31 now. #16 on the countdown, on the 16th day of the month, the epicenter. Battles is as good a band as any to represent the mid-point of this year’s list. They’re probably one of the more difficult bands to get into on the list, but once you get past that barrier of entry, there’s plenty to like about them.
This is the second time this New York based experimental, prog- and/or math-rock band has appeared on the countdown. Their 2011 album Gloss Drop was #21 that year. For that album, they were struggling with the departure of the one person in the group that provided vocals on a few songs (check out their excellent debut, Mirrored, to hear what Tyondai Braxton sounds like in the band). They successfully replaced him with guest vocals from Gary Numan, among others. For their new album, La Di Da Di, they went minimalist. There are no vocals on this album, and it’s better for it.
Electronic noises of all kinds, backed by John Stanier’s amazing drumming, and you’ve got a unique sound unmatched by any other act out there today. Listen to the song featured in the rather boring video above, “The Yabba.” If you like what you hear, you’ll enjoy the rest of the album. I recommend putting it on in the background and giving it a few listens before moving on (if you must). I bet it’ll seep in enough to stick around longer than you expect.
17. Sky City by Amason
18. What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World by The Decemberists
19. Untethered Moon by Built to Spill
20. Viet Cong by Viet Cong
21. The Magic Whip by Blur
22. Savage Hills Ballroom by Youth Lagoon
23. Not Real by Stealing Sheep
24. Beat the Champ by The Mountain Goats
25. Gliss Riffer by Dan Deacon
26. Dark Bird is Home by The Tallest Man on Earth
27. Gunnera by Pfarmers
28. Swimmer to a Liquid Armchair by Ricked Wickey
29. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
30. Live in Seattle by Moufang / Czamanski
31. High by Royal Headache