A Winged Victory For The Sullen is a collaborative project between classical pianist and composer Dustin O’Halloran, and Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid; taking its name from the a greek statue symbolising triumph in battle.
Their self titled debut album (out now on Kranky) gently merges their musical approaches into a beautiful, ambient collection that draws equally from both of it’s creators styles; Wiltzie’s mournful strings and gentle droning swells are highlighted by O’Halloran’s minimal piano parts to great effect.
AWVFTS are touring Europe in January 2012 with Chantal Acda’s Sleepingdog.
Here’s my two cents as to the best records of the first half of the year – a lot of great releases and surely a lot more to follow. #1 was a pretty easy choice, after that the running order is a bit shakier:
- The Psychic Paramount – II (stream | buy)
- Peaking Lights – 936 (stream | buy)
- White Hills – H-p1 (stream | buy)
- Bill Callahan – Apocalypse (stream | buy)
- Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread (stream | buy)
- Tape – Revelationes (stream | buy)
- Eternal Tapestry – Beyond the 4th Door (stream | buy)
- Julian Lynch – Terra (stream | buy)
- Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 (stream | buy)
- Psychedelic Horseshit – Laced (stream | buy)
- Motion Sickness of Time Travel – Luminaries & Synastry (stream | buy)
- Girls Names – Dead to Me (stream | buy)
- Sic Alps – Napa Asylum (stream | buy)
- Death Grips – Exmilitary (stream | buy)
- Vetiver – The Errant Charm (stream | buy)
- The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (stream | buy)
- Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact (stream | buy)
- Cian Nugent – Doubles (stream | buy)
- Six Organs of Admittance – Asleep on the Floodplain (stream | buy)
- Tune-Yards – Whokill (stream | buy)
- Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands – Golden Syrup (stream | buy)
- GNOD – Ingnodwetrust (stream | buy)
- Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania (stream | buy)
- EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints (stream | buy)
- Boris – Heavy Rocks (stream | buy)
The Pyschic Paramount’s ‘II’ knocked the shit out of anything else I’ve mildly enjoyed so far this year. The experimental racket starts off pretty slowly before blowing up into some wild, loose noise skronk mid-way through DDB, morphing back and forth between bruising riffage and reassuring swells without ever feeling predictable or safe. Technically stunning and highly charged from start to finish.
I’ve made a Spotify playlist of my favourite music of 2011 (thus far), ranging from Blissturd standards to straight up pop and folk music . The loud stuff is toward the end of the list:
Best of 2011 (spotify playlist)