Category Archives: Albums of the year

LOUD WOMEN Top Releases of 2019

It’s the most listable time of the year again!

A lot of the DIY bands we love don’t have the resources to record a whole album, so we’ve opened up our end-of-year list to include EPs too. And rightly so – we seen some belters this year.

Here’s the Top 11 Releases of 2019 as voted for by yer Team LOUD WOMEN. Check em all out.

Lilith Ai: Bare Radical (EP)

“Touching on political and personal narratives, and exploring multiple genres and heritages without once feeling forced or tokenistic, this EP demonstrates a breadth of creative potential crying out for the wider reception and greater attention that a full-length album and attendant media exposure could provide. Do your bit and just buy the EP already, because this is, Lilith is, the real deal. To quote the first song here, she comes correct.” <<full review by Kris Smith here>>

Dream Nails: Take Up Space (1st LP)

Also winner of the 2019 Hercury Prize! “The raucous attitude Dream Nails are known for, their exposure of every emotion without ever apologising for it, and their potent chemistry never seem to waver.” <<full review by Caitlin Webb here>>

Gaptooth: Sharp Minds, Raised Fists (2nd LP)

Catch Gaptooth live at our xmas party! “Bright and brash, filled with songs that any of our top tunesmiths would be proud to put their names under the titles of” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Petrol Girls: Cut and Stitch (2nd LP)

Petrol Girls’ explosive performance was a huge highlight of this year’s LOUD WOMEN Fest, as always! If you were there, you may have noticed the enormous banner they performed under – a hand-stitched patchwork of flags, reshaped to proclaim the words ‘NO LOVE FOR A NATION’. The video for this, the LP’s title track, shows the story behind that banner, made on route across Europe, and culminating at LW Fest in London.

Desperate Journalist: In Search of the Miraculous (3rd LP)

Sadly we don’t have a review of our own of this excellent album (we are a bit short of reviews writers – you could say we are … no, no, I shalln’t say it …). Anyway. We spotted that “bjbingle” on Bandcamp had these fine words to say about it:  MessedUp Magazine had a post and photo set on IG. I decided to take a chance at some new music, as I was feeling stale. I pulled up this album on Spotify. Murmuration was the first track I ever heard by this band…and I instantly fell in love. I don’t know if other people get that feeling…lightning strike. I didn’t have to grow to like this band. I didn’t have to get used to them. It’s like I was lost musically before, and was rescued. This band feels like home.

ARXX: Wrong Girl, Honey (EP)

“If you didn’t make LW4, and thus haven’t heard it yet, imagine the Shangri-Las backed by AC/DC and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for.” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Salad: The Salad Way (LP)

“Salad is the band that I always wished I could gig with again. The musical chemistry, the humour, the oddness, the collaborative creativity, even the arguments – it was all so much fun. The very first thing we did in our first rehearsal was to work on a new song, and TBH it only felt like we’d had 5 or 6 years off, not 20.” – Charley Stone <<full interview with Salad by Kris Smith here>>

Hurtling: Future from Here (LP)

“From the opening track, Start, with its Pavement-esque guitar riff and slightly off-kilter drums riding along in a cart behind, this record sounds like a road trip across a desert, somewhere in America, with friends driving together in a tripped out convoy, bouncing over bumps in the road, racing each other gleefully, overtaking, pulling apart, careering back together again.” <<full review by Lorna Myles here>>

The Slugs: Wet (EP)

“In keeping with the title, all five selections carry an aquatic theme. If you have ever wondered to yourself “what is wet?” Phoebe and Liberty might have the answer you are looking for in track 2 – piss is indeed wet, as you will know.” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Personal Best: What You At (2nd LP)

“The painted smiles of each 3-minute masterpiece here mask an ocean of tears that nobody should have to swim.  If you’ve ever felt wronged in love, your grievances will pale into insignificance next to the knife-in-the-chest double whammy of the album’s closing tracks ‘One Damn Thing’ (‘Do You Both Sleep At Night In The Bedding I Bought You?’’) and ‘Salute’ (‘You Never Will Come Through For Me’). Nobody deserves that level of hurt. (Well, other than a member of the Conservative party, perhaps…)” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Breakup Haircut: What Did You Expect? I Got It Off The Internet! (EP)

“The confessional style of ‘What Did You Expect?…’ is unfailingly endearing. Tracks like ‘Kim Pine’, with its grunge-style heavily pedalled guitar riffs and haunting background vocals, twist earnest tracks out of the macho posturing often associated with rock and roll.” <<full review by Caitlin Webb here>>

The LOUD WOMEN Top Albums of 2018

The results are in! From nearly 100 nominations for LOUD WOMEN album of 2018, Team LOUD WOMEN has whittled a Top 20 from which we present the joint Top Five Albums of 2018 because frankly we can’t and won’t choose between them. (And if you want to skip right to the music, here’s a Spotify playlist of the winners to brighten up your afternoon!)

The 2018 LOUD WOMEN album of the year is therefore shared by five artists; and if that wasn’t enough we’ve inaugurated a spanking new LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award chosen by LOUD WOMEN readers themselves (who are clearly better at making decisions!)

Without giving too much way at this stage let’s just say that it’s been a good year for block capitals: here goes! 

The LOUD WOMEN Top Five Albums of 2018:

Big Joanie – Sistahs

With stellar gigs performed all over the London-based DIY scene that they call home and extensive radio play on shows like BBC Music Introducing, it’s been a big year for Big Joanie. The feminist punk trio have certainly ended 2018 with a bang thanks to the acclaim that’s already been given to their debut album Sistahs…By allowing their true feelings to be at the forefront of their songwriting, the band create tracks that truly empower the listener; not only to rebel but to check their own activism, to continue growing, and to do better. [Read full review here]

GUTTFULL – Tits and Nails

“An irrepressible sense of fun runs through Tits and Nails, in spite of everything its lyrics address. GUTTFULL has created a brilliant and uncompromising summation of the trials of being ‘other’ in 2018 and they’re ready to shout down their oppressors – with wit and with groove.” [Read more from this review]

ILL – We Are ILL

They write songs which are both silly and serious, and they attack them (as well as each other) playfully. You can make a case for pretension in art, but there’s none with ILL; like so many of the best bands they seem like a gang you’d love to join, but ILL go one better and make you feel like you’d be welcome: friendly if not quite family-friendly (unless the family in question is more Addams than Partridge, perhaps). … A perfect storm of enigma, whimsy and controlled violence, and a genre-straddling state-of-the-nation address. With added bear growls. [Read more from this review]

LIINES – Stop/Start

‘Long-awaited’ might be a cliché, but in the case of LIINES‘ debut album, it’s a fitting description for a band that’s evolved steadily from fin-de-siecle Manc post-riot grrrl stalwarts Hooker: the tightest, heaviest rhythm section in DIY supports Zoe McVeigh’s emotional vocals and haiku-like songwriting, together conjuring an atmosphere of taut, claustrophobic menace like a UK postpunk time capsule. [Read more from this review]

Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth

A perfect ten tracks of no wave-disco electropop on a brilliant debut album from this Norwich duo. Described by The Guardian as “Thrillingly chilly, perfectly funky, no-wave straight out of early 80’s NYC…except that Sink Ya Teeth are a duo from Norwich. In a different era they’d have been all over TOTP” 4/5

The LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award:

The Menstrual Cramps – Free Bleedin’

The Menstrual Cramps is an anti-capitalist feminist band, therefore expect direct attacks on Tories, Neo-Nazis, big brands, business owners, famous idols who shouldn’t be idols anymore, and of course, “boyz-who-will-be-boyz”. The songs are so catchy that half of the album will get stuck in your head after giving one listen to the whole album. They produce music rapidly, though diligently. This rapidity actually shows itself in the guitars as fast riffs, playful strokes and abrupt small silences and it just sounds so good and steady. [Read more from this review]

The Top Twenty in full:

  • Big Joanie – Sistahs
  • The Breeders – All Nerve
  • Colour Me Wednesday – Counting Pennies in the Afterlife
  • Doe – Grow Into It
  • Dream Wife – Dream Wife
  • ILL – We Are ILL
  • GUTTFULL – Tits and Nails
  • Gwenno – Le Kov
  • The Menstrual Cramps – Free Bleedin’
  • Fightmilk – Not With That Attitude
  • LIINES – Stop/Start
  • Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
  • Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals
  • Grace Petrie – Queer As Folk
  • Screaming Females – All At Once
  • She Makes War – Brace For Impact
  • Shopping – The Official Body
  • Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth
  • Skinny Girl Diet – Ideal Woman
  • The Twistettes – A Strange Play