Sights & Sounds with Cam Crawford: Best Albums of 2018
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By Pete Fairbairn, 19.12.18

Since he joined Twitter in 2011, around the same time he joined his first Super Rugby club in Canberra, former professional player Cam Crawford has mixed Rugby chat with tweets about other sports, music and film. 

Now back in Sydney and working for Morgan Stanley, Cam has taken us up on the offer to provide some greater depth to his entertainment reviews. Without further adieu, here's his top two albums for 2018 (just in time for your Christmas shopping!)

"2018 was certainly an interesting year in music. We saw an array of talented newcomers announce themselves to the world while an older, more established group of artists released some of their best work to date. And, it’s within this seasoned unit, that I find my top picks for 2018."

Beach House – 7 (May, 2018)

Rock

Key Tracks: Lemon Glow, Drunk In LA, Dive, Woo

As the aptly named title of the album suggests, 7 is Beach House’s seventh studio release. Indeed, the veteran US duo have been honing their craft since 2004, with this latest release representing the band’s heaviest and most captivating album yet.

As far as ‘mood albums’ go, 7 is the perfect example of how an album can set a tone from the moment the first track begins. Evocative, dreamy and enveloping, band members Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally create a wall of sound through whirring guitars, throbbing synths and Legran’s typically detached vocals.

The tempo of the album constantly shifts as they take us from a crawling, almost standstill pace on tracks like ‘Pay No Mind’, before employing more upbeat, head-nodding riffs on ‘Lemon Glow’. And, while the pace from song to song shifts gears somewhat, the beautifully foreboding, shoegaze vibes are never lost: “I want it all, but I can’t have it” Legrand echoes on ‘Woo’.

With 7, Beach House has truly created an album worth immersing yourself in – a perfect soundtrack to listen to as you watch a long day creep slowly into the night.

The 1975 – A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships (November, 2018)

Pop

Key Tracks: TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME, Love It If We Made It, I Like America & America Likes Me, It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)

What a ride it has been for The 1975 since their self-titled debut album in 2013. A quick shot to stardom; the topping of charts in the US and at home in the UK; bouts of unnervingly obscene gestures both in music videos and behind the scenes all while a harrowing heroin addiction was taking control of the band’s charismatic lead man and heartbeat Matty Healy.

A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships has Healy reigniting that captivating energy he’s renowned for while focusing his lyrics on the ever-changing world around him: topics such as the internet, politics and even Kanye West’s tweets are explored as the band hops between genres and styles. There’s ‘TOOTIME’, the record’s bubble-gum pop number and ‘I Like America’, which sees Healy give us his best version of a skitzy, auto-tune track that Bon Iver or Kanye himself would be proud of.

The pinnacle of the album though, is ‘Love It If We Made It’, an epic anthem that touches on current global issues such as fossil fueling and immigration. According to Healy, the world is a messed up place, but he wants to see it through, “Modernity has failed us, But I’d love it if we made it”. The 1975 have been criticized in the past for being too outlandish and A Brief Enquiry doesn’t try to dispel this view. It is a fantastic pop album, however, proving the band’s confidence is completely warranted.

Want to reach out to Cam about his Sights & Sounds article? Hit him up on Twitter; @camcrawford1.

19.12.18
Pete Fairbairn
Communications Manager
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