Necessary Evil 2020 pt.15 (6-4)

#6 Katie Gately: Loom

Yeah, I know, because of the Prince entry this is technically part 16, but I just decided the optics didn’t look right. Don’t @ me

Grief will affect everyone in different ways. And, hey, what other year have we been forced to face silly, unbiased mortality more than 2020? Firstly, there is no intimacy league table with an imaginary line drawn across it- nobody who was less than this close to you can properly affect you. Oh, and they need to be bipedal animals with recognisable hands and a proven ability to use those hands to manipulate tools, so no excessive mourning for your pet dog passing away. But I guess if you have a pet gorilla or chimpanzee who dies, that’s covered so you’re allowed to grieve for that. Aw, man, imagine having a pet gorilla just hanging around the house, like a big hairy flatmate. And then that gorilla dying! I’m getting sad just thinking about it. And maybe crows are covered. You can mourn your pet crow dying. But the fact is, every death has the potential to affect you, and the arresting smack of mortality will smack you hard even if it’s an old schoolfriend who you haven’t seen in decades or somebody you’ve never even met, even an existence that you had no concept of occurring before it was snuffed out. A human life, an existence you know as being full of thoughts and dreams and opinions and love and hatred just suddenly being stopped isn’t easy to get your head around. You might laugh, but even the death of Prince in 2016- a person I have never met, a person who I’ve never even been close enough to spit on, a person with less than no concept of my existence- hit me hard and played a part in my mental downward spiral that led to Necessary Evil 2016 starting ten months late. Hey, here was a living, breathing, organic thing that was doing stuff– stuff that affected my life– and now that thing is no more and that stuff is going to stop. It’s actually pretty fucked up.

“Mate, those dishes are really piling up…”

However, even the crude idea of an Intimacy League Tableā„¢ existed, it’s clear that a parent would be close to the top of that. It’s why anger at people selfishly and piggishly refusing to wear masks at the moment is absolutely justified. Mate, I’ll be fine, you’ll be fine, but you’re perhaps indirectly but nonetheless literally killing my Mum and Dad right now. Katie Gately’s second album was near enough finished- and styled close to the frenetic and near poppy bundle of mostly positive energy of her debut– when her Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She moved from LA back to Brooklyn to care for her, before she passed away in 2018. Gately’s original album was shelved, and ‘Loom’ was finished in a few months, bringing with it a drastic evolution of her sound.

And bringing with it absolute genius. ‘Loom’ is what I’d consider a perfect album for this list- it’s experimental, it’s challenging, it takes its music in weird and previous unimagined directions, but it never forgets to bring its pop chops when they are needed. It discovers new ways to deliver musical tropes that we’re all proven fans of, it can bring us the apocalyptic scaling of the ten minute Bracer but also the crazed and convention-mocking psychopop of Allay. This. This is what music should sound like in 2020. Yes, including the distorted samples of peacocks, wolves and earthquakes.

Not the only Katie in our top ten, fact fans.

Metacritic: 85


#5 Destroyer: Have We Met

No question mark? Alright, Dan, you do you…

Of course, we all know about the ‘Destroyer Drinking Game‘. And when I say ‘we all know’, I mean that I know about it. And when I say ‘I know about it’ I mean that I first hread about it in a review for ‘Have We Met’, the astonishingly good twelfth album from Vancouver’s finest purveyor of apocalypse lounge music and thought it’d be a good hook for my piece on an album I knew pretty early on was fantastic enough to be ranking rather highly on Necessary Evil 2020. But now you know about it, yeah? Wouldn’t it be fun??

Unfortunately, the major issue here is that I’ve not drunk any alcohol for roughly five years. Maybe more. Maybe less. Shit, I really should have made a note somewhere, shouldn’t I? I was drinking like a severely depressed fish at World Cup 2014, but by Euro 2016 I was trying to deduce whether it was possible to watch an international football tournament sober, so I must have stopped drinking somewhere in between. Wait, so was I sober when I watched Wrestlemania 32 in 2016?? Fuck, I feel sorry for myself, imagine sitting through four hours and fifty one minutes of that without attempting to remove yourself from your conscientiousness even a little. Whatever’s happened to me in my life, I believe that was my greatest achievement. Where’s my Victoria Cross?

Those poor, poor people. 101,763 trapped in a stadium and tortured like Pinochet was involved

So, what do I do? To quote Hamlet, how doth one honour a drinking game when he but cannot consume flagons of the devil’s dogshit? How then must a man become so bereftly shitfaced? There’s an obvious answer here- drugs!! Plenty o’ drugs, thrown down my neck, on my tongue and up my nose!! Yeah, here’s the thing- I’m a 36 year old man with proper adult responsibilities now, and I’ve actually looked it up in my pristine 1881 first edition of Odd Fellows Monitor and Guide and it’s very clear that getting sheddle-faced on mind expanding recreational narcotics simply to add colour to a meaningless (let’s face it, before and after the fact) blog post is completely acceptable and understandable up to and including the age of thirty five, but after that is utterly unacceptable, as it clashes with a time where, in Thomas G. Beharrell’s own words, ‘A man should be far more concerned with getting his shit together, or fuck’s sake’.

So, yeah, unfortunately that’s drugs out. What’s the most acceptable mind altering substance that a man of 36 can acceptably binge himself with in order to appreciate a meaningless drinking game to incorperate into a dumb blog post that nobody’s ever going to read?

Coffee!! I don’t even drink much coffee these days, I actually prefer green tea- because that’s how middle aged and middle class I am!- but I’m gonna go fucking mental for ‘Have We Met’!

OK! Are you ready to have fun?! So, let’s put on the astonishingly good opening track Crimson Tide#, open up the lyrics on Genius and check this list of drinking requirements

Aw, man! Ther’s, like, fifty of them! I thought it’d just be maybe five things like ‘take one shot if he says something silly’ and ‘take one shot if he uses an irregular verb’ and ‘finish your drink if he mentions the full name of any past Stockport County manager’. I guess it doesn’t even matter that the third song is called Danny Bergera and would have been worth refilling the kettle about a dozen times. Well, OK, I’ll try and work with it, could’ve maybe done with a bit of proper planning, but I am a professional [IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTE: Mr Falmer is not ‘professional by any description] music [IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTE: Mr Falmer knows very little about music, and just likes excuses to make juvenile sex jokes] journalist [IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTE: really, Alex? A fucking JOURNALIST?? I should sue your pale arse just to teach you a lesson] so it’s all in the job description to dedicate myself to my craft. I can still do this, let’s just look at the start of the list and… Aaaaaaw, what??

So, I’ve got to pay attention to the lyrics of the song I’m listening to, but also know about every other Destroyer album, song, and lyric?? From all eleven previous albums?? Hmmm. I’d kind of hoped to finish this entry soon. Kinda got plans with my wife…

OK, so I’ll play the drinking game by drinking one coffee while listening to the album. And I’ve already drunk that while writing this. And it was actually a green tea, not a coffee,I just wanted the photo. Still… Hey, well done, Destroyer, this album’s tons of fun. I did mention how good it is, didn’t I? Well, I’m mentioning it now…

Metacritic: 80


#4 katie dey: mydata

And now our second Katie in the top ten, as Ms Dey delivers an impossibly warm, gorgeous sounding fourth album ‘all the way’ from Melbourne, and appears on this year’s list for a second time. It’s been a good year for Katies, hasn’t it? You had Katie Price divorcing Kieran Hayler, big news there. Katie Holmes was in Brahms: The Boy II, which I… I saw that. It was a film. That I saw. Katie Melua released ‘Album No.8’. So good for her. Katie Hopkins, fuck knows fuck cares. I get so annoyed when ‘Instagram influencers’ or ‘thots’ get all the hate for being desperate for clicks when we still allow the most pathetic attention seeker in the world to live freely. No, I’m not saying we should jail her. It’s the ‘live’ part of that sentence I have issues with…

I’m all out of words today, just please buy Katie Dey’s album, it’s the most beautiful and emotionally affecting experience you’ll have all year and it’ll make you believe that maybe there’s a God. I am just far too tired to explain it. Have a good night. We’re gonna finish this fucker tomorrow!!

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