Porridge Radio originated from Dana Margolin’s bedroom, where she first started making music. Living in the seaside town of Brighton, she recorded songs and played them at open mic nights to rooms of old men staring quietly, as she screamed in their faces. Their second album (and Secretly Canadian debut) Every Bad glistens with grand, sweeping ambition. 80s-esque synths shine against Margolin’s urgent vocals – with all the rawness of early Karen O, and influences as disparate as Charli XCX and The Cranberries. Oscillating between desperation, resignation, and, crucially, hope, Porridge Radio’s unmistakable take on pop music is like a jewelry box twinkle just out of kilter.
(Photo Credit: El Hardwick)
925 by Sorry is an album I’ve come back to again and again. There was a period of about six months where I would just play that album all the time. It was the only thing I wanted to listen to. It’s amazingly produced, in a way that blows my mind a little bit. When you listen to music, when you write songs and then listen to other people’s songs, you can often imagine the way they’ve written them. But with this album I’m like, “How did you put all these songs together in this way? How did you produce this to sound so perfect and so weird?” It’s a combination of so many things that I love. I just think the songwriting and production together are incredible, and they completely hooked me from the minute I heard it.
I think it’s important to listen to albums as if they’re whole bodies of work, especially if the artist has made it with that in mind. I think some bands maybe don’t do that, but we always like to think of making an album as making songs that fit together cohesively and that follow on from each other — that fit together in some way, even if from the outside that might seem tenuous. There’s an emotional aspect where they all fit together. It’s nice to create them as this whole thing. I would like to think there are similarities with Sorry and what we do, but I think part of the reason I like the album is that I’m so in awe of how it was made. I want to know how to make something like that.
Another one I nearly picked was Sen Morimoto. And Nnamdi was another that I thought about picking. Both of those blew my mind, too. Those are my top three of the year.
As told to Josh Modell.
(Photo Credit: left, El Hardwick)