In this end of the year series, Ears to Feed spoke with some of our favorite artists to see what helped them get through 2020.
In the last few months, there has been an array of projects that have slipped under the radar and that we believe deserve a spotlight. In this case, Los Angeles’ quintet Dummy took time spent in quarantine to release two EPs, S/T and EP2, which serve as statements on the damage they’ll make once live music returns. S/T was released in May by Pop Wig and EP2 was released in November by Born Yesterday Records.
The group features former members of the Baltimore noise-pop-outfit Wildhoney before their relocation to the west coast nearly two years ago. Dummy takes the shoegaze foundation laid by their former group and adds krautrock instrumentals, classic pop elements and new age experimental jams that sit well past the 10-minute mark.
In this edition, Guitarist Joe Trainor writes what albums and films have offered him an impactful escape throughout the year.
Check out Joe’s picks below along with their debut EP’s below.
“I found myself going back to aggressive music this year, especially from when I played it years ago. This record rips, and I’ve listened to it a ton while driving. Definitely related to this level of anger and tension this year. I miss seeing PV bands.”
“On the flip side, I have listened to this a lot in the morning when going to the grocery store, to avoid crowds, soothing ambient folk with haunting lyrics, kinda soul crushing but life affirming stuff.”
“This was a late discovery, Dummy shared a spot on an end of year list with this project, and I was blown away by it. I listened to it a ton on solo walks in the afternoon. It’s like Neu! and early Pink Floyd had a DIY baby. If I redid my best releases of the year, this would be on it.”
“Beautiful and cosmic new age music for long days at home. Bought this record on discogs for self care. Early evening music.”
“A compilation of a lot of their work came out a few years ago, but this year I got heavily into their self-titled. It’s a perfect combo of world, post punk, folk, new age, experimental synths and repetition to the point of bliss. Underrated band forever.”
“Lush experimental electronics from Domenique Dent, very different from their earlier records. Less bouncy, no vocals, and more chill kosmische vibes. Came out later in the year, so I’m just opening up to it.”
Picnic At Hanging Rock
“Dreamlike psychological horror film that stuck with me and my husband for months. It’s like a proto A24 horror film.”
“Simon Pegg/Nick Frost alien comedy that’s beautiful, heartfelt,hilarious and underrated.”
“This is a Brazilian film that marries grindhouse violence, exploitation with arthouse social commentary in the most bizarre way. Keep thinking about the layers of this film, and how I’m sure I’m not getting some of it, but truly a singular film.”
“Weird low budget horror, between two people telling scary stories and acting them out. A meditation on male jealousy and women having to make them feel better when they act like pieces of shit.”
Too much time playing this, smh.
Equivalent to new age version of a video game.
Breath Of The Wild
Jaw dropping and one of the best games I’ve ever played.
Psychedelic X-Files meets Twin Peaks in an office building. Bonkers game, balls to the wall fun and visually amazing. There are so many jaw dropping moments, I’d play more games like this if they existed.
Alex Garland’s tech thriller, actually taking the long form of TV and using it well. Lots of philosophical stuff going on, and propulsive plot. Great stuff
Beautiful, thought provoking, and animated in the most trippy way possible.
This show shouldn’t have worked and yet, it’s very self aware, funny and surprisingly artful. His music might be trash, but your rooting for Dave the whole time. Stupid but smart fun.
An achingly beautiful, haunting, dreamy like, too pure for this world TV show. A show about the death of the american dream, lose and self doubt. It absolutely blows that this series was cancelled.
Rewatched this show that means the world to me. Heartfelt, earnest sci-fi that has so much love and warmth for the strength of humans. I needed it.
The 5 Books of Moses by Arthur Nersesian
Way too hard to explain, but set in an alternate version of America that follows a bunch of different people, where NYC is located in the Nevada desert.