It's the best time of the year for people who follow online music journalism. What I do is cross-check the year-end lists, note the records that keep cropping up, listen to them in rapid succession, and winnow out the wack (like Kate Bush, Youth Lagoon, Liturgy, Bon Iver, Beyonce, Drake, Joyce Manor, Adele, James Blake, and on and on) from the dope (Black Lips, Paul Simon, James Ferraro, Julianna Barwick...).
The lists also remind me about what I should have listened to all along. The distinctive cover of Peaking Lights's 2011 release, 936, caught my eye since spring. Worried that it might be standard psych rock revival, I ignored it. Joke was on me, though, because it's wonderful.
I mostly get down to "All the Sun that Shines" and "Birds of Paradise Dub Version." Deep grooves, reverbed chant vocals, spaced-out synths. "All the Sun" even begins like "Kokomo," which should clue you in to the sunshining mood that prevails. Peaking Lights were a nice surprise.