The most consistently excellent band of the last 5 years, you ask? Landing, obviously.
As always, I am more than happy to ignore dissenting points of view and other nominations.
I thought the band was gone for good after 2005’s BROCADE, and apparently they almost were. They gradually got their mojo back and returned to full time active duty with 2012’s self-titled release. It was an amazing release, and it was just the beginning of a pretty nifty hot streak. WAVE LAIR, BODY DIFFUSER, THIRD SIGHT and COMPLEKT are all highly recommended.
Their pre-BROCADE work is also exceptional. SEASONS , for me, is their weakest release. It seems to spend too much time in a country, alt-folk, slowcore zone and the songs don’t feel strong enough to support this decision. On the other side of the spectrum, CIRCUIT is kick-ass from beginning to end, with “White Walls”, “Across the Sky”, “Coming Down” and “A Song” all ranking as major discography highlights. Everything else from the pre-2005 falls between these two poles, but most of it leans towards CIRCUIT’S fluid ass-kickery.
But, dammit, don’t take my word for it. Run (don’t walk) to https://landing.bandcamp.com/. I think all the limited edition vinyl is gone, but a lot of the cd releases can still be found at Amazon, I’m sure. The kids these days, tho, they like their mp3s, and Bandcamp is the place to go for that. You can do some ala carte sampling, or you can shell out a measly for $41.80 for a pretty vast discography, including mp3s of all the major releases, hard to find 7” singles, the Landing portions of split mini-albums, a few excellent live shows and over 1 ½ hours of rare and/or previously unreleased tracks. Additionally, there’s an album by Paper ( a duo consisting of the married couple at the core of the band) which I highly recommend. It’s described on the site as “droney kraut pop”, and that’s pretty accurate. The 2 versions of “Underground” on this release are both pretty mesmerizing.
In short, stop sitting around waiting for the Right Said Fred reunion and get your kosmiche groove on.
(For you whackjob completists - a sideband of these guys was Surface of Eceyon. They were a lot less consistent than Landing, but their first release, THE KING BENEATH THE MOUNTAIN, is worth hunting down.)