These days I don't listen to anywhere near as much new music as I'd like to so it's really rare that I find an album that I end up listening to over and over again. But every now and again I come across an album like Aether Shanties by Abney Park.
Abney Park are a concept band with a bizarrely specific concept. Firstly they are a steampunk band which is an odd concept itself (warning - I have not really researched this and the following summary is me making it up as I go along). Like it's cyber cousin, steampunk seems to have origins in literature (the William Gibson/Bruce Sterling novel The Difference Engine), games (Space 1889 and The Chaos Engine) and film (Steamboy) but not music - the music part seems to have come afterwards, inspired by the source material rather than the other way around. Abney Park's music certainly fits in with the steampunk aesthetic, a mix of traditional and contemporary styles and sounds.
But within that general concept there is a more specific story, that of a band of pirates roaming the skies in a steam-powered airship. After five albums this concept is carried off with a confidence and strength of imagination that makes their world seem believable enough for the songs to work in context and for it to seem less like a gimmick and more like a lifestyle. It's the kind of image and aesthetic that a more established concept artist, Alice Cooper for example, might use for one album to tell one story. Abney Park's story is ongoing, and that's what makes it work.