Saturday, 31 December 2016

Leonard Cohen - First We Take Manhattan

November 2016: I am deploying this song to mark the passing of Mr Cohen, and salute his talent, but also because in the light of the US Election result 'First We Take Manhattan' has acquired a whole new sinister connotation for me.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Goat Girl - Country Sleaze (Official Audio)

October 2016: The single of the year, absolutely hands down.

You can thank the lovely folk at Piccadilly Records in Manchester for putting me on to this one.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Florence + the Machine - As Far As I Could Get

September 2016: It was a rough few weeks for me emotionally and mentally, late August/early September. While the epic and atmospheric  'Wish That You Were Here' got me through the August Bank Holiday weekend, 'As Far As I Could Get' and 'Pure Feeling' essentially picked up the slack after that weekend, and 'Too Much Is Never Enough' gave me the bottle to leave my hotel room in London in early September and be all journalist-y for the evening.

'As Far As I Could Get' was the B Side to the Record Store Day 2015 Blue Vinyl 12" of 'What Kind Of Man' incidentally and it's not on the standard or deluxe version of How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful as far as I can establish. Which makes me sad...

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Christine And The Queens -Tilted HD Live Graham Norton Show 17/06/2016

August 2016: Although Christine appeared on Graham Norton in June, I didn't see this clip until July, following a tip off by my friend Bethany, who had seen it when the show went out live and had been subsequently poleaxed by it.

By August, I'd heard 'Tilted' a few times on 6Music and it's highly infectious and seemingly effortless electro pop minimalism was inspiring all sorts of mad dancing in the kitchen and living room. Chaleur Humaine was the album of the year, a grower, and an enduring pop classic.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) - Florence and The Machine @ British Summerti...

July 2016:

15 months after breaking her foot jumping off stage at Coachella

12 months and six days after accidentally becoming the first (British) woman to headline Glastonbury this century

8 days after the world woke up to Brexit

7 and a half hours after the Pro EU march in Green Park, next door

This was the third song of the set...

By the time we got to 'Drumming Song' at the very end, the energy levels were stratospheric.

Monday, 26 December 2016

The Like - June Gloom

June 2016: From The Like's early period, this sulky, grungy slice of indie rock from 2009 accidentally got re-discovered by me in June 2016.

It was one of those apt moments when random shuffle on your mp3 player gives you a song you didn't know you needed, meaning 'June Gloom' came to sum up the mood of the UK throughout June 2016: Pre, during, and after the vote for Brexit.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Tacocat - "I Hate the Weekend" [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

May 2016: Bright colours and a shedload of sugar, yep, that's what you want on Christmas Day!

'I Hate The Weekend' is taken from one of the finest albums of the year for me. 'Talk' was intense, like the middle ground between late period Go-Go's and mid period Sleater-Kinney, and very timely (topic wise...) 'The Internet' was questioning and similarly apt, subject wise, whereas this has ranty power pop written all over it.

I like to think of the video as Christmas Day summarised into three and a half minutes. Unintentionally so, obviously.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Stealing Sheep - Greed live End of the Road Festival 2015

April 2016: Not Real was a good left of centre psych pop album from 2015, which I kind've didn't give sufficient time to when it was released and only really caught up with in 2016.

The band's performance here testifies not only to their complex and ever evolving approach to music, but also to how far they've come since the folky paganism of 'I Am The Rain' and the troubadour esque 'Shut Eye'. A band on the move then, well worth watching.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Love - You Set The Scene

March 2016: This was a period of angst and introspection I think for me. You know that feeling that the world is both horrible and horrendously overcomplicated? This sums it up well for me.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Still Windmills

February 2016: The always excellent Karren Ablaze! put me onto Sky Larkin via Ablaze! 11, and again when I interviewed her for The F-Word earlier this year. This energetic Leeds duo were incredibly prolific, and Katie Harkin has recently (ish) worked with Sleater-Kinney.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Grace Mitchell - NoLo (Official Video)

January 2016: Released in late 2015, this should have been a contender for pop song of the year. So much so that it was still hanging around my head throughout January 2016 and beyond. A good start to the year then.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

In the depths of December, something dark and twisted stirs...

Pink Milk, who I wrote about earlier this year, have made a new song available. 'Drömmens skepp’ (Ship Of A Dream)

The press release says it was originally commissioned for Swedish TV, but was "too unhinged" to be used.

A particularly nice compliment that.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Book harvesting: This weeks book pile

I shan't read them all at once, that would be madness... Plus I still have two chapters of the Emily Wilding Davison book to finish.