Some music from 2016 January 1, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Well, now that’s over here in no particular order are some of my favourite tracks or albums of 2016. A couple I haven’t included because although I only heard them this year and they predate or were recorded prior to it – Sing-Sing’s brilliant album from the early 2000s, Cardiac’s side project – the Sea Nymphs who released an album recorded years back, some other bits and bobs – not least SlowPlaceLikeHome’s Ramola from 2015 which is a classic to my ears, and Irish too.
Others while good haven’t quite the sticking power of the ones below. Underworld’s latest exemplifies that, Opeth’s likewise, though I got to admit, I prefer Anekdoten for prog/heavy rock. Shooter Jennings efforts to merge country and dance were worthy and may be returned to here. M83 had at least one great single. Mark Pritchard had some great sounds. Aphex Twin too. The Honeybloods second album was well worth the wait. The I Don’t Cares have already been dealt with already earlier in the year. John Carpenter’s Lost Themes II was nicely creepy – and by the by a fantastic gig by him in Vicar Street. Lush returned with an EP after near enough two decades and then promptly split close to the end of the year. And fair dues to them – it was a good EP and a great way to bow out on.
Albums that in retrospect didn’t connect include Robert Forsters (though a great gig in Whelans). Not sure why – perhaps some of the spikiness wasn’t there. T.O.Y.’s third had a not dissimilar dynamic, though a couple of very listenable tracks.
What’s included is a bit of a mixed bag, no doubt. A bit heavier on electronica. Perhaps. Most of these are individual songs but I’ve indicated where I think the albums they are drawn from, where applicable, are worth a listen. And yep, it’s all well within my comfort zone, but why not? A good year, I think, for music.
And best of the best below? Perhaps Josia Loos, particularly the way it builds up and up, or Underzone’s channelling of Joy Division, or Turbonegro’s bubblegum metal/punk/pop or… it’s all good.
Sound Mirrors – Covenant
Still working away in EBM/Futurepop and now into their third, or is it fourth decade? Covenant’s latest release was an album and the songs were great, albeit interleaved with one too many meandering instrumentals. But when they write songs as good as this…
More Than This/Closer [Spektre Remix] – Josia Loos
A spectacularly good remix. A classic in the making.
Wonderful – Cate Le Bon
Classic song, great album, and those who caught the gig this year will know how good it was live.
Dance the Night – The Cult
It’s Bowiesque slink sort of fits the year. The album is superior to the last few in some way I can’t quite define.
Stupid Ol’ Sun – Fleshtones
A blast of wry optimism from the Fleshtones on their umpteenth album.
A Solitary Man – Hawkwind
A great single from a great concept album (based on Forsters The Machine Stops). Long may they and Dave Brock continue.
And allied with this is the latest from alumni of Hawkwind in the resurrected Hawklords who have been putting out albums at a rapid rate of knots – and this is a promo for their latest, Fusion which has a cracking single, SR-71 with lead vocals from none other than Girlschool vocalist Kim McAuliffe.
Lovers of the Sun – Jayhawks
A lovely tune that oddly enough is like a flip side to the Fleshtones track above.
Atmospheres, Pt. 2 (Strato Mix) – JTC
Class. Dusselmorph is equally good. Check out the album.
Mr. Beat – King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard
Antipodean and wilfully wilful. But I like this a lot.
The City and the Stars – Neil Cowley Trio
Classified as jazz, but I’m not so sure. From a concept album loosely based on the Arthur C. Clarke novel.
Underzone – Oracle North
From Sweden a blast of contemporary post-punk. They’ve released seven or eight songs across two years and they’re kind of instant classics. I like the way this one revisits that point between Joy Division and New Order – Movement era NO really. Been listening to a fair bit of stuff that hits that spot over the last year, hence this and the next few tracks.
As A Lover – Planning for Burial
And from Planning for Burial more post-punk with a very deliberate nod to Movement by New Order on the sleeve design. PFB is usually much much more ambient/slowcore/experimental and this is a clear shift from that, but none the worse for it.
White Walls – The KVB
Already featured in the This Weekend I’ll Be… slot a week or two back, and rightly so. Another contemporary post-punk excursion.
Approach – Pye Audio Corner
Autosuggestion – Silent Servant
Sandwell District may be no more but Silent Servant prevails.
Nightshifter – Tiltshifted
I know nothing about Tiltshifted except for the fact that he(?) has far too great a love for mid-1980s Miami Vice/Tangerine Dream inflected sounds. Or perhaps not too great a love. A raft of singles and EPs this year only confirms that.
Special Education – Turbonegro
Their only release this year. I particularly like the keyboard that sees the song out.
The Magic In You – Ulrich Schnauss
Released just a few short weeks ago, another person I caught live this year and this album replicates perfectly the sound of that night. Albeit with titles. And gaps between the songs. And vocals.
The Window Cleaner – Purson
This is, I’ll bet, marmite for some, but while it took me a while to get into the album there’s something in this that I really like.
Voyageur – Zones
An interesting psychedelic inflected dance track, or is it dance inflected psychedelia, which seems to wind up, perhaps unsurprisingly in something close to shoe-gaze.
Shut Up Kiss Me – Angel Olsen
Great reflective album and so is this song.
And a bonus for the times, Wussy – a group I’ve really began to love this year, offer a fantastic cover of New Order/Joy Divisions Ceremony which in all its post-punk iciness seems appropriate for the times we’re currently living in…