Archive | December, 2017

My favourite albums of 2017

24 Dec

1. Lorde ‘Melodrama’
2. Mount Eerie ‘A Crow Looked at Me’
3. The War on Drugs ‘A Deeper Understanding’
4. Fleet Foxes ‘Crack Up’
5. Sheer Mag ‘Need to Feel Your Love’
6. Kendrick Lamar ‘Damn’
7. The Drums ‘Abysmal Thoughts’
8. Cigarettes After Sex ‘Cigerettes After Sex’
9. Ryan Adams ‘Prisoner’
10. Bjork ‘Utopia’
11. Loyle Carner ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
12. The Shins ‘Heartworms’
13. Alvvays ‘Anti-socialites’
14. Hodera ‘First things First’
15. Jens Leckman ‘Life Will See You Now’
16. Julien baker ‘Turn Out the Lights’
17. Paramore ‘After Laughter’
18. Moses Sumney ‘Afromanticism’
19. Phoebe Bridgers Stranger in the Alps’
20. Big Thief ‘Capacity’
21. Taylor Swift ‘Reputation’
22. Calvin Harris ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1’
23. Wild Pink ‘Wild Pink’
24. Cloud Nothings ‘Life Without Sound’
25. Harry Styles ‘Harry Styles’
26. Run the Jewels ‘Run the Jewels 3’
27. Thundercat ‘Drunk’
28. Slaughter Beach Dog ‘Birdie’
29. Life ‘Popular Music’
30. Childhood ‘Universal High’
31. Wolf Alice ‘Visions of a Life’
32. SZA ‘CTRL’
33. Brand New ‘Science Fiction’
34. Charlie Bliss ‘Guppy’
35. Slowdive ‘Slowdive’
36. Perfume Genius ‘No Shape’
37. Kasabian ‘For Crying out Loud’
38. The National ‘Sleep Well Beast’
39. Princess Nokia ‘1992’
40. Haim ‘Something to Tell You’
41. The Killers ‘Wonderful Wonderful’
42. A Savage ‘Thawing Dawn’
43. Surfer Blood ‘Showdonia’
44. The Menzigers ‘After the Party’
45. Forest Swords ‘Compassion
46. Sorority Noise ‘You’re Not as _ as you think you are’
47. Oso Oso ‘The Ynahon Mixtape’
48. Midland ‘On the Rocks’
49. Kolsch 1989
50. Rose Elinor Dougall ‘Stellular’

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My Favourite Singles of 2017

24 Dec

1. Everything Now by Arcade Fire
2. Thinking of a Place by War on Drugs
3. Just Can’t Get Enough by Sheer Mag
4. Why Didn’t You Say That by Lemon Twigs
5. Blinded by Your Grace (part 2) by Stormzy
6. Perfect by Ed Sheeran
7. Slide by Calvin Harris and Frank Ocean
8. Sign of the Times by Harry Styles
9. Ain’t Nothing Changed by Loyle Carner
10. On My Mind by Jorja Smith
11. Are you leaving by Sassy 009
12. Green Light by Lorde
13. Your Love by Magic Gang
14. Third of May by Fleet Foxes
15. Without You by Ryan Adams
16. Popular Music by Life
17. Boys by Charli XCX
18. No one knows me like the piano by Sampha
19. Blood Under My Belt’ by The Drums
20. DNA by Kendrick Lamar
21. Hard Times by Paramore
22. Something to Remember me By by The Horrors
23. The Man by The Killers
24. Vampires by Jason Isabell
25. Near to the wild Heart of Life by Japandroids
26. Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens
27. Wendy’s Trash Can by Rozwell Kid
28. Despecito by Louis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee
29. Little of Your Love by Haim
30. Television Romance by Pale Waves
31. Love by Lana Del Rey
32. Bad Bohemian by British Sea Power
33. Bike Dream by Rostam
34. God bless this Acid House by Kasabian
35. In Undertow by Alvvays
36. Too good at goodbyes by Sam smith
37. On Hold by The XX
38. Your Cat by Slaughter Beach Dog
39. Feel the same by Bully
40. Follow the Leader by Foxygen
41. Young Dumb and Broke by Khalid
42. Bobby by Sandy Alex G
43. Emotion by Curls
44. Wall of glass by Liam Gallagher
45. Ascension by DJ Sports
46. Country by Porches
47. Ran by Future Islands
48. All Night by Big Boi
49. Victoria Falls by Flyte
50. You weren’t there anymore by Negative Gemini

Review Roundup

6 Dec

Julian Baker ‘Turn Out the Lights’

‘Turn Out the Lights’ is a haunting meditation on anxiety that rarely diverts from a formula of gently strummed guitar, chilly piano notes, simple melodies and subtle atmospherics. What it lacks in variety it makes up for with sheer dedication to theme. You’ll work out if it’s for you within about a minute of the quietly moving opening combo, ‘Over’ and ‘Appointments’. The latter established Baker’s favoured lyrical mode of blunt confessionals which tread a fine line between relatable pessimism and unflattering self pity. ‘Maybe it’s going to turn out alright / oh, I know that it’ not…’ she half sings as the song draws to a close in a style so unflinchingly honest it’s almost disarming. In its portrayal of depression, abuse and anxiety, and the way it handles these topics so maturely, openly and bluntly ‘Turn Out the Lights’ feels like a significant album for 2017.

8/10

Lemon Twigs ‘Brothers of Destruction’

Lemon Twigs are easily the most promising, traditionally set up rock band to breakthrough recently and the prodigious brothers’ new e.p expands upon last year’s debut ‘…Do Hollywood’. Whilst ‘Brothers of Destruction’ is smaller and more intimate in almost every respect (it was recorded quickly at home when the teens were 16 and 18) it suggests multiple possibilities and directions the band could opt for whilst tying them down to none. From the giddy pop of ‘Why Didn’t You Say That’, which recalls Todd Rundgren in his early 70s pomp, to the vaudeville vamp of ‘Intro’; from the torch ballad ‘Beautiful’ to ‘Love and Light’, which is a close approximation of ‘Smiley Smile’ era Beach Boys. What’s most inspiring about the Lemon Twigs, other than their age and talent, is their relentless enthusiasm and abundance of large scale ideas. They’ve talked up their next album, ‘Go to School’ and have already written songs for two further records. ‘Brothers of Destruction’ is an impressive taster of what we can expect in the future.

8.5/10

Sam Smith ‘The Thrill of It’

A couple of years ago Sam Smith was the next big thing. His debut was one of the most revelatory big pop albums of the past decade, thanks largely to his desperately emotive voice and heartfelt lyrics. It was hugely successful, bagging him a handful of number one singles and the James Bond theme (which earned him an Oscar nomination). Long anticipated follow up, ‘The Thrill of it All’, depressingly lowers the stakes by overstating the cliched songwriting and plastic soul production. The likes of ‘One Last Song’ and ‘Midnight Train’ are certainly polished and pretty but there is nothing that cuts like the howling heartbreak of ‘In the Lonely Hour’; only lead single ‘Too Good at goodbyes’ comes close. The album is disappointingly sterile and bloodless compared to its predecessor, and even relatively daring numbers like Yebba duet ‘No Peace’ and the conservative baiting ‘Him’ Lack snarl or bite. Smith sounds as glorious as ever, but ‘The Thrill of It’ unimaginatively draws a very straight line from 90s nu-soul to watery post-Adele balladary.

5/10