As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year posts over the past five days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. It is the turn of Dr Roddy…
This years music has been a many varied kaleidoscope of sounds, moods and timing. I have moved house, set up home with my girlfriend and found myself a new job. Because music is my coping method all of these things have found themselves with their own soundtrack. When I looked back over my playlists of the year all of these songs feature in them as if they are the cornerstone of the tunes I’ve loved over the year. If you know them I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have. If not, grab yourself a good fuckin’ listen.
20 Wake Up Lucid – Feel It
19 Delta Spirit – Tear It Up
Download Delta Spirit – Tear It Up mp3
18 Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental
17 Well Hung Heart – Devil
16 Michael Ainsley – Rainy Lonely Day
15 Her Parents – Don’t Know
Download Her Parents – Don’t Know mp3
14 Lost Brothers – Not Now Warden
13 Daughn Gibson – All Hell
12 WHY? – Sod In The Seed
Download WHY? – Sod In The Seed mp3
11 Justin Townes Earle – Lower East Side
10 Jake Bugg – Two Fingers
9 Aesop Rock – Zero Dark Thirty
This is one of two survivors from my mid-year list. This still tune still excites and enthrals me, a hectic delivery of lyrics that seem to tumble at a relentless rate. The rolling beat that is the backing track to this vocal prowess is relentless in its nature. Almost falling over itself to get to the next Bar. This song deserves a place in any list.
8 Houndmouth – Penitentiary
Such a great intro to this song. The melody picked out on the guitar and a Hammond organ providing the chords that pull you into this tale of a man who much like Fletcher from Porridge “Accepts arrest as a occupational hazard”. Throughout what is not to beezer a time, the song never once turns melancholy, if anything it rouses the spirit with it’s beautiful harmonies and soporific melody. A sort of Country, I Fought The Law?
7 The Growl – With The Sharp End Of A Trowel
What’s that you say? Grimy, dirty rock, half sang half drawled. Yeah, OK. Where do I sign? It seems that this year The Growl can do no wrong. Supporting the mighty Tame Impala on a Aussie tour and producing some of the best tunes I’ve heard this year. It was a tuff choice between this song and Cleaver Lever. Really I would have liked to put them in a paddling pool full of Nutella and watched them fight it out, but in the end this song wins through. For it’s dirt rock purity.
6 King Krule – Rock Bottom
Smitten with this song right from the get go. A Johnny Marr-esque guitar riff is the lead in, then from nowhere comes this fantastical delivery of words half sung half spoken, that leave you in no doubt that King Krule has been Rock Bottom. Despite looking like the kid you would steal lunch money from, the lyrics are delivered with passion and a sense of a life lived. The drums in this song are off-kilter and almost sound out of place when first heard. This off beat style works perfectly when the song comes together and leaves the head nodding and the feet tapping. Perfect.
5 Mountain Goats – Cry for Judas
Such a great feel to this. A truly outrageous pop arrangement to this song acts as a perfect optimistic backdrop to a song about surviving the worst and adding that experience to your armoury. These opposites work in perfect harmony. The Mountain Goats have long been a favourite of mine, their output is prolific and never diluted, and lyrically sharp as a tack.
4 The Janice Graham Band – Murder
The Specials got the Arctic Monkeys drunk one night and roofied them. The child that came from this unholy union is The Janice Graham Band. I loved this band from my first listen to It’s Not Me and bought the album on the strength of that one song. Murder quickly became my standout tune on the album. It has a knowledgeable lived in feel to it. As we step over the half way mark it breaks, not becoming faster just fuller with some great sounding horns – I compared them to The Specials and the Arctic Monkeys, but these boys have their own sound and swagger.
3 Patterson Hood – 12:01
Another great story song from Patterson Hood (Daddy’s Cup being one of my faves) about a guy going across the border to buy liquor instead of going home to his shell of a relationship. So maybe not the most upbeat of subjects, but nonetheless you hang on his every line. The tune picked out on the guitar and the drums have that metronomic sound that reminds me of being in a car late at night with no music, say, around “12:01, the rain and the wipers play a spooky song”. The cello sounds like other vehicles morbidly passing, heading to where you have come from or maybe where you should be heading??
2 Hopsin – Ill Mind Of Hopsin V
If your not a fan of rap then you are in good company with Hopsin. The latest voyage into the ill mind of Hopsin sees him apply a damn good coat of learning to all things that are the caricature of modern day Hip Hop. Everybody from the white boy loser, female groupie Ho, black, street gangster and the artists that dilute the power back this modern day social commentary and poetry. On top of this there is a monumental beat, that is the engine to this behemoth of a song. Please take the time to listen to this tune and I mean LISTEN!!!
1 Monument Valley – The Very First Alarm
The second of my survivors from my mid-year faves. I adore the hopeless feel to this song. I could write endlessly about my love for this song but honestly it’s simplicity, beauty, deftness of lyric and the mesmerizing sound of Ned Younger’s voice that coats the lyrics of this bitter song with a sweet syprupy glaze (for the Masterchef fans out there), that keeps pulling me back to it over and over again.
You can find downloads, streams, or videos for all the other tracks above by checking out MM’s Top 100 tunes here: 100 – 81, 80 – 61, 60 – 41, 40 – 21 and 20 – 1.