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. Next on the oche is Chris T Popper…
20 Menomena – Heavy Is As Heavy Does
19 Future Of The Left – City Of Exploded Children
18 Richard Buckner – Willow
17 Steakhouse – Spider Bite
16 Lumineers – Ho Hey
15 Lost Brothers – Not Now Warden
14 Pines – Cry, Cry Crow
13 Imagination Head – Sand Castles
12 Lord Huron – Time To Run
11 Freedom Fry – Summer In The City
10 Django Django – Default
Sounds like no other song on my top 10 it crackles along with all kinds of weird and wonderful sounds. A viciously catchy and erratic tune it never stops surprising me a little more with each listen.
It’s fun goddamnit… and as you can see from some of my other selections I could obviously do with a bit more of that.
9 Tom Williams & The Boat – Too Young
I’m still a little perplexed why I like this song so much. Certainly the most mainstream sounding of my selections it has a guitar riff which burrows in to the brain like an old News of the World reporter in a celebrity’s wheelie bin.
It took a while but now I understand that it’s utterly useless to resist any longer. Probably the most hummed tune of the year, which I think you’ll agree, is one hell of an accolade.
8 Team Genius – Seven Years
Although flirting dangerously close to novelty Seven Years certainly helped put a smile on my face with its blatantly narcissistic lyrics and thumping beat.
This may be a bit of an indulgence on my part, but I have to be true to what I like. And boy I like this song – anything that begins with the line “I’m half drunk again, full of words, full of piss and wind’ was bound to become my eighth favourite song of the year.
7 Kyle Adem – Brother Follow
Certainly original and wonderfully disturbing I picked this cheery number from Kyle Adem for the mid year Mad Mac list. He really has created a brute of a song; it seems to throb with the wretchedness of the whole thing.
I like music that takes you out of your comfort zone and it uses some alarmingly savage imagery to remind us just how nasty our society has become. Backed up with a fearsome delivery that makes this a real ‘sit bolt upright and ask what the hell was that’ on first listen, thankfully it doesn’t dilute with time.
6 Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive
From the opening beats and distinctive guitar I’m happy… we’re in proper Chris T Popper territory here! Mason’s distinctive vocals compliment the somniferous atmosphere perfectly. I missed him playing in my own backyard at the Wilderness festival, which is undoubtedly my musical regret of the year. Swaying along to this beauty in a large field clasping an overpriced (but comfortingly strong) cider is what summer is all about.
5 Lower Dens – Brains
When I picked this song out in June I said it was like a child pulling at your sleeve after it’s seen the ice cream van. Incessant and under no circumstance will it be ignored.
There is also a sense of chaos, which I always find agreeable – a feeling it‘s not entirely sure where it’s going but doesn’t actually care too much. A stalwart of the year’s playlists for me and still listened to as often as it was six months ago. Can’t give it a bigger tribute really.
4 Wake Up Lucid – Feel It
Loud, brash and all the better for it. Considering my changing (or is that evolving…) taste in music it genuinely fills me with joy that I still love a proper hard as nails guitar frenzy. The feedback is utterly magnificent, as is the drawled out vocals snarling over the fuzz.
Sort of song I would listen to before I had to have a fight.
3 Michael Ainsley – Rainy Lonely Day
Despite the air of melancholy I found this a strangely uplifting song, reminiscent vocally of the great Ray Davies (although it does not suffer by comparison). Piano and guitar combine with the haunting voice of Michael Ainsley to produce the most heartfelt tune I’ve heard all year. I’m in awe of the lyrics – yes I know you’ve got to go – from my group of friends, you’re the best one that I know… I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the wonderfully awkward nature of this song and to showcase the genuine talent of Mr Ainsley.
2 Strand Of Oaks – Trap Door
I’ve fallen through the Trap Door that Tim Showelter sings about many, many times. I’m getting home late again, been looking for old friends, been looking for anything… He obviously has too.
It builds to a fabulous vocal performance leaving me a bit spellbound every time I hear it. The repeated cries of ‘giving it all away’ at the end can find me with eyes screwed tightly shut while mouthing along in a ‘we’re brothers in arms’ kind of way! And that’s when I’m sober!
I try not to take a drink and listen to this… way too much regret in my life and the song is just too powerful – handle with care.
1 Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes
I nicknamed this song ‘momentum’ when Dr Roddy and I were discussing a Mad Mackerel podcast in the autumn (coming soon… honest), and this track by Emil Friis was top of the list because it’s a belter. It possesses a rhythmic simplicity that always manages to pick me up and transport me off somewhere else, and that’s a fairly big plus in my life.
Throughout Friis effortlessly orchestrates all this with his lyrics resonating long after the song ends, which is usually when I stick it on again. Just a fantastic record full of little twists and turns with an occasional (friendly) cuff round the ear to keep your attention.
My song of the year by some distance, no one else got a look in. Thanks Emil.
And to finish, my Guilty Pleasure for 2012 is…
Insane Clown Posse feat Geto Boys – Forever