It is a warm welcome back into the fold for Barry-Sean, and he kicks off our individual contributors personal favourites of the year.
Take it away maestro…
10. Slaves – The Hunter
So, they’re not the most mature lyrics ever. In fact they make a lot of the old punk stuff I listened to as a teenager sound quite sophisticated. But there’s a rawness about Slaves that I really enjoy and who doesn’t love the sound of drums having the living daylights beaten out of them with some cold, hard axe-bashing as an accompaniment? Great track.
9. Curtin – I’m a Ghost
And from the loud, tortured sound of Slaves to the softly tortured and slightly menacing sound of this track. I couldn’t make up my mind if I liked it or not when I first head it, but it gradually grew on me and permeated the musical side of my brain.
8. Crocodiles – Crybaby Demon
Being a big fan of Echo and the Bunnymen, I’m probably biased towards Crocodiles but this track really does bring to mind the Mighty Macca and his band of not-so-merry men. I’m sure a lot of unkind music critics would call Crocodiles some sort of Bunnymen tribute band but who cares? This is a cracking tune.
7. Wave Pictures – I Could Hear the Telephone (3 Floors Above Me)
Another quirky tune from Wave Pictures that never fails to put a smile on my face. It all just sounds a bit daft really but I love these witty little story-ettes. They remind me a lot of 80s bards, The Brilliant Corners, but brought bang-up-to-date. Catchy as you like …
6. Fat White Family – Whitest Boy on the Beach
For some reason, I really enjoy listening to The Fat White Family but always walk away feeling a bit guilty and like I’ll never be clean again. I came across this track late in the year and get the very same feeling with it. Deliciously grimy and sleazy. Top work chaps!
5. Modest Mouse – Lampshades on Fire
Whilst Lampshades on Fire is one of my favourite tracks of 2015, it’s still nowhere near my favourite Modest Mouse song ever. That just shows how high they’ve set the bar. Another brilliant tune from a truly great band.
4. Low – Lies
Another dark and mellow tune from the band that brought us Plastic Cup. I really liked this track on first hearing and have since grown to love it since.
3. Houndmouth – Gasoline
I know most people would have opted for Sedona if they were to choose a Houndmouth song from this year. But I just love these vocals. I could listen to this song several times a day.
2. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)
It’s all about the vocals again isn’t it. I’ve deliberately not looked up the lyrics or listened to them too hard for fear of ruining the Father John Misty singing experience. This song is a bit of a drift away for me.
1. Courtney Barnett – Elevator Operator
So I’m sat in a café, or a bar or walking along and this girl is telling me a story. And that’s pretty much how I listen to Courtney Barnett songs. She’s got such a conversational, easy going voice and such detailed lyrics (that’s detailed about the small things like vegemite crumbs) that the story Ms Barnett sings is really convincing. She brings a character in a song to life and makes me want to carry on listening. This, and indeed Courtney Barnett, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But I’d be happy to listen to one of her stories over a cup of tea. Top song!