Our third personal Top Ten comes from ever-present contributor Chris T Popper…
Another set of mighty fine tunes…
20 Telegraph Canyon – Why Let It Go
19 Songhoy Blues – Soubour
18 Assed Out – Bueno
17 Houndmouth – Sedona
16 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin
15 Abandoned Delta – I Never Lived In New Orleans
14 Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres
13 Diet Cig – Harvard
12 Protomatyr – Dope Cloud
11 This Is The Kit – Silver John
10 Hanni El Khatib – Moonlight
I first heard this on the Radio 6Music mid morning show back when winters were cold; thankfully songs like this make up for the witless musings of the host(s). Channeling a sound not wholly unlike Timber Timbre and the mighty yet criminally undervalued Howling Owls it’s a slinky little number dripping in reverb and with a splendid hook. Hit the spot with me in January and I never got bored of it. Only fair then that Moonlight makes the top ten, for it’s commendable staying power throughout eleven long months if nothing else.
9 Karen Meat & The Players – Pizza & Beer
A great riff opens this tune all slackers will connect with (that’ll be me then). How can you argue with the lyrics ‘I’ll think about exercise, and I’ll close my eyes for only for a minute or two. You want me to be the girl of your dreams but I’d rather barf all the shit I snarfed down earlier’. Great, Karen Meat sounds like my perfect drinking partner (and I’ve had a few). Add some groovy distorted vocals and the whole thing is done and dusted in under 2 minutes. I spent over six months unemployed this year and this was my soundtrack to those halcyon days.
8 Spray Paint – Signal Master
First of two entries in my top 10 for Spray Paint who have been my discovery of the year. Hailing from Austin, Texas the three piece was born from the remnants of When Dinosaurs Ruled The World (apparently only three members turned up for rehearsal one day and started playing and laying down tracks). Loosely (at best!) tuned guitars create synchronised chaos that dovetails with my DNA very nicely thank you. The opening line is delivered with a fabulously disinterested drawl – ‘Drinking more, eating less’ – a statement I have no trouble understanding.
7 Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake?
Protomartyr have also been a revelation this year with at least three of their songs pushing for a top ten spot from their excellent 2015 release The Agent Intellect. Touring the USA with their mates Spray Paint early next year coincides with my birthday. If anyone wants to buy me a plane ticket to Miami for the 20th February… Failing that I’ll wait until April for Protomartyr’s London 100 Club gig, minus Spray Paint unfortunately.
6 TRAAMS – Succulent Thunder Anthems
I’m a big fan of TRAAMS, and was lucky enough to tune in to their set on Mark Riley’s excellent radio show. They played this tune, a rollicking guitar blast, with an occasional break for some rather foreboding lyrics – ‘You know there’s ice on the road, please don’t slip and break your neck’. This is the band I need to see live in 2016 having missed them at last year’s Great Escape and (inexplicably) throughout 2015. Not a mistake I’ll make again.
5 Free Weed – Later
Scarily a social commentary on my own 2015… I’m now slightly panicked by Later. A wonderful beat that’s put it’s feet up, stuck the kettle on while sat on your couch sparking up a big fat one and watching a David Attenborough nature documentary on Ultra HD. Life’s good, worry ‘bout it later…
4 Quiet Hollers – Cote D’Azur
On the surface this is a melodic gaze towards the French Riviera. However, there’s an undertow of nasty menace I wasn’t initially aware of (excellent!). I think the protagonist may be a hit man or similar when I heard the lyrics ‘And from the trunk I could hear his voice, begging for his life like I had a choice, he said he had a wife and two little boys, and so I turned up the white noise’. Beautiful, haunting and the contrast leaves me feeling slightly discombobulated.
3 Sleaford Mods – Tarantula Deadly Cargo
My favourite song from the Sleaford’s 2015 album Key Markets and there was plenty of competition as it’s stuffed with great tunes. This has a slightly more laid back feel than usual with an inspired loop from Andrew Fearn and Williamson’s lyrics detailing the weary horrors of touring. The title refers to a 1977 TV movie that Williamson describes as “an areoplane full of hairy spiders with bad tempers who start killing the mindlessly frightened passengers”. Best check out Netflix for that then.
2 Spray Paint – Day Of The Rope
Heavy bass, discordant lead guitar crashing about the place like a demented baboon on acid and those metronomic drums just keep pounding. Jello Biafra and Gibby Haynes could have cooked this up in a deranged music lab somewhere. Can I make it any clearer how good this song is? Any other year this would have nailed the number 1 spot, it’s provocative, entertaining and utterly insane. I love Spray Paint. They truly are my new favourite band.
1 Girl Band – Pears for Lunch
My number one was bound to be a relentless attack on the nervous system so who else but perennial C Popper fave Girl Band to step up. With vocals like Jake Burns after a cold Lemsip, Dara Kiely keeps an impressive howl going throughout. The momentum builds and builds dragging you along for an increasingly brutal and uncomfortable ride, the fabulous Kiely vocals intertwining with the cacophony of sound to provide a full on assault to the musical senses. Simply put, I get goose bumps every time I hear it and what more can you ask for? It’s not just my favourite song of this year, but one that will be precious to me way beyond 2015.
And a couple of other awards…
Best Cover: Iron & Wine – Albuquerque
Best Song Heard For The First Time, But Not This Year: Adam Torres – Breakneck Jane’s 15 Minute Escape
Best Live Act: Fat White Family
Best Album: Sleaford Mods – Key Markets