Posts Tagged ‘Grandparents’

MM Best of 2015 no guitarAnd so here is the final personal Top Twenty of the year. This time it is my turn!

Another twelve months neatly wrapped up and delivered for your listening pleasure and here’s to 2016…

20. Quiet Hollers – Mont Blanc

An apocalyptic, “end-is-nigh” rolling, country rock anthem. Pure poetry with the best coda to a song I heard all year, “shed a tear for the books I shoulda read“.

 

19. H. Hawkline – Spooky Dog

Melodic, haunting, weird. Perfect psych-pop with added twisted electronics.

 

18. Arborist – Twisted Arrow

Brilliant debut single of lilting folk-rock concealing a bleak heart and featuring the hushed vocals of none other than Kim Deal of the Pixies.

 

17. Courtney Barnett – Depreston

With her forensic eye for lyrical detail and the ability to capture emotional turmoil in the sparest of sentences, Depreston is the sombre standout from her brilliant debut album proper. A tale of house hunting in Melbourne suburbia that travels from the mundane to the tender to the revealing.

 

16. Grandparents – Kids In The Alley

Take the most infectiously catchy refrain, add jangly guitars, carefree percussion and bubblegum melodies. This is what you get. A hallucinatory classic.

 

15. Futurekids – White Girl In A Wu Tang T-Shirt

Irresistible foot-tapping indie rock, the like of which you just don’t hear very much anymore.

 

14. Woolen Men – Life In Hell

A clattering, staccato burst of tense, nervy post-punk that recalls the best of Wire and The Wipers. The aural equivalent of being jabbed in the throat by a stray elbow in the mosh pit.

 

13. Rats On Rafts – Last Day On Earth

A mini masterpiece of epic, circling, incessant grooves. Far, far, far out man.

 

12. Decemberists – Carolina Low

This was one of those stopped-in-your-tracks moments that music gives you sometimes. Watching the Decemberists live in Bristol at the start of the year and Colin Meloy transfixing the whole audience into rapt attention with just guitar and voice. Also spent much of the year repeating “You’ve got an ugly little mouth boy” in a poor imitation of an American accent.

 

11. Low – What Part Of Me

Classic Low – haunting, spectral, fuzzy and quietly, poignantly devastating.

 

10. Spray Paint – Signal Master

Like Chris T Popper, Spray Paint are my favourite discovery of 2015. Easily the sleaziest, seediest offering of the year – caustic, dead-eyed junkie punk, bleak, repetitive, and crushingly brilliant. “It’s time to put the dog down“.

 

9. Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake

The Agent Intellect was unexpectedly my favourite record of 2015 and any number of tracks could legitimately have gatecrashed my favourite songs of the year. In the end I had to limit myself to two. This one, Why Does It Shake is described by the band as a “back-handed ode to humanity’s resilient self regard in the face of inevitable oblivion. Then the trap door opens.” and is equally exasperated and eloquent. It sets the tone with the doom-laden “False happiness is on the rise, See the victims pile high” and concludes in a stunning climax of clatter and squall.

 

8. Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur

A hit man, a traffic jam. A sparkling ocean. Another extraordinary track of ominous, foreboding beauty from the Quiet Hollers.

 

7. Gun Outfit – Gotta Wanna

I’m a sucker for dusty, sun-parched rock and expansive widescreen Americana and Gotta Wanna combines the two in perfect unison. This is humming road-weary, dusty desert blues of the finest vintage.

 

6. Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Scowling Crackhead Ian

The latecomers entry to the list. Over the course of a few short weeks Jeffrey Lewis’s wryly told tale of growing up with the evil anti-hero of his school days, until they are the only two left in the neighbourhood has firmly embedded itself in to my psyche. It effortlessly helps you to recall your own equivalent of Ian, someone you actively tried to avoid and whose unpredictability could be shocking and whose meanness was legendary (mine was Robert Beckett). “Forever you’ve been Crackhead Ian, It was your kid nickname if we spoke it, You were an insane human being, Whether you ever did or didn’t really smoke it“. Says it all really.

 

5. Girl Band – Pears For Lunch

Girl Band’s Holding Hands With Jamie was a criminally underrated release this year. A band that manages to take the most discordant, contradictory noise and meld it into something magnetically compelling that grips like a vice. Pears For Lunch combines a manic energy with Dara Kiely’s lethargic, disinterested vocals as he intones, “Spend my time watching Top Gear with my trousers down, Covered in Sudocrem and talking to myself, Garlic Curry Cheese Chips“. Exactly!

 

4. Traams – Succulent Thunder Anthem

Just shy of three minutes of propulsive, throbbing bass, skimming guitars and urgent vocals. This is Traams at their rollicking, ferocious best.

 

3. Protomartyr – Pontiac 87

The finest riff of the year, and a brilliantly hypnotic reflection on a dispiriting Papal visit to Pontiac, Michigan in the late eighties.

 

2. Houndmouth – Sedona

The best sing-a-long chorus of the year bar none. Altogether now, “Hey little Hollywood, You’re gone but you’re not forgot, You got the cash but your credit’s no good, You flipped the script and you shot the plot, And I remember I remember when your neon used to burn so bright and pink, A Saturday night kinda pink“.

 

1 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’

Probably the most overwhelming choice for number one song of the year that we’ve had in seven years of voting. A fingerpicked earworm, a sprawl of twangy guitar and surreal, laconic lyrics combine to create the perfect ode to stoned self-reflection.

 

And some other random choices..

Favourite cover of the year: Kinky Friedman – My Shit’s Fucked Up (Warren Zevon cover)

 

Gigs of the year: Fat White Family (Oxford) and The Decemberists (Bristol)

 

Song I wished I’d heard earlier in the year: Robert Chaney – The Ballad Of Edward And Lisa

 

Best Songs Heard For The First Time, But Not From This Year: Justin Townes Earle – Yuma & Sleaford Mods – Chop Chop Chop

 

 

You can see our full countdown of our favourite 100 Tracks of the year here (100-76), (75-51), (50-26), (25-1) and favourite 30 Albums here (30-16), (15-1).

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MM BEST OF 2015

And so begins the second quarter of our annual countdown of our favourite tracks of the year.

75 Joe Ely – Wounded Creek

 

74 Great American Canyon Band – Crash

 

73 Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

 

72 The Quite Hollers – Mont Blanc

 

71 Heaters – Mean Green

 

70 Tough Age – New Orleans Square

 

69 Chris Staples – Dark Side Of The Moon

 

68 Telegraph Canyon – Why Let It Go

 

67 The Tulips – Winter Winds

 

66 H. Hawkline – Spooky Dog

 

65 Ex-Cult – Stick The Knife In

 

64 Screaming Females – Ripe

 

63 Courtney Barnett – Depreston

 

62 Amason – The Moon As A Kite

 

61 Grandparents – Kids In The Alley

 

60 Songhoy Blues – Soubour

 

59 Faith Healer – No Car

 

58 Haunted Hearts – Something That Feels Bad Is Something That Feels Good

 

57 Futurekids – White Girl In A Wu Tang T-Shirt

 

56 Bueno – Assed Out

 

55 Jamie T – Marilyn Monroe

 

54 Creepoid – American Smile

 

53 Woolen Men – Life In Hell

 

52 John Grant – Disappointing

 

51 Tallest Man On Earth – Sagres

 

Check back on Monday for numbers 50 through to 26, and click here for numbers 100 – 76.

Nickel In The Jukebox

Our second collection of ten new tunes for you to spin and decide… hit or miss?

The Yawpers – Deacon Brodie (RIYL: Biker blues, MC5, Blue Cheer)

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Tedo Stone – By Your Side (RIYL: Fuzzy guitar rock, T Rex, Dinosaur Jr)

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Alberta Cross – Ghost Of Santa Fe (RIYL: Southern rock, My Morning Jacket, Crazy Horse)

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Flora Cash – This Breeze (RIYL: Folk, First Aid Kit, Angus & Julia Stone)

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Freedom Fry – Tropicana (RIYL: Indie pop, Vampire Weekend, Beirut)

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Landlines – Things Haven’t Been The Same (Since You Got back From Italy) (RIYL: Power pop, Weezer, Mikal Cronin)

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E B U – Dead Of Night (RIYL: Torch songs, Mirel Wagner, Billie Holiday)

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Grandparents – Kids In The Alley (RIYL: Psych-pop, The Flaming Lips, The Seeds)

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Outer Rooms (ft Terrorista) – Driver (RIYL: Punk, Japandroids, No Age)

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Silent Sleep – Everything I Own (RIYL: Singer-songwriters, Sufjan Stevens, Great Lake Swimmers)

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With the successful production of several self-recorded, lo-fi EPs to their credit, spacey six-piece Grandparents are providing a sneak peek into the band’s highly anticipated unveiling of their debut LP, Sincerely, Bagman with the arrival of the Kids in the Alley cassingle.

The delightfully catchy title-track delivers audacious, jangly pop music with an eye toward the hallucinatory, prompting visions of psychedelic royalty like the Seeds or early Kinks while decidedly forging their own sonic pathways.

Have a listen / download it here.

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