Better late than never… this is a list of music I enjoyed over the last 12 months. Plus – for the first time! – a guest appearance from Frankie, aged eight.
To sum up, I was mostly torn between two women. And as usual I secretly listened to Hubba Bubba power pop when no-one was watching.
Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness
This beauty would have topped the list in most years, I’m pleased to report. The found sound twiglets of previous (also excellent) outings have blossomed into giant pop trees. Think Utopia-era Goldfrapp with flickers of Broadcast. She’s not just a pop chimera, though. This is her boldest record to date and I suspect great big things will happen to her in 2016. She delivers top-rate bantz between songs at gigs too, Mr Eavis.
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
Just so cool. Great lyrics (“Put me on a pedestal, I’ll only disappoint you!”) from a proper rock star (at last!) and the best live act I’ve seen in YEARS. Please do wrestle with Julia H for supremacy in 2016, C-Barn.
Blur – The Magic Whip
Guest entry from Frankie: Just AWSOME I love it.It was amazing (“here comes the ice cream man parked at the end of the road!”) when I watched the concert!So loud!!!!
No brainwashing required. Blur’s comeback was a neon sorbet DELIGHT
Mac DeMarco – Another One
Really calming,” says Frankie and I tend to agree. Mac’s sound is very lo-fi but the 25-year-old, who hails from the snowy bits of Canada, makes exceedingly lush music. It’s weatherworn, though, and generally makes the listener want to become a fisherman and wear a nice big jumper. Bonus point for odd Jacko crotch grabby video.
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
It was very exciting to get Bradford Cox back after his various near-death episodes. “I was born already nailed to the cross…” he proclaimed on his return. This was the most crunching, angular song on a surprisingly mellow and succulent album.
Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?
Further lovely bleeps for grown-up ravers courtesy of Alexis Taylor’s computer club. Hot Chip continued their knack of making utterly brilliant half-albums. If they glued a few together they’d have two to three masterpieces by now.
Ultimate Painting – Green Lanes
They’re a “super group” made up of James and Jack from pop titans Veronica Falls and Mazes. File next to DeMarco for playful guitar music for people who don’t care when their trainers get muddy. It’s a beautiful, timeless album which goes well with grassy afternoons and outdoor drinking.
Young Fathers – White Men are Black Men Too
Exhilarating, weird and angry: Young Fathers confidently smashed out this second album where other Mercury winners would have wobbled and worried. It’s a speedy, soulful joyride and unlike anything else around right now. They are like Primal Scream in their, err, prime with their ability to please indie kids and pillheads all in one song. A happy day for indie kid pillheads.
Beach House – Depression Cherry / Thank Your Lucky Stars
The nice thing about the music industry being very wonky these days is that very good bands can slap out albums whenever they want. Which is why we got TWO new long players from Beach House in 2015. Both give you the feeling of stargazing while pissed.
Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space
More ridiculously epic space themes from PSB that make Tim Peake’s blast-off sound like a jog to the corner shop for a packet of Frazzles. A sampletastic voyage for history nerds with the lushest artwork of the year.
Tuuuuuuuuuunes of 2015
The cheeky earworms of the year that was.
Hot Chip – Need You Now
Hello early 90s, ride on time.
Years & Years – Shine
If Erasure grew pop elves in a petri-dish.
Duke Dumont – Ocean Drive
Siiick tune that would have been top 10 in any era. Err, except this one. Weirdo charts, it’s a banger.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
If Prince had grown up on a farm in New Zealand.
Grimes – Flesh Without Blood
If Taylor Swift put hallucinogenic jam on her scone.
Chvrches – Empty Threat
If the charts weren’t mental, number one for weeks.
Maribou State – Home
Lovely. Happy new year 🙂