I like songs.
The last few years have been fairly lackluster in my opinion when it comes to music that makes me want to listen twice, let alone on high repeat for weeks like an emo teen locked in my room with the double deck cassette player cranking.
But for whatever reason, and maybe it’s my own willingness to explore new stuffs, I found 2012 to be an exception. Like a breaking drought, if you will.
I have compiled a list of my Top 10 favourite tunes of this year. It wasn’t easy, simply because I fell in love with tunes again this year. ( Or I just learned to listen in a new way, which ever came first) And also because my computer should be put in the bin. Along with my beer soaked keyboard.
10. Survival Expert. Something for Kate. I’ll be honest and say Ive loved Something for Kate for many years. Heck, I named my Cat after their song “Ramona was a waitress”. Their latest offering seems like a more “up with the times”, up tempo, adventure album. I hadn’t really given it much thought and it kind of crept up on me. It’s been out since September.
Paul Dempsey yet again proving that you don’t need to be a Vampire covered in glitter to look good in black, packing a Wolf. (Well its really a Husky but we wont let the truth spoil a good story, right?)
If you dont mind the fucking ads for KFC on you tube watch it Here
9. Bronte. Gotye Everyone loves a bit of Gotye. He’s Aussie with a French name, and by God the French adore him. I couldnt have picked ‘Somebody that I used to know‘ After visiting France this year and being bombarded by the song every 30 mins on French radio.
I love this track because it is clearly about losing someone, a pet, a fur kid. It struck a chord with me. It actually made me cry. A lot. The words:
” We will be with you
When you’re leaving
We will be with you
When you go”
Opened up my tear ducts like Brisbane River flooding. God, Gotye. You really are brilliant.
This is the Official video I cant listen to it too often or Ill still cry.
8. Hanging on. Active Child. Where to start? Pat Grossi has the voice of an Angel. He used to be a choir boy, and for all intents and purposes, still sounds like one This group have really gone out to recapture classical music in a contemporary way. Harps. Synth. Falsetto and a tinge of the Ginge. I played this song midway though the year, in my car over and over and over again. It’s weird music. But I love it. Thie Vimeo is Here. Fly Fishing never sounded so good.
7. Lost. Frank Ocean Frank has turned R&B a little bit dark. A bit more raw. He probably should be doing mediocre Top 20 pop chart hits. He’s not. His Album Chanel Orange took the genre and dumped it on it’s head. Kind of like the R&B version of Outkast This song has a catchy hook and is great for cranking it up on the ride home from work just before the weekend starts. He mentions Boobs a lot too. You cant go wrong with that. This is a Fan made video. Apparently there is no Official one to be found. Not how I would interpret this track at all. But.. different strokes!
6. Get Free. Major Lazer I think I first heard this back in April, hungover on the way to Red Rooter to get some over priced hang over food. It was on FBi Radio and I just had to Shazam this shit to find out what the heck was going on. Half reggae half Synth pop, Amber of the Dirty Projectors, has a voice that makes this track sublime. It has quite a lot of layering, that you don’t initially experience. Get yourself some decent speakers and sound system to fully appreciate it. Was always going to be in my top 10 after 50 listens. Check out the cartoon clip
5. The Demarcation of Joseph Hollybone. Gay Paris. I first saw Gay Paris at the Annandale a couple of years ago when they were supporting The Beards. I instantly loved their fucking crazy stage show. Front man W.H Monks is the epitome of Rock geek. Glasses, loves History and wears a Goddamn cape on stage. Slim Pickins and Blacktooth look like they stepped out of Nick Cave’s “The Proposition”. Splooshin’ all over the damn shop here.
This is an offering from their new album which was crowd funded by Pozible. Look at that Rooster go. As an aside, if youre into Furries, youre gonna love this shit.
4. Emmylou. First Aid Kit Im a Cowgirl, and Im wanted.. dead or alive. You cant be a cowgirl without some reference to country music. First Aid kit are out of Sweden. They are sensationally laid back cool, and make me think of Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris and June Carter all at once with this track. Im not asking, much of you. Just sing, Little darlin sing to me. Really, Im not. I nearly teared up when I heard this for the first time. Dont ask me why. Maybe the smoke from the camp fire…
You can listen to it Here Im looking forward to seeing them live early next year.
3. Tessellate Alt-J BLAM! A late in the year addiction for me, discovering this group, was like finding the door to Narnia. ( Thankyou to the mysterious spotify person who posted their song Matilda in their public playlist, another contender for the best sounds in a long time) I can barely begin to describe how good their songs make me feel. The Album is called ” An Awesome Wave” and is quite the apt description. When I listen to this entire album, I feel like a wave of morphine is rushing through my veins.
Even the title has a lot of triangle shaped letters in it. Their logo being just that. The song, and word ‘Tessellate’ refers to process of creating a two-dimensional plane using the repetition of a geometric shape with no overlaps and no gaps. M.C Escher was good at these. I love music with a few layers. A subtext. A hidden meaning. It could be about a love triangle. It could be about menage a trois. It could be about shark teeth. Competition. Repetition. Patterns in life. the more you listen the more you hear what ALt-J have done with the reverb. It goes forward and then reverses, just like a tessellated line.
There is a lot of reference to art here. The clip for Tessellate is a modern play on Raphael’s “School of Athens” painting. One of the most famous frescoes by the Italian Renaissance artist. The painting gets a ‘hat tip’ to it’s appropriation, at the beginning of the video, with a print of it, on one of the cast’s tshirts.
Alt- J have probably been around a lot longer than I know about, but I knew as soon as I heard this track it was in my top 5.
2. Karmageddon. Abbe May This bitch can sing. She sings duuuurteh. This song made me feel funny in the tummy. In that kind of way… Abbe, Australian fox who has taken the rock/pop music scene by storm in the latter half of this year, refers to her fans as “Minxes” and is more sweary than even yours truly. You actually are better off listening to this piece of Platinum, than hearing anything about it from me. Mind your panties, though. There are a lot of Splooshing references. I recommend Pants free listening.
Drum roll please…..
1. Freedom at 21. Jack White. The man can do no wrong. A song about getting free. A song, well… a song that reminded me of me. Call it Narcissistic, but I could certainly see myself as the female hero of this track.
“Listen. Two black gadgets in her hand, it’s all she thinks about.
No responsibility, no guilt or morals cloud her judgement,
Smile on her face,
She does what she damn-well please.
Right. And she don’t care what kind of things people used to do,
And she don’t care if what she does has an effect on you,
Cause she’s got freedom in the 21st Century.”
Jack says he thinks this album was more about the Guitars. Sixteen Saltines, another sensational track from this album will blow your head off. I was one of the sheep who felt it was more about the return of the Piano to Rock and roll. Having done tours with all male bands and all female bands since the White Stripes, Jack has had to pull back his want, to make it “The Jack White show”. Until he himself, ” got free”, with his debut Solo album, that melted my frontal lobe with the goodness. No one can deny, Mr. White rules 2012 with his album “Blunderbuss” I bought it in Japan, at Tower Records.
SO. Fucking. cool.