We're back already with another five tracks each that we've been listening to over the last month or so. Some may be new releases or just songs we've only just discovered. As it's January you've even got a bonus track to listen to. Comments as always more than welcome. Stream at Apple, Google Play and Spotify.
Sara Hartman – Monster Lead Me Home
Debut single from a New York singer/songwriter. A good song with a decent beat, but nothing really sets it apart from others of its ilk.
Bas Jan – Sat Nav
Where to pigeon-hole this? Bas Jan is apparently the latest creation of Serafina Steer – and that doesn’t help me much because I’m completely ignorant of her work. Some really nice wailing guitar in it. It’s reminding me of something but I don’t recall what. I don’t know – have a listen and help me out.
Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)
I’m not quite sure how this came into my radar – it’s from 2014 and I’ve been trying to go for brand new stuff – maybe it was on the ‘Alternative’ radio channel on Apple Music (which I’ve spent quite a bit of time listening to). These are an American synthpop act. Nothing wrong with this track, but I wouldn’t give it 5 stars either.
Daughter – NumbersAnother female vocalist which reminds me of other things - probably Eliza Shaddad as featured on last month’s playlist among them. Atmospheric. Sparse in places. Quite rich in texture in others. I haven’t got around to listening to all of ‘Not to Disappear’ yet.
Panic At The Disco! - Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time
Well I think these are fairly mainstream or popular anyway in America, but I’m not going to let that put me off. I first came across these a couple of years ago via the excellent ‘Vices and Virtues’ album (check out The Ballad Of Mona Lisa if you get chance) which was also much liked amongst friends. I very eagerly awaited their next album as their back catalogue had failed to impress quite as much, and when ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’ came out in 2013, it too was a disappointment. So it was with some trepidation that I listened to ‘Death Of A Bachelor’, but I was pleasantly surprised this time – more of a return to the album I loved previously (but not as good).
Good News - Bloc Party
There was a point in January when I thought my 5 song choices for this playlist would read like a 'look who's made a comeback' list. Save for this track by Bloc Party and Mystery Jets, who you'll read about later, the others have since fallen by the wayside, however I believe that like the Mystery Jets, this Bloc Party 'comeback' has got all the hallmarks of a classic and deserves to be talked about among all the new stuff.
T.I.W.Y.G - Savages
You can't beat a bit of all-girl post punk rock, and this latest offering from Savages has me thinking of Metric and Operator Please.
I am Chemistry - Yeasayer
This blog has championed Yeasayer almost since their inception in 2006 (2080 appeared on one of John's playlists that preceded this blog) and it's great to see them back with their radio-friendly experimental american pop.
How to Recognise a Work of Art - Meilyr Jones
Meilyr Jones is the next talented singer/songwriter to emerge from Wales. Ex-frontman of Race Horses, he has released his debut album this month along with this single. In his own words “I wrote the song about the preposterous world of art collectors, the panic of what is popular, what will succeed, telling people what to like, and what to eat, and the recycling of pop culture."
Queen Bitch - David Bowie
No January playlist can be allowed to be published without a homage to the star, the icon and the change agent that was David Bowie. Almost everything that I listen and have listened to has been influenced by him. I used this song on this blog to celebrate his 65th birthday in 2012, it still is one of my all-time favourite songs, from his 1971 album Hunky Dory.
Ode to Anthony H. Wilson
This track was a number one hit in the UK for physical sales so you may all know about it but in the age of digital downloads you may not. Mike Garry and Joe Duddell combine on this charity single as a tribute to former Factory Records owner and general entrepreneur Tony Wilson. He passed away in 2007 leaving a legacy behind him that spanned nightclubs, record labels, television and radio. The poet Mike Garry approached Joe Duddell (a conductor of some stature having worked with New Order, James and Elbow fame) with his poem about “Mr Manchester” and Duddell added the beautiful backdrop to his words.
You Stole The Sun – Twisted Wheel
This track has been my soundtrack to December and January as I decided whether or not to include it in one of the monthly playlists. Twisted Wheel have appeared on the blog before, back in 2008 and I found this gem when trying to find out what they’ve been up to recently. Sadly they split up in 2014 and this is from their first stock of songs back in 2008.
Get Low – Stornoway
There’s something about checking out a band years on from when you first heard them. It’s like meeting up with an old friend and seeing how they’ve changed – although you don’t tend to celebrate the failures so much with bands, it’s usually more a miracle if they’re still going. Named after the Scottish coastal town they’re actually from Oxford. They just wanted a name that seemed remote. Back in 2009 they released the wonderful Zorbing and while they don’t seemed to have travelled far from their original roots they are still going strong with this track released in 2015.
Midnight at KOKO – Fake Club
Fake Club are a five piece, all female band formed in London. They supplied the soundtrack for 2013 film Powder Room which was a British film which spent most of its time in the toilets of a club. It wasn’t well received. This track however is great and deserved a better film.
Chasing The Tail Of A Dream – The Coral
I had quite a few tracks vying for my final selection, I could have gone for quite a few American bands that I’ve featured on the blog in the past, OK Go, Hot Hot Heat, The Dandy Warhols but in the end I decided to choose a track that might please the pallet of my fellow bloggers more. This latest single from The Coral is a bit of a change in direction in my opinion, certainly a long way away from the jangly tones of Dreaming of You. ‘Chasing’ has been followed up by Miss Fortune and this is of a similar vein. If you like ‘Chasing’ check it out.
Telemere – Mystery Jets
It nearly kicked off in the blog head office as we all tried to claim Telemore as ours for this month’s playlist. As our parents took it off us exclaiming “if you can’t play nice none of you can have it” we decided on a compromise, we would have it as the 16th track. There for everyone to enjoy. Mystery Jets are a band that have been around for a fair while and I was introduced to them by Neil singing as he rode beside me through the rain in the Lake District. Despite this (winking emoji Neil, remember no more fighting at HQ) I still love the Two Doors Down track from 2008 and it made me listen with intrigue to their latest album. What a cracking album. Neil agrees. However I’ll leave you with the words of Chris “This was released as a single last month ahead of the album release this month. Apparently a ‘Telemere’ is a ‘region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of the chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration of fusion with neighbouring chromosomes’. Atmospheric and a steady grower. Representative of the album itself – worth a listen.”