Slightly late, but always on time, my music of 2012 posts continue with my favourite tracks. Everything here is new until the end, I’ve weighted the more appealing tracks higher up but skip away, if you like everything on here there’s something wrong with you and if you like nothing on here there’s something terribly wrong with you. Full spotify list is just here folks, links inline with every track for Spotify and iTunes (quick preview on iPad/iPhone etc.).
I’m not sure you can “waste your time in fiction or rhyme”, but at first I thought this was the lead track off a magnificent debut. Later in the year I realised this was in fact a difficult (or indeed, much improved it seems) second album. “Know me, don’t know me” is my singalong chorus of the year.
Featuring the singer from Stereolab the fabulously named Benjamin Schoos has a very summery vibe backing lyrics which basically boil down to “I see you”, bloody everywhere. Though it’s prettier in french, obviously.
In a just and indie-pop fuelled world this would be the song of the new year. As it is we get a nasty mix of U2, some duff pop hits and Pulp if we’re lucky. I endorse any song which sings the praises of drinking tea and staying in bed. Though I do get odd looks when I mutter “I’ll follow you wherever you go” as I walk around town. Natch.
Yes, I’m still hooked on the Ghost Box label. Belbury Poly got a new album out this year, and it was quite soft and pastoral. This I particularly love because the singing sounds almost like some kind of tender Bollywood hit, but against the tender synths it generates a wonderful sense of spring rising. In far less imaginative hands this would sound so much less than the sum of its parts.
Driven from the drums up with some glorious rolling rhythm, this is a lovely sequence of chanting. I must admit I missed this in late 2010 when released. “goldfish in a bowl, both my hands covered in blood, and I cannot stop this haemorrhage”, you’ll either love it or hate it.
Major Lazer is of course Diplo, who was the great MIA collaborator way back. Perfect I’m at the end of my tether music.
Not a song from their latest album, but rather popped out as a b-side this is a more stripped back Moulettes letting Hannah Miller’s voice carry most of the song with a lovely leisurely arrangement of bassoon and violin follow on. The humble tale of a woman who’d rather be a pirate than be left to rot by her moneyed (and no doubt landed and land lubbing) baronet. The air of desire for a different life is palpable, and I am a total sucker for a lyric like “He’s in love with his money and I never did trust a clean-shaven man.”, gives me hope. If you follow a link to listen to one track on this page, make it THIS one because there’s nothing I can embed (and it’s ACE!).
It’s a cover, I know. But ALL the best bands cover their own songs in manners like this. It’s my rotten luck that even the bloody Futureheads are now playing the Cello to mock my decision to give it up, but y’know I don’t mind when they make one of their own songs this open and involving. They are also unashamedly having FUN in the new arrangement and how they perform it, which makes it all the better.
Pagan Wanderer Lu rather remixed his name in 2012 to become the rather more hard to follow Andrew Paul Regan. Along the way he decided to make an album of stories, which took a while to absolutely chime with me but is I think really very successful. A tale of spying and not being able to go back to where you’ve left, this is a fantastically vivid soundscape and idea which just works so well.
Pye Corner Audio – Electronic Rhythm Number Eighteen (retransferred by The Advisory Circle) [Spotify]
I’d been having a rough-ish day, I needed out of the office and I had got ready to dash the streets of Soho to get to the cinema to meet some friends. Somehow I wound up on this track. I was just starting to ‘get’ Pye Corner Audio but it wasn’t quite sticking with me. Seven minutes later, I was hooked. In fact I hung on a corner to listen to the end of the track. Like much of the Ghost Box label (though this was self released) the parts are very simple, almost elegant, but there’s just something about the way this teases and builds and fades that makes the perfect blend of something that both chills and stirs in equal measure.
Like many things to do with The Olympics this shouldn’t have worked. At first it felt bloody cheesy. But actually, this is easily one of my favourite Chemical Brothers tracks and the atmosphere was actually lifted by it when I finally got inside the Velodrome. And hey, it wasn’t that bloody Muse song. *shudder*
I spent most of the year watching Top of The Pops 1977, and one day I hope to be as good a dancer as Bobby Farrell. Look at those moves! But in all seriousness, you overlook Boney M’s music at your peril.
Albums next… there’s twelve of those as well!