It's my first post of the new year and, though late to the game, I wanted to share my favourite music from last year. 2016 was a notoriously terrible year (not that this year is exactly peachy so far!), but thankfully the same can't be said of the music that came out last year. It was, to quote Lisa Simpson's insensitive future fiancé, like a flower that grew out of a pot of dirt. I feel spoiled by the amount and variety of quality music I've been enjoying from last year's offerings. There are the gorgeous vintage European pop sounds of The Yearning and Lia Pamina, the visionary retrofuturism of Adrian Younge, the moving, classic songwriting of Big Smoke, the raw garage rock of The Mystery Lights, some fresh takes on dream pop, and many outings in psychedelic-influenced, experimental pop. Some of these albums have quickly become all-time favourites, not just favourites of the year. Below is a playlist of songs from my most-loved releases of 2016, including albums, singles and EPs, in no particular order. A list of my top eleven albums (I could not narrow it down to ten!) of the year – again, in no specific order – follows it.
Click next to tracks for individual players | Show all
- Britta Phillips - Daydream (Luck Or Magic)
- Big Smoke - Honey, I (Time Is Golden)
- Margo Price - Hands Of Time (Midwest Farmer's Daughter)
- Kadhja Bonet - Fairweather Friend (The Visitor)
- The Yearning - When I Lost You (Evening Souvenirs)
- Le Super Homard - Maple Key (Maple Key)
- Gloria - Show Me Your Trail (Gloria In Excelsis Stereo)
- Lake Ruth - Helium (Actual Entity)
- Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn - Ready To Love (Something About April II)
- Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - A Wonderful Seed (Until The Hunter)
- Julia Jacklin - Pool Party (Don't Let The Kids Win)
Name your price download.
- Beverly - Victoria (The Blue Swell)
- Nice As Fuck - Door (Nice As Fuck)
- The Limiñanas - Dahlia Rouge (Malamore)
- The Mystery Lights - Follow Me Home (The Mystery Lights)
- Gaye Su Akyol - Eski tüfek (Hologram İmparatorluğu)
- La Femme - Le vide est ton nouveau prénom (Mystère)
- Lia Pamina - Créeme (Love Is Enough)
- Cat's Eyes - Everything Moves Towards the Sun (Treasure House)
- Innerspace Orchestra - One Way Glass (One Way Glass single)
- Whyte Horses - Peach Tree Street (Pop Or Not)
- Charlie Hilton - Pony (Palana)
- Prudence Rees-Lee - Fair Witness (Fair Witness single)
- Olympia - Smoke Signals (Self Talk)
- Juniore - Panique (Panique single)
- September Girls - Quicksand (Age Of Indignation)
- Heron Oblivion - Your Hollows (Heron Oblivion)
- Delphine Dora - Alpha centauri (Le Fruit de mes songes)
- Morgan Delt - Sun Powers (Phase Zero)
- Charles Bradley - Ain't Gonna Give It Up (Changes)
- The Honey Pot - Almost Exactly Beautiful (Inside The Whale)
- Beautify Junkyards - Constant Flux (Other Voices 08 single)
- Lush - Lost Boy (Blind Spot EP)
- Exploded View - Stand Your Ground (Exploded View)
- Bat For Lashes - In God's House (The Bride)
- Adrian Younge presents The Electronique Void - Black Noise (Black Noise)
- TOY - Dream Orchestrator (Clear Shot)
- Jarvis Cocker - Theme From "Likely Stories" (Likely Stories EP)
- The Galaxy Electric - Nightmares (Everything is Light and Sound)
- Jenny Hval - Female Vampire (Blood Bitch)
- Leonard Cohen - Traveling Light (You Want it Darker)
- John Cunningham - I Can Fly (Fell)
- Paul Kelly - Sonnet 73 (Seven Sonnets & A Song)
- The New Lines - Love and Cannibalism (Love and Cannibalism)
- Mild High Club - Homage (Skiptracing)
- COTE - London (London single)
- Samara Lubelski - What's Up Rider (The Gilded Raid)
Top 11 albums:
Spiked Candy kicked off with a France Gall video and a Quebecoise France Gall cover, so for old times' sake, I thought I'd start again the same way:
This is a clip from an episode of a music show called Au risque de vous plaire which originally aired on the 10th of January, 1969. The episode, directed by Jean-Christophe Averty, is creative and colourful, making the most of the relatively new colour format. They've gone a bit nuts with the technique of using graphics to frame the footage, with fun results like those seen here. (The video may take a few moments to load).
I love Canadian girl Claire Lepage's take on France Gall's 1964 single, 'Le Premier Chagrin d'amour', which has lyrics by France's father, Robert Gall, and music by Claude Henri-Vic. In her slowed-down, more grown-up-sounding version, the 'first heartbreak' of the title sounds like it's about something that had more at stake than France Gall's lost teen love. Claire's version comes two year later, in 1966, which is a little unusual as international covers tended to appear soon after the original.
I've also made a playlist* of France Gall covers - 30 of them!
I'm feeling spoiled this year thanks to all the quality Christmas music I've found online that the artists have generously made available for free download. Below is my list of finds. Got any more to add?
A little while ago, I came across the excellent Jugobeat site, filled with bios, pics and discographies of artists from the little-known 60s beat scene of former Yugoslavia, and became fixated with finding music by the only solo female act listed, Daniela. The site is run by Vanya, of No Brains Zine & Records, who was kind enough to rip some Daniela vinyl for me. Vanya was also responsible for a small run of 2 volumes of a great comp called Jugobeat Explosion a few years ago.
Daniela's real name was Danica Milatovic. She was born in Munich, Germany on December 13th, 1949, and her parents had come from Yugoslavia some years before. In 1960 she recorded her first 45. Between 1965 and 1973 there were 12 more 45s and two LPs with German songs. Her biggest hit was "Im Jahre 2002" ("In the Year 2002").
I haven't heard her most well-known song, but my guess is it's a cover of 'In The Year 2525'. Amusingly, various foreign language covers all set the date of doom in different years, depending what best fits the tongue it's sung in: 2005, 2003, 2023. [*Edit- I guessed wrong:
here's a link I found to a stream of the track: 'Im Jahre 2002 ' (watch out for pop-up ads). Youtube.]
I'm posting all 20 tracks I have by her, which include recordings sung in English, Serbo-Croatian, German and French. The best is her garagey stuff, but I think these are all worth hearing. For those whose connections don't let them get large files, the tracks Garage Hangover posted
are still up. You'll find a couple of her German songs and one Yugoslavian EP, featuring her appealing garage cover of 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin''.
Heading this list are a trio of Swedish pop girls - Kin, in her uniquely cute and slightly batty way, asks Santa what it takes to make his 'nice' list; El Perro Del Mar brings to her Christmas tune her signature style of creating a haunting, melancholic atmosphere using cheery 60s girl group sounds; and Bobby Baby surprisingly refreshes a tired old standard, making it pretty and icy, yet somehow warm and cosy too.
It's true, I can't - damn all those incredible girl pop compilations! These two melt-worthy tunes refuse to leave my brain, and have kind of merged into one rather glorious mash-up.
- Pat Simon - Hold Tight
- Les Gamines - Vis ta vie mon gars
Click here to see some pics of Les Gamines - I think their outfits make me love them even more. Speaking of Canadian yé-yé girls, if anyone has an mp3 of a rare group called Les Scarabées, could you please let me know? I have an LP of theirs, but no money in the near future to get vinyl to mp3 equipment. I know nothing about them, except that Liz Brady, whose songs show up on a few yé-yé comps, was in them.
'Hold Tight' is another track from Ultra Chicks Volume 6. 'Vis Ta Vie Mon Gars' i s from Girls In the Garage Vol. 10. Keep an eye out on Ebay for the original records of the lesser known artists on these compilations, as they often go for quite cheap.
out of print
- February 19 2017
- February 2 2017
- December 24 2016
- December 23 2016
- November 25 2016
- November 19 2016
- November 11 2016
- October 29 2016
- October 7 2016
- September 1 2016
- August 29 2016
- July 30 2016
- July 19 2016
- July 14 2016
- Mon, Jul 25 2005
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