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:
I'm hoping to get in a little bit of Christmas blogging this year, but I can't be sure I can do much, as I have to take it easy right now. But I didn't want to miss the chance to tell you about Last.fm's campaign to get a decent song to the top of the UK charts this Christmas. Understandably, they are fed up with the fun being zapped from the long-standing tradition of the Christmas No. 1, with it now being dominated by the Simon Cowell & Co empire of TV talent shows.
Fortunately, Last.fm users have voted for a very deserving band. Lucky Soul are the best pop band around at the moment. They make stunning, heartfelt romantic pop songs full of a zillion hooks, with melodies that soar and swoop in all the right places. I can't get enough of their album The Great Unwanted, as well as the B-sides I bought from Emusic. Hooray for bands that are filled with so much pop genius that B-sides are not merely for lesser leftovers, but for equally brilliant creations!
- Cécilia et Ses Ennuis - Les Interrogations Existentielles (2000)
- Cécilia et Ses Ennuis - On m'appelle Pussycat (2000)
Paris's Cécilia et Ses Ennuis released a few EPs between 2000-01 of French 60s beat-inspired garage pop. The songs come across as very convincing faux yé-yé. 'Les Interrogations Existentielles' sounds like the band travelled back in time to get Jacques Dutronc to write them a track. 'On m'appelle Pussycat' channels the sultriness of Bardot or Andrea Parisy's 'Laisse tomber les tabous'. Foxy lead singer Cécilia Meneau makes the ideal 21st century fille dans le garage, with her modern, sexier take on the sass and cool the original 60s girls exuded. But she doesn't need a Dutronc or Gainsbourg-type to pen her tracks - her songwriting chops are her own.
As I understand it, the band aren't still together, but played a one-off comeback show in October. You can watch their performance of 'Rouge Rouge' from this show here (in typical fan-filmed quality).
Cécilia was formerly in the band The No Talents, and is currently in Operation S. Check out their MySpace - their sound is heavier, but will likely still appeal to Cécilia fans.
NZ retro-pop genius. Buy everything of theirs you can find - both albums and their EPs. They pull off my favourite pop trick, which is making albums of highly catchy songs, all with the same elements you love, but with enough inspiration to make each song melodically strong and quite different from the next. No filler, in other words.
I think I've hit on a plan to let me keep blogging without exhausting myself and then subsequently losing interest. I'm going to keep things as simple as possible with just pictures and the song and probably not buying links, although I feel a bit guilty leaving those out. But you should be able to find any albums from the vendors in my sidebar. If you've searched high and low and can't find where to buy something, you can always ask and I'll help you out.
Please use the comments section to ask me any questions. I've taken down my email address, but if you still have it, please don't use it to ask me questions you can easily find answers for on a search engine. I'm also unable to send out anything individually, even for a trade. Nor am I taking requests or band submissions. Unless you're a band in my myspace friends and you want to send me free stuff? Eh? Eh? Can't blame a girl for trying.
I'm excited to be adding
Radioblog*, which I discovered on the gorgeous blog Pop 'N Cherries. I've been trying to find a free way to do something like this for ages, but had no luck so it's a happy discovery indeed. This is my exception to my no requests policy; you can ask me to post an mp3 if you like anything on there. And I'm hoping that will make the blog a little more interactive and I'll get some more feedback on what people like. Remember, feedback keeps your widdle bloggers happy and makes them want to go on! Even just a 'thanks' or 'you rule the school' or even 'you suck!' (no just kidding, please don't) is great to hear.
I did think of starting up a forum where readers of this blog and the others that post French 60s stuff regularly could talk about what they love and any new discoveries, or trade stuff, but again I'd be biting off a bit more than I can chew. But for anyone who'd be interested in such an idea, please join the last.fm groups I have, French 60s and Ye-Ye Girls and maybe you could liven those up a bit. Even if you don't use the other last.fm features, the forums have the potential to be a great meeting place for fans.
And don't forget
Spiked-Candy Last.fm Radio is still chugging away, churning out lots of aural treats and free to listen to. If the player has let you down before, try the beta for the upcoming release. As long as you have a decent connection, it should work a charm. And I know the 2 separate downloads for the Audioscrobbler plug-in and the Last.fm player are confusing to some; this download has them both in one and guides you through everything you need to do.
Merci, and I'll be back with some tunes very soon .
Top cover of the fabulous theme song Serge Gainsbourg and France Gall recorded for the one-off TV show of the same name.
Baby Birkin were a side project for members from Thee Headcoatees and Mambo Taxi, performing 60s French covers. Russell Senior produced their work after leaving Pulp. Not sure if this 1997 track was produced by him, but I think this whole album (Classée X) was.
One of my favourite new bands. I just discovered, whilst searching for pictures, that another blog posted the exact same choice of songs recently. A great description of them; it really hits the nail on the head. Sorry for the unoriginality, but since I've already uploaded these and their files are down now, I'll still go ahead with my post. It was a happy accident though, because that's a great blog I had never come across before.
Some more songs can be streamed here [Update: Archived link to now defunct site. You can hear more Shortwave Set on Spotify or Rdio]. Try and get your hands on the stylish retro looking 10" of 'Is It Any Wonder?', if it's still around.
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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