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.
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- 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:
A mix for Halloween featuring music from 70s European horror soundtracks, eerie vintage folk-pop, contemporary pop noir and more. Last year, I made a devil-themed mix drawing from a similar range of artists, but where that one was skin-crawlingly creepy, this is more softly unnerving, with undercurrents of romance and sensuality. It makes me vaguely picture an imaginary classic horror film where a beautiful heroine is lured into a haunted forest by an irresistible but diabolical lover. Amid the prettily haunting sounds, there are still some genuinely terrifying moments – Goblin's bloodcurdling 'Sighs', from Suspiria, for example – should this ominous realm start to feel too cosy.
The mix image is Elsa Martinelli in Roger Vadim's 1960 vampire flick, Et mourir de plaisir (aka Blood and Roses).
Tracklist (Show details)
- François De Roubaix - Les Lèvres Rouges (1971)
From the Les Lèvres Rouges (Daughters of Darkness) soundtrack.
- Beautify Junkyards - Longo Amanhã (2015)
From The Beast Shouted Love.
- Ennio Morricone - Astratto IV (1971)
From the Veruschka - poesia di una donna soundtrack.
- Marianne Faithfull - Oh Look Around You (1965)
From her self-titled debut album.
- Daniela Casa - Ignoto (1975)
From Società Malata, reissued on Penny Records in 2013, and again on Dagored this year.
- Death and Vanilla - Shadow and Shape (2015)
- Comus - Bitten (1971)
From First Utterance.
- The Paradise Motel - Bad Light (1996)
From Still Life.
- Broadcast - The Sacred Marriage (2013)
From the soundtrack to Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio.
- Jenny Hval - In the Red (2016)
From Blood Bitch.
- Cat's Eyes - Pavane (2015)
From the soundtrack to another Strickland film, The Duke of Burgundy.
- Françoise Hardy - The Rose (1966)
From Hardy's first English language album, In English.
- Piero Umiliani - Nocturne (1973)
From To-Day's Sound, reissued on Easy Tempo in 1997.
- Ennio Morricone - Metamorfosi (1971)
From the La classe operaia va in paradiso.
- Laurence Vanay - Soleil Rouge (1974)
- Espers - Flowery Noontide (2005)
- Cat's Eyes - Black Madonna (2015)
From The Duke of Burgundy.
- Les Maledictus Sound - Heathcliff Y Cry Your Name (1968)
From Attention (or arguably Les Maledictus Sound - I'm uncertain of the correct title), the only release by this band helmed by Jean-Pierre Massiera.
- Keith Seatman - A Slight of Hand (2013)
- Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - The False Husband (2006)
From Ballad Of The Broken Seas.
- Jane Weaver - Parade of Blood Red Sorrows (2013)
- Belbury Poly - Pan's Garden (2006)
From The Owl's Map.
- Spirogyra - Old Boot Wine (1973)
From the 2004 compilation Gather In The Mushrooms – The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974. Originally from the album Bells, Boots and Shambles.
- Phillip Lambro / Orriel Smith - Hannah Emerges In the Night (1973)
Originally from the Crypt of the Living Dead soundtrack, this was included as a bonus track on the 2011 digital issue of Smith's 1968 single, 'Tiffany Glass' (which was also written by Lambro).
- Still Corners - Demons (2011)
From Creatures of an Hour.
- Acanthus - Sleeping Beauty (Samba Des Vampires) (1971)
From the soundtrack to Jean Rollin's Le Frisson des vampires, released by Finders Keepers Records in 2010.
- Emil Richards - Opal (October) (1966)
From New Sound Element "Stones", reissued by The Omni Recording Corporation in 2012.
- Lake Ruth - One Night As I Lay On My Bed (2016)
From Actual Entity.
- Colleen - Le Labyrinthe (2007)
- Angelo Badalamenti - Laura's Dark Boogie (1990)
From Twin Peaks: Season Two Music and More (2007).
- Maxine Sullivan - Dark Eyes (1938)
From the 1997 compilation The Chronological Classics: Maxine Sullivan 1937-1938.
- Jean Prodromidès - Carmilla et Léopoldo (1960)
From the Et mourir de plaisir (Blood and Roses) soundtrack.
- Harmonic 33 - Long Shadow (2005)
From Music For Film, Television & Radio, Volume 1.
- Goblin - Sighs (1977)
From the soundtrack to Dario Argento's Suspiria, reissued on Bella Casa's The Awakening box set in 2012.
- Harper / Russe / St. George - Nightwalker (1972)
From Electrosonic, a library music record Don Harper, Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson (the latter two under pseudonyms) made for KPM, reissued by Glo-Spot in 2006.
- Clara Rockmore - Rachmaninoff: Vocalise (1977)
From The Art of the Theremin.
- Ela Orleans - Nocturne (2012)
From Tumult In Clouds.
- Elysian Fields - Black Acres (2000) – Free download available from Epitonic.
From Queen Of The Meadow.
- Luboš Fišer - Blood Red Rose (1972)
From the Morgiana soundtrack, released by Finders Keepers Records in 2013.
- Mono In VCF - We Could've Owned The World (2008)
From Mono In VCF.
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!
Sorry, everyone, not to have blogged for a long time and to have neglected to let you know that I'm on (unintended) hiatus. I kept hoping I would get back to blogging at any moment, but I just have not been up to it. I will return when I feel like I can blog without it taking too much out of me. I also want to take some time to rethink/redesign/relaunch the blog just as I'd like it.
Apologies also to my Last.fm friends and group members. I'll catch up when I can, but need to continue having a total break for now. Socialising online with everyone has been really fun, but it snowballed into something I couldn't keep up with.
You may also have noticed my Youtube account is once again gone, and I won't be setting up another, as it's too much of a gamble that hours of work will be wiped out at their whim. Instead, I'm migrating to
Imeem, where many videos are allowed, since Imeem has deals with labels and pay royalties. And if a copyright holder wants to exercise their right to keep everyone from ever seeing obscure videos, as they are wont to do on Youtube, the video gets cut but I get to keep my account. Hooray! So far I've uploaded one of my faves and my most popular video on Youtube, Marianne Faithfull singing 'Hier ou demain ' in Anna:
The clip above is a fab girls-with-guitars sequence from the 1967 Greek musical comedy Oi thalassies oi hadres (Οι θαλασσιές οι χάντρες, "The Blue Beads"). A group of men have been lured to the modern club Crazy Girls, hearing rock refrains drifting into their own club, situated nearby in the Plaka, where they play traditional bazouki music. Sitting in on the rehearsal of the house band, the men appreciatively gawk at lead singer Mary, played by Zoe Laskari (Ζωή Λάσκαρη), who cuts a stunning figure in her red sweater and gorgeous knee-high red boots. Toward the end of the clip, we see the band perform to a packed, groovy dancefloor that night. Mary will soon fall for one of the bazouki players, setting up a theme of modern versus traditional values and how a traditional place handles the influence of modernity.
The entire movie can be watched here. Though it has no English subtitles, you may still find it enjoyable, as I did. It can be vaguely followed, particularly at the beginning when the American character says quite a few basic pieces of dialogue in English. The musical numbers alone, especially the gloriously choreographed fantasy sequences, are worth watching it for. 'Crazy Girl' is the only rock song, but the more traditional music is beautiful.
That said, I do hope to see a subtitled version one day, because the film has more to offer than being a light romp with optional dialogue. Greek blog Zalmoxis discusses viewing the film with a fresh perspective after reading an academic article by Michael Kokkoni which credits Oi thalassies oi hadres as representing an important turning point in Greek cinema. It was an unusually high quality production for the time, no easy feat considering the film industry faced "indifference from the state [and] heavy taxation".
Until I watched the video above and the Zoe Kouroukli clips posted in the last entry (all originally posted by balubashake), I thought Zoe Kouroukli and Zoe Laskari were the same person and was about to print Laskari's life story as Kouroukli's. You see, Laskari was also born Zoe Kouroukli, and between attempting to read poorly translated Greek and coming across sites understandably confusing the two women, I came to the wrong conclusion. The excellent Vangelis Movements site, for example, has a page on Zoe Kouroukli which states singer Kouroukli competed for Greece in Miss Universe in 1959, which was actually Laskari. Another article mentions Laskari in a blurb on Zoe & The Stormies, and with auto-translators not providing any clarity, I guessed the name was mentioned as an alias or stage name.
Thanks to Berat for tipping me off about this fantastic Turkish cover of Marie Laforêt's 'Mon amour, mon ami'. Turkish to English online translators are useless, so I'm afraid I can't find out anything about Ms Yazar. But judging by her musical longevity and her extensive 60s filmography, she was well-loved as both a singer and an actress.
If I have this right (feel free to correct me!), the lyrics to this version are a warning to a flirtatious woman to stay away from her man. In the original, the slightly sinister melody tempers the sweetness of the sentiment ('my love, my friend, when I dream, I dream of you') with a dash of potentially worrying obsessiveness. Here, Gönül's coolly-delivered threat to the other woman works well with the music's ominous quality.
*Update* - OK, so this is why I probably shouldn't have trusted my interpretation of a couple of words in the chorus translated via an online Turkish dictionary and then have run with that. Berat has corrected me that the flirtatious woman in the song is the singer herself. So my comments above don't exactly apply, but my point about the tune suiting the theme still stands, as the sense of both detachment and warning I imagined are still present lyrically. But I'll substitute "cooly-delivered threat to the other woman" for "cooly-delivered assertion that love is not for a woman like her". Here's the translation as Berat provided it to me:
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
- Wed, Dec 21 2005
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