Saturday, 29 December 2012

Top 50 Songs of 2012

Even though I get the impression that the only people reading 'best of' lists at the end of each year work in those respective industries (film, music, sexy celebs, whatever) I couldn't resist the urge to share my top songs of this year.

2012 has been freaking insane, and this bunch of songs has provided the soundtrack to some of its most ridiculous/amazing moments. My playlist features everyone from Metz, A$AP Rocky and the Luyas to MS/MR, Azealia Banks and Lapalux (twice, 'cos he's bad-ass like dat).

Top 40 pop music really outdid itself in terms of copycat production, cookie-cutter formulae and that horrific Guetta-inspired sound. Regardless, creative musicians shone over the last 12 months. From Frank Ocean's cross-genre seduction of the listening public to Lianne La Havas' rich vocal tone and spot-on songrwriting, it's been quite the year for the fearless composers and risk-takers who dared to venture beyond the verse-chorus-verse-dubstep-break-chorus structure that restricted so many of radio's A lists.

Click here for my full Spotify playlist (done in no particular order), and let me know which tracks you've fallen in love with in 2012 on the blog's Facebook page

As ever, there are a handful of songs not released officially through labels (and thus not on Spotify) that I want to show my love for too. Ah, Soundcloud, you wonderful thief of hearts and provider of precious gems, thank you for bringing these songs by Sky Ferreira (New York Mag's song of the year!), the Hood Internet, Eagles For Hands and more into my life. See those Honourable Mentions below, and Happy New Year to all of y'all.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Song of the Day: Beach Fossils - Careless

This little sun-drenched gem appeared almost a whole month ago, but I've only recently struggled to get it out of my head. Blame the holidays, and having enough free time to obsess over three minute snapshots of addictive pop-writing, but here we are.

The Brooklyn-based band are set to release album Clash the Truth through Captured Tracks on February 19th, 2013. In the mean-time, they're playing a New Year's Eve show at the Irving Plaza in New York City, opening for Blonde Redhead. They'll probably be debuting a bunch of new material, so if you're already a fan of their lo-fi slacker pop then I hope you've nabbed yourself a ($44) ticket: it's likely to get busy.

If you're living anywhere besides the Big Apple, they don't seem to have other tour dates listed yet. I'll keep y'all posted if I hear otherwise, since they'll no doubt be on the road to promote the upcoming LP soon.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

FREE SHIT Part 42: Sweet Valley - Jenova

Wavves' Nathan Williams has got into the Christmas spirit and released a new sample-heavy album of sorts as his new side project, Sweet Valley. Working with his brother Kynan, he's crafted this 17-track ode to stoner-wave goodness. Or, as the band have dubbed it on their Facebook page: "A soundtrack to getting drunk."

Whatever your addictive substance of choice (or if you wanna go all straight-edge on enjoying this), they've hit us with over 140 samples throughout the record and appear to be carrying on in a similar vein from their mixtape that dropped earlier this year. Instrumental, groove-driven and hazy tracks are the order of the day, so fans of Wavves (obvs), Thundercat and The Flaming Lips will probably be into this.

Head to Bandcamp to stream and download this new offering. And happy holidays to err'body; I'm back in London for the break and have been doing an amazing job of ignoring the internet for the past five days. Apparently the £1 fish guy from earlier this year now has a higher-quality video where he wears a suit? Wow.

Aw shucks, I may as well go all out on the festive niceties: to everyone who's liked this blog's Facebook page, reached out to send me their music or simply shared links from the site with people they know, THANK YOU. You are awesome.

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