It’s that time of year again. I’ve posted my top 20 albums, now it’s time for the songs and even by my standards they’re a downbeat bunch this year. But glorious.
20. The Besnard Lakes: People of the Sticks
19. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Returning
18. Cut Ribbons: Luna
17. Ana Calvi: Tristan
16. Manic Street Preachers: Rewind the Film
15. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Finishing Jubilee Street
The music is barely there. All spaces, all suggestion.
14. R. Seiliog: Ostisho
Like Neu! reborn in Wales.
13. Chvrches: You Caught The Light
I couldn’t find a sound cloud file or video for this. It’s a glorious noise.
12. Wolf Alice: Fluffy
Almost like being a teenager again. Probably the happiest of my favourite songs this year.
11. Georgia Ruth: Winter
I couldn’t find a video or file to embed for this either, I’m afraid. You should really seek out the album Week Of Pines though, because it’s gorgeous. This is sad and beautiful.
10. The Android Angel: Lie Back and Think of England
If you follow the link you can buy the album which is just lovely and highly recommended.
9. Lights that Change: Beautiful Soul
There have been many Cocteau Twins wannabes over the years. Goodness knows I’ve heard most of them. This drags that wonderful noise into the 21st century.
8. Joanna Gruesome: Lemonade Grrrl
Actually this might be the happiest. Sorry, I can’t find a link to the new version on the album. You might as well buy it.
7. Cate le Bon ft. Perfume Genius: I Think I Knew
Reinvents ‘Je t’aime’ but there’s no telling who’s Serge Gainsbourg.
6. The Joy Formidable: The Leopard and the Lung
They’re breaking the rules: as they get bigger, they sound better.
5. Swearin’: Mermaid
A little bit Pixies but by no means a tribute act. Heartfelt and heartbreaking.
4. Cian Ciarán: No More
The ultimate one-man music machine turned in an album of jaw dropping wonders. And this to get lost in.
3. Islet: Citrus Peel
As eccentric as you could wish for with a synth refrain that sounds like an out of tune recorder version of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ this is brilliantly batty and unique.
2. Yo La Tengo: Before We Run
To my shame, I didn’t know Yo La Tengo’s music before this year. I do now. This is another song to lose yourself in and was my song of the year for months until …
1. Waxahatchee: You’re Damaged
I wasn’t expecting this. It’s the simplest of songs but played with utter integrity and naked emotion. It’s haunting in the truest sense because it will stay with you long after you’ve listened to it. This is live, but the recorded version sounds just as raw.