So we’re back, against the odds we have nearly made it through 2017. So every day for the next twenty we will pick a favourite track, nominally in reverse order to give some feel of a proper ‘chart’. Think of it as a musical ‘advent calendar’. Joining me will be Andy, Roy, Ian and whoever else wants to join in along the way.
I am going to get today’s batch underway with a track from the fine Gorillaz album ‘Humanz’. It seems a quite appropriate start point. As an album it points up the problem with the word ‘single’ in a world of streaming. Who really knows what was released as a ‘single’ off the album? Tracks were released in batches prior to its release back in April. These annual lists of ours used to be about actual singles, but if it was a track released in 2017 then that’s good enough for us.
One of the problems people have had with Humanz is the sheer length of it – or as we should say using 2017 buzz words the ‘oversupply of content’. Personally, I think of it as a musical ‘eat as much as you want’ – I dive in at various points rather than attempt to digest the whole thing at once. This was an early favourite, one of the few tracks not to feature guest vocalists and a lovely live version – Andromeda.
To kick off I’ve gone for the band that Richard found “too noisy” when we saw them supporting Kasabian earlier in the year. This band are a throwback to the 70’/80’s in a number of ways; they are avowedly political; they don’t hang about on the output front, releasing a number of low-priced proper EP’s during the year (and yes I’m sticking to ‘singles’ and ‘lead tracks’ for my choices!) and they sound like a Fall/Cravats/ Cardiacs mash-up. This is my #20, one of the best bands in the UK right now Cabbage and ‘Gibraltar Ape..
It’s good to be back contributing, and unlike last year’s slovenly effort from me where I couldn’t think of twenty tunes I liked, I’ve managed to cobble together a full complement. So, without further ado, I’m kicking off with a rare record from a lady. I’m slightly disappointed in myself that females are very much under-represented in my countdown, but at least it starts off on a positive note. Normally, I’m not that keen on songs with a fair bit of repetition of lyrics, as this does with the title, but for me, the highlight comes in the last 45 seconds which builds to a satisfying conclusion.
Merry Christmas, fellow Advent-ers. As Richard knows, I create a list of my favourite albums each year, typically circulating it to a group of friends in the week before Christmas. My criteria for being included in my Top15 is that I purchased the album in the year concerned, and that the album represents a body of work with many stand-out tracks. Consequently , the list sometimes excludes albums with perhaps one or two great songs. While my first song was released on an EP last year, it is part of the artist’s new album this year and has been played regularly by me regardless. K. Flay claims a punk and hip-hop sensibility, with lyrics to match. Most of her lyrics have a pointed message (you can find her song “The President has a Sex Tape” online), so my selected track is a little different thematically to the rest of the album. “Blood in the Cut” is all about the need to completely immersing yourself in the moment (whether it relates to pain, anger, joy or some other emotion). Presumably, drawn of some personal experience.