Followers of this blog may recall that I am a sucker for a gospel choir, so this immediately stood out on the radio and I resolved to track down the album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ which has made it onto many end of year album lists, not least due to the sublime ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ It’s a personal album, with Loyle Carner’s mother and family members – pictured above – a constant reference point. This track recalls visits to Scotland as child. By the way that is his late stepfather’s Eric Cantona shirt in his hand throughout the song.
Fantastic. Never heard of him before, but a great song. Funnily enough, my #16 has a spiritual background, though no Gospel choir. Sounding like the love-child of Bruce Springsteen & Billy Corgan, David Le’aupepe’s band Gang of Youths released their second album “Go Farther in Lightness” this year. Far from demonstrating the feared sophomore slump, it ascends to great heights lyrically and musically. Reflecting on his failed marriage to a woman who recently died of cancer, it is an incredibly personal exploration of his faith (he is a member of the biggest evangelical congregation in Sydney), mental health and the philosophical issues of mortality. The album includes an abundance of literary reference, drawing on the New Sincerity movement, which includes works by writers like David Foster Wallace and Zadie Smith, and songs which overtly reference philosophers like Ayn Rand & Albert Cumus and the mythology of Virgil and Homer. The success of the band’s masterpiece was recgonised a couple of weeks ago when they won four awards, including Album of the Year, at the ARIAs (our version of the Brit Awards). The track I have chosen, “Achilles Come Down” is not one of the many singles from the album, but is the stand out track for me. It uses samples of Camus speaking alongside string orchestration and lyrics documenting the writer’s suicidal impulses. Here’s “Achilles Come Down”. It is geoblocked on Youtube so here is our first spotify link ( it is track eight):
For my 16, more electronica, this time from one of the more unlikely ‘comebacks’ of the year. The Hatrnoll brothers have got a claim to fame to inventing this kind of thing and they certainly have an unmissable signature sound, front and centre on this excellent new track. Orbital ‘Copenhagen’ in its natural environment, live in a field
This is getting a bit daft! Yet another entry from a band who haven’t recorded together for 20 years although they did reform about a decade ago, as I know when I saw them play a great set at a festival in Paris. And like previous entry Ride, another band who began on the Creation label. I must admit I prefer the more tuneful songs in their repertoire, but the wall of feedback that was to be their trademark in those early shows was a world away from much of what was happening in 1984…wasn’t it, Nik Kershaw?! Welcome back the Reid brothers, we’ve missed you! Apologies for the “unofficial video”, and hope it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment. Number 16…