So we are into the top ten. Two things can tend to happen as we approach the summit, based on previous years. Our choices tend to intertwine more, as our seemingly disparate rivers reach the delta. Also we tend to have less orphan tracks and more choices linked to our albums of the year. Will that prove to be the case this year? Well my number two certainly confirms to the latter, taken from OMD’s Punishment Of Luxury album, which hit the top 5 of the UK album charts and deservedly so. The singles off the album were very catchy, this track however, like a number of songs, sees them returning to the more experimental, introspective side of their sound. This is the gorgeous ‘The View From Here’:
Let the intertwining begin……my number 10 is by an artist who despite producing some wonderful , critically acclaimed and increasingly commercially successful albums over the past few years, surpassed himself in 2017 with the career-high ‘Savage: Songs From A Broken World’. Coming from anybody else a ‘concept’ album set in a post -ecological disaster future earth, signposting our destructive behaviour towards the environment, would be almost risible, but this is Gary Numan and he does what he wants! I could have chosen virtually any track from the album but being consistent in my choices, this is the lead track and features his 12 year old daughter, Persia, on backing vocals.
Number 10, ‘My Name Is Ruin’ by Gary Numan
Yet another blast from the past from me, at least in terms of the group in question, who haven’t graced these lists for 24 years. And it’s good to have them back! I did miss seeing Kim Deal when watching the Pixies at the Cambridge Junction back in July, but her replacement does a reasonable impression. This band haven’t recorded anything for eight years and this was the first of a series of 7″ (remember them?!) singles that they are scheduled to put out. It has the distinction of being the most recent addition to my Top 20, something which it may have benefited from. Number 10…
In at #10 for me is “French Press” by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. They are a jangly-guitar band from Melbourne that immediately bring to mind two other Aussie groups The Triffids and The Go-Betweens. Not particularly political, the songs on their new mini-album/extended EP lean more towards observations relating to suburban ennui (holidays in the bush, re-building a relationship, working in retail). The chosen song “French Press” is has a particularly Australian theme and setting, with a summer pool party and lyrics reflecting on the physical and mental distance between siblings, one in Europe and one left at home.