We have had a couple of overlaps between our lists so far, but I suspect that, based on conversations this year, this may well set up at least a three way artists overlap, although possibly not the same tracks from Public Service Broadcasting’s Every Valley. The first few singles by PSB had the feel of novelty tracks, fun but capable of sustaining a career? However the three albums so far have proven that by adopting a theme and telling a story, the interweaving of archive audio and electronica can be deeply moving: the resolution of the home front, the brave optimism of the space race and most recently the rise and fall of the Welsh coal industry. It is hard to pick just one track, but I am going to opt for ‘They Gave Me A Lamp.’
Seeing them live at the Hammersmith Odeon this Autumn was a real revelation and the last song was the last track on the album. The band climbed down into the audience and left the stage to the Beaufort Colliery Male Choir. Not a dry eye in the house, so forgive me if I sneak it in here:
Well, Richard and I did talk about this album. PSB’s new release is also in my top ten. Consequently, like a game of 500/Euchre, I feel I have to follow suit for the round. A big fan of the band’s found-sound melodies since 2013’s debut “Inform-Educate-Entertain”, there are numerous great tracks on there new release in addition to the two chosen by Richard. The single “Progress”, with guest vocals by Camera Obscura’s TracyAnne Campbell was (as far as I can tell) the first release from the album and is worth looking for online. However, the track I have chosen is “People Will Always Need Coal” with its astute observations of dying industries.
PS Not being able to attend any of this band’s London performances is one of the few regrets I have for 2017.
There is always at least one track each year that unites my family and this is it. What makes it even more unique is the fact that it is from an artist who’s career to all intents and purposes was dead in the water. To make a comeback is one thing, to make a comeback with a critically acclaimed number 1 album and a sold-out- in-minutes Arena tour us something else entirely. This track not only includes a Robert Fripp-esque Fame guitar lick, but is the best post-Oasis tune either Gallagher has released and Liam’s best vocal for a very long time – Number 7 Liam Gallagher ‘Wall Of Glass’ . As you were.
As Richard has commented, the upper echelons of the chart are prone to repetition, and that is certainly the case with my number 7 selection being the same as his number 18. James Murphy had put this project to bed, but I and, no doubt, countless others are delighted that he resurrected it this year. Can it really be ten years since “Someone Great” was my number 5 favourite track of the year, edging out Fionn Regan’s “Put a Penny in the Slot” (nobody could ever accuse me of being predictable!)? Well, yes it can! And yes, it is influenced heavily by Talking Heads’ David Byrne’s vocal delivery, but is that really a bad thing? Judge for yourself. Number 7…