Top tracks of 2018 #12 – Idles, Khruangbin, Father John Misty & George Fitzgerald

Amongst my 2018 choices this could be seen as something of an outlier, given my current level of boredom with guitar bands, but this track from Bristol’s Idles fizzes with energy and lyrical interest. Their second album ‘Joy Is An Act of Resistance’ is 6Music’s album of the year and it rivals ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ for best album name of the year. As I type we are a day away from a vote in the House of Commons in the UK, the aftermath of which that could determine the next few decades on many levels, so here is a song about freedom of movement.

For the uninitiated the guy in the video is not in the band. They are a whole lot hairier than that. He is their friend: Ukranian born Danny Nedelko.

Andy

You may remember that last year’s number 1 album for me was Fleet Foxes “Crack-Up” so it comes as no surprise that former member, Josh Tillman, has made it into this year’s list in his own right. This is taken from his album “God’s Favourite Customer”, and for those unfamiliar with him, he is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer, producer and resembles an uncanny likeness to a dishevelled Kris Kristofferson! From Father Christmas to Father John…

Ian

In the interests of further diversity, let me throw a left field guitar instrumental into the mix as my #12. Khruangbin are a Texas trio, named after the Thai word for aeroplane (literally “flying engine”). They play what can be broadly called world music, mainly instrumental, with musical influences ranging across Thai, Afghanistan, Tex-Mex and the Middle Eastern styles. I had heard about them extensively over the last few years, via various friends and reviewers I respect, and yet their albums were hard to come by in this part of the world. Consequently, I purchased their 2018 release “Con Todo El Mundo” along with their 2015 debut “The Universe Smiles Upon You” from Fopp in Leicester Square without having heard a single track. While my selected tune “Maria También” is a super-catchy instrumental, the rest of the albums were – sadly – a disappointment to me. For eclectic but inspired world music give me Thievery Corporation instead; for South-Western Americana try Calexico. All the same, enjoy the tune and the clip’s interesting visual history of Iran.

Roy

In complete contrast my number 12 is by an artist who’s name sounds more like he should be part of the hipster ‘new jazz’ movement that everybody will have forgotten about by this time next year. George Fitzgerald produces sounds that could not be further apart on the musical spectrum to jazz. This a highlight from his current album ‘All That Must Be’, #12 ‘The Echo Forgets’ .

 

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11 thoughts on “Top tracks of 2018 #12 – Idles, Khruangbin, Father John Misty & George Fitzgerald

  1. Brand new to me. Certainly captures the 1977/punk London vibe well. A quick trip down the rabbit hole reveals the earlier hit “Mother” with what I assume is the band’s general philosophy expressed in the lyric “the best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich”. I’ll be looking into the group further.

    1. There is currently a huge, very healthy upsurge in angry young (and in the case of Idles, not so young) punk-influenced bands: Shame (who’ve already featured on here),Cabbage, LIFE, Goat Girl, Blinders, Pigs x7, TVAM, Bilk to name but a few.
      I really should like Idles more than I do, not sure what it is about them that doesn’t quite do it for me – maybe lack of killer tunes. 10/10 for attitude and subject matter though.

  2. In complete contrast my number 12 is by an artist who’s name sounds more like he should be part of the hipster ‘new jazz’ movement that everybody will have forgotten about by this time next year. George Fitzgerald produces sounds that could not be further apart on the musical spectrum to jazz. This a highlight from his current album ‘All That Must Be’, #12 ‘The Echo Forgets’ .

    1. I know you recommended this album to me and I did give it a try, but I could not get into it – to me it’s a bit too Hacienda retro, which was not a form of dance music I was particularly keen on.

      1. The ‘hacienda’ (really Chicago House) re-invented and re-invigorated dance music ; The Beloved, Faithless,Chemicals etc .were all beneficiaries

  3. In the interests of further diversity, let me throw a left field guitar instrumental into the mix as my #12. Khruangbin are a Texas trio, named after the Thai word for aeroplane (literally “flying engine”). They play what can be broadly called world music, mainly instrumental, with musical influences ranging across Thai, Afghanistan, Tex-Mex and the Middle Eastern styles. I had heard about them extensively over the last few years, via various friends and reviewers I respect, and yet their albums were hard to come by in this part of the world. Consequently, I purchased their 2018 release “Con Todo El Mundo” along with their 2015 debut “The Universe Smiles Upon You” from Fopp in Leicester Square without having heard a single track. While my selected tune “Maria También” is a super-catchy instrumental, the rest of the albums were – sadly – a disappointment to me. For eclectic but inspired world music give me Thievery Corporation instead; for South-Western Americana try Calexico. All the same, enjoy the tune and the clip’s interesting visual history of Iran.

    1. This is intriguing and I am sucker for anything that involves voiceover samples and archive footage. This sounds like a global version of Public Service Broadcasting. Shame that you don’t recommend the albums.. A fine addition to our playlist.

      1. I agree it’s a real shame – I was keen to like them a lot. The problem, for my taste, is that most of the songs “noodle around” and don’t really go anywhere. Here are a couple of additional samples – the first from the debut album which had a strong Thai influence and the second a track from this year’s release. Technically very good but for no purpose is my thinking.

        and

      2. Actually I quite like them. I don’t mind music that goes nowhere in particular as I listen a lot whilst working, so am looking for types of music that I can use rather like a DJ uses a musical bed. These will so nicely and remind me of Lemonjelly, which is no bad thing. Music to analyse data to .

  4. You may remember that last year’s number 1 album for me was Fleet Foxes “Crack-Up” so it comes as no surprise that former member, Josh Tillman, has made it into this year’s list in his own right. This is taken from his album “God’s Favourite Customer”, and for those unfamiliar with him, he is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer, producer and resembles an uncanny likeness to a dishevelled Kris Kristofferson! From Father Christmas to Father John…

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