Never been much of a fan of the Arctic Monkeys. I liked the first album, then they seemed to lift off into mainstream rock and global success as the new Oasis. From the moment I heard ‘Four out of five’ though I was intrigued and the album is definitely one of my favourites of the year and certainly alongside John Grant’s Love Is Magic as the most lyrically interesting.
The vocals are very late 70s Lennon, whilst the lyrical cut ups of overheard conversations and current cultural hang ups recall Karl Hyde’s approach to assembling word collages. It’s clearly an album written on a piano rather than on guitars and is all the better for it. Without Spotify I would never have come to love this album as it would never have occurred to me to actually buy an Artic Monkeys album, but after a couple of streams I was hooked.
I gather some Arctic Monkey’s fans don’t like it though. It is noticeably and thankfully free of heavy guitar riffs.
Until the release of ‘Le Kov’, I don’t think I’d ever heard Cornish spoken let alone a Cornish song. Gwenno’s new album rectified that in some style . Her debut album was in her mother language, Welsh, while this release is in her Father’s native Cornish; both similar Celtic languages from old Britain. An electrobroquefrenchpop celebration of cultural diversity and a political statement against enforced uniformity. #7 Gwenno ‘Tir Ha Mor’
No. 7 Gorillaz – Tranz
I’ll be honest with you – the latest Gorilaz album came out and just completely passed me by. It’s been eight long years since Plastic Beach was released – lest we forget that was an album that was my favourite of that particular year. So, I’m slightly surprised that I didn’t really feel implored to check it out. However, this track was released as a single and did eventually start to make an impression on my conciousness in the Autumn. Tune in tomorrow, boys and girls, to see if an Albarn outfit can give him a third consecutive entry!
#7 for me is The Rubens’ “Never Ever” (featuring Sarah). The Rubens have been crowd favourites in the Aussie inidie rock firmament for a few years now with the song “Hoops” from the album of the same name taking out triplej’s top spot on the Hottest 100 a couple of years ago. They released a new album this year which, I think, did not hit the heights of their record breaker from 2015/16. However, the main single “Never Ever” is a fabulous ballad with a great visual exposition to match the guest vocals from Sarah Aaron. Aaron is an accomplished musician and composer in her own right, having performed lead vocals on Aussie EDM outfit LDRU’s hit “Keeping Score” and more composing songs with artists as varied as Flume, Bishop Briggs, MØ, Jessie Ware. The video is worth watching to the end to see how the narrative unfolds.