No stranger to these lists over the years, Mystery Jets are a strange band in that they have no real definable sound, with each album quite different from the last as they occupy a no mans land between indie, prog, grunge and pop.
Screwdriver is a mighty stomp of a protest record, featuring a Morello- style monster riff. If She Drew the Gun forensically dissected the problem and Kate Tempest found solace in the people around her, then Mystery Jets solution is more in the mould of sixties protest songs: rise up and take action.
Say you got God on your side
But you ain’t why Jesus died
But an enemy is only what you fight them with
Fight them with love
‘Cause when the power of love overcomes the love of power
Then the world, will be ours
Scroll down for Roy and Ian’s choices…
The sharp-eyed and eared amongst you will notice that my number 4 artist also appeared in my top 10 last year. After some incendiary singles and EP’s, 2019 saw this band release their debut album. aA debut so good that it was deservedly voted many critics album of the year, including the much-coveted, 6 Music album of the year. Not since the heyday of The Smiths has a band worn their cultural and literary influences on their sleeves as much as Fontaines DC. Indeed, the opening lyrics of my Number 4 track could have come straight out of the pages of a James Joyce novel: ‘ Dublin in the rain is mine, a pregnant city with a Catholic mind’.
Not to undersell this, but at Number 4, the best band in the world right now, Fontaines DC – ‘Big’
To call Hermitude a hip-hop band severely understates the depth of their musical skills. After nearly twenty years together their new album’s name “Pollyanarchy” was chosen to represent both the positivity (Pollyanna) and chaos (anarchy) of the record’s creation. It brings their original hip-hop elements, with rap, funk and soul through careful use of a wide range of featured artists (Vic Mensa & Bibi Bourelly probably the best known, but other features include American rapper Buddy and Aussie indie pop team Haiku Hands). From the opening instrumental “Pilot Light”, through the Malcolm McLaren styled “Let It Burn” and the soulful “Every Day” the album is a terrific collection of complementary tunes. Almost any of these could be my number four, but I’ve chosen probably the biggest hit from the album so far “OneFourThree”.