Having spent quite a while agonising about which track to include from Kiwanuka’s jaw-droppingly good third album in my countdown, I realised I had forgotten that two collaborations preceded it early in the year, neither of which made it onto the album, as in truth neither would have fit the mood of the album. First there was a dark duet with Karen O and then came this funk collaboration with fellow Brit Tom Misch, ‘Money’. After three political tracks in a row from me, this is a sunshine- infused funk glide. The album itself is superb (check out Ian’s chosen track from it here). However to me the album works as a whole listen, so this orphaned single complements it well.
When I first heard this on Stuart Maconie’s ‘Freakzone’ programme it seemed inconceivable that this extraordinary track would soon be a breakfast show and daytime radio staple. If X-Ray Spex had been influenced by John Coltrane or Sun Ra influenced by Kraftwerk this would be the result; if ever there is an alien invasion, this will surely be the soundtrack.
Number 3 – The Comet Is Coming, ‘Summon The Fire’
From Roy’s reference to summer with Tame Impala and Richard’s sunshine from Michael K., let me add joyous Aussie electro-funk outfit Parcels. Having partnered with Daft Punk a few years ago (“Overnight”) they finally released their debut long-player this year. Most of the tracks have been seen as singles over the last 18 months, and their sunny pop brings elements of Giorgio Moroder (“Lightenup”), Mark Ronson (“Credits”) and other 70s stalwarts like Steely Dan and Chic (the latter two name checked by the band as influences). While I could have easily selected “Tape” as my #4 tune (since it was on my Shazam list multiple times this year), I have chosen their earlier release “Tieduprightnow” so my friends in the northern hemisphere can enjoy a (video) taste of our summer during your winter solstice. PS “Credits” is a true highlight of the album, constructed as a reading of all the record’s contributors, set to a nice funky beat. Find it online if you can.