Thursday, 7 December 2017

2017 - Lists

One from each category rather than 10 / 20 / 50 that seem to be the rage these days with honourable mentions to some other stuff.
Here is what has kept me sane this year. As ever Loudhailer artists are not included, obviously I think they are great.



With thanks to Jeremy at Coda for first introducing me to them, this lot lit up my year and made me believe more than any other band that there is a future for that old guitar / bass / drums thing. The album, 'Brutalism', is easily my most played of 2017 and gets better with each listen. I'm scratching my head a little as to why they aren't all over every end of year but that's how media works now, the compartmentalism means no one can really get that clean sweep from a standing start.

By next year I fully expect 'Brutalism' to be regarded in the same way as 'Modern Life Is Rubbish', an album that kick starts a new expression for UK music and sweeps away a lot of the stuff that has been hanging around for too long waiting for someone (anyone) to pronounce it dead.

Were I not inclined to share the spoils this lot would also be Single Of The Year, Gig Of The Year and Album Of The Year. That's how much I love em.


Given it can't be the above then its a bit of a fight between some very different records. Stormzy's 'Gang Signs and Prayers' and Sampha's 'Process' are up there, Arcade Fire's 'Everything Now' reconnected me to a band I had once loved and drifted away from but, for sheer charm and because I am a sucker for a duet it is Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile's 'Lotta Sea Lice' for reminding me how much I love music that feels like it is on the verge of falling over.


Justice at Brixton Academy narrowly pips Stormzy at the same venue. In both cases, shows that realised a sympathy between production and performance that characterises the best shows and which has been my obsession since working with Gus Gus and trying to achieve the impossible (at the time) over 20 years ago. A roaring, beat heavy journey through versions of their catalogue that combined the deftness of the best dance DJ with the showmanship of the greatest rock bands. Chapeau.


Reading BTL comments on a recent piece on Dua Lipa on The Guardian was one of the most depressing things I have done of late. The tired old 'doesn't write the songs', 'just pop music' cliches betray a misunderstanding of the history of pop music as a whole. These people would no doubt have greeted Aretha's 'Respect' with similar disdain as they would have been stuck in jazz world. So nuts to them, 'New Rules' is a wonderful piece of feminist expressionist pop up there with 'Independent Woman' and 'No Scrubs' and a ton of other FU songs from women to men (and other women) that deserves the blanket airplay and the massive streaming and all that whoever wrote it plus it's a tune that understands the transition of dance music(s) over the last two decades and brings a touch of much of them to the table. 


Teen Titans Go! futbol episode if the perfect explanation for why, if you have kids, sometimes what they watch can be as good as the thing you want to watch instead

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