Monday, 30 December 2013

Mad Headed Octogram's 100 Favourite Songs of 2013

Yes, one hundred, and every last fucking song is genius.

Last year was sensational for music. Here, reacclimatise yourself. As was 2011. (Here.) This year is shaping up to be the most awesome yet. Such an embarrassment of riches. I can’t even hope to shoehorn it all in, so here… here is just a taster. (And don’t forget the one inviolate rule – one song per band.) I’ve listed them by the month to help give a little context. To try and keep the list under 100, I’ve avoided including reissues. Both June and July were helluva months, it seems. August too. And the rest of ‘em.
This is burst-open milk cartons. This is I-can-get-satisfaction. This is abrasion and challenge and the knowledge that the jerk in the back seat of the bus will remain a jerk in the backseat of the bus even when he gets off the bus. It’s the knowledge that the best forms of friendship are virtual and transient, that moles never stayed whacked for long. It’s garage doors that never close, it’s the joyous fear that repeating a riff too many times can bring. It says nothing to me about my life that I didn’t know already but why should that bother me, for that statement is clearly a lie. Here’s the link to the single.
Consider my tiny mind blown. Three videos I played, trying to get a fix on noon:30 – three (two?) sisters from DC, so I’m told – and each time, they threw up something entirely different. The first one is totally eviscerating, brutal. The guitar keeps distorting, the mood builds, the voice keeps chiding until… whoa! PUNK ROCK!
This song bubbles and froths and has such a wonderful buoyancy, lightness of touch, playfulness, the brass and the vocals and melodies and guitars all colluding to make the most delirious delicious pop music. This is the only Francolin song I’ve heard to date – first tipped off by the redoubtable Jake Cleland – and I’m torn between kind of never wanting to hear any more because the anticipation of discovering yet Another Great Pop Crush is so overwhelming I want it to last forever, and spoiling that anticipation and gouging every last melted chocolate from the bottom of the Quality Street tin.
Zebra Hunt is the name of this delightful pop confection, and their Bandcamp describes them as rock garage pop psych Seattle, which makes me think there might still be room for the occasional music critic. It’s like the mid-80s indiepop backlash never happened. At the Bandcamp, you can download their 5-track EP for free, and why the fuck not? It’s like having your own personal Bats, your own personal Clean, your own personal Jesus in your living room.
It ain’t in your face, it’s laden down with those sweet strings you know you just love to have this shit laden down by, it never quite escapes its parameters but that’s fine because that’s where it’s existing, it’s a little bit too upbeat in its praise of being alive for my liking (shit, why be grateful, why do every rapper have to have their own ‘It Was A Good Day’?) but … wait, Nina B was born in the Bronx and raise in Brookyln? She ain’t a rapper, she’s a living comic book character. This song has grace, and charm, and a piano. If only everything had this much grace, and charm, and a piano.
Just fuck man. I was going to write, just fuck man and enjoy yourselves and get wasted and listen to sweet, sweet music all life long because this fucking sweet, sweet music is going to last you all life long.
And that is the WORD.
It’s The Darkness rolled into the JAMMS isn’t it? But slicker and more disposable (not an insult).
(continues overleaf)

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