Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Playlist: Something New Going On

And so here we are: the last blog post of the last month of 2016. Truth be told, I've spent most of December listening to crappy Christmas music, but I did find time for some other stuff too. Here's the cream of what I've been subjecting my ears to these last 30 days:

1. Hi How Are You - Addie Pray
(from Screentime)
A slacker-rock anthem for staying up too late and watching crap on your laptop. "And I'm not getting enough rest/'Cause I can't stop watching Top Chef!"

2. You're a Animal - Jonathan Boulet
(from We Keep the Beat, Found the Sound, See the Need, Start the Heart)
I bought this album for a pittance in HMV last year and promptly forgot about it after barely a single listen. However, while helping my mum to tidy the cellar last month, I came across an old magazine that contained a glowing review of We Keep the Beat..., and so I decided to give it another go. I'm glad I did - this is shouty and frantic and full-of-drums fabulous

3. What's a Man to Do - The Fiction Aisle
(from Heart Map Rubric)
The Fiction Aisle is a new project spearheaded by Tom White of Brakes and Electric Soft Parade. Heart Map Rubric doesn't really sound like the work of either band, but it's still an expansive, impressive listen - this slow-burning track, with its chorus pitched somewhere between the Guillemots and Take That, is the one I've been listening to most.

4. The Body - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
(from Belong)
Fishnets, leather, and lots of skin! This 2011 single suggests that, behind their shy, shoegazey façade, TPoBPaH might just be one of the sexiest bands currently active.

5. House Phone - Fresh
(from These Things Are Not That Fun)
A lovely marriage of acoustic and electric guitar. A yearning plea to not be left alone. A sly Brand New reference. All in less than 2 minutes! 

6. Honky's Ladder - The Afghan Whigs
(from Black Love)
I had a bit of a moment earlier this month, and - for a few minutes - this song's crashing, ear-bleeding intro was the only thing I wanted to hear ever again. An angry, awesome track.

7. In the Future - Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom
(from Don't Believe the Hyperreal)
The penultimate track on my 9th favourite album of 2015 is perfect for this time of year - it starts with a Christmas card and builds gradually up to ruminations on the unknowable future and the potentially meaninglessness of everything. I particularly love the twist ending, where Mathias decides to hit backspace, delete everything we've just heard, and start writing his letter again, this time without all the existential stuff.

8. Deep Silent Complete - Nightwish
(from Wishmaster)
I've been reaching for Wishmaster a lot this month - songs like Deep Silent Complete made powering through those last few weeks in the office and tying up all the loose ends in time for Christmas feel like a pretty epic achievement.

9. Sometimes it Hurts - Tindersticks
(from Waiting for the Moon)
Top Tip: Keep this gorgeous duet close at all times. Its string/piano arrangement and the interplay between Stuart Staples and Lhasa de Sala will make you feel warm and wonderful whenever you need it.

10. Won't Be Harmed - You Can't Win, Charlie Brown
(from Diffraction/Refraction)
This is a hell of closing track, and yet another great slow build (there are quite a few of those in this month's playlist!) What starts as a sparsely tentative acoustic guitar track eventually turns into something powerful and insistent, and damn, these musicians really know to play together, don't they?

November's playlist is here - why not work your way back and see what I've been listening to throughout the year?

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