So, I thought that in the year of our dear and fluffy Lord, 2015, that I'd try something a little different. So I've put together a top 5 tracks, top 5 albums, and top 5 gig experiences I've experienced this year. It's just like all of those clip shows of favourite episodes you love! But what's your top 5 tracks, albums and gigs of the year? Sound off in the comments, because good Lord, I could do with some more comments!
TOP 5 TRACKS
Shamir – On the Regular
Missy Elliot – WTF (Where They From) - I haven't covered Missy's new album yet, but the single knocked me on my arse with lines like "lyrically I'm Optimus Prime." I mean, who wouldn't love that?
De Lux – The Future
FFS – Johnny Delusional
New Order - Singularity
TOP 5 ALBUMS
Kamasi Washington – The Epic
Joanna Newsome – Divers
Ben Folds – So There
New Order – Music Complete
Chemical Brothers – Born in the Echoes
TOP 5 GIGS
Flaming Lips (Sound City 2015)
Belle & Sebastian (Sound City 2015)
Everything Everything (Sound City 2015)
Thabo & the Real Deal (Sound City 2015)
EVENT OF 2015-12-15
Liverpool Sound City
Although I miss going to a variety of different bars and clubs like The Kazimier (wistful sigh), Mello Mello (pours one out), Zanzibar, etc, I felt like in 2014 it needed a real shot in the arm. In 2015 they got that shot in the arm when moving to the docklands. It made it feel more coherent having everything closer together and had great headliners like Belle & Sebastian and Flaming Lips. The only fault I had was sound bleeding from adjacent stages, which also caused a hell of a bottleneck when things got crowded, and the unnecessary fairground. It turned a selection of gigs into more of a festival feel. You can read more of my impressions here, here and here.
MUSIC TIP FOR 2016
Shijo X were something of a hidden gem at Sound City 2015, being shoved into a tent half filled with records and memorabilia, but despite that what I heard was a promising band, reminiscent of the smoky jazz stylings of Portishead. This is a band to dance to in a darkened room with wild abandon, it is worth your time and your ears. I reviewed their album on my site, here. http://vinylcountdown.weebly.com/blog/shijo-x-if-a-night
I can’t remember exactly when I first got into jazz. I think it was somewhere between watching Just Ask for Diamond as a kid, seeing Cowboy Bebop in my teens or watching Bogart movies whilst not so secretly wanting to live in that world. Kamasi Washington recaptures that feeling of getting into jazz for the first time, reminiscent of the best aspects of Miles Davis and John Coltrane with a pinch of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers thrown in for good measure. The album is split into three parts: 1: The Plan, 2: The Glorious Tale & 3: The Historic Repetition, reminiscent of the classical Greek epic and also Joseph Campbell’s “The Heroes Journey,” punctuated with a gospel choir making the 172 minute album epic in sound as well as scope. This is a heroic journey that I give my highest recommendation.
Originally printed in Issue #328 of the Kirkby Extra, January 2016.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.