Ahead of tomorrow night’s Nuis@nce Xmas Party, Bobby and I thought we’d compile our first end of year list. Well, every other bugger is doing it. So, without further ado and in no particular order:
Suede – Barriers
Steve: Hit Me was the big pop song. For The Strangers was the proper, classic Suede epic. On the album, What Are You Not Telling Me was the justification-for-reforming-and-recording mopeathon, but Barriers was the Proof. On first listen I thought about it too hard, analysing the fuck out of every new note rather than just letting it sink in. On second, I was pummelled senseless by the chorus. By third listen it was FUCKING AMAZING! SUEDE WERE BACK BACK BACK! And still are. The live shows have seen the cracking new material hold its own against the back catalogue, and a band happy to dip into that back catalogue to not just play the hits, but to play the really obscure bits that made us love them so. Hurrah!
SULK – Flowers
Bobby: A perfect fusion of early 90’s baggy and Britpop, this 3 minute gem of a pop song effortlessly evokes the first Charlatans and Blur albums while never straying from its pop sensibilities.
Coves, Cast A Shadow
Steve: OK, the Jesus & Mary Chain as an influence is over-done and, well, not all that interesting. But Coves win by taking that Jesus & Mary Chain sound and bolting it to two Madonna songs – specifically Ray Of Light on the verses and Beautiful Stranger on the chorus. And jolly good it is too. Actually released in 2012, but, y’know, I’m a bit behind.
Telegram – Follow
Bobby: A rampaging juggernaut of a song that takes the Tame Impala template of Psyche fused with Glamrock, and puts a wholly British spin on it.
The Bright Ones – Does She Make Noise?
Steve: Sometimes you just want loud, fun, dumb, mildly derivative and EXCITING pop. This ticks all those boxes. The Bright Ones quickly became my new favourite band this year – so much so we booked them three times, essentially on the strength of this and a demo for a song called Dangerous that I will happily say is like Blur’s Sing covered by Suede. And no, I’m not being OTT or whatevs. It really IS that good.
Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Bobby: A stunning return from one of this country’s finest bands. Adding a hint of 60’s beat to their angular sound, this ranks amongst the finest racks in their 10 year history
Patrick Duff – Maria
Steve: Patrick Duff’s last two solo albums have been packed to bursting with the best songs he’s ever written. Why didn’t you buy them? Why? Go now. Honestly, you’ll thank me. Maria isn’t on any of them. He’s been playing it live a lot though. It’s like Summer (The First Time) by Bobby Goldsboro or Witchita Lineman. Promise. Instant classic.
Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen
Bobby: An effortlessly bright n breezy slice of summery jangle-pop.
Steve: I love this band deeply and without shame.
Temples – Colours To Life
Bobby: Again ploughing a similar furrow to Tame Impala, this shimmering psyche-pop number has a Phil Spector feel which works brilliantly.
Simple Minds – Broken Glass Park
Steve: Right, let’s get this out of the way straight off – the lyrics are utter fucking bobbins. I mean, seriously, they’re terrible. But the song is MASSIVE. Seriously. Massive. Proper widescreen synth pop. Probably the least cool song of the year, and utterly tremendous for it. It has a whooshy “BOOM” noise at the start of the choruses! What more do you want?
And that was that. Want to recommend us some amazing piece of amazingness that we missed?