Monday 15 December 2014

Sound Of 2014 - Andy's List

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Have you missed us?? Oh come on now, surely you can feign at least a modicum of excitement? WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN’T NOTICE WE WERE GONE?! FINE, STUFF THE LOT OF YOU!!!!

*slams door*

*opens door*

......The boss has told me to come back and not be so precious. First things first then, we better blow off some of these cobwebs from the corners of ch√Ęteau Sound Of Confusion - and if someone could give me a hand shoving this tumble-weed out the door that’d be greatly appreciated, thanking you. I’ll just stick the heating on to get rid of the chill and then we can get cracking.

So then, by now some of you may have realised that since the height of summer we’ve not been around these parts! Those of you fretting with the logical conclusion - that we were unexpectedly washed away while drinking from a coconut and reclining on a crocodile lilo - need worry no longer; you can put your minds at rest that we’re still alive, and if you follow the more observant readers and divert your eyes over to the blurb on the left, you’ll see exactly where we’ve been loitering.

That being so, why are we popping back here I see you wonder? Well, the thing is, we tend to be creatures of habit, and as such it didn’t feel right to let December pass without sharing with you our now traditional, and obviously quite legendary, end of year lists (after all, though the keyboard may have been inactive, our ears never switched off!). Over the coming days our head honcho Kev will be bringing you his well considered selections for the tracks and albums of 2014, but first of all as an hors d....or dove.....something to snack on, you have the opportunity to cast your critical eye over the 25 tunes that have most regularly induced involuntary wiggles and uncoordinated arm waves from yours truly throughout the last twelve months. As always just a single stipulation has been applied in the list composition process, only one track per band or artist allowed! Enough talk, let’s go...



1) The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Simple And Sure: Setting the tone for what was to come on the fantastic Days Of Abandon, this bouncy lead single affirmed Kip Berman’s ever more assured talent for writing pop tunes that jangle with irrepressible energy and pristine melody. Timeless.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's website 

2) Colleagues - Tears: Scandinavia may most frequently be associated with the chiming indie-rock fraternity, but they certainly know their way around synth-pop up there too, and there’s no finer example than this effervescent and anthemic gem from good old Sweden.

Tears' website 

3) Camera Shy - Secret Word: A compelling testimony in support of the old adage that less is sometimes so much more, this is simplicity at its finest. Gorgeous harmonies filled with a spirit of wanderlust tug the listener by the sleeve and invite us to share in their dreamy secret.

Camera Shy on Bandcamp 

4) Dream Police - Hypnotized: Worthy of a top ten spot for its electric opening sixty seconds alone, this track then lives up to its title by unleashing a pulsing base line, murky vocals and searing guitar riffs. Dusky and deeply persuasive rock and roll swagger.

Dream Police's label website 

5) Pepa Knight - Rahh!: Jinja Safari member Knight appears to be somewhat of a free spirit who's digested a bit of the world. Pleasingly he's all the better for it, as that open eyed enthusiasm, world influences and adventurous spirit is injected straight into his solo work. None more so than on the bright and hugely uplifting Rahh!.

Pepa Knight's Facebook

6) Beverly - Honey Do:  Equal parts grunge and shoegaze, with a little surf rock added into the mix, this fuzzy trio of minutes seems custom built for a road trip along dusty desert roads with the top down and the stereo blaring - get to it!

Beverly's Facebook

7) Ryn Weaver - Stay Low: Surely a guaranteed pop champion in the making, Miss Weaver and friends (including Michael Angelakos of this correspondents favourites Passion Pit) produced a flawless four track EP of solid gold melodies and stardust production. Hmm where to go, where to go... I pick Stay Low.

Ryn Weaver's Facebook 

8) Alvvays - Archie Marry Me: A tongue in cheek look at the approach to matrimony of those in their mid twenties, that pairs great tune composition with laughter inducing dry wit. Possibly the only song ever to reference bread makers.

Alvvays' website 

9) The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven Holds A Place For Us: This list just wouldn't be right without the San Francisco lads making their annual appearance. Their long awaited debut album didn't disappoint and this funky number was the heavenly light shining on proceedings late in the piece.

The Bilinda Butchers' website 

10) Sylvan Esso - Coffee: For a staunch tea drinker it goes against the grain to be extolling the virtues of Coffee, but this is one track that's just as effective as a well timed caffeine hit for perking up your mood. Sedately paced but stirring itself to a warm and fulsome conclusion, drink it in folks.

Sylvan Esso's Facebook


11) Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Automatic
Dog In The Snow - Concrete Wall 
Saint Pepsi - Fiona Coyne
Elephant - Assembly 
Craft Spells - Breaking The Angle Against The Tide
Lowly - Daydreamers
Painted Palms - Too High
Space Daze - Line Up On The Solstice
Jessica Chase - Heaven Won’t Change 
Northern American - Wander
Alpaca Sports - Just Like Johnny Marr
Desert - Quars 
Japanese Wallpaper - Waves
Sound Remedy - Victory (Feat Evvy)
The Away Days - Your Colour


And that as the say is that.....except this time around it's not, because, in a break from previous form, you're also getting a top ten albums list from me, which you'll be able to read....well right here now actually!

1) The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Days Of Abandon
2) Alvvays - Alvvays
3) The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven
4) Letting Up Despite Great Faults - Neon
5) The High Wire - Feels Like Honey
6) Field Mouse - Hold Still Life
7) Alpaca Sports - Sealed With A Kiss
8) Superfood - Don't Say That
9) TV Girl - French Exit
10) Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow


Worth coming back for? We hope so, but if you don't find something amongst my selection you like, then be sure to check Kev's lists which will have plenty more tunes for your delectation. Thank you to the bands for making it another fine year of music; to those of you who helped us unearth songs we love; and to everyone who has taken the time to read any of our ramblings. All the best for 2015 and have a fun filled festive season.

Goodbye from me, over to you now Kev...

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