Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Top 25 Tracks Of 2014

Chosen by KevW

We couldn't finish off the year without the annual rundown of great music that we've been championing either on here or elsewhere, and of course, things wouldn't be complete without the unveiling of the Obligatory Record Of The Year! You can check back over our Scottish correspondent's lists and also the top 10 albums of 2014, but now it's time for the best tunes. For a full playlist of all the songs together, just scroll to the bottom of the page. Hopefully there's plenty here for you to enjoy!


25) Tyburn Saints - With The Night In Our Eyes




Tyburn Saints' website

Buy the track





24) Simian Ghost - Echoes Of Songs (For Trish Keenan)




Simian Ghost's website

Buy the track





23) Pretties For You - Talk

 


Pretties For You's website

Buy the track





22) Soft Science - Feel




Soft Science's website

Buy the track





21) JJ - All White Everything

 


JJ's website

Buy the track





20) When Nalda Became Punk - Song For Carrie Mathison




When Nalda Became Punk's website

Buy the track





19) The Heartbreaks - Hey, Hey Lover




The Heartbreaks' website

Buy the track





18) The Walking Who - With Roses


 
The Walking Who's website

Buy the track





17) Ummagma - Lama

 


Ummagma's website

Buy the track





16) The Popguns - Lovejunky

 


The Popguns' website

Buy the track





15) Gold-Bears - Hey, Sophie

 


Gold-Bears' website

Buy the track





14) Sheepy - Another Day




Sheepy's website

Buy the track





13) Wonderful Humans - Edge Of The Night

 


Wonderful Humans' website

Buy the track





12) The Persian Leaps - Sleepless

 

The Persian Leaps' website

Buy the track





11) Dignan Porch - Harshed




Dignan Porch's website

Buy the track





10) The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Until The Sun Explodes




The Pains Of  Being Pure At Heart's website

Buy the track





9) Withered Hand - Horseshoe

 


Withered Hand's website

Buy the track





8) The Tablets - Tablets

 


The Tablets' website

Buy the track





7) East Brunswick All Girls Choir - West Brunswick




East Brunswick All Girls Choir's website

Buy the track





6) Buffalo Sunn - By Your Side




Buffalo Sunn's  website

Buy the track





5) Spiritualized "Mississippi Space Program" - Always Forgetting With You (The Bridge Song)




Spiritualized's website

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4) The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Eurydice

 


The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's website

Buy the track





3) The Raveonettes - Sisters

 


The Raveonettes' website

Buy the track





2) Elephant - Elusive Youth

 


Elephant's website

Buy the track





OBLIGATORY RECORD OF THE YEAR

Broken Records - I Won't Leave You In The Dark


A few years ago, Edinburgh's Broken Records were making intricate baroque-indie that was impressive but unlikely to find mass commercial appeal. There were Arcade Fire comparisons, but really what they were doing was too sparse to become that huge. Until now. For third album 'Weights & Pulleys' the band truly excelled themselves in expanding everything to epic proportions. Had the gloriously massive 'I Won't Leave You In The Dark' been released by The National, The Gaslight Anthem or, yes, Arcade Fire, then this song would have been everywhere this year. The fact that it hasn't been is a crying shame, for if ever a band has shown they can step up a few gears then it's Broken Records, and 'I Won't Leave You In The Dark' is the sound of them doing just that - in triumphant fashion.



Broken Records' website

Buy the track










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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Top 10 Albums Of 2014

Chosen by KevW

Yes, yes, we know the site is closed, but as we were running for most of the year we thought it would be fitting to do the regular end of year lists where we salute those who've made the best noise over the past 12 months. These are the albums that have lit up the year.


10) Mode Moderne - Occult Delight


In Brief: Like the post-punk songs of Factory Records being given a dose of melody to counteract the darkness.




Mode Moderne's website







9) Fanfarlo - Let's Go Extinct


In Brief: Ambitious, experimental indie/psych/chamber-pop that doesn't really care what anyone else is doing.

Our original review



Fanfarlo's website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album 





8) Sheepy - Sheepy

 
In Brief: Teenage Fanclub taking on The Ramones with youthful vigour, resulting in a joyful powerpop explosion

Our original review



Sheepy's website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album 





7) Temples - Sun Structures


In Brief: Sixties psych-pop impeccably revisited with tunes aplenty and never a moment that's less than kaleidoscopic.

Our original review



Temples' website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album 





6) The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi


In Brief: More dark tales from Denmark's king and queen of fuzz and twang, this time with a new production style.

Our original review



The Raveonettes' website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album 





5) Gold-Bears - Dalliance


In Brief: A non-stop roller coaster of fuzzy excellence that proves that the lo-fi indiepop revival is still in good hands. 




Gold-Bears' website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album 





4) Cheatahs - Cheatahs

 
In Brief: Delivering you one-hundred percent undiluted shoegaze; as it used to be and as it should be.




Cheatahs' website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album





3) Champs - Down Like Gold

 
In Brief: Heavenly harmonies, haunting atmospherics and masterful songwriting that wraps you up like a snug blanket.




Champs' website







2) The Popguns - Pop Fiction


In Brief: Returning power-indiepop heroes triumph with wall-to-wall tunes on what sounds like a greatest hits album.




The Popguns' website

Stream the album in full

Buy the album





ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Days Of Abandon


Many people had written off Brooklyn guitar-pop darlings The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart after their (still excellent) second album didn't quite scale the same heights as their debut. With news that only Kip Berman remained from the original line-up, fuel was added to this fire, but what a way to extinguish it. With a new band, some added synths and stripped of the scuzz, 'Days Of Abandon' was a step forward in terms of songwriting and prevented them getting stuck forever in a fuzzed-out rut which yielded diminishing returns. On this album the doubters were proven wrong as the group produced arguably their strongest set of songs to date. Not the end then, but a whole new beginning instead.

Our original review



The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's website







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Monday, 15 December 2014

Sound Of 2014 - Andy's List

Article by andy@thesoundofconfusion.com


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 dooov....horse 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...


.........................


THE LIST


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
12)
Dog In The Snow - Concrete Wall 
13)
Saint Pepsi - Fiona Coyne
14)
Elephant - Assembly 
15)
Craft Spells - Breaking The Angle Against The Tide
16)
Lowly - Daydreamers
17)
Painted Palms - Too High
18)
Space Daze - Line Up On The Solstice
19)
Jessica Chase - Heaven Won’t Change 
20)
Northern American - Wander
21)
Alpaca Sports - Just Like Johnny Marr
22)
Desert - Quars 
23)
Japanese Wallpaper - Waves
24)
Sound Remedy - Victory (Feat Evvy)
25)
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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