2015: Music of the Year

As much as I love music and seeing music being performed live and sharing the music I like with people, it’s finally dawned on me that I actually suck at writing about it. I have no sense of how to describe how something sounds, and my working knowledge of terminology, or coming up with comparisons, or even placing bands or songs into subgenres, is pretty ropey. It’s a pain to write, it’s not entertaining to read, so let’s cut to the chase, and present – largely without comment – my favourite albums released this year.

1. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell

I will just say something about this, out of all the gigs I saw this year (admittedly not many, but some good stuff at Glastonbury, Future Islands/Beck/The Strokes at Hyde Park, Garbage at Brixton Academy…), Sufjan Stevens at Royal Festival Hall was a highlight. Impeccably performed renditions of the latest album, but when Sufjan finally got chatting with the crowd, what could have been a beautiful but sombre occasion became filled with remarkable levity, cracking jokes, fluffing lines as he got the giggles. And to cap it off, a finale that made full use of the venue’s pipe organ filled the hall with a swirling rumble that felt like a UFO landing. Extraordinary and memorable.

2. Grimes – Art Angels
3. The Dø – Shake Shook Shaken
4. FFS – FFS
5. Hot Chip – Why Make Sense
6. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
7. The Go! Team – The Scene Between
8. John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
9. Tame Impala – Currents
10. Lianne La Havas – Blood

And what with a music wrap-up be without one of my Viewing Gum Listening Posts? Largely compiled from my VGLP playlists, this bumper edition will hopefully in the grand tradition offer a little something for everyone. Stream below or click here.

 

 

And that’s not all, for in my occasional duty as resident DJ of GamerDisco, I also listen to a lot of chiptune, synthwave, video game remixes, soundtracks and more. And so I also compile a Spotify playlist with some of the best tracks that you might hear at our events. Please enjoy!

 

 

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Viewing Gum Listening Post #29

The long wait is now over. Here comes VGLP29! Yes, it does seem this blog has simply become a place to post my Spotify playlists – I do have some proper review and feature ideas (plus an annual return of my terrible jokes round-up come the end of October – check my Twitter for a preview). But it’s been a while since last time, and so I have amassed a bumper crop of great new music. It seems the past few weeks have seen an influx of much awaited albums after a bit of a drought over the summer. After a uncertain start, it looks like 2015 will be another fine year.

Stream below or click here to listen buddy!.

  1. De Lux – Oh Man The Future
  2. Battles – Dot Net
  3. SEXWITCH – Helelyos
  4. Foals – What Went Down
  5. Wavves – Way Too Much
  6. Darwin Deez – Right When It Rains
  7. Metric – For Kicks
  8. CHVRCHES – Clearest Blue
  9. RAC, Katie Herzig – 3am
  10. Lianne La Havas – Grow
  11. John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
  12. Beach House – Space Song
  13. Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm – W
  14. The Chemical Brothers – Radiate

Viewing Gum Listening Post #14

Okay 2013 – this year is getting RIDICULOUS for music from some of my favourite artists. Not only that, so many great new side projects and emerging talents too. It’s hard keeping track, even on a weekly basis, of all the neat stuff coming out, but hey, I’ve tried my best to distill a selection here, and there are some big hitters too. Click here to launch the playlist, or stream below!

 

  1. Janelle Monáe – Givin Em What They Love [feat. Prince]
  2. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
  3. Franz Ferdinand – Evil Eye
  4. MGMT – Mystery Disease
  5. Kings of Leon – Supersoaker
  6. Golden Suits – Swimming in ’99
  7. CHVRCHES – Lungs
  8. Big Black Delta – Capsize
  9. Chrome Canyon – Generations
  10. Baths – Ironworks
  11. Goldfrapp – Drew

Viewing Gum Listening Post #12

Last Viewing Gum Listening Post, I mark the eleventh time round with twelve tracks. Now in its twelfth edition, what do I go ahead and do? Yes, that’s right – ELEVEN TRACKS. What’s up with that? It’s a somewhat moody affair this time round, but from sticky wickets to damn croissants, there’s enough eccentricity and eclecticism to mean that, as ever, there is something for everyone. Listen on, stream below, or click here – the choice, as they say, is yours!

 

 

  1. Hookworms – Away / Towards
  2. Hot Chip – Dark and Stormy
  3. Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
  4. Doe Eye – Oh My God
  5. Rhye – Last Dance
  6. CHVRCHES – Recover
  7. Beck – Defriended
  8. Rokia Traoré – Ka Moun Kè
  9. Lilacs & Champagne – Police Story
  10. The Duckworth Lewis Method – Line and Length
  11. Kanye West – I Am A God