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!

 

 

Viewing Gum Listening Post #26

It seems like every post I put up on this blog revolves around a Spotify playlist. What can I say? I’m a busy man, and it’s easier speaking my current mood and interests through the medium of song. Alternatively, I’m a lazy man and this creates the pretense that this is a far more active site than it really is (I promise another feature proper or review soon!). In the meantime, here is VGLP26 and it’s got a little something for everyone. Stream it below, click here to open separately, and just ruddy bloody enjoy yourselves.

  1. Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best
  2. Hop Along – Powerful Man
  3. FFS – Piss Off
  4. Citizens! – All I Want Is You
  5. Madeon – OK
  6. Leftfield – Universal Everything
  7. Jamie xx – Gosh
  8. Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m A Man
  9. Death Cab for Cutie – Ingenue
  10. Lianne La Havas – Unstoppable
  11. Meanwhile – AAIU
  12. East India Youth – CAROUSEL

Viewing Gum Listening Post #25

Viewing Gum Listening Post 25, indeed. A quarter of a century’s worth of VGLP playlists is cause for some sort of celebration, and maybe if I had planned ahead a little better, maybe a best of the 25 playlists would have been a sensible way to do so. Ah well, not this time. Why not just go back through my playlists and make your own (he says as he realises he has forgotten to tag them all)? Instead, this one is a bit of a bumper selection, over an hour’s worth, including new tracks from returning champions such as Hot Chip, Blur, Tame Impala, Drenge, Everything Everything and more. Plus some slightly older but still worthy of attention songs that I only recently picked up on. It’s the perfect antidote to whatever ails you! Click here to listen, or stream it below direct. I love you all!

  1. Hot Chip – Huarache Lights
  2. Young Fathers – Rain or Shine
  3. The Dø – Opposite Ways
  4. Susanne Sundfør – Accelerate
  5. Blur – Go Out
  6. Everything Everything – Distant Past
  7. Drenge – We Can Do What We Want
  8. Saint Motel – Midnight Movies
  9. Breakfast In Fur – Portrait
  10. Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better
  11. Dan Deacon – When I Was Done Dying
  12. Tame Impala – Let It Happen
  13. Danger Beach – Apache
  14. Emmy The Great – Swimming Pool

Viewing Gum Listening Post #6

Oh man, I’ve been sitting on this for a while! Finally, it’s the sixth edition of the Viewing Gum Listening Post. Hear and now!

 

 

  1. David Byrne & St. Vincent – I Should Watch TV
  2. Animal Collective – Today’s Supernatural
  3. Busdriver – Kiss Me Back to Life
  4. Lianne La Havas – Forget
  5. Adrian Younge – Two Hearts Combine
  6. Delicate Steve – Ramona Reborn
  7. Tame Impala – Elephant
  8. Adriano Celentano – Prisencolinensinainciusol
  9. Swans – The Seer Returns
  10. Matthew Dear – Her Fantasy
  11. Sun Airway – Activity 2
  12. The xx – Angels
  13. Sacred Harp – Julie