Hey! Let’s make more content! YEAH?!?
One way of doing this is to list things I liked in the past year, apparently. It is what I have learned from looking at the internet. So what if I’m days late? These things I am writing about are SO GOOD they’re even good now, post-eschaton, in 2013.
What were my favourite songs of 2012, then? Let’s find out, TOGETHER. Feel free to judge me accordingly.
I BELONG IN YOUR ARMS by CHAIRLIFT
I gather Chairlift are cool with the indie set, or something? I don’t know about that, I just know that I am out of touch with the ‘alternative’ scene and stumbled across this on an MP3 blog. I have since found out lots of people were already aware of it and I am no longer a hott trendsetter, like in the old days (in my imagination).
It’s GREAT, anyway, it has the right levels of indie-pop guitaring momentum, minus the bad-twee insular bassless fuckwittery ‘nice guy’ infantile dogshit that has ruined that genre for me almost entirely.
It’s a great song though, eh? Poppy as hell, slightly mournful and full of yearning, fast enough for dancing or driving (I imagine), and somehow also a bit warm and festive, like when I first heard ‘Dear Jessie’ by Madonna in Superdrug when I were a lad.
Here’s the Japanese version, as it has a nice video with some righteous armpit hair, which is much more revolutionary and out-there than it should be in 2013.
EVERYTHING IS EMBARASSING by SKY FERREIRA
Sky Ferreira has made some of the most fantastic songs of the past few years, yet has somehow remained Not Properly Famous. ‘One’, ‘Sex Rules’, ‘Lost In My Bedroom’, ‘Too Many Boys’, ’99 Tears’… All fucking astonishing.
‘Everything Is Embarassing’ is a standout song of hers, for me. Joyously sad and enervating in that raw emotive teen way where FEELINGS are IMPORTANT, pure pumping along without being that awful cloying Mariah Disney X-Factor shit that is permanently threatening to turn culture into some sort of Westlife ‘shit song but what a talented singer!!!’ holiday camp talent contest hellhole.
I love this song, though the video makes me feel like the withered old husk I am. I wish I was making awkward music videos when I was her age. Or any age.
YO-YO by NICOLA ROBERTS
Oh, Nicola Roberts! Your solo album, ‘Cinderella’s Eyes’ was a total classic but no-one seemed to care, did they? Everyone’s too busy fawning over that other Girl Aloud, the one THE MAN tells us to like, that sometimes gets dressed as M.Bison and Mai Shiranui. While those costume decisions are admirable, the music produced while wearing them is not a patch on Nicola Roberts’ stuff. Most music is not a patch on Nicola Roberts’ stuff, including Girls Aloud’s music, which I controversially think is mostly incredibly poor (‘The Promise’ is still ace, though).
This single fae the start of the year, Yo-Yo, is, you guessed it, a decent-paced pop song that is also melancholy as fuck.
Pop hooks+unidentifiable sadness=ultimate music. The closer ‘mainstream’ music gets to being ‘New Generation’ by Suede, the happier/sadder I’ll be.
Best song of its kind since ‘Synchronised’ by Bexxx-tor? Dunno. That honour might go to Marina and the Diamonds?
STATE OF DREAMING by MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS
A track from the album ‘Electra Heart’, which seems to be a kind of concept album about shedding intellect and shame in order to succeed in the hideously compromised environs of popular music, Katy Perry/Black Mirror-style.
It seems a bit of an obvious point to make, that whole “the pop world is shallow and manufactured and damaging”, but in an age where the main things pop music has taken from Lady GaGa’s queer-positive empowerment and ludicrous outfits is the regressive “pornified male-gazey fetish gear for all female pop stars!”, it’s a point that bears repeating. And I’m glad someone great like Marina Diamandis is around to make the point in an entertaining, thought-provoking way that isn’t over-earnest or too worthy.
I also enjoyed the incredible single ‘Primadonna’, but ‘State of Dreaming’ is, once again, just the right kind of yearny boo-hoo party jam for me. FACE FRONT, FUCK THE WORLD, I AM SAD BUT ACE, EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE.
IN NEATO OUTFITS.
HELMET THEME by GEOFF BARROW and BEN SALISBURY
It’s not all pop for me, though! In fact, the radio at work is trying very hard to put me off pop music for good, ruining perfectly good songs like “Call me Maybe” and that one by Swifto about not getting back together, with repeated plays forever until I die/get a new job/probably die.
Stupid radio. Although it is getting me ‘back into’ some less ‘tuneful’ stuff, in retaliation, so that’s good?
Did you see ‘Dredd’ at the pictures? I did, and it was my favourite film of the year (bar some dubious ‘rapey black criminal’ stuff), more entertaining even than ‘The Raid’ which everyone seems to be comparing it negatively to.
Ocht, it was Judge Dredd done richt, and that wins my heeeeart.
It had a good soundtrack, too, with a sort of modern skronky John Carpenter-meets-metal thing going on. I wish it had been soundtracked by the album ‘Drokk’ by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, though, which is even more Carpentery. Gloriously so.
Drokk is the best soundtrack album since the Akira one (even if it’s not strictly a soundtrack). It begins by making you feel the overbearing relentlessness of FUTURE LAW, then makes you feel that maybe things might be okay in the Big Meg! Maybe there’s flowers growing from the toxic mutoid shit! Then this low-key soul-crushing little bleepy monstrosity comes back to remind you that you’re basically fucked, you stinking munce-head.
I like to listen to this song on the way to work, at work, on my lunch, then back at work again.
DYSPHORIA by GROKE
“YOU LOOK MORE LIKE ME THAN I’LL EVER LOOK” screams the singing person in this band I know very little about. This real good lyric combined with the frustrated, angry delivery forms the basis of much of the song, with the best and most insistent buzz-bass (or downtuned guitar?) noise I’ve heard in ages splurping around it, making it a kind of noise-worm coiled around inside my ear. Laying eggs in my brain. Cronenbergian tinnitus?
I can imagine this song being recorded ‘better’ (it’s from their demo) but it sounds pretty complete as it is, to me.