It's that time again - my 2006 list is complete and ready for broadcast.
For the sake of consistency, I'm going to start placing all my EOY lists in more compressed threads (4 per thread), in line with Hijinx and irelander's method - just because otherwise it may become a bit superfluous.
All my other lists are scattered through the PC:YSOC section of the forum - I will eventually post links in this thread, but for now I'll make several tables summarising the salient bits of each countdown (ie. #1's, most entries).
since I last commented in chat, yay bury a friend, 7 rings, The Kids Are Coming, Harmony Hall, Sweettalk My Heart, Dance Monkey and most of all Daisy!!!! <3 <3 great list overall, nice way to end the decade!
And yet, we all come together to appreciate once again what we perceive to be the finest music laid out for us in the past twelve of the most challenging, agonising, and at times debilitating months of our lives. It almost doesn't seem right, does it?
Not to worry, mind, as this has been, in my humble opinion, one of the finest years that music has had to offer. If we had to shred every single offering laid at our feet into one simple epitaph, two words spring immediately to mind: Nostalgia, and Revival.
So many of the artists had the good graces to indulge us with such earnestly bittersweet melodies and lyrics, it really does paint a nice picture of the aforementioned epitaph. And we see acts like Fiona Apple, The Killers and The Strokes stringing together arguably some of their finest and most critically acclaimed works some 15-20 years since their prime.
In terms of revival, we hear Tame Impala squeezing the proverbial new-wave fruit to a pulp, HAIM are on a collision course to becoming one of the best Fleetwood Mac tribute-acts out there (an epithet which by no means discounts their immense talent and accolade in their own right), and Dua Lipa (God bless her heart) even released a lovely record called Future Nostalgia. FUTURE. NOSTALGIA. Genius.
So, for the music, well, 2020 has been a year to remember...for so many reasons.
I hope you enjoy my selections of my favourite bops of the year, which will be broadcast this Sunday (17th Jan), as mentioned in above posts.
81. Soccer Mommy - yellow is the color of her eyes
"‘yellow is the color of her eyes’ is a song that is really important to me. The song was inspired by a time when I was on the road constantly and I felt like I was losing time - specifically with my mother. It’s also a song that I feel really showcases my writing when it comes to instrumentation, so it’s one that makes me really proud." ~ Sophie Allison (a.k.a. Soccer Mommy)
This reminds me of one of the daggiest tracks from the 1970s that I grew up absolutely loving - "January" by Pilot. An easy breezy verse/chorus structure, and nothing overblown instrumental-wise. It's a charming little ditty.
It's hard not to feel something from hearing that voice enter after one round of the guitar picking - it's simply breathtaking. Superb production, a catchy chorus, and charged with lots of emotion in the lyrics. And Joji's performance here is gorgeous.
Although this track has solidifed its place as a must-have in both the US and UK dance club scenes, is it fair to conscribe it to just one genre? Absolutely not. There's some juicy rubber-band style bass, the vocals feel more at home in a smoky New Orleans bar, and the whole thing just seems very well constructed and not overblown. Pop. Hip-Hop. EDM. Psych. House. etc.
A delectable banger that only someone like Charli XCX could pull off. SOPHIE-like heckin' beatz, sharp and jagged synths, and that chorus is quite delish. It's only 2-and-a-half minutes long, but similar to Cub Sport's "Sometimes", I always repeat it 5 or 6 times when I listen.
Do they wear their guitars in their sleep or something? That's what I'd like to know...
Anyway the track - umm... starting at the top, that riff is quite catchy, the higher counter-riff is even catchier, the rich harmonies throughout are breathtaking. It's the perfect sampler for what is a fantastic album.
I've heard bits and pieces of BFW over the years - but when I first heard this track I danced around like a dog on a dashboard. Hook after gritty hook adorns this track beautifully, and I'd say this is probably their strongest track yet.
A charming little ditty that encapsulates in an unusually upbeat fashion how simply one bad experience can ruin everything. Phoebe dreams about seeing the world, but the experience of "seeing the world" wasn't what she thought it would be.
This can definitely relate to anybody's perception of a dream life. It's not until something is experienced that we get to make up our minds or not whether the life we have chosen is truly living the dream. And, of course, "living the dream" might not feel like the right experience at the time either.
THIS is what Luke Million's "Arnold"'s backing track should have been. Heh.
The first 3 seconds or so hook you in straight away, with Parker's lush layering of piano chords and arpeggios over the top of a chilled-out funky drum and bass motif. Similar lyrics to Spin Doctors' "Two Princes", and yet in typical Parker fashion, it never gets in the way of itself. The "Mind Mischief" of The Slow Rush.
It's enough to make the non-sealegged feel a trifle seasick the way the synths flange up and engulf the Phil Collins-esque vocal harmonies. Kind of like "One More Night" played through two channels, with one channel a microsecond behind the other. But then, it ascends into a gorgeous cacophony of swooshing, bleeping, and flourishing.
She literally released an album called "Future Nostalgia". FUTURE. NOSTALGIA. I mean, what more can be said?
It's quite a remarkable feat to release an album full of the best memories of our younger lives, and yet it still sounds as fresh and original as it possibly can be.
This track in particular has many things going for it. The chorus right away plays on the INXS "Need You Tonight" rhythm that is peppered throughout the track beautifully, the verses channel both Banks and Sister Sledge at the same time (!). It's just pure genius songwriting and musical craft. Last edited:
I'll admit that I am a self-proclaimed late bandwagoner. Before last year's H100, I had never really listened to Lime Cordiale - nor did I know much about them. And when they had so many songs appear in the list, my eyes rolled and I thought to myself "ugh, not another nothing Australian act getting a ridiculous unprecedented amount of votes!".
Well, that was until the album attached itself to the top of my album recommendations on last.fm for several months when I decided "OK, fine!" and went and had a listen. I don't know how, but this song became my most scrobbled song for 2020 - mainly because I just never skipped it. And then when I went to listen to it properly, and not just have it on the background like I had for a few weeks, I realised that it's a damn catchy effort. They nailed the chorus, and the instrumentaion is spot on.
I've only really heard one St. Lucia song - that being "Elevate" - and it's one of those songs that you just know somehow that it's gonna stick around for a long time in the non-skippable section of your library. This song had an almost identical effect - along with an almost identical drum fill. And that chorus is simply sublime.
There's quite a poignant quote in the film "Kingsman: Secret Service", and it goes like this.
"Being a gentleman is not about being superior to your fellow man - it's about being superior to your former self."
I chose this version because it perfectly ecapsulates how sexism often has a lot to do with how toxic relationships are perceived. Here we find both Daniel and Gomez embracing their own power, finding their courage, and standing up for themselves, all the while singing that gorgeous chorus in the face of their former lovers - or perhaps to their former selves.
Immediately attention-demanding, and attention-keeping, with those staccato minim stab chords punching holes in your chest every second. They need you to hear this, and it will get heard one way or the other. The message is clear: Musicians are "essential workers" too.
Post-hardcore is a hard genre to keep fresh nowadays, especially for a band that have been around for almost 20 years. It's songs like this that give hope, and I simply cannot get enough of this song's catchiness.
Just about as Galantis-y as it gets - only thing is that this track actually contains coherent lyrics that are easy to follow. Oh and the chorus beat drop is as corny and silly as ever. Oh, how I needed this! Please never change, Galantis!
5. Mura Masa & Ellie Rowsell - Teenage Headache Dreams
Everyone had a bit of a reminisce in 2020, didn't they? Mura Masa, an absolute genius of his craft, has put together a collage of everything that has haunted/blessed him throughout his teenage years - and the result hits every one of us hard.
Ellie's soaring vocals provide hope at the end of a fiery tunnel constructed from Mura Masa's own nightmares and heartbreaks, the view is distorted from the absolute lightness and darkness from each respective point of view - and it's not until one path is chosen that the resolution finally arrives when the final beat kicks in. A harrowing journey that we all know too well.
Idina Menzel had better be careful or she may be usurped for any future incarnations of Disney's Frozen.
San Cisco are a band that have always been in my peripheral ever since their debut - and to see how far they've come since "Awkward" is remarkable. This album is full of bangers, but none bangs as hard as this - and yet it still seeps out little morsels of their past - eg. when Scarlett joins in for the pre-chorus. This band are still going strong, and are still happy to do so, and that makes me happy.
"Hiya, Barbie!" "Hi, Ken!" - is what the chords SCREAM out at the start. Heh.
This track could be anyone - Tears For Fears, Eurythmics, Fleetwood Mac (!), and yet it just HAS to be Tame Impala, doesn't it? I mean, how versatile has Mr. Parker become lately? That beat is simply gorgeous throughout, and yet it has a rather sophisticated underscore of swirling synths and syncopated bass lines, and that guitar theme after each chorus is just *chef kiss*.
I'm sure everyone on here knows how much I adore Death Cab For Cutie, and The Postal Service song "Such Great Heights". Well, when I came across Joji on last.fm, and subsequently found out that his Nectar album had some remarkable hype about it, I immediately streamed it.
This track stood out the most, mainly because it packs so much into it's relatively MOR time of 3-and-a-half minutes. It starts off with a cheeky SGH-style beat and chant routine, then it transforms into a stately choral waltz at the 2-minute mark.
THIS TRACK! OK, so I'll get all the "ongoing global bastard" superlatives out of the way first. I honestly was quite afraid and confused when lockdown swept the world off its feet, and I was also intrigued as to how this would affect new music. However, as mentioned many times throughout this list though, this year has been such a buffet of nostalgia and revival (hell, if it was sped up it would basically be "Lovefool"), and this track was the one that got me through it all.
I never, EVER skipped it when it came on (which rarely happens), and every time, I just let it sink itself deeper into my soul, cleansing all the adversity and sorrow as it manifested, which is a remarkable feat, and is something I haven't truly experienced in music since Foals' "Spanish Sahara". I would tingle. I would sob. I would zone out to my surroundings.
And the funny thing is, it feels like such a familiar song too. Like an old dear friend or relative weaving a blanket out of kisses, hugs, and comfort, and then dutifully placing it over you so that no warmth can escape, and letting you know that everything is going to be fine. Honestly, I'm choking up even writing about this. It's just such a special song.