25 BEST ALBUMS OF 2012

NUMBER ONE

LONERISM – TAME IMPALA

Tame_Impala_Lonerism_Cover

Best Tracks:
1. Apocalypse Dreams
2. Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control
3. Music To Walk Home By
4. Why Won’t They Talk To Me
5. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

NUMBER TWO

BEARD, WIVES, DENIM – POND

Pond_Beard,_Wives,_Denim_cover

Best Tracks:
1. You Broke My Cool
2. Eye Pattern Blindness
3. When It Explodes
4. Sun And Sea And You
5. Moths Wings

NUMBER THREE

GIVEN TO THE WILD – THE MACCABEES

the-maccabees-given-to-the-wild (1)

Best Tracks:
1. Went Away
2. Child
3. Forever I’ve Known
4. Grew Up At Midnight
5. Go

NUMBER FOUR

TAKE THE KIDS OFF BROADWAY EP – FOXYGEN

Foxygen-Take-the-Kids-Off-Broadway (1)

Best Tracks:
1. Make It Known
2. Waitin’ 4 U
3. Abandon My Toys
4. Teenage Alien Blues
5. Take The Kids Off Broadway

NUMBER FIVE

DJANGO DJANGO – DJANGO DJANGO

574-494x0

Best Tracks:
1. Hail Bop
2. Waveforms
3. Default
4. Firewater
5. Silver Rays

NUMBER SIX

AN AWERSOME WAVE – ALT-J

An-Awesome-Wave-Alt-J

Best Tracks:
1. Breezeblocks
2. Dissolve Me
3. Taro
4. Tessellate
5. Fitzpleasure

NUMBER SEVEN

TWINS – TY SEAGALL

tn-e1345645330790

Best Tracks:
1. The Hill
2. There Is No Tomorrow
3. Love Fuzz
4. Handglams
4. Thank God For The Sinners

NUMBER EIGHT

THE SHAKEDOWN PROJECT EP – THE SHAKEDOWN PROJECT

the shakedown project 600 by 600

Best Tracks:
1. Dirty Old Sin (Where Have You Been)
2. Silver Ships Crystal Grips
3. Prisoner’s Cinema
4. Tell Me What I Want
5. Caroline

NUMBER NINE

WORLD MUSIC -GOAT

cover

BEST TRACKS:
1. Goatman
2. Golden Dawn
3. Discofever
4. Goathead
5. Let It Bleed

NUMBER TEN

NOUTURNE – WILD NOTHING

wild-nothing-nocturne-artwork (1)

Best Tracks:
1. Midnight Song
2. Through The Grass
3. Only Heather
4. Shadow
5. Nocturne

NUMBER ELEVEN

OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS – BRETON

Breton - Other Peoples Problems

Best Tracks:
1. Electrician
2. Wood And Plastic
3. Interference
4. Governing Correctly
5. Pacemaker

NUMBER TWELVE

THE ECHO SHOW – YETI LANE

10583361-1325169590-296477

Best Tracks:
1. Analog Wheel
2. Warning Sensations
3. Logic Winds
4. Strange Call
5. The Echo Show

NUMBER THIRTEEN

BOYS AND GIRLS – ALABAMA SHAKES

Alabama Shakes - Boys And Girls

Best Tracks:
1. Hold On
2. Hang Loose
3. You Ain’t Alone
4. I Found You
5. On Your Way

NUMBER FOURTEEN

MELODY’S ECHO CHAMBER – MELODY’S ECHO CHAMBER

melodys-echo-chamber

Best Tracks:
1. I Follow You
2. Quand Vas Tu Rentrer?
3. Some Time Alone, Alone
4. You Won’t That Part Of Me
5. Be Proud Of Your Kids

NUMBER FIFTEEN

COME OF AGE – THE VACCINES

Come of Age (Deluxe Version)

Best Tracks:
1. Lonely World
2. Weirdo
3. Aftershave Ocean
4. No Hope
5. Teenage Icon

NUMBER SIXTEEN

AMERICA GIVE UP – HOWLER

howler-give-up-2-LST093048

Best Tracks:
1. This One’s Different
2. Beach Sluts
3. Wailing (Making Out)
4. Told You Once
5. Black Lagoon

NUMBER SEVENTEEN

SWEET HEART, SWEET LIGHT – SPIRITUALIZED

Spiritualized-Sweet-Heart-Sweet-Light

Best Tracks:
1. So Long You Pretty Thing
2. Hey Jane
3. Too Late
4. Headin’ For The Top Now
5. Little Girl

NUMBER EIGHTEEN

OSHIN – DIIV

DIIV-Oshin

Best Tracks:
1. How Long Have You Known
2. Past Lives
3. Human
4. Wait
5. Air Conditioning

NUMBER NINETEEN

BLUNDERBUSS – JACK WHITE

Jack-White-Blunderbuss-608x608

Best Tracks:
1. Sixteen Saltines
2. Hypocritical Kiss
3. Weep Themselves To Sleep
4. Love Interruption
5. Missing Pieces

NUMBER TWENTY

IN OUR HEADS – HOT CHIP

a8aaa1cc06f8f1c1af6a474bcf8d932b58fb56d3 (1)

Best Tracks:
1. Let Me Be Him
2. Flutes
3. Motion Sickness
4. Night And Day
5. Don’t Deny Your Heart

NUMBER TWENTY-ONE

TY SEAGALL BAND – SLAUGHTERHOUSE

ty-segall-band-slaughterhouse-608x608

Best Tracks:
1. I Bought My Eyes
2. Wave Goodbye
3. Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart
4. Death
5. Diddy Wah Diddy

NUMBER TWENTY-TWO

RADLANDS – MYSTERY JETS

mystery-jets-radlands-someone-purer-album-cover-art-hd-hq-2012

BEST TRACKS:
1. Someone Purer
2. The Hail Bop
3. Greatest Hits
4. Radlands
5. The Nothing

NUMBER TWENTY-THREE

CENTIPEDE HZ – ANIMAL COLLECTIVE

f738b519

BEST TRACKS:
1. Today’s Supernatural
2. New Town Burnout
3. Moonjock
4. Applesauce
5. Wide Eyed

NUMBER TWENTY-FOUR

HOLOGRAMS – HOLOGRAMS

holograms

BEST TRACKS:
1. Chasing My Mind
2. ABC CITY
3. Monolith
4. Ashtray
5. Stress

NUMBER TWENTY-FIVE

HOLD FAST – THE CROOKES

cd6p

BEST TRACKS:
1. Afterglow
2. Maybe In The Dark
3. American Girls
4. Stars
5. Where Did Our Love Go?

BY OSCAR B. WILSON

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The Primrose League

I would like to introduce to you a man named Daniel Earwicker; musician, personal hero of mine, and someone who, I daresay, probably knows a fair few of Johnny Marr’s Smiths parts better than perhaps even Johnny Marr himself. 

I first got to know of him a couple of years ago, during the time when I was just beginning with the Smiths, and in particular the guitar style that Marr made them synonymous with. Being a keen beginner guitarist at this point, I naturally wanted to pick up some of their tunes, and a quick search of YouTube for covers to help me threw up Daniel Earwicker’s channel, overflowing with closeups of him and his guitar picking out each intricate note. It was great, he had every song sounding bang on, even to the point where people began to question his identity; question whether he was in fact Marr himself or not. Us mortals could now play along and follow those famous rhythms. After posting a dozen or so covers, he uploaded his first song – ‘What’s It Like To Always Be Wrong.’ It set the blueprint of what was to come; Smiths-esque riffs, abstract lyrics, rhythmic, pounding drums and beating bass. At a first listen, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is him with his band playing one of their own compositions, having possibly booked a few hours in a studio one day.

But this is what makes Earwicker so remarkable; beyond the songwriting and guitar talent, he also plays the bass, drums, piano, as well as singing on his songs. In addition to this, he records, engineers, produces and masters every song from his computer, utilising various bits of recording equipment. After about a year, he eventually released a full-length, eleven track album, entitled ‘Stigmata Playing Up Again,’ in 2008.

The bottom line of the album is this: this album is not just good for just one person’s work; this album is great full stop. Each song is a Rickenbacker symphony, backed by offbeat and driving drums, complemented by numerous superb basslines, topped off by a great vocals carrying abstract lyrics through. His words are engaging yet obscure; I’ve been listening to the album for about eighteen months now, and careful listening and wondering has left me with my own interpretation of the lyrics, but I’m sure others’ will be different, and I am sure Mr. Earwicker would have had something entirely different on his mind the day he wrote it. For me, the lyrics can be interpreted to contain a range of various themes such as oppression (‘Hyprochrondria’), war that can befall family (Guerilla Warfare), and the pressure to perform (‘The World is Waiting for Your Invention).

On a geekier side, this man clearly knows his way around Pro Tools. Each song sounds like a polished, well recorded piece of work, oozing quality and the dulcet tones of some very expensive instruments indeed (many guitarists can only hope to have one tenth of Daniel’s immense guitar collection). His recording process, that he outlines in one of his video comments, usually takes a few hours; he records drums, bass, guitars, then writes the lyrics for the music, and sings it. He spends the rest of the day editing and mastering, before cutting together a video, and uploading the video usually late on a Sunday night. He justifies this: “The latest song I uploaded, I must admit to being extremely eager to let people hear it right away, the same day I started working on it,” in a interview with MonitorDown three years ago.

The album was followed by a second effort, ‘Letters to Cyril Connolly,’ the following year. The same army of expensive guitars remained, as did the superb sparkling riffs and jangling acoustics, but a feeling of new wave began to seep in, guitar effects were used more extensively. The album was completed and all tracks previewed within 10 months, and work immediately began on the third, entitled ‘Havoc Monk Unseen.’ This album is still an in progress work, but the music continues to develop, with increasingly funkier basslines, altered guitar sounds, drum machines, and banjos as well.

Having completed and completely self-published nearly three full-length albums in five years is a feat that many bands may not achieve, so it makes it even more remarkable that one man, producing and  writing all material, can do it so well. He continues to pump out high quality covers and songs about every three weeks or so, his latest being an intense take on ‘Hand in Glove’ by the same band that launched him on YouTube, the Smiths, featuring an roaring inimitable bass part.  Every time I see his name in my subscription box, it’s like a little treat on my Sunday evening, and something I won’t be able to keep myself away from for at least the next week.

http://www.primroseleague.co.uk/jshome.htm

http://www.youtube.com/user/danielearwicker?feature=results_main

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THE MACCABEES – GIVEN TO THE WILD REVIEW

My expectations for this album would no doubt have become clear with the Given To The Wild preview article, they were exceptionally high – which certainly puts the pressure on The Maccabees to deliver something amazing after hearing “Pelican”, “Feel To Follow” and “Child” pre released in that order just getting better and better.  A little spoiler for you; those expectations were most defiantly justified, for The Maccabees have really delivered. Given To The Wild is an evolutionary masterpiece which is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. A clear departure from 2009’s Wall Of Arms to a more symbolic lyricism and a larger expansive moving sound.

Saying that this is the first time they have felt like their own band with their own true sound gives you an indication that more has gone into this record than any before – it seems to hold within it the true souls of The Maccabees which were otherwise absent from the first two LPs. Its themes based on nature, nostalgia, family and the circle of life are close to the heart of Weeks, the Whites etc. and are projected onto us with both tenderness and grandiose epic soundscapes; have the extraordinary power of moving you with the sentiment and raw emotion of their creation. The epic instrumental vastness and the distinctive honesty of Orlando Weeks’ vocals are very much at home on an African plain or a bleaker wilderness. These expanses are complimented by opposing crescendo leading to climaxes of massive power, ending many tracks on the highest of highs, and assuring Given To The Wild’s monumental success, as sincere and beautiful a record as your ever likely to hear.

Entering into the “I Wanna Be Adored” inspired intro “Given To The Wild”, a zooming atmospheric piece which begins your journey into the guitar and the cinematic, commanding “Child”. The song which inspired the album’s title and follows two of the album’s main themes; nature and the circle of life, as explained by Weeks “Being ‘given to the wild,’ it’s not a choice that you’ve made. It’s something out of your control.”. “Child” grasps you with a lovely brass section and spits you out after tumultuous guitar solo from Felix White (or was it Hugo) as uncontrollable as the choice of our own existence, before it simmers down into the more pain filled; for example with the lyrics: ‘You never know it’s too late until it’s too late.’; yet equally emotive “Feel To Follow”. The second track to surprise you with its blissfully epic climax, you would have been very wrong to have thought after “Child” that The Maccabees could give little more but you would have been forgiven, “Child” is exceptionally brilliant.

Moving through the dream-like hypnotic qualities of “Ayla” and “Glimmer” sees a softer side to the album, although not standing out; they along with “Heave” are by no means fillers, there isn’t a single filler. Given To The Wild is one whole without unnecessary elements, presenting the progression of The Maccabees group writing process and their production which has given them the maturity and skill to pull off their new expansive sound.

“Forever I’ve Known” is yet another clear departure of style from The Maccabees of old, with the new softer calming vocal beautifully delivering “ Forever I’ve known, nothing stays forever. Couldn’t you still try?” It strikes a perfect balance, with wave of wave of aggressive guitar crescendo interspersed with gorgeous moments of calm.  This leads you to “Heave”, the calm before the storm that is the unstoppable final five tracks on the LP, by way of “Pelican.

The first single “Pelican”, which along with the album uses images of the work of Andy Goldsworthy, whose work sits perfectly in with the albums feel, obviously the nature elements. The effect of the photographs before and after the fire are massive – showing the uncontrollable force of nature; it’s destructive power; and the desolation caused is no doubt part of a life cycle, giving a fertile soil to allow growth and re-birth; followed by the immutability of the stone kiln acting as a vessel relaying the ideas and emotive makeup of feeling obtained by listening to Given To The Wild. The pieces visually represent much of which makes The Maccabees third album such a great work of art and music. The song itself however is merely an optimistic jangly instrumental with lyrics about parenthood and nostalgia in “And we go back to where we came from”, it’s nice granted, and an obvious single but really nothing much more.

After “Pelican” comes “Went Away”, the indisputable standout song on the album. The most euphoric emotive moment of Given To The Wild comes from the most beautiful vocal that The Maccabees have recorded “Hold me close, don’t let me go, I need you so”, A love song if ever I saw one, and one that is becoming very personal to me, though much of this not to do with its lyrical power but it’s other-worldly guitar and launch into a perfectly joyous unprecedented final two minutes, that are nothing short of blissful. Not the most musically inventive song, but four minutes of brilliance which is too answer for the new “stadium sound”.

“Go” is yet another massive song fit for stadiums, giving light to the influence of both Coldplay and Arcade Fire on Given To The Wild. It’s a track that just gets bigger and bigger, an ambitious direction that has really paid off, most likely due to how natural a transition this seems to be. A big bass line and ghostly vocal greets you on “Unknown” ending in a surprisingly beautiful souring vocal from Alpines’ Catherine Pockson. Yet another bombardment of sound surprises you in the latter half of “Slowly One” after a tremendous build up, and what makes it so good is the jarring harsh guitar from White ripping apart all of the earlier opposing subtleties and beauty – as only nature would.

Given To The Wild ends on another high with “Grew Up At Midnight” a nostalgia filled  tale of friendship, and a far more resonant, relatable feeling than all of the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. A lovely finish to what is the album of The Maccabees careers; if they can come out with anything better there are some truly great things to look forward to. There really is no need to look forward however because Given To The Wild should be all that you’ll need to be listening to for the for see able future and it is defiantly not one to be left behind by time. I couldn’t tell you enough how amazing Given To The Wild is.

Best Tracks:

1. Went Away

2. Child

3.  Go

4. Forever I’ve Known

5. Unknown

Oscar B. Wilson

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BEST TRACKS OF 2011

With great difficulty the best 100 tracks of 2011 have been completed – without a doubt this list has missed many a good song from 2011 and so compiles the best songs which have been noticed, listened to, and loved. To prevent too many songs from a single artist and cap for artists without a top ten album of 2011 has been set at two tracks each.

(which can be seen here: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/best-albums-of-2011/)

Those in the top ten albums of 2011 #4-#10 take three places each and #1-#3 have four tracks present each. This has given the list some diversity, not that it was a problem in finding other tracks to fill the remaining places, as you will see many great songs didn’t make the cut. Here follows the 100 Best Tracks Of 2011:

1. Arctic Monkeys – That’s Where Your Wrong

There seems to have been a lot of love for Alex Turner and the Arctic Monkeys this year – yet the closing track of Suck It And See seems to have gone unnoticed. A track which is simple musically, which builds and builds (much like 505) into a series of thundering guitar sections with beautiful lyrics about mortality and love – see for yourself how great this track is…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9U1r38di-8

2. The Horrors – Still Life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJQk0jDZx8o&ob=av3e

3. Bombay Bicycle Club – Take The Right One

File:Bombay bicycyle club a different kind of fix.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXIpedIGN50

4. Born Blonde – Radio Bliss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn1PiZ5LitY

5. Cashier Number 9 – Oh Pity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHQmVGFMMgE

6. The Horrors – You Said

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cra6LRqSIk

7. Glasvegas – Dream Dream Dreaming

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG8Z7F2Ttwk

8. I Break Horses – Winter Beats

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sg7YkPnEYw

9. S.C.U.M. – Whitechapel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoYszf-37Tk

10. Bombay Bicycle Club – How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep –

File:Bombay bicycyle club a different kind of fix.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOC1V04dzfo&feature=related

11. Moon Duo – Mazes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvYUUes4O1Q

12. Metronomy – The Look

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFrNsSnk8GM&ob=av2e

13. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Ffunny Ffrends

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-36lCKovBg

14. WU LYF – Such A Sad Puppy Dog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpjdfRMl5bk

15. PJ Harvey – Bitter Branches

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-piHXFcd8E

16. Bombay Bicycle Club – What You Want

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZuzcWVBMPU&feature=fvst

17. The Horrors – Moving Further Away

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTETxZS4BsY

18. Wu Lyf – We Bros

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HGgni1nGGY

19. Born Blonde – ‘Solar’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLaQGB5OnEE

20. Bombay Bicycle Club – Your Eyes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UEnZNuxEUA

21. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Stop The Clocks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJZiK_WzdH0

22. The Strokes – Two Kinds Of Happiness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOaBNQt2k3A

23. The Vaccines – Family Friend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txey4jDIMY0

24. Arctic Monkeys – The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAlRXC19hmE&ob=av2e

25. Elbow – Open Arms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRFqUlRelN0

26. Florence + The Machine – No Light, No Light

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGH-4jQZRcc&ob=av2n

27. Battles – Ice Cream (feat. Matias Aguayo)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FsvMyQeC-Q&ob=av2e

28. The Horrors – Dive In

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17iNHVjC6B0

29. Chapel Club – Surfacing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70102WX57Rk&ob=av2n

30. Yuck – Rubber

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pt2YuvrWYE

31. I Break Horses – Pulse

Not on youtube

32. Cults – Go Outside

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAM9diyVRiM

33. Esben And The Witch – Warpath

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0nGE686qZU

34. Cashier No. 9 – The Lighthouse Will Lead You Out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvEqvQLU41o

35. PJ Harvey – The Last Living Rose

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWBrWhrKchQ

36. Peaking Lights – Tiger Eyes (Laid Back)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5vbZHuQflE

37. The Crookes – Just Like Dreamers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu_eGG32cSQ

38. Laura Marling – The Beast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG9sh9ifN4w

39. Smith Westerns – End Of The Night

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj7Z1RAeqBQ

40. tUnE-yArDs – Bizness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ1LI-NTa2s&ob=av2e

41. I Break Horses – Wired

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-cGmkjHhDU

42. The Crookes – The Crookes Laundry Murder, 1922

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdVIYApPvlE

43. Dutch Uncles – Cadenza

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMti9fN0VBQ

44. Wu Lyf – Spitting Blood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDTEhWO2wyo

45. Fixers – Iron Deer Dream (Chad Valley Remix)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d7YbcMM62E

46. Bon Iver – Holocene

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWcyIpul8OE

47. Fixers – Crystals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUSH-F9TOUU

48. Metronomy – Some Written

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Hpd683Vhpc

49. Moon Duo – Seer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLXw4Ica2Ek

50. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – How Can U Luv Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2ySbAWJA-o

51. Smith Westerns – All Die Young

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR-Wa_lXvAA

52. Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDTZ7iX4vTQ&ob=av2e

53. Cashier No. 9 – Make Your Feel Better

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRfWYP0gTw4

54. Arctic Monkeys – Reckless Serenade

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chVFscOabYM

55. Anna Calvi – Love Won’t Be Leaving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14uWGz46Xdk

56. Radiohead – Lotus Flower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfOa1a8hYP8

57. Mirrors – Write Through The Night

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdTPdtSz-O0

58. Wu Lyf – 14 Crowns For Me & Your Friends

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IA1fICVhdI

59. Laura Marling – Salinas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5s6vajNoEg

60. S.C.U.M. – Cast Into Seasons

Not on youtube

61. PJ Harvey – Written On The Forehead

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saksKorZEoc

62. White Lies – Strangers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozXeDKfwaMc

63. Fleet Foxes – The Shrine/An Argument

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yAxIdkF2Qo

64. Yuck – Get Away

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz7vyrFhFE8

65. Esben And The Witch – Argyria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAoo3zmMcPo

66. Mirrors – Somewhere Strange

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGO5UHca74A

67. Friendly Fires – Hawaiian Air

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65_cgr4PJFk&ob=av2e

68. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8igFHmS03tM

69. Wild Beasts – Loop The Loop

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r07We_E355g

70. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyP0DACgdgc

71. S.C.U.M. – Amber Hands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOWANx94pbU

72. Elbow – Lippy Kids

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc5fX4TytFE

73. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Thought Ballune

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psD48B8FDsw

74. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If I Had A Gun…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NMUDb3Ewhs&ob=av3n

75. St. Vincent – Cruel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itt0rALeHE8

76. The Vaccines – Wetsuit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY4J3sVMmN0

77. White Lies – Peace & Quiet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1JpMV5xEFU

78. The Horrors – Endless Blue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cjCPS-_eO0

79. Howler – I Told You Once

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-b8KDdOBBU

80. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isIABK-0ohQ&ob=av2e

81. Memory Tapes – Today Is Our Life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwx4cA4-HPA

82. The Joy Formidable – Llaw = Wall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZenThxlc1rA

83. Big Troubles – Minor Keys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMMtf0YRVGQ

84. Noah And The Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCHzicKq3W4&ob=av3e

85. John Maus – Believer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMku-GbafEg&ob=av2e

86. Cage The Elephant – Shake Me Down

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v27TRan1SBI&ob=av2e

87. Kasabian – Days Are Forgotten

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBsQVP-Olmw&ob=av2e

88. Bass Drum Of Death – Nerve Jamming

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHZpznGLiRk

89. Friendly Fires – Blue Cassette

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxHo7iS9WJQ

90. Wooden Shjips – Flight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcNQhEtGpR8

91. Wild Flag – Something Came Over Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSMffOPza1I

92. Florence + The Machine -What The Water Gave Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am6rArVPip8&ob=av2e

93. The Naked And Famous – Young Blood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olr5Bk7jm3I&ob=av2n

94. Glasvegas – Euphoria, Take My Hand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6Yosqms1nM&ob=av2e

95. Hard-Fi – Good For Nothing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVe96l_h-SM

96. Wolf Gang – Lions In Cages

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bpPyRPnnRs&ob=av2e

97. Pete & The Pirates – Half Moon Street

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhjaeeUpPAE&ob=av2e

98. Veronica Falls – Bad Feeling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_SlRqk48LQ

99. Cat’s Eyes – Face In The Crowd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSXKWQz_R-Q

100. Mogwai – Rano Pano

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZaf–7QJ8U

To get the list in the form of a Spotify playlist please click on the link:

Disagree? Missed any of yours? Pray Tell.

Please note that these are not the opinions of the whole codamusic team but of one man.

Oscar B. Wilson

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THE MACCABEES – GIVEN TO THE WILD PREVIEW

 

 

 

This may give you the impression that the decision on how good the new Maccabees album is going to be has already been made. Perhaps, it has something to do with the release of two astounding songs and a appearance on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge. The first release, Pelican sees The Maccabees sound growing, becoming much more epic without being detrimental to their past sound. Similar to the number one album of 2011 from Bombay Bicycle Club. They haven’t lost their roots with any of the releases so far, which many will be glad to hear, particularly in the more subtle Feel To Follow (although the second half of the track is so far from subtle – another epic wall of guitars). The Live Lounge performance of Child is what really made me take notice of this release early – three and a half minutes of beautiful calm before the massive storming crescendo of vocals (rather than the guitar based Feel To Follow) If your going to listen to any, please  make it Child – actually scrap that listen to them all and then buy the album next Monday.

Pelican: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rcp8SE_FxBg&ob=av2n

Feel To Follow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQfYNHyFZ_0&ob=av2n

Pelican (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3xLEdeefvs&feature=related

Child (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0UOfM-rMtU&feature=related

It has to be said that it’s looking very unlikely that The Maccabees are going to fall into the weak third album trap after hearing these. It will be very shocking if the rest of this record is not up to the same standard. Is an epic career defining album looming? It certainly seems likely. At very least the world has gained three extremely beautiful songs.

Due: 9th January 2012

The Maccabees

Oscar B. Wilson

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An Introduction To Film Soundtracks.

Owning just four film soundtracks on CD and a further one on mp3, some may believe I cannot possibly be well versed enough in film music to publish my opinions in any kind of authoritative way, especially a virtually anonymous post on a website. However this is merely because one must rigorously evaluate a film soundtrack before paying the extortionate high-street prices for the aforementioned genre. This is because film soundtracks run the gauntlet of having dud tracks or tracks that simply do not fit, for simplicity I will choose to cite the song Walking Song by Meredith Monk on the soundtrack to The Big Lebowski, which happens to be one of the soundtracks I own. Some may argue the song echoes the bizarre nature of the film however I would counter that the song is simply irrelevant as the rest of the soundtrack reflects the eccentric nature of the film, for example the extraordinary cover of The Eagles’ Hotel California by Franco-Spanish flamenco band Gipsy Kings who graced the cinema world recently with their charming cover of You’ve Got A Friend In Me for Toy Story 3.

I would argue that the criteria of success for a film soundtrack is far broader than that of a regular album because, despite running the risk of dud tracks, the selection is far more likely to triumph, for example the David Dobkin film Fred Clause, which suffers from what can only be described as Terrible-As-Usual-Christmas-Film-Syndrome, a disease that plagues the cinemas every year like a particularly nasty strain of Ebola. Fred Clause however has one stand-out scene that isn’t blighted by symptoms such as soppy discharge or bleeding ears due to the banality and predictability of the dialogue. A man teaches a dwarf to dance in order to impress a beautiful woman, an unsurprisingly idiotic scene though it isn’t unfunny and the song chosen lifts the scene out of what could have been an uncomfortable situation. For some reason Beast Of Burden by The Rolling Stones strikes the balance between being beautiful enough to make the scene ironically funny but having the signature Rolling Stones rock-blues beat to drive the pace of the scene along in a way that sets the scene above the rest of the film. Especially the final scenes in which dwarves watch family’s open presents that the dwarves themselves admitted the families did not want on a giant snow globe that can see into any house on the planet, I won’t discuss the implications of this in light of the fact that real people do ask others for products from Ann Summers for Christmas. What really makes this scene almost painful to watch is the hideous selection of Silent Night on the soundtrack. Now I am an enormous fan of the carol, especially preceding Tom Waits’ Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis during his set on the Old Grey Whistle Test in the late 1970s – yes that is a plug, go and watch it on YouTube- however this mournfully slow version is simply so out of place in what is essentially an exultant scene that it makes me think they were just trying to work a carol into the film for the sake of it, which never makes for a good piece of cinema.

A good film soundtrack usually means that one can listen to it with great pleasure without watching the film, or that it fits the film seamlessly, or even in some cases that it is set against the mood of the film to great effect, a perfect example being Stealers Wheel classic Stuck In The Middle With You during the famous scene of grotesque torture in Tarantino’s gem Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino himself is famous for his command of music in his films and the Pulp Fiction soundtrack is another of the film soundtracks I own.

Pulp Fiction has arguably the greatest soundtrack of any film ever made adhering to all the success criteria Tarantino uses songs that one can listen to while relaxing in the bath and songs that one can dance the night away to, as Uma Thurman and John Travolta do in another of cinema’s most wonderful scenes. As the pair pull out dance moves that harken back to Travolta’s earlier career in musical cinema, I think I need not cite examples, the wonderful choice of Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell plays on the soundtrack. This blending of tunes that both fit the film wonderfully but are so listenable outside the context of it are why the soundtrack is so perfect.


   Of course, the opening moments of the film would not be so memorable if it were not for the inclusion of Miserlou a song with strange Greek and Serbian origins. Set alongside the freeze-frame of  two would-be armed thieves raising their guns in the diner they are about to ransack the song is perfect, it sets off the film with an electric vitality and makes the bold credits far more interesting. Miserlou does suffer in my opinion however because of it’s repetitive and heavily distorted, modern sound which, when listening to it on the CD, has the same effect that I imagine being strapped into a chair in an empty warehouse and having Woody Woodpecker sit on your chest and peck directly into your cerebral cortex would. This said however the  track on the CD is  particularly pleasing because the recording includes a short amount of Tarantino’s rich dialogue before the song actually begins. Snippets of machine-gun dialogue are peppered around the soundtrack like the bullets of the hand-cannon that miss Vincent and Jules by inches in a particularly sharp scene, these add to the intoxicating effect of the soundtrack.

   Though I realise I might be bloviating perpetually on Tarantino but he simply is a master of film soundtracks, I have already mentioned two of his films that adhere to all the criteria of a successful film soundtrack and I haven’t even time to make a significant dent in the man audacious enough to include Morricone music in his own faux Western cum revenge B movies Kill Bill. It is important however to make a lasting plea to the reader to go and buy the Collectors Edition of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack if it is only for the sixteen minute long interview with the director on how he listens to his records to inspire his films. Perhaps with that rationale he has hit on pure soundtrack gold and for anyone who loves music and film he is certainly a man to study intently.

That is not to say however that the only soundtracks worth listening to are those of Tarantino films, I would be out of a job rather quickly if I was only to talk about the music of his seven full films, especially as I have already talked about the essence of why his soundtracks are so perfect. No the world of film music is far more complex than Tarantino; Scorsese for example is far more prolific and I would say he has done far more for film music and music in general than Tarantino ever will or could. However discussing the music of the greatest film director of all time shall have to wait for another review, that is supposing the powers that be at Coda don’t balk at my entry and I am never seen again, you never know I might meet the same fate as Chris Tucker in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Hm, I wonder which song was playing at that moment… I can’t recall…I’m sure it was superb though.

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BEST ALBUMS OF 2011

This is only going to be a short list, twenty of the best releases of 2011 – containing a very strong top five of the universally critically acclaimed mercury prize winning P J Harvey album; to the pretty much unknown fourth placers Cashier Number 9 with their belfast “baggy” music in the form of debut To The Death Of Fun; on to the infamous WU LYF’s Go Tell Fire To The Mountain; with The Horrors’ epic being very unlucky to have missed out on the top spot and been released in the same year as the flawless second electric record from Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix, an unquestionably clear record of the year.

For the best tracks of 2011: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/best-tracks-of-2011/

The complete top ten follows:

1. Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix

File:Bombay bicycyle club a different kind of fix.jpg

The unrivaled stand out release of the year, shocking topping the brilliance of Bombay’s first album I Had The Blues. A pop record full of beats and nods to The Stone Roses brand of psychedelia. The infusions of guitar based indie and melodic folk makes it Bombay Bicycle Club’s offering clearly a record of its time. You cannot go without listening to this record.

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/bombay-bicycle-club-a-different-kind-of-fix-review-and-download-links/

Top Tracks: Take The Right One, How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep, What You Want and Your Eyes.

2. The Horrors – Skying

How have The Horrors reached this point with an unlistenable first album to their third, Skying – a masterpiece and force of nature which although not entirely ground-breaking stylistically is a beautifully created record. The themes of oceans and expanse resonate through an album without a faulty song on it.

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/the-horrors-skying-review/

Top Tracks: Still Life, You Said and Moving Further Away.

3. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

Don’t think for a second that WU LYF are all about the mystery of their image because this album is euphoric undecipherable sound-scapes. They brought something very different to the tale with the success of the contrasting elements of screaming savage vocals and clean poppy instrumentals gives WU LYF a memorising signature sound.

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/wu-lyf-%E2%80%93-go-tell-fire-to-the-mountain-review/

Top Tracks: Heavy Pop, Such A Sad Puppy Dog, 14 Crowns For Me And All My Friends and L Y F.

4. Cashier Number 9 – To The Death Of Fun

Cashier Number 9 haven’y caught many people attention this year, with their top youtube video only reaching 40,000 hits – and god knows why not. They have a really accessible sound and make joyful jangling guitar music which sounds so perfect prticularly well done the three tracks mentioned below.

Please Note: Due to the opening of Codamusic being half way through the year, not all of these albums have been reviewd.

Top Tracks: Oh Pity, The Lighthouse Will Lead You Out and Make You Feel Better.

5. P J Harvey – Let England Shake

As mentioned earlier, the universally critically acclaimed mercury prize winning Let England Shake truly deserves such prefixes. It is an beautifully executed politically based  album about the war and ruin which which have caused. The love for a great nation, or what used to be a great nation – not that the album’s beauty can only be realized with this theme. Every song is brilliant so don’t just listen to the tracks below.

Top Tracks: Bitter Branches, The Last Living Rose and Written On The Forehead.

6. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See

A return to form from the Arctic Monkeys, with a mature album that is listenable and also lyrically brilliant. It’s not the Arctic Monkeys of old, but really no one in their right mind would want that after listening to this. And one belter of a closing track:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9U1r38di-8 (Number 1 on the Best Tracks Of 2011 list as it happens)

Review Link: https://codamusicblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/arctic-monkeys-suck-it-and-see-review/

Top Tracks: That’s Where Your Wrong, The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala and Reckless Serenade.

7. I Break Horses – Hearts

The first overseas album, from Sweden’s I Break Horses whose electronic shoe-gaze pop is one of this years highlights. A trance-inducing cascade of electronic music, which really seems to have a soul. An under the radar album of other worldly majesty.

Top Tracks: Winter Beats, Pulse and Wired.

8. S.C.U.M. – Again Into Eyes

S.C.U.M., a post-punk outfit who say their music is the manifestation of repressed lust. Their debut album takes influence and mood from Joy Division – a must listen for any post-punk devotee. Although its of a particular taste, the darkness of the music really comes through as euphoria rather than depression.

Top Tracks: Whitechapel, Amber Hands, Cast Into Seasons and Faith Unfolds.

9. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Having assumed the worst after the Beady Eye’s flop, Noel pleasantly surprised with this collection of tracks. If you never liked Oasis these aren’t for you as they are nothing new but if you did, its blood good stuff. If only he had spent a few more minutes thinking of a better name, lets be honest it shouldn’t take long.

Top Tracks: Stop The Clocks, If I Had A Gun and (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine.

10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

The best of this years influx of brilliant American lo-fi psychedelic rock which includes Smith Westerns and Moon Duo. Trippy, drug distorted vocals and direct punchy guitar. UMO’s debut is also very accessible and relatively easy listening for what it is, making it one of the coolest albums of 2011.

Best Tracks: Ffunny Ffrends, How Can U Luv Me, Biocycle and Thought Ballune.

11. White Lies – Ritual

12. Metronomy – The English Riviera

13. The Crookes – Chasing After Ghosts

14. Yuck – Yuck

15. Glasvegas – Euphoric /// Heartbeat \\\

16. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

17. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

18. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines

19. Moon Duo – Mazes

20.The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar

Disagree? Missed any of yours? Pray Tell.

Please note that these are not the opinions of the whole codamusic team but of one man.

Oscar B. Wilson

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