I hate the long wait for new albums. They always seem to announce all the good stuff months before they’re due to be released and make everyone just sit on their excitement, twiddling their ears (I don’t know if that makes sense but seems like the more likely body part to be affected in this instance). Gold Fields released Dark Again back in October with the album due to be released in March. Foals new record, Holy Fire still has two days before it pops. Don’t even get me started on Northeast Party House. They promised a full length album back in October sometime and I haven’t even seen a preview yet.
With that aside, all this waiting forced me to take a look back at some older stuff, pick peoples brains. Hell, I even attended a music festival on the weekend for some extra inspiration. Seriously but, fuck Laneway was good. Divine Fits, Japandroids and High High’s had to be amongst my favourites, but I admit I did get sucked into Alt-J and even The Ruebens a little bit. Don’t blame me if today’s top ten is a little outdated, they’re still epic tunes.
10. Divine Fits – My Love Is Real
This, without a doubt, had to be one of the highlights of Laneway. I was a party to some risky business in ducking out on Bat For Lashes headlining set on the main stage to go see these guys and they did not disappoint. Got there just in time for their killer single Flaggin’ a Ride, but it was the songs like My Love Is Real that really stood out. I didn’t take to the song in the recorded form but after hearing it live I was well and truly hooked.
9. Alt-J – Taro
This song comes courtesy of another sterling Laneway moment. I never really bought into the hype around British Indie/Folk outfit Alt-J. Still don’t really. But I had to admit, sitting on a small grassy hill with friends on a bright day with a beer in one hand, a cider in the other, and Taro playing perfectly in the background. It was one for the memory bank.
8. The Jezabels – Rosebud
Rosebud is an absolutely beautiful track that is also quite a bit older than most the songs I post on this blog. It’s just been playing in the office on someone’s playlist for so long I couldn’t escape it and finally pulled out Shazam to grab this one for myself. When I say quite a bit old, I mean 2011. Listening to it you’d think it was something straight out of the nineties though. I don’t even like the nineties all that much but that’s only a tribute to how good The Jezabels really are.
7. Active Child – Hanging On
Another oldie that’s also on the work playlist. I’ve had it stuck in my head for a while now. It looks like this track was also released in 2011 and sports a similar kind of folky, indie feel to a lot of what’s in at the moment (according to the Hottest 100 results this year). Hearing this all the time at work is definitely not doing any favours for my productivity. Although it’s a wicked track, it does have the potential to hypnotize you to sleep.
6. High Highs – In A Dream
High Highs have to be my favourite live act from Laneway. I really wanted to see their set beforehand but wasn’t sure of time. A friend and I suddenly found ourselves wandering and drawn to a kind of “that’s a nice song coming from that stage, we should check it out”, situation. We read the set times wrong and only realised at the very end of the set when they played Open Season that it was actually High Highs. I would’ve posted that particular song but this one is their newbie and it still does them justice.
5. CYMBALS – The Natural World
I usually celebrate the first of every month with the release of a new BIRP! playlist. However, 2013 hasn’t been as spot on as it usually is, resulting in less notice worthy songs than I could count on one hand per issue. Keep in mind that the playlist is usually around a 120 song offering. That aside, I guess I can forgive them because one is better than none, and CYMBALS came along and saved the day. The Natural World can be a bit simple and haggard at times but that’s what I like about it. You can almost imagine writing this yourself on your Dad’s old synth and a computer in the garage even though you’ve never played synth or even have an elementary understanding of how it works. Not me…you.
4. The Royal Concept – Lost In You
I raved about the “faux Phoenix” Swedish outfit, The Royal Concept early on and included most of their EP in previous countdowns that I’ve done. So naturally, when I heard their new single World On Fire, I thought to myself…THIS…IS…LAME? Not expecting that? Me neither. Luckily for them, I found this doozy lying around iTunes and it roped me back in. They’re a talented band but that new single sounds like they’ve been chosen to represent for the EuroVision contest and not in a good way. This one is great though. The singer has a very cool and impressive voice and the band are terrific instrumentalists and they just nailed it with Lost In You, putting together a simple, likeable tune.
3. Gold Fields – Happy Boy
The only reason this is third is because I already kind of half blogged about it. I wrote a post in itself announcing Happy Boy as Gold Fields brilliant new track but wasn’t able to find the YouTube clip. Well, it’s up but I feel it would be rude to the others if I also made it number one. That aside, this is an absolutely unreal song and in my opinion, the worst track on the upcoming record. Not saying it’s bad. Just saying it’s the least awesome in what is a stunning mistress of a CD.
2. Japandroids – Fire’s Highway
It’s gritty, haggard, brusiy even. But that’s what’s amazing about Canadian duo Japandroids, I still feel a bit old or weird saying it in this day and age (even though the word’s ‘day’ and ‘age’ used in conjunction make me sound old anyway) but they are pure Rock N’ Roll. Like real, thrash about playing a shitty guitar, screaming down the mic with the crowd sweating and charging along. These guys actually made Laneway for me. They played at that point where you’re just the right type of drunk and the only word to describe every single track they write is anthemic. This song in recorded form just doesn’t do them justice.
1. POP ETC – Speak Up
I feel weird putting this at number one. But it’s such a fucking cool song. Yes, the band name sounds like they’re going to be a little cheesy. Yes, most of their songs are a little cheesy, not this one thankfully. And YES, this was released as part of the Twilight soundtrack. My sister maintains that Twilight, despite being an absolutely horrendously horrible series, release the best soundtracks. With tunes like this, I’m starting to believe her.
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