10. Fever Dream - Serotonin Hit
London post-punk shoegazing trio's infectious lead single from their debut LP was a first spin favorite, solidifying itself as a favorite when I discovered it was a love song. It's actually altogether touching. Their lunchtime performance at the Great Escape was a highlight of my trip to the UK.
9. Cut Ribbons - Sink Ships
Welsh power pop quartet's debut album was packed full of hits. However, it was a deep cut about love dying that captured my heart. One would hope new music is forthcoming in the new year.
8. The Big Moon - Eureka Moment
Ready ready ready? Yes we are. Since the release of their 1st single, the band has been called the next big thing by countless blogs and many of the big music websites. I agree, and hold out hope for a 2016 LP and another visit to the States.
7. Chorusgirl - No Moon
If this were the 80's, Silvi Wersing's 'No Moon' would be in constant rotation on MTV. I'm captivated, and feel like I'm listening in on a late night episode of MTV's 120 Minutes all over again. When I ordered the single, it was mistakingly sent to Malaysia. That's just a few miles from Alabama.
6. Shunkan - Blue
I worried the lo-fi bedroom pop magic would be lost when Marina Sakimoto enlisted a full band and took to the studio. I was so so wrong. 'Blue' is epic. Simple riff, soaring vocals, and what a tale. I've listened at least 100 times in the past week.
5. Seaker - Romeo
North London artist shocked me with her fragile ethereal stunner 'Animal', but new offering 'Romeo' showed off her breathtakingly gorgeous voice. Big and striking, it's quite magnificent. Toss in some deeply personal lyrics and luscious orchestration (listen to the drums as the track closes) to make her 3rd offering desired. Definitely an artist to watch in the new year.
4. Julien Baker - Something
Tennessee artist Julien Baker crafted my favorite album of the year, Sprained Ankle. 'Something' was the centerpiece on the devastating album, reminding of lost loves and deep scars.
3. Jake Rollins - Fool Around
Buzzsaw guitars make for lots of head bobbing and foot stomping on Jake Rollins' debut LP. He closes out the effort with the spectacular string bending wonder that is 'Fool Around'. According to Jake, new music is coming in the new year, and I'm pushing him for live dates.
2. Lazy Day - Portrait
Lazy Day's Tilly gave us just one song last year, but what she gave us was pure brilliance. On a few occasions, I've said Tilly's strongest songwriting quality is her firm grasp on mature melancholy. On 'Portrait', she takes on the weighty last gasps of a failed relationship with absolute clarity, and the result is stunning. The band has been gigging around the UK, and are recording two new songs this month. More, Tilly!
1. WOOF. - Wake
There's not a single song in the top 10 I haven't obsessed over, but WOOF.'s 'Wake' takes the cake. Dreamy and slow burning, it sounds like nothing else he's done before. However, it's the depth in the lyrics, touching on subjects such as our short time here on earth and deeply loving those who love and cherish us, that makes this his finest effort to date. He's right, life is too short.
My May UK vacation is now a distant memory, the summer has washed most of it away with only photos and a few highlights from the 15 day visit serving as reminders of a far too short trip. One major highlight of the vacation was the Great Escape Festival in Brighton. So much so, I've penciled it in as part of my 2016 vacation plans.
For three days, several hundred bands from all over the world descend upon the coastal city for the festival, playing in venues large and small sprinkled all about city. That said, the urban festival was a can't miss event, much more so because I was coming from the States to see bands I'd only written about and dreamed of seeing live. However, many tough decisions had to be made when developing an itinerary based on the schedule. Most all of the venues were centrally located and were short walks, but some were a mile apart and couldn't be traversed quickly after a few pints. And then, some venues were rammed, absolutely covered up, with queues a few hundred people deep.
One such long queue was for The Big Moon at the Haunt; a tight schedule, hunger, and impatience kept me from hanging around to see the band. In hindsight, bad move. To show that I'd made a terrible blunder, the next day Leigh of Just Music I Like questioned my impatience and told me the queue moved quickly and he was able to see Bully and The Big Moon before the A-list crowd smothered the place. Missing the band was a mistake I'm not likely to make again.
Earlier this year, I was captivated by the band's attitude soaked rowdy rocker, 'Eureka Moment', while the band's second offering a few months later, the deeply personal 'Sucker', showed the band wasn't a one trick pony by exposing their hearts. Now, they're back with their best work yet, the slow-burning 'The Road', a polar opposite to "with you for life" optimism of 'Sucker'. It's an age old lament about a couple changing over the years, losing that connection and ultimately falling out of love. Is it worth it to leave? Only those two hearts can tell.
One would hope that an LP is in the works from this talented bunch, and that we're graced with it very soon. Stream 'The Road' below.
One of my favorite songs of the year (so far) has been The Moon's 'Eureka Moment', the buoyant guitar banger just got under my skin, and got me excited for more material from the band. A few weeks back, the band resurfaced with news of a name change by announcing they were changing the band's name to The Big Moon, ostensibly for easier internet searches, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I love the new name, and the band's sound, and knowing I'll be seeing them perform at The Great Escape May 15th! Just this week, the band pushed their new track out of the nest, 'Sucker', and it's worth the wait. I'm a sucker for it already. Stream it below.