Uber-hip and occasionally annoying Thurston Moore said something silly this year like “I only buy tapes these days”, and of course that’s a ridiculous way to live, but it’s true there are an awful lot of amazing bands that only release things initially or on cassette. A few years ago I’d be scoring tapes at little charity shops getting over excited by a copy a early 7o’s Elton John tape for 25p, whereas I get things now like the new julie ruin album and twin forks on cassette and hardly ever pick up old stuff on tape anymore.
So, it’s no surprise that the best EP of the year is out as a download and on cassette too. It came out in October and by it’s a little New York band called Wild Pink. The title may not be the most exciting (4 songs), but the songs are. Calming, instinctive and soft. It’s reflective beautiful music, and that’s where I am right now, and I think where a lot of people are after all the craziness. “Don’t let the fear of losing me keep you from moving on….I’m the one that goes away”. Poetic daydreaming songs for daydreamers. What more do you want? Not only EP of the year but a close contender for track of the year too, to find out who gets that title come back in a few days.
So I’ve got my digital radio tuned into Radio Christmas (24 hour Christmas songs!), watching crappy soppy Christmas films on Sundays, going crazy making Christmas decorations and singing Christmas songs at school all day, eating mince pies and looking at the cool playmobil toys my son gets in his advent calendar every day!
So it must be time to look back on 2015. Each week over the next 4 weeks I’ll choose my favourite EP, video, track and finally album of the year.
This week I’m starting with EP, and the winner is -de-da-dah- Emma Kupa. She use to be the singer in a little fun band called the standard fare, and this year she put out a EP called Home Cinema, it’s all about her family. It’s got such a breezy lush sound, and she has one of the best voices around at the moment, with personal lyrics touching on alcohol, happy childhood memories, cherry aid and the bittersweet hope family gives you when sadness comes.
If you’ve never heard her before, you should download or buy this EP. It’s really quite exceptional, and if she put together a whole album it would be a strong contender for album of the year too. Check it out below!
We’ve gone into the woods today and I cut down a beautiful Christmas tree, it might not survive until Christmas but it’s only 4 weeks until we fly away for a week from Southend Airport (I don’t get along with big airports much), and only 4 weeks until 2015.
So it’s time for my little musical review of the year. Suffice to say there won’t be any lameness like war on drugs (“I hate that beer commercial shit”) who for some reason seem to be everybody’s number one this year. Yawn. If you prefer something a little more sublime, something that will give you goosebumps and give you a little bit of hope then you’re in the right place! Every week I’ll be choosing my favorite EP, video, single, and album of 2014 and writing a short paragraph about why, and far more importantly, give you a chance to listen (or watch!) and indulge yourself in radical sounds.
So, first up – EP of 2014. This year it actually could be contender for album of the year, if not best EP I’ve heard since Belle and Sebastian “Dog on Wheels”. It’s Sarah Winchester “Northeast Kingdom” which came out this year on Team Love/Mt Home Arts and I think it’s the most played piece of music I’ve bought. Six songs, each one a masterpiece. This doesn’t happen very often, believe me. Sarah use to be in a weather (who, probably not surprisingly, released my favorite album of 2009) and these tender songs just capture the essence of human fragility and the need for emotional warmth and loneliness in a way not that dissimilar to Mark Kozelek. I think there’s some a few cassettes left, if not you can download it, and just let her sweet voice and melodies take you far far away to a place where the herons fly free. More info here.
next week – video of the year.