It’s that time of year again when an incalculable number of blogs and magazines publish their end of year polls listing the best albums and songs of the year. Having felt despondent about the musical output of some recent years, I thought 2016 was a particularly strong year for music. Despite the heartbreaking passing of greats such as Bowie, Prince, Cohen and Lemmy, there have been a string of albums that have delighted me, songs that have made me smile and shimmy and even well up a little. Although, not necessarily all at the same time.
Firstly, this year saw the return of The Avalanches after 16 years of hibernation. Responsible for my favorite album of all time (‘Since I Left You’), their follow-up [‘Wildflower’] incredibly managed to retain much of the charm and magic of the debut without feeling like a retread. From the Jackson-esque vocals of ‘Because I’m Me’ through to the euphoric ‘Subways’ and the oddball ‘The Wozard Of Iz’, ‘Wildflower’ never relented in supplying gallons of pure unadulterated joy.
The other record which I kept on coming back to was the totally slept-on ‘Spagat Der Liebe’ by Klaus Johann Grobe – a Swedish duo who sing in German. The music incorporates elements of Krautrock, Stereolab and psychedelic disco. I have no idea what they’re talking about but don’t really give a shit ‘cos it’s got more fun contained within the sleeve than a clowder of sugar-rushed kittens trampolining on a bouncy rollercoaster.
Apart from those two, I loved the most recent releases by Michael Kiwanuka, Cavern Of Antimatter, Suede, Lemon Twigs, Anohni and Kate Tempest, amongst many others.
In terms of tracks that have enchanted me, I keep coming back to ‘Nobody Speak’ by DJ Shadow & Run The Jewels, ‘My Dog’s Eyes’ by Zammuto and, especially, Trentemoller’s ‘River In Me’. Check the track (featuring Savages’ Jehnny Beth) out below:
2 December 2016 Shane Galvin Blog 2016, Anohni, Because I'm Me, bouncy rollercoasters, Bowie, Cavern Of Antimatter, clowder of kittens trampolining, DJ Shadow, German, Jehnny Beth, Kate Tempest, Klaus Johann Grobe, Krautrock, Lemmy, Lemon Twigs, Leonard Cohen, Michael Jackson, Michael Kiwanuka, music, My Dog's Eyes, Nobody Speak, Prince, psychedelic disco, River In Me, Run The Jewels, Savages, Since I Left You, Stereolab, Subways, Suede, Swedish, The Avalanches, The Wozard Of Iz, Trentemoller, Wildflower