Wednesday, 6 January 2016

On the 12th Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... twelve drummers drumming...
... eleven funky funkos...
... ten ugly bugs...
... nine simple posters...
... eight great old movies...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks ...
... five gold rings!..
... four micro art forms...
... three tubby little cubbies...
... two fancy pens...
... and a lego man made of a tree.

So, you may have noticed, I'm a day late posting the twelfth day of Christmas and what would technically be called the thirteenth, and very late in the day. The twelfth day seemed to get away from me - in my disorganised little world - it took longer to un-deck the halls than anticipated, not helped by the cat who's adopted* us wanting attention no one had time to give. But by the time I got time to finish this post, it was a choice between typing and bed... needless to say, terrible blogger that I am, I chose bed.

But I'm here now, I have music and videos and wittering nonsense about why I chose them. Plus, bar my traditional allowance of three extra tracks to add up to the year (15 track for 2015!) I've actually stuck to twelve... bar a little artistic allowance for one track you get in three ways. There's a reason I hope you forgive.

I hope you enjoy it.

* Did I mention a cat has adopted us this year, having decided to leave his own home when his family moved house? He's called Charlie, he's only about 95% evil and exceptionally fluffy. Around about the summer, he started coming into the house when doors were open and kipping on my sisters bed. He'd done this the year before but disappeared as soon as the autumn came. His owners know where he is, but he apparently lives with us now. Very odd situation.

 "Hello" by Adele

A pretty triumphant return for Adele, but did anyone expect the first single from a new album not to be a doozy? I love this (also her hair, it's making me think about lopping all mine off again!) and it's a good place to start from. So Hello list...

 "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift (cover by Twenty One Two)

Guilty track I'm not ashamed about because it's unashamedly upbeat and makes me happy. Now, Swifty isn't on Spotify, so you also get a cover by Twenty One Two, mostly because I've been obsessed with Hillywood's Supernatural Parody this year. Yep, my geekdom includes Supernatural. But to compensate, there's also the mash up with Nine Inch Nails The Perfect Drug, which is epic. Is that too much Swifty? Sorry.

"You're a Germ" by Wolf Alice

Little sister has been obsessed with Wolf Alice for months now, and I hadn't really had a chance to listen to them until they appeared on TFI. They were singing this track and I got serious Hole/Celebrity Skin vibes from it, which I'll never pass up. Album's stashed on next years listen list.

"Search Party" by George The Poet

I posted this song a few months ago during a Musical Interlude. I still can't quite work out why I like it so much, but I do. So here it is again. 
"Perfect Ruin" by Kwabs

Totally forgot about this song, until someone in the house mentioned how much they liked the album, which seems insane, because I absolutely loved the way the song changes up from the verse to the chorus. Maybe it's because it's slightly sad sounding and I was very much in a nostalgic upbeat music mode this year...

"Never Ending Circles"  by Chvrches

First of a couple of repeat offenders from 2014 to 2015. It's Glasgow based Chvrches and like last year, their album seems to have passed me by this year in my retro haze, but this is the one which worked its way into my head and is making me regret not listening to the album properly yet.

"Call Me" by St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Birmingham, Alabama based band St. Paul and the Broken Bones, is another one I posted earlier in the year and I genuinely love every song on their album and they did a cover of Sam Cookes, A Change Is Going to Come, which just made me love them more. One album off this list I whole heartedly recommend having listened to it repeatedly!

 "Sober" by Childish Gambino

Second repeat offender from 2014 is Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. There's really nothing this guy can do that I don't seem to love which makes me happy (the video for this track being a great example on top of a really good song) because when I heard he was leaving Community for music, I was worried... didn't need to be... multi-talented bugger.

 "Elastic Heart" by Sia

Can I just say now, I've been a Sia shipper since her third album, when she was doing slightly kooky folky music... not saying I don't prefer her newer stuff, but it's nice when someone you really like becomes big and actually gets better! Kind of surprised I didn't have Chandelier on last years list actually. Odd.

 "Eggshells" by Aqualung feat. Lianne La Havas

So, when I wrote about this new song a few months ago, what I didn't realise is that Matt Hales aka Aqualung actually co-wrote a lot of La Havas' first album, which, now I think about it actually makes total sense now I've heard this song. Which months on, still obsessed with. 

 "Desire" by Years and Years

Second Album I will wholeheartedly recommend, to the point where I really struggled to choose which song I was going to put on the list. It came down to this, King, Shine, Eyes Shut or Take Shelter... or you know, any of the rest album. Honestly, listen to it, it's probably my favourite album this year.

 "Violent Shiver" by Benjamin Booker

New Orleans based Booker, I saw on the TV coverage of Glastonbury this year and at first, I couldn't decide if I loved this song, or thought it was a bit messy... it's not messy, it's great... what's messy is the BBC's sound mixing. 

BONUS RETRO ROUND! This year, I turned thirty and I made myself a playlist of lots of music from the year I was born until now - which I intend to keep adding too, but it actually became my go too list for music for the year, which is why I actually found making 2015's playlist really hard. However, because of this, it gave me the opportunity to post three slightly older pieces of music I love. That said, I'd probably change one out for Last Nite by The Strokes, because I remember the Christmas I got that album like it was yesterday for some reason and I think it's down to a lot of albums I loved all being released that year (2001). But I'm sticking to my guns and you can sneakily sing Last Nite in your head every time I type it. Last Nite. Last Nite. Last Nite. 

 "Justboy" by Biffy Clyro

This reminds me of the sixth year common room, my old friends, old crushes, noise, mess and the joy that after that all ended, for better or worst, I still get a warm. happy and affectionate feeling towards that time in my life, when I hear this album. Still, hands down, thirteen/fourteen year (god I'm old!) since it came out, one of my favourite albums.

 "Celebrity Skin" by Hole

It wouldn't be retro for me without either Hole or Nirvana, and why not go for a complete classic of a song? Again, it reminds me of school, friends, summer holidays and the clichéd transition from boy bands to proper music!

"Enough Thunder" by James Blake

This isn't really retro given the album it's from came out in 2011, but, seeing I love James Blake's music, I think to end this list and to look to the future in 2016, Enough Thunder, seems like a nice idea. Enough procrastinating, enough feeling sorry for myself, enough regretting the past and enough putting off the future. 

Enough Thunder. This year, 2016, has to be different, no more thunder.

And that's it, Christmas has been packed up and neatly stacked in the loft for another year and the twelve days are over. Which always makes me a little sad because I know it's the one period of the year I reliably and faithfully post every day and don't talk myself out publishing the posts I've written. You'd be terrified how many drafts I have for this blog. But, 2016 has to be different, so I will try my hardest to start there, even if it's just music or silliness.

I don't know how many people actually read my blog, I know I post very sporadically and ramble often, but I would like to get better at it and post more frequently. So for those who do read my posts, I'd like you to know I really, truly appreciate it and bear with me this year. As Sam Cooke sang, a change is gonna come...

So, for one last time, I hope you enjoyed my twelve days, that you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. That you had lots of time to relax, with your families, friends and loved ones, ate too many mince pies and got lots of lovely presents. Or simply enjoyed a holiday! 

Good luck in 2016 and now everyone cross their fingers and keep them like that until next year!

Listening: A Change Is Gonna Come  - Sam Cooke

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