Saturday, 14 January 2017

On the 12th Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... twelve drummers drumming...
... eleven elegant vessels...
... ten pins for flair...
... nine dreams in Burton...
... eight days of Netflix...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks...
... five gold rings!..
... four filmic covers...
... three low light lovelies...
... two sassy sweatshirts...
... an ode to 2016.

It's officially well past last day of Christmas, and as always the drummers are drumming again, if a little late. It's strange that music is the last day on the list, because it's the first one I start looking for every year, and by looking, I mean creating a new Spotify playlist for the year. Listening 2017 will be added to my lists any day now.

Some years this works better than others, sometimes I get obsessed purely with nostalgic listening of old favourites and ignore the list (like last year), others I barely listen to any of it and some years music just migrate into my obsessive playing routine. This year was the obsessive playing route, I've basically listened to the same dozen songs all year, interspersed with older offerings.

Made writing this years list easier...

... and for David, who my little sister still hasn't managed to convince into getting Spotify, here is all the tracks on a YouTube playlist as well. But unfortunately for him, he doesn't get to listen to Keaton Henson performing Comfortable Love, instead he and anyone else who is interested, gets to listen to Henson covering Elvis's I Can't Help Falling In Love. It's a fair compromise.

Rufus Wainwright "Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)
Rufus wainwright and friends (including the late great Carrie Fisher) performing Shakespeare's sonnets to music... I think this is beautiful, but I have honestly been obsessed with this and Florence Welch's contribution to the album, which narrowly missed the list. This has been planned for this list since the start of the year, but I love both Wainwright and Shakespeare. Don't skip it, it's lovely!

The 1975 "UGH!" 
I really didn't like The 1975's first singles and I'll admit that stopped me listening to their album, which I will do now, because their second album, I really like, particularly "UGH!" which is just, for me, a fun song I play loud and try not to get caught singing and dancing around too.

James Blake feat. Bon Iver "I Need A Forest Fire"
I am, as I've probably said before, a really big James Blake fan, I'm also a really big Bon Iver fan (but we'll get to that later) and, honestly, I haven't managed to get into the album The Colour of Anything in the same way I did his first two albums and EP. But I'm a sucker for these two collaborating, their styles just seem to fit seamlessly together and that makes me happy.

Childish Gambino "Me and Your Mama" 
This isn't the Childish Gambino of 2015. This isn't the same sound from Sober or V. 3005. This is the bastard love child of Pink Floyd and James Brown, and the first time I heard it, I wasn't sure, but it's this funky, soul filled ear worm which worked its way into my brain!

Max Jury "Numb
Most Sunday mornings, I watch Sunday Brunch on Channel 4, I have done for a long time and before ad breaks they play various tracks from different artists. That's how I found this song. Random way to find a song you like, but since Radio One went to the dogs, if I listen to radio, it's Absolute Radio/Rock/80's/90's, so don't really get exposed to new music the way I once did. I know he was a bit of an idiot, but I miss the days of Chris Moyles and the crew and Jo Whiley and The Live Lounge before Ferne Cotton and Grimshaw!

Do I feel dirty for having an ex-One Directioner on this list? Actually, no, but I was a Robbie Williams fan when he left Take That, so I've got form. I was genuinely surprised by how much I both love and have played this song this year. It's been one of my go to starter tracks when I switch on Spotify and I'm actually seriously impressed that this song and that album came from a member of a band I seriously can't stand... sorry if you love them, I just don't! But I love this.

Bon Iver "22 (Over Soon)
Bon Iver has a new album out, so of course he's gong to feature on this list, and to be honest I could have filled half the list with tracks from the album. I love it (though my Bon Iver super fan sister who preordered the super dooper CD/LP combo, is still not sold on it yet) but honestly he cold sing One Direction songs and I'd probably still fall in love with it. I love the sound and tone of his voice and the vulnerability he expresses. Is it my favourite of his albums? No, but it's damn good. And if you have a minute, you should read Trever Hagen's open letter about his old friend and his struggle to create the album, it's beautiful and enlightening. Then go listen to Bon Iver's back catalogue, because it makes my heart hurt.

Jamie T "Tinfoil Boy
I swear for the past few years there's been a Jamie T song in every 12 Days list. Which is weird because while I loved the first album and bits of the other, I didn't set out to listen to this most recent offering, I just happened upon it on the TV or radio. But Tinfoil Boy sounds like this excellent mix of Jamie T and the Arctic Monkeys, which is not a bad thing.

Panic at the Disco "Emperor's New Clothes" 
I feel like I was too old when Panic at the Disco first appeared. I was just starting uni, had dismissed the music I claimed to like because my peers did and was probably obsessively playing "Hey Ya!" by OutKast or whatever was loud and fun to drive too having not long past my driving test. Unfortunately, Panic at the Disco, I would have probably still classed as emo music my little sister liked, however, I am happy to say I really like them now and the video is awesome for this song, as is LA Devotee, which was the alternate... also helps that Brendon Urie is easy on the eyes. Yep, I'm that shallow that I watched the video because I thought he was cute.

Keaton Henson "Comfortable Love
Like Bon Iver, Keaton Henson is one of those artists that's voice, lyrics and vulnerability just kills me. Get him singing Justin Bieber and I would probably be thrilled and not feel that slightly queasy feeling I normally associate with Bieber songs. Comfortable Love, is heart breaking like most of his songs are, and if you can't listen to it on Spotify or CD (*cough* David *cough*) his version of Elvis's Can't Help Falling In Love is almost mournful, which is beautiful.

Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift "I Don't Want to Live Forever"
Do you know what I was doing when I first heard this song? Hanging up this years Christmas decorations. So this is the newest song to me and the last one which made the list. Now I do feel kind of seedy because of it's association with 50 Shades Darker, but I like Zayn, I like Swifty and I really like this collaboration, it instantly got stuck in my head from day one.

Catfish and the Bottlemen "Twice" 
Another earworm, this is the song I kept hearing this year and failing to remember to search out who it was by.  With a name like Catfish and the Bottlemen you would think I'd remember it!

Sia "The Greatest" 
Again Sia is one of those musicians who ends up on these lists year after year and I came late to the party with this song, only really discovering it in the last couple of months.

Pearl and the Beard "You"
So, I watched this random film on Amazon called Nina Forever, a self coined fucked up fairytale, and oh my good god, I can't even explain it! I can't even work out if I liked it or not, but if I said it's about a dead girlfriend reanimating through her exes mattress while he's having sex with his current girlfriend, then you can start to get a picture. Anyway, that is where I first heard this song and became obsessed! All while trying to work out what the hell I'd just seen!

Kina Grannis feat. Imaginary Future "Graceland
Years ago, I stumbled across a random YouTuber doing covers of Regina Spektor, Mumford and Son and lots of other people. I thought she had a beautiful voice and subscribed to her channel and watched as over the next few years she began to produce her own albums. I will admit, I'm not daft over her original songs, but I still love her covers and collaborations and this year I got kind of obsessed with her singing Paul Simon's "Graceland" with her husband Jesse Epstein from Imaginary Future. It was one of those songs my mum used to play us when we were kids and I always had a soft spot for it.

Pogo "Wizard of Meh
The little sister is responsible for this little mash up becoming part of my life. It's this weird mixture of irritation nostalgia and Mr Scruff. Creating mash ups and remixes of Disney films, Star Trek and one of my long time favourites, The Mighty BooshI love that he's taken some of my favourite pop culture items and made them into genuinely catchy and, if you watch some of the videos he features himself in, kind of hilarious. It's really worth having a search through his YouTube channel.

So that's it again another year and another twelve/twenty-one days of over. Let's, just hope 2017 is a little less crappy, even with the prospect of more Brexit and Trump drama... seriously 2016, did you really have to leave us that legacy?

Anyway, one last time, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.

Good Luck in 2017!

Link || Rufus Wainwright Official Website | YouTube
Link || The 1975 Official Website | YouTube

Listening: Nicey Nicey - Pogo

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