1. Beans on Toast – 2016
Need I say more? No song summarises this year better than 2016: referendums, fascism, religious wars, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. Seeing the world through the eyes of Jay McAllister reanimates and refreshes what a sad year it has been. I hate to sound cliché, but this song is pure poetry and makes me question whether Bob Dylan really should have won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature (a rhetorical question, of course, but you understand what I mean). I couldn’t recommend this song enough. Can we as people make the difference in 2017?
2. The Wedding Present – Two Bridges
I promise that that’ll be the last time you hear from me about The Wedding Present and Going, Going… at least for this year, anyway. Two Bridges is a brilliant track about life’s uncertainty and the questions people ask themselves when they’re feeling down and when they’re stuck between “two bridges”. Along with this lyrical basis, it has punchy guitar rhythm, powerful drums and beautiful conversational harmonies. The song takes a shift in dynamic for the final two minutes as it builds up and erupts into a head-banging closer. Not my favourite from the album, but a fan favourite nonetheless.
3. Pete Doherty – Birdcage
Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a healthy Pete Doherty. The new Libertines record was a welcome success, and his new solo LP Hamburg Demonstrations continues with his fine form. The one to look out for on this record is Hell to Pay at the Gates of Heaven: this song is very preachy, full of energy and a has a toe-tapping 4⁄4 rhythm which makes it one of the more memorable tracks on the album. The lyrics are very apt with the world’s current affairs, a lot like Beans’ 2016.
4. DIIV – Under The Sun
One of the more revelatory bands I have discovered this year, DIIV are reviving my favourite genre of music, shoegaze, and are disputing the idea that it’s a depressing genre. Their LP Is The Is Are was what I listened to during my inauguration to university, so I’ll always remember it fondly with that timeframe. To get an idea of what DIIV are about, I would start with Under The Sun; the song has audible connotations of waking up on a summers day and realising that today, somewhere in the world, something is beautiful - like reverb: reverb is beautiful, and this song uses a lot of it. Minimal lyrics are something that tends to work with effect-driven music, and this is a perfect example of it in play
5. CABBAGE – Terrorist Synthesizer
The band to look out for in 2017 when they tour with Blossoms to The Lemmy. Terrorist Synthesizer is a somewhat playful song with dark lyrical undertones that I can imagine live audiences get involved in when played at gigs. It has a simply pleasing introductory guitar riff which the bassline eventually emulates; the vocals are very chanty, and the band resemble a mixture of both Slaves and The Damned. An interesting combination, definitely ones to keep an eye for.
Listen to the PearShaped Listening Post #14 Playlist below.