Thursday, 31 December 2015

Songs WIIHAMB Missed In 2015

It's almost 2016... yay?

I know I'm pretty amazing but as a one man rig, sometimes it's tricky to cover absolutely everything. So to end 2015 I've pulled together a couple of playlists of things that I think are great that I didn't actually get around to telling everyone were great... until now.

So if you fancy listening to a couple of SUPER random playlists today, I've got you covered.

See you on the flip side, mates.






Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015: The Top Five

Read my Top Ten Albums of 2015: 10 - 6 here

So here it is, later than planned because as I've stated numerous times this week, I can't bloody stand writing. My top five albums of the year everybody! Woohoo!

5. The Subways - The Subways

Honestly, I entirely forgot that this album had even been released. That's problem with end of year lists only happening every twelve months; you forget what happened in months one, two and three. Either that or you're tired of them by now. Not only do The Subways have to contend with what I'm going to refer to as "Q1 Syndrome", they also have to deal with being a band that the majority of people forgot about circa 2008. Their not the only act to be struck by that in this half of my top ten. The Subways’ self-titled album is their fourth full length and without having seen the trio live (ever), musically there is no way anyone could deny that this is their finest work. The band still sound as angsty as they did on their debut but their songs are in a whole other league now. Vocally Billy Lunn and Charlotte Cooper still sound excellent together. I often wonder whether if the The Subways surfaced now and if this was their debut they’d be absolutely huge. There’s no way that with the right backing songs like ‘Good Times’, 'Dirty Muddy Paws' and ‘My Heart Is Pumping To A Brand New Beat’ couldn’t be as big as the likes of ‘Rock & Roll Queen’ and ‘Oh Yeah’. Their indie punk alternative rock is so on trend at the moment too, which makes it even more upsetting that 'The Subways' was so overlooked. The further one delves into this album, listening to 'Pet Boy' and 'Black Letter', leads me to believe that I've been using the term "pop punk" incorrectly. This is pop punk and it sounds excellent.


4. MS MR - How Does It Feel

Male/female pop duo number one. How is this only MS MR’s second album? How did we live this long with only their debut for company? From the second I heard the introduction to ‘Painted’, the first single to be taken from ‘How Does It Feel’ and also the album opener, it was clear that this record was going to be all killer no filler. Second track, 'Criminals' is my favourite. It's almost theatrical, and that sounds bad but Lizzy Plapinger's voice makes me want to wave my hands about as if I'm in some kind of classy cabaret. 'Wrong Victory' was also one of the few tracks this year that broke the "I don't like ballads" thing I have, I just don't think this New York based duo can do any wrong and it definitely wouldn't be fair to hold a great "slow(ish) song" against them. It's crazy that MS MR don't attract as much attention as they should with the calibre of pop songs that they write; for example 'Pieces' and 'Reckless' could not be more suited to radio - they're different but undoubtedly on the right side of quirky. I lust for big things for MS MR, I really do.


3. Holychild - The Shape Of Brat Pop To Come

Male/female pop duo number two. During the summer I described Holychild as “Charli XCX but if she was good” and six months on I think I'd like to tweak that statement. Holychild are Charli XCX but if she'd released an outstanding debut album. I'm really glad that I bought a physical copy of this album because on the sleeve LA based duo Liz Nistico and Louie Diller briefly explain what they're about and what brat pop ("rebellious pop music") is about. That's cool. And it's things like that that make you feel almost rewarded for buying a physical copy. Sure you get the booklet with digital downloads or whatever but don't lie to me and tell me that you ever look through it. Anyway, 'Nasty Girls' is a really good example of Holychild getting the whole brat pop thing right. There's not really a dull moment on this record, there's always something mildly kooky going on. Whether it's the vocal sampling on 'Money All Around', the crazy percussion on 'Plastered Smile' or just the feel good vibes of 'Diamonds On The Reboud', 'The Shape of Brat Pop to Come' is just a really fun listen. If this is the sound of brat pop to come, it sounds great.


2. Frankmusik - For You

JUSTICE FOR FRANKMUSIK. I could shed a tear for how excellent this album is and how few people have heard it. What can I do to get you to listen to this album? Other than just talk about how great it is, obviously. Let's be honest, the last time you listened to Frankmusik it was 2009 and it was something from his debut album 'Complete Me'. If you liked that, then you're going to love this. Yes, ‘Confusion Girl’ and ‘Better Off As Two’ are timeless but everything on 'For You' sounds so much better. Now on his fifth album, Frankmusik has done a wonderful job of staying #current it's just that no one's noticed. The first single to be taken from ‘For You’, ‘I Remember’ is a put-it-on-at-every-party-for-the-rest-of-ever kind of track and I can not emphasise that enough. Seriously, play 'I Remember' at my funeral. There are parts of this album that you could listen to while you’re getting ready to go out, parts you could listen to in the club and parts you could listen to on the way home. ‘For You’ has every base covered. Because I can, and because actually writing about music is something I'm pretty poor at, I thought I'd let you know some of my favourite album tracks from this record. So if you'd like a crash course in how great 'For You' is, listen to: Lexus, Mistress, Cosmic Rendezvous and Majestic. Also, definitely listen to 'Know My Name'. I don't know exactly what this song is about, but I'd like to think it's about this whole music thing and that's really rad. Vincent, I'm loving the things you do and you’re majestic as fuck.


1. Broadside - Old Bones

I toyed with making ‘Old Bones’ my album of the year for a while and in the end, that’s what I’ve decided to do, even though I’m not sure I’m overly happy with the decision. Nevertheless, Broadside’s ‘Old Bones’ is by far one of my favourite albums of the year and probably the one I listened to the most. Actually, it’s definitely the one I listened to most. I wrote a feature type thing about my neglect of Broadside and this album when it was released... No one read it, but I wrote it. So ‘Old Bones’ is the best pop punk album to be released this year. Yes it is. And yeah, sure, it’s far “pop rockier” than “punk” in terms of pop punk but that’s the genre most people are going to put this band in, so I’m going to do the same. It’s also definitely more A Loss For Words/State Champs/Seaway than it is The Story So Far/The Wonder Years or whatever but that is not a bad thing in the slightest. One of my favourite things about this Virgina five-piece is their frontman Ollie Baxxter's vocals because unlike a lot of guys fronting pop punk bands at the moment, he can actually sing, and it really works to Broadside's advantage. There are a string of five tracks in the middle of 'Old Bones' that perfectly showcase why Broadside are the band to watch. From the aggressive gang-vocal laden 'Playing With Traffic', through to my personal favourite 'Come & Go' and ending with catchy as hell 'Simple Type', this section is why this band should be big. I am so thoroughly stoked for Broadside to come to the UK, because that has to happen at some point next year, right? And when they do, it'll be great.


Monday, 28 December 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015: 10 - 6

This list was tricky. Albums were not a thing that I was in to this year so pulling together a list of my ten favourites of 2015 was always going to be difficult. However, I've tried my best so what follows is the first half of my top ten.

10. Hit The Lights - Summer Bones 

Number ten was a hard choice to make. I was happily set on nine of these albums but entirely lost on the tenth. Upon revisiting the list of albums that I'd enjoyed this year 'Summer Bones' stood out. I caught Hit The Lights twice on one tour this year and I own a physical copy of the album, so it's probably only fair. I'll happily admit that Hit The Lights definitely aren't the most "intelligent" band/artist/whatever to feature on this list, but they make hella catchy songs one after the other and that is undeniable. Sure, when you've been in a band for 12 years singing about being "fucked up kids" and standing "for something real" probably aren't the most original concepts but the sing-along-ability makes it all worth it. There are some "punkier" sounding tracks on this album, such as 'Keep Your Head' and closer 'Old Friend' but I'm not sure that's where HTL's strengths lie. 'Summer Bones' is Hit The Lights' fourth album (but we don't talk about Invicta) in ten years and I am genuinely concerned that this band may not be around too much longer. That's super sad to think about because I've almost "grown up" with Hit The Lights and I'd love to see them continue down the path to more success.


9. Laura Welsh - Soft Control

The wait for Laura Welsh's debut album release was one of the worst things about the latter half of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. Having originally been announced for mid-January but being pushed back to February and then finally seen the light of day in March. Welsh's voice is an absolute dream to listen to and there's no doubt about that. No, maybe 'Soft Control' isn't particularly groundbreaking or wacky but it's a beyond pleasurable listening experience. I do also still think that the singles on this album are the best tracks, but there is a little gem hidden away in the middle of the record and unavailable on streaming platforms - 'Hardest Part', Welsh's collaboration with John Legend.  This track is special. Although some of the singles, 'Break The Fall' and 'Unravel' are probably the strongest tracks, there really isn't a dull or taxing moment throughout 'Soft Control' which is impressive for a debut of this genre.


8. Madeon - Adventure

Riding around Queensland, Australia listening to 'Adventure' was how this album was supposed to be heard, right? Right. We've been bombarded with appallingly long albums all year but even though 'Adventure's deluxe edition is a whopping eighteen tracks long, we do have to remember that this is his debut album and we first heard 'Icarus' right at the start of 2012. That's a lot of lost time to make up for, and Lord, does 'Adventure' make up for it. I find the featured artists on this album really strangely hit and miss. Almost-opener 'You're On' featuring Kyan is an undeniable banger and by far one of Madeon's best tracks, but the tracks featuring vocals from both Passion Pit and Dan Smith of Bastille are mildly sub-par. Living up to its name, this album does take you on some kind of trippy journey and it's nice to hear the likes of 'Finale' and 'The City' as you reach the end. As someone who isn't... or, I guess, wasn't really a fan of Madeon, his debut album is probably a fairly peculiarly uplifting thing for me to be into but it's a nice album just to put on, you know, just whenever.


7. Melanie Martinez - Cry Baby

I was completely oblivious to the "concept" aspect of Melanie Martinez's debut album 'Cry Baby' until it was explicitly pointed out to me. And it wasn't until I read through the picture book on her website (literally just now) that it all kind of made sense. It's a cool idea though, especially from someone who may not strictly have first-hand experience of some of the themes explored in this album. I think, with these particular themes in mind, it is odd that Martinez has such a young fan base because her songs and lyrics are dark. And the content on 'Cry Baby' is all far heavier than that on any of the other albums in this top ten. Even though this album is a super compelling listen overall, there are some stand-out tracks, notably 'Sippy Cup', 'Mrs. Potato Head' and my ultimate super favourite 'Tag, You're It'. It's kinda cool though, that Martinez has made this whole weird alt-electro-pop thing as popular as she has because it's pretty off-the-wall and totally not commercial. Props to her, I guess.


6. Don Broco - Automatic

Isn't it funny that an album I orginally rated a 7/10 has wormed its way into my top ten of the entire year? I've had to almost "justify" this to numerous people over the last six months or so, but I do genuinely believe that 'Automatic' is a really great album. And what you have to remember is that it's a great pop album and not strictly a great "rock" or "Don Broco" album. And sure, there are definitely songs that, had I been in charge, I would not have included on 'Automatic' but the good definitely outweighs the bad. 'What You Do To Me', 'Nerve' and 'Let You Get Away' are as great if not better than anything we heard on Broco's debut album, 'Priorities'. Let us also not forget that Don Broco are a live band and all tracks taken from 'Automatic' still sound absolutely stellar in that setting. You can listen to all of my thoughts about this album from when it was released here.


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Top Ten EPs of 2015 - Part Two

Read Top Ten EPs of 2015 - Part One here

Yesterday was part one, today is part two - hopefully everybody is able to cope with that madness. These EPs are still listed in alphabetical order by artist name, I know it's crazy but I'd be really stoked if you could just bear with the concept. Onwards...!

Lauv - Lost In The Light

I don't know where Lauv came from or how he fell into my life but I'm glad he did. New York based Ari Leff's debut EP is back to back R&B sad songs. I'm not sure if they are all supposed to be sad, but they sound that way and I'm super into the whole melancholy thing. Upon revisiting 'Lost In The Light', the most upbeat track, 'Adrenaline', is probably my least favourite, especially when compared to the regret filled 'Reforget' which follows it. A song about going out out and downing rum so that you can pretend that all the BS in your life isn't happening but then feel fairly shitty afterwards is pretty relevant to everything really. Relationships aren't really a thing that I, personally, am particularly privy to, but I'd imagine 'Lost In The Light' would probably be quite good to listen to during a break up - opener 'The Other' in particular really gives me this vibe. But like I say, what do I know?


Shakka - The Lost Boys

'The Lost Boys' caught me off guard and I think that's why I liked it so much; I just wasn't expecting it. Prior to November, single 'Say Nada' was the only song that I'd heard, and I liked it, but not an iota of me could have predicted this. 'The Lost Boys' is not your standard seven track R&B EP, there's a narrative running throughout that just makes the listening experience so much more interesting. The further you journey into the EP, the more you begin to understand about the futuristic London Shakka and his friends are part of. Something a friend of mine did point, out that I hadn't noticed, is that not all of the songs quite "fit" the narrative but I don't know how much that matters because I don't think you'd want the story to completely take over the music. There is a real sense of "freedom" and relief in final track 'The Jungle' though, which does round off 'The Lost Boys' really well. Another thing, I don't know what I thought those noises towards the end of 'Say Nada' were but I had no idea they were Shakka's vocals. If I did have one criticism of 'The Lost Boys' overall, it would be that at points I don't think it showcases Shakka's vocal ability as well as it could have done. But I'm sure there's still plenty of time in the future for that.


Snakehips - Forever (Pt. II)

Not only is 'Forever (Pt. II)' by far one of my favourite tracks from 2015, it's also the opening track on Snakehips' EP of the same name. I can't begin to fathom how many times I must have listened to these four songs on repeat. Let us first momentarily dwell on the featured artist who appear on this release. Kaleem Taylor who sounds flawless on 'Forever (Pt. II)', love of my actual life Syd Tha Kyd of Odd Future/The Internet fame, Sasha Keable who has previously featured on Disclosure's debut album, and finally Daniella Thomas from The Age of Luna on 'Poison'. Thomas' vocals could not be more perfect for the closing track. It would be impossible for anyone to better that. After this EP, and then ending the year releasing 'All My Friends' featuring Tinashe and Chance The Rapper, it would be insane to think that Snakehips haven't built themselves up for an incredible 2016.


Thomston - Backbone

I don't think it was until after The Great Escape in mid-May that I took time out to listen to this EP and enjoy it. Looking back at 'Backbone' now, it's hard for me to work out what I didn't like about these four songs when I first heard them. Since then I've seen the light through to the New Zealand based 20 year old's almost gloomy and eerie at points EP. Despite 'Backbone' being pretty chill throughout, it is interesting to hear Thomston almost angsty at the start of opener 'Second To You'. This sense of "acting [his] age" continues on 'Grey' with a line about playing music in his Dad's car. That's what I enjoy about this EP, the maturity mixed with the underlying tones of still being a teenager. I absolutely love all four of these tracks, like, I pretty much love everything that Thomston's put out thus far... but I would really relish something a little different on his next release.

ZHU - Genesis Series

I know, alright? I know. I originally slated this EP, and now it's one of my favourites from the year, so yeah sure, I'm eating my hat etc. It's very possible that 'Genesis Series' appears in this list mostly down to a large amount of guilt I feel by completely dismissing all bar one of the tracks earlier in the year. Whilst I'm inclined to say that overall this EP is just "good", there are three songs that are nothing short of outstanding. Gallant's vocals on third track 'Testarossa Music' are absolutely impeccable. The other two special songs on this release are the two laden in hip hop - firstly, 'Hold Up, Wait A Minute' featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and EP closer 'Working For It', a collaboration with Skrillex and THEY. 'Working For It' is the pinnacle of 'Genesis Series' and I want nothing more than to play it on repeat all night on New Years Eve. The party would be ablaze because it would be so lit. Absolute dream.


Saturday, 26 December 2015

Top Ten EPs of 2015 - Part One

So I found it really hard to put my favourite EPs in an actual order of preference and I also wanted to include ten of them because EPs were far better than full-lengths this year (and better than EPs last year). So with that said, today are my first five favourite EPs and they are listed in a craaazzyyy alphabetic order. Mad.

Ben Khan - 1000

This is the only EP on this list that I own a physical copy of, and I guess I did kind of stumble upon the limited edition purple vinyl at the Christmas Indie Label Market, but regardless of that, it's still the only one I actually have. Opening and title track '1000' is the clear "single" from the EP because despite being layered with more elements and sounds than you can shake a stick at, it does still translate to those who maybe aren't so familiar with Ben Khan's music. 'Red' is my favourite track though. The "I can't take my eyes off your eyes babe" lyric whacks me in the feels. There is a lot going on throughout this EP, there are a lot of "sounds" that I think can sound a bit brash at times but Khan's standout vocals from beginning to end seem to almost pacify the madness. Closer '2022 Zodiac' clocks in at just under two minutes long and is so futuristic I think it's what people in the 1970s would have assumed we'd all be listening to in 2015... and to be honest, we all should be really.


Fours - Everything I Never Said

If this list had been based on play count alone, 'Everything I Never Said' would have topped it without a shadow of a doubt. After stumbling across Fours in September their debut three track EP took control of my life and would not let go of the steering wheel. Frontwoman Edith Violet's vocals are just an absolute pleasure to listen to. Despite all three tracks being unarguably above par, 'Leave Me' is definitely the standout, telling the tale of meeting a guy in a bar and it not going particularly smoothly. 'Damage' shows a more emotional side to the four-piece which is a really nice contrast to the other two songs on this release. I genuinely can not wait to hear more music from Fours next year and to see them live too!


Great Good Fine Ok - 2M2H


Great Good Fine Ok have become one of my favourites this year and so has their 2M2H EP. From start to finish 2M2H is fun 80s inspired synth pop and it just sounds so good. Even when the duo's lyrics are a little more sombre on the likes of 'Without You', the rest of the track provides so much vibe that you almost wouldn't notice the underlying tone. The vocals during 'Carried Away' are probably my favourite thing about 2M2H; the almost call and response like chorus with those super high rad vocals singing back to the auto-tuned ones sounds so great. This New York two-piece are more than capable of being able to reach huge heights with songs that have the calibre of those featured on this EP. Stoked to see what they have in store for the future.


High Tyde - Fuzz

I've said it before and I'm not afraid to say it again. Going into 'Fuzz' having heard a couple of the tracks I wasn't overly stoked. But my God, you tie them altogether and this EP is absolutely seamless. High Tyde do being a genuinely interesting new "alt/indie" band really well. Opener 'Feel It' is a 2015 version of a song for the MySpace/Skins generation, that sounds as though it's been influenced by the likes of Foals and Klaxons. 'Talk To Frank' is the segway between the opening future party anthem and the rest of the EP which is far more toned down. As debut EPs go, Fuzz displays such a wide range of talent and potential from this Brighton four-piece. Personally, I'm kind of upset that I didn't think their second EP, 'Glow', released in November, lived up to what I believed this band were and are capable of. But I'm not worried, there's a lengthy future ahead of them yet.


Huntar - Love I Know


Y'all were trippin' if you didn't think I'd include Huntar on one of these end of year lists, but in doing so, I am finding it tricky not to repeat all my previous praise for this EP. It all starts with a radio tuning in which adds a nice little layer of concept that the other releases so far on this list don't possess. It's the subtle elements that I enjoy most about this EP though. Please excuse my severe lack of technical terms. The layering of the vocals at towards the end of 'The Woods' is really rad and that's a thing that should happen more in things. But let's not beat around the bush, title track 'Love I Know' is the clear banger here. Although I would really like a recorded live version of this track because the end is different live and sometimes I like to feel as though I'm at a rave at 4AM in the morning mid-way through an EP. I've obviously never been to a rave, and nor do I often stay up 'til 4 in the morning, but whatever. Fun fact: 'Loneliest Feeling' is actually the only track Huntar's made available as a standalone thing, that I didn't post on the blog... but since the release of this EP you'll be pleased to know I've really warmed to it. None of this stuff's on Soundcloud or anything anymore which is annoying so this will have to do.


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Top 30 Tracks of 2015: The Top Ten

Read my Top Tracks of 2015: The Ones That Got Away here
Read my Top 30 Tracks of 2015: 30 - 21 here
Read my Top 30 Tracks of 2015: 20 - 11 here

This is it, we've reached the final stretch in this four part mini series and there are a mere ten songs left. Apart from the top six throughout these 30 tracks I have found them a little tricky to organise in order of preference but the latter half of this list undeniably features what are my favourite songs from 2015 in a definitive order. Should probs get on with it then.

10. Youth Club - People

I don't think there have been many occasions this year where I've fallen in love with a band on a first listen but this is exactly how I felt about Youth Club. They are the perfect indie/pop band and 'People' is quite possibly the catchiest song featured on WIIHAMB this year. All this band need are some nice support slots on some sizeable tours and they'll be well on their way to success in 2016.


9. Oh Wonder - Drive

I feel bad about how I've conducted myself with Oh Wonder. Every month I'd play each song as many times as humanly possible, but by the time their debut self-titled album came around I was a little sick of the songs on it. And not sick in a bad way, more in a way like when you're SO fed up of your work colleagues because you have to put up with their shit everyday but you love them really, you know? Anyway, 'Drive' is undeniably the standout track that the duo have released so far and the video is absolutely perfect. I mean, Josephine is pretty perfect. Add her to the list of people I want to be.


8. Years & Years - Worship

'Worship' is the best song we've heard from Years & Years this year. End of story. And it baffles me as to why 'Worship' wasn't a single yet both 'King' and 'Shine' were. This is a perfect pop song and it's a shame that the trio's debut album 'Communion' received such poor reviews purely because as an album track, 'Worship' will get overlooked. It's actually a shame overall that 'Communion' wasn't as good as I believed it could have been especially when you look back at the likes of 'Take Shelter' and my song of the year last year, 'Desire'.


7. LANY - 4EVER!

LA based indie pop three-piece LANY make the music that they make with exceptional quality. The first EP that they released this year was called 'I Loved You.' and although it was predominantly what I would refer to as ballads (so like things that aren't really ballads), it also featured this absolute banger, '4EVER!'. '4EVER!' is a song that's singalong-and-get-stuck-in-your-head-for-days-on-end at it's finest. Heading in to 2016 LANY have just released a repackaged EP featuring some of their slightly older releases and they're also set to open for Ellie Goulding on her upcoming UK arena tour, which is insane.


6. CVIRO & GXNXVS - Sober

Amongst the other songs in this top ten this one is maybe a little... not only unexpected, but possibly "out of place" but I don't care because I love it. 'Sober' is the song I've posted this year that I just keep going back to and I can't forget about because it's so great. "I don't know what to listen to!!!11!!", "It's alright m8, just put 'Sober' on again" - all problems are resolved. I must admit though, from posting this originally four months ago, I've still not got a clue what exactly a "GXNXVS" is or how the fuck I'm supposed to pronounce it.


5. Steven A. Clark - Can't Have

My adoration for Steven A. Clark's 'Can't Have' is possibly some proof that things to come out of press release emails aren't all bad. I liked 'Can't Have' from the first listen, but over the following weeks my relationship with it spiralled completely out of control and putting it on repeat for entire journeys became the norm. I don't think there's anybody on the planet who couldn't relate to a lyric that's quite simply "We always want what we can't have". Everything about this is relatable really, and it's captivating to have someone else tell a story that feels so personal to the person listening even though it's something that we've probably all been through. Music is great etc.


4. Alessia Cara - Here

Hearing 19 year old Alessia Cara's 'Here' for the first time was as refreshing as taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge. The teenager had written an instantly relatable pop/RnB crossover track because we've all been at a party we haven't wanted to be at. Also, imagine you envisaged how a music video would look and then said music video is released and it's exactly how you pictured it. That's what happened to me here. Pun intended. Again, it's a real shame that her Four Pink Walls EP wasn't absolutely incredible despite featuring some excellent songwriting. And on top of that, I can't get on board with her album coming out seven months later in the UK than it did in North America.


3. Jamie xx feat Popcaan and Young Thug - I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)

Despite being a 2015 highlight for many, Jamie xx's album 'In Colour' didn't really impress me but there's no way I could deny 'I Know There's Gonna Be' being one of the greatest tracks released this year. Sampling The Persuasions' 'Good Times' as well as featuring Popcaan and Young Thug, Jamie xx has no doubt produced the multi-genre crossover song of 2015. It's almost insane to think that an electronic producer, a dancehall artist and a rapper could come together to make something that just makes so much sense.


2. Hailee Steinfeld - Love Myself

Honestly, it was Popjustice's constant persistence that enabled me to fall in love with 'Love Myself'. When you can see numerous people whose opinions you respect raving about a song on social media it's hard to ignore. So I tried and tried again with 'Love Myself' until I appreciated it for the perfection that it was. However I did deny for a long time, and I still deflect now, that it's a song about masturbation. That's just not what I want in a pop song, you know? There's no need for that. I didn't really enjoy Steinfeld's 'Haiz' EP but that's okay because 'Love Myself' is good enough to keep me going for a long time yet. Is that a euphemism? I don't know.


1. Duke Dumont - Ocean Drive

Underrated song of the year that should have been absolutely massive but wasn't so I've done all in my power to make it as big as it can be, by crowning 'Ocean Drive' my song of the year. Duke Dumont's 'Need U (100%)' was the second song that I ever posted on What If I Had A Music Blog in January 2013, so as an artist anyway, Duke Dumont holds a special place in my heart. And to see 'Need U' blow up like it did a month or so later was crazy. But why hasn't the same happened with 'Ocean Drive' because it's just as amazing, if not even better! It's heartbreaking really, and I don't know what more to say.


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Top 30 Tracks of 2015: 20 - 11

Read my Top 30 Tracks of 2015: 30 - 21 here

It's just gone 11pm last night and I'm once again dwelling on my painfully poor organisation and time management skills. I try so hard, but these end of year posts just sprung themselves on me and I just... I wasn't prepared. Whilst I have an existential crisis, here is the next instalment of my favourite tracks of the year.

20. Fightstar - Sink With The Snakes

Featuring on the post-hardcore quartet's comeback album, which happens to be their first record in four years, 'Sink With The Snakes' is the standout track by miles, if not light years. I would have had absolutely no qualms with this being the first single to be taken from 'Behind The Devil's Back', hell, to be quite honest I wouldn't have minded if it had been the only song on the album. Despite having progressed in sound as with the rest of material on Fightstar's most recent album, 'Sink With The Snakes' does recapture the magic that we first head on the likes of 'Grand Unification' and 'Deathcar'. It's just a shame that the rest of the record didn't seem to live up to that.


19. Goldlink - Dance On Me

Considering such a majority of Goldlink's lyrics are pretty crude, it's almost surprising that I enjoy his music as much as I do. But with tracks like 'Dance On Me' in particular, I love how much of a dance/club feel it has even if that is almost explicitly described in the title. For me, there's something that I find much more interesting about hip hop if it's infused with something else. We can also add Goldlink to the list of artists I neglected to see live this year despite having the opportunity. *sad face*


18. Kloe - Feel

Kloe is my favourite pop princess to be. The 19 year old Glaswegian lass has released a trio of sultry pop tracks over the last year. Track two of three, 'Feel', is definitely my favourite. The intro alone is enough to make you feel as though you're sauntering around a high end nightclub fitted with expensive low lighting. Kloe's Soundcloud bio reads "I sing my secrets" and the more you listen to her lyrics, the more you can hear that Kloe is a very talented musician as well as a genuine teenager with a bright future ahead of her.


17. Aquilo - Good Girl

I did not like 'Good Girl' upon my first listen. "It's not Aquilo, it's not slow and whistful, and it's not almost a ballad. I don't like it." Then I realised that it's absolutely incredible even though it's not quite the same as what we're used to hearing from the duo. I'd like to hope that 'Good Girl' is the kind of material that I hope we can expect to hear on their debut album because it's just so pop and great and amazing. Gotta catch Aquilo live at some point in 2016 too.


16. Erik Hassle - Natural Born Lovers

Someone is going to need to take some time to explain to me why Erik Hassle isn't the biggest popstar ever right now. 'Natural Born Lovers' is such a monumentally massive pop song and it's just insane that music this great doesn't get picked up by radio and other big ol' media outlets like that in the UK. After hearing this and 'No Words' my expectations for Hassle's next album (which we can only assume will be out in 2016) are really high. I also haven't seen him live for about five or six years so a UK tour would be cool too.


15. The Knocks feat Fetty Wap and Powers - Classic

'Classic' was originally released in Summer 2014 and at that time I did not enjoy it at all, which was a shame because I really liked The Knocks' track 'Comfortable' which the duo had released a little earlier in the year. However, since Fetty Wap swooped in and took over our lives with his Remy Boys, he has also put his stamp on 'Classic' and turned it into what was quite possibly my song of the summer this year. Even listening to it as we edge the end of December, I'm not sure how, but it still screams summer at me.


14. Kiiara - Gold

I don't even know where 'Gold' came from. It's literally as though it fell from the sky one day and took control of the internet - like Flappy Bird but with a far larger amount of potential and paving a much brighter future ahead of it's creator, Kiiara. 'Gold' is nuts though. Riddled with backwards vocals and some heavy percussion, is this what we were waiting for? An American teenager to storm in and completely fuck shit up. Kiiara's probably got this whole career thing down now, hasn't she?


13. Maths Time Joy feat Flores - After Hours

I've been posting various Maths Time Joy tracks on WIIHAMB for a while now and despite still being completely incapable of saying "Maths Time Joy" out loud (I don't know why), I fell head over heels in love with 'After Hours' over the summer. 'After Hours' is an example of whatever genre you want to refer to this as done so well. And the fact that Flores doesn't sing on the choruses, which I guess is what you'd tend to expect from a featured artist, is a nice change. [EDIT: This entire post was stalled when I learnt that Maths Time Joy's real name Timothy James is an anagram of Maths Time Joy. Fucking mindblown.]


12. Leks Rivers - Soho Knights

There's something so cool about the music that Leks Rivers makes. It doesn't sound an iota like anything anyone else is doing, and not only that, his vocals are so interesting to just listen to. I don't even know if there's a genre that I could attempt to tie 'Soho Knights' to because it's just so "out there" - maybe some kind of alternative hip hop? I don't even know. The most frustrating thing about how good this song is, though, is that none of Rivers' music is available to buy on actual stores. Help me to help you, Leks, please.


11. XYconstant feat Tom Aspaul - Do It Well

This is the song on this list to walk down the street and pretend that you're in a music video to. I know very little about XYconstant but featured vocalist Tom Aspaul almost featured on this list twice and definitely would have done if I hadn't had to cut it down to just 30 songs. 'Do It Well' is such a great pop/electronic song and I would have loved to see it crossover into "the mainstream". I also would have loved it to have had an official video, but you can't have it all.



Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Top 30 Tracks of 2015: 30 - 21

Before I get started on naming my favourite 30 songs from 2015, please can we just dwell on the fact that narrowing down a small number of songs from the 350 that I have posted over the last year was nigh on IMPOSSIBLE. I've done my best and I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with the list, but it's fairly great and it's probably the best that it's gonna get. Without further ado, here are numbers 30 to 21.

30. Klyne - Paralyzed

All the way back in January I posted Nick Klein's 'Paralyzed'. A mildly confusing name for a duo from the Netherlands but no more confusing than Majid Jordan, I guess, and hey, the song was great! Five months later, Klyne's 'Paralyzed' appeared all over my Twitter timeline and upon seeing it had been around since January I couldn't work out why I hadn't posted it before... only I had. This is the only song this year that almost featured on What If I Had A Music Blog twice, even if it was down to my brain being a sieve and my inability to put two and two together.


29. Jarrod Alonge - Hey Jarrod, What's That Song Again

Let me be the first to say that Jarrod Alonge does not by any stretch of anything receive enough praise for how clever he truly is. Alonge "rose to fame" on YouTube with his unbelievably relatable rock vocalist parodies. He then crowdfunded his debut rock/parody album, 'Beating A Dead Horse' which covers numerous laughable genres but it's the metalcore medley 'Hey Jarrod, What's That Song Again' that is by far the standout on the record. Essentially he's lifted lines from some of current metalcore's most famous songs by the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember and Of Mice & Men, and parodied the lyrics in the most ingenious way.


28. Lawrence Taylor - Bang Bang

I'd actually taken 'Bang Bang' out of my top 30 but I saw it on another blog's best songs list and I couldn't deny it its rightful position any longer. I've reached a point in my life where one man and his guitar has become an extremely tired format and it very rarely grabs me anymore. Lawrence Taylor and his electric guitar completely blow that out of the water and 'Bang Bang' is a stunning example. Every time I hear it, it builds so seamlessly that I don't notice it's suddenly a full band production until the very end and I'm just like "woah when did this happen?!". Taylor's phenomenal vocals are probably worth mentioning too.


27. Transviolet - Girls Your Age

This song is my best performing post on Tumblr to date and that's the absolute coolest thing. I started this blog because even if I introduced one person to their new favourite band, that's enough for me. But to have 150+ people who've never heard of this female led four-piece engage with something I've put out about them is nuts. Transviolet aren't typically the sort of band that I'd be into, the Lana Del Rey-esque thing isn't really for me, but the lyrics in 'Girls Your Age' are really what resonated with me. That's crazy too, that a band I'd never heard before were able to have an impact like this on me with the first track I heard. More about them in my Ones To Watch post, I reckon.


26. The Age of LUNA - Six Feet Deep

The Age of LUNA are exciting, there's no doubt about that, and they're even more exciting when you think about the fact that their youngest member is only 16 years old. Hearing this track for the first time was mindblowing in a sense that four musicians so young sound as though they could make a real impact on hip hop in the UK. I also bought an actual TAOL mixtape this year. An actual cassette tape mixtape. The love this quartet have for 90s hip hop is not only very evident in what they do, but also pretty inspiring.


25. Tyler, The Creator - Fucking Young

I've never really been a fan of Tyler, The Creator (apart from 'She' although really it was Frank Ocean that hooked me into that) but when he surprise released 'Fucking Young' and then his latest album 'Cherry Bomb' a couple of weeks later, I was pretty stoked. Tyler doing more "pop" sounding songs really works and although it's obviously not what he's about at his core, I would love to hear more of it. I also thoroughly enjoy his storytelling on tracks like this that are far more easy to digest than his usual material. Not to forget, Charlie Wilson's vocals are a great addition to 'Fucking Young' too.


24. Sofi de la Torre - Colorblind Cruisin'

'Colorblind Cruisin' is the most recent track featured on What If I Had A Music Blog to make it on to my Top Tracks list and I have absolutely zero regrets about it. Something about Sofi de la Torre's recent EP 'Mess' makes me feel as though the 25 year old Spaniard is more than just #popdoneright; she has the potential to make music that's #popdoneperfectly. Iabsolutely love the super fast chorus in this track. It stands out to me as being really cool and edgy yet still commercial at the same time and it's so fun! Such a major dance-around-the-kitchen song.


23. Tove Styrke - Ego

Learning how to pronounce Tove Styrke was one of the more eye-opening things I've experienced this year, for absolutely no reason whatsoever other than to sound even more snobby out loud than I do already. 'Ego' struck a chord with me at the time of its release which I think is why I fell in love with it so much. My love for this track also spurred me to invest much more time than I normally would in an album I didn't like initially. The only thing left to do now is to see Tove Styrke headline her own show but having recently cancelled her February UK tour, who knows when that will be.


22. XYLØ - Afterlife

At a similar time as when Transviolet's debut track fell into my life, so did XYLØ's 'Afterlife'. Again, it was a bit of a strange one as I hadn't liked any of the LA based duo's previous tracks, but 'Afterlife' felt special. This song is dark and eerie, and I perceive the lyrics to be about not being good enough in this world but the hope of being worthy in the next. I really hope that I like more of XYLØ's music next year, because they're definitely an outfit I want to enjoy, and unfortunately it's just my pernickety taste getting in the way.


21. Jerry Williams - Boy Oh Boy

This year, I fell in love with Jerry Williams. I first heard her and this track when her fellow Portsmouth resident Breaking More Waves posted her SBTV acoustic performance of it, which totally blew me away. After seeing Williams' live numerous times over the summer, she finally released a studio version of 'Boy Oh Boy' on her Cold Beer EP at the end of August. I'm not sure exactly what it is about 'Boy Oh Boy' that I love so much but I think it's something to do with... you know, I really can't work it out... it's just perfect, isn't it?


Monday, 21 December 2015

Top Tracks of 2015: The Ones That Got Away

Hiya, I've compiled a top 30 list of my favourite songs from 2016 and they're all great but due to rules that I constructed by myself for myself, there are some songs that aren't eligible to feature in the actual top 30. To cater for these slices of excellence I have once again decided to feature them in a 'The Ones That Got Away" bonus post, which I know you're all gagging to read, so here it is.

Emily Burns - Homewrecker

Where r u now that I need you Emily?! Around this time last year... or whenever it was that Breaking More Waves started sharing tracks from Miss Burns, I absolutely fell in love with her. From what I recall, 'Homewrecker' was by far one of my favourite songs of 2015's Q1, but at some point early this year all of Emily Burns' music has disappeared from the internet. And it is for this reason alone that 'Homewrecker' doesn't feature in my list of Best Songs of 2015. The most heartbreaking thing is that I can't remember how this song even goes, I just know that I loved it. Please re-upload all of the stuff that was on your Soundcloud because I really loved it... else just send me the MP3s or something. You can check out her YouTube channel for some covers and older original material if you like.

Skepta - Shutdown

I went to Australia in May of this year, and one of the most surreal moments of my 2015 was riding in a car with one of my mother's old school friends and hearing an uncensored version of 'Shutdown' on the radio. For a long time this year, this song also featured my absolute favourite lyric of 2015. Whilst I'm not sure I really get BBK as an outfit, I think I'd definitely like to see 'Shutdown' go down as some kind of cult classic that we can look back on in twenty years like "oh, wasn't that great."


Sophia Grace - Best Friend

It would be horrendously disrespectful to not honour 'Best Friend' as one of the greatest songs of 2015, wouldn't it? Yes, world, yes it would. I think we've become scared hearing children do music but there's no need to be afraid. Maybe we're intimidated by twelve year old girls from Essex who have appeared on US chat shows and sung with One Direction, but that shouldn't hinder us from appreciating their girl power anthems.

Demi Lovato - Cool For The Summer

Oh Demi, oh Demi, Demi, Demi. There was so much potential at the start of this album campaign, exploding back into our lives with the seasonal anthem we all dreamt of receiving. Part of me thinks that we should have realised there was a problem when the official video for 'Cool For The Summer' wasn't as good as the lyric video, yet we persisted, "it'll all be okay", we screamed. It wasn't. But 'Cool For The Summer' is by far one of the best commercial pop songs released this year, it's just a shame that in the UK some label exec thought it would be alright to make the release date the first weekend in September or some bullshit like that.


Fetty Wap - Trap Queen

Due to another one of my stupid rules, even if I'd wanted to back in January, I wouldn't have been able to post 'Trap Queen' as it was actually first released in 2014. Throughout the majority of 2015 I've had an extremely unhealthy relationship with Fetty Wap. I spent a lot of time listening to 'Trap Queen' for work, and I mean what probably amounts to numerous days hearing Fetty over and over again. Unfortunately, even after a brief affair with '679', my love story with Fetty Wap disintegrated upon hearing the 20 track deluxe version of his self-titled debut album. It was unfortunately at around eight tracks in where I realised that nobody needs an album even half this long if every song sounds the same. It was a tough break up, but at least we'll always have 'Trap Queen'. Although, you're tripping if you don't think matey at the end ruins the ENTIRE song. Who is he?!


Major Lazer - Lean On

The heartbreak here is real. I had 'Lean On' drafted to post on the blog for a good few weeks and in the end just never posted it. What a grave mistake that was. One of the biggest songs of the year and I dismissed it. Maybe I'm not qualified for this whole music blog thing after all? I think it was MØ who put me off originally, because despite the unpopular opinion that this is, I'm not a fan of her music, and that's fine by me, but I was probably too quick to judge here. I wish I'd just gone with it. Alas, it's here now.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

ICYMI - This Week on WIIHAMB - 2015 Week #50

In case you missed it - You shouldn't have, but just in case you did.

Welcome to the final What If I Had A Music Blog ICYMI. No longer will these pointless weekly summaries be a burden on anyone's existence. And that's nice isn't it. End of year posts start on here tomorrow, and I don't have a schedule for those yet, so that's probably something that I should draw up today but also probably something that I won't actually draw up today... we'll see. Anyway, that was 2015, this is the end. Goodbye.

Keep up to date with all of the daily goings-on over at WIIHAMB Daily.

Sunday
‘Walk With Me’ narrowly missed featuring on WIIHAMB earlier this year but now that KOA have given the track a new lease of life, it’s come back around and here for all your listening pleasure. KOA’s remix gives the Cosmo’s Midnight song a more commercial dance feel and it honestly works so so well.


Monday
‘No Filter’ comes from New York based producer Black Coast. If WIIHAMB was to have some kind of anthem where the lyrics of a song described what the blog is like, this might be it. That also might be a case of me thinking I’m so much more edgy than I actually am but whatever. “I say what I want when I wanna / say what you want, I don’t give a” all feels pretty accurate. Madison Love’s vocals fit this track so perfectly too - the attitude of Tove Lo but the smoothness of Halsey all rolled into one.


Tuesday
Stoked to come back here in a years time with a huge smirk on my face and for Asha to be absolutely huge. ‘Record Straight’ is the third successive R’n’B smasher that we’ve heard from Asha, and if it’s only up from here, who knows what catastrophic heights that the London based songstress could reach.


Wednesday

2016 Tip Lists

I spent some time compiling this totally rad diagram as well as voting in the Blog Sound of 2016 poll and writing about all of that etc.


Throwback Thursday
‘F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X‘ was definitely the first mathy/techy track I got into when I started investing solely in rock music, and without it I don’t think I’d like a lot of the rock music that I enjoy today. It was, and still is, the infectious vocal melodies that really grabbed me upon first hearing this song. It’s insane that amongst all of the guitar chaos there’s still something reminiscent of a pop song going on over the top.


Friday
As we begin to attempt rounding off 2015, there’s one thing that sincerely must not follow us into 2016. In light of this, Donna Missal has released the ‘Hotline Bling’ cover to end all Hotline Bling covers. Thank God for that. Surely, surely there is nobody on the planet listening to the frankly God-awful original any more. And to be quite honest with Missal’s version now sitting alongside Alessia Cara’s as just overall far better songs, Drake is essentially rendered redundant.


Saturday
I would love to draw your attention to my mates over at UQ who are doing this TOTALLY RAD AS FUCK Advent Calendar thing at the moment featuring their Class of 2016 AKA artists they think are gonna be even cooler next year than they were this year. Astrid S featured on UQ’s magical mystery tour of cool new things earlier this week and it was my first experience hearing the nineteen year old Norwegian. This is the kind of alt-pop that we love to love, right? I’d love for her to crossover to this whole UK market thing in 2016 like fellow Scandinavian Zara Larsson did this year.


I thought ‘Love Me’, what I’d like to refer to as The 1975′s “comeback single”, was bad. Categorically not good, and I was thoroughly disappointed. I do enjoy the four-piece’s music after all, it’s mainly just their image and aesthetic and “brand” that I don’t get, and I felt that ‘Love Me’ played into that a lot. ‘UGH!’, however, is an undoubted return to form. Unlike their previous single, the song alone is good enough that you can ignore the fact that Matty Healy is parading around half-dressed in the video yet again. More like this for the album please.



December playlists: YouTube / Spotify / Deezer

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

2016 Tip Lists (featuring The Blog Sound 2016)

Hi, apparently it's now tradition for me to turn up with one of these two weeks late after everybody's forgotten about them entirely so... HERE WE GO!

Infographics and charts and tables of all types are an absolutely lovely way to display things, so I thought that I might as well bloody create one. And when better to do so than at a time of year when everybody has "data" pouring out of all their facial cavities. So, without further ado, low and behold the 2016 Tip List Ones To Watch These May Or May Not Be Big But Who Really Knows Venn Diagram:


Now that you've had the opportunity to feast your eyes on that fine piece of artwork, let me take a little time to explain it.

Essentially, I've taken five UK "tip lists" for 2016 and tied them altogether so that you can easily see in one place who has tipped who and whether any of the lists covered correlate with each other. That golden oval in the middle features the three acts nominated for the Brits Critics Choice award too. I chose these lists in particular because they are the most concise, mildly varied and the five I'm most familiar with. Ain't nobody got time for the Spotify or Pandora lists, mostly because they were both a little bit silly really.

The Blog Sound 2016


The Blog Sound Poll is a thing that I have had the pleasure of taking part in for the second year running now, and it's essentially an even more indie and hipster alternative to the BBC's Sound Poll. A whole load of UK blogs (listed riiiight at the bottom of this post) select three acts each who they think will be/would like to see be big in the following year. You then score your chosen acts giving each one either three, two or one point(s). All the votes and scores are tallied and we receive what you can see in circular form above as the Blog Sound 2016 long-list.

Also for the second year running, one of the acts I voted for has made the long-list. I'm not overly happy with the three acts I nominated and the act I thought was a certainty to appear in this particular list doesn't (although the Venn would have been far harder to create if they had!). Despite following a fair few of the blogs involved in the poll there are still numerous acts that feature who I have never heard of. And honestly, there are only three nominated acts in the long-list that I do actually like, including the one I voted for. Something that I do really like about WIIHAMB being associated with fellow blogs involved in this poll though, is that I tend to dislike a fair amount of acts others are championing. For example, last year's landslide winner Lapsley still to this day doesn't float my boat but I'm well aware that the majority of my peers are head over heels for her. Something to point out though, there are an entire five artists who crossover between this year's BBC and Blog polls compared to just mere three that did last year. So that's interesting. Are the BBC getting hipper or are we getting more mainstream?! Probably neither really.

Here's a nice little playlist of all of the Blog Sound Poll nominees


Jack Garratt


Let us dwell momentarily on the phenomenon that is Jack Garratt. Garratt will inevitabley "Years-&-Years" 2016 (formerly known as "Clean-Banditing-2015") and that is absolutely fine. BUT it does make things all a little bit unexciting, doesn't it? When you can just turn up and expect to see Jack Garratt at the top of every list. The multi-instrumentalist features on three of the above lists (Brits Critic's Choice, BBC Sound Poll and MTV Brand New) and he only doesn't feature on the other two because he appeared on Vevo Dscvr's 2015 list and narrowly missed out (by one solitary point) on making the Blog Sound 2015 longlist. On a personal level I think I would have preferred seeing Garratt top polls this time last year as he was far less well-known and not such an "obvious choice".

Some Other General Thoughts


I was quite surprised to see Mabel featuring on two of the lists portrayed above especially seeing as she has only released two songs thus far in her musical career, the first of which surfaced during the summer. Don't get it twisted, she's definitely someone I'm glad to see listed, but it almost seems "too soon" ugetme? Although maybe this is contradictory of my last statement about Jack Garratt? Another surprise was to only see SG Lewis on two of the lists I've focused on, and the two less recognised of the five. I THOUGHT HE WAS OUR HYPE BOY? (Post-Garratt obviously.) Of all those included, though, I'm probably most excited to see Nimmo up there. After seeing them at The Great Escape this year I did really worry that they were falling under the radar for a lot of people and media/publications which is such a shame. If anything, it's just nice to see the five piece recognised as a band who could come into their own in 2016.

Although it's probably (almost definitely) the least recognised, I did really want to include the Vevo Dscvr list because I think that this is something Vevo actually manage get right (unlike their actual video streaming platform). The breadth of genres covered in their list seems to me to be far wider, than those seen on other lists and it's also the only list to include an actual "rock" band. Generally "rock" isn't really the sort of thing that's picked up by these lists but even though Black Peaks aren't a band I rate in the slightest, it's nice to see that sector represented. Does this back up my point that rock music at the moment is quite boring though? It's something I've been saying all year, and there is definitely far more excitement and innovation around pop/electronic/hip hop-centric artists. Unless you're into grunge/punk, which I'm not, this year has been fairly dull in terms of rock.



I'd be really interested in hearing the thoughts of others with regards to these lists and stuff. Do you even care? Do these lists mean anything to you? I'm sure no one will answer these questions but it's always nice to welcome responses, isn't it?

Here is a list of blogs who voted in this years Blog Sound Poll [I've linked through to some of my faves]:
A Pocket Full Of Seeds, A World Of Music And Madness, Across The Kitchen Table, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Bratfaced LDN, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Buzz Unlimited, Cruel Rhythm, Chord Blossom, Daisy Digital, Dive, Details Of My Life, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Digital Shuffle, Echoes And Dust, Electronic Rumors, Encore Northern Island, Even The Stars, Faded Glamour, Get Into This, Get Some, God Is In The TV, I Love Pie, Just Music I Like, Kemptation, Killing Moon, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music: Love Life, Metaphorical Boat, Monkey Boxing, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, Music Umpire, Neon Filler, Not Many Experts, Popped Music, Pursuit Of Sound, Rave Child, Record Rewind Play, Scientists Of Sound, Some Of It Is True, Spectral Nights, Sweeping The Nation, Synth Glasgow, The Blue Walrus, The Devil Has The Best Tuna, The Electricity Club, The Evening's Empire, The Mad Mackerel, The VPME, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, Too Many Blogs, What If I Had A Music Blog, When The Gramophone Rings

Sunday, 13 December 2015

ICYMI - This Week on WIIHAMB - 2015 Week #49

In case you missed it - You shouldn't have, but just in case you did.

For anyone who does take a passing interest in these little snippets, you may or may not notice some little changes on this here site - some good, some not so good, but it's all a work in progress etc. I'm really looking forward to WIIHAMB next year. Especially considering that my artist curated playlist feature concept came to me last night and had LITERALLY been staring me in the face this whole time. So that's good. I've also whittled down my songs and EPs of the year. Albums list is still very questionable and may contain Rae Sremmurd.

Keep up to date with all of the daily goings-on over at WIIHAMB Daily.

Sunday
‘It’s All In Vain’ is the opening track from Wet’s forthcoming debut album 'Don’t You'. This is going to sound weird okay, but there are vocal lines and melodies in this track that remind me of Spice Girls’ ‘2 Become 1′. I don’t know how or why but those are just the feels I feel. This is just as lovely as ‘2 Become 1′ though, and just lovely in its own right really. I can’t find a preliminary date for the release of Wet’s album, but hopefully it’s not too far into 2016 *crosses fingers*.


Monday
Lara Maxen is sooo fresh on the scene that the first tweet on her Twitter account was a mere five days ago. We don't know much about Maxen but her Soundcloud states that we may be receiving “new music every month” from her. Could she be the new Oh Wonder?! It’s possible. Let us not continue without acknowledging Mickey Valen’s tiiight as hell production on ‘Your Anything’, essentially making this the type of debut track that others strive for. If there’s going to be a song this close to Christmas that’s bound to get pop fans excited for what the future holds, this has to be it.


Tuesday
Since I posted ‘Baptize’ waaaay back in April 2014 RKCB have been drip-feeding the songs that make up their debut EP ‘Short Films’. ‘Lights Low’ is the sixth and final track that completes the EP; it’s also quite possibly my favourite track. The lyrics in the chorus give me the utmost of feels with the likes of “you only want me when the lights low / now that you’re drinking will you say you need me”. This is the sort of song I could happily sit and cry to on repeat for days.


Wednesday
I get such serious Sohn vibes from this track and that is really cool because whilst really, Jarbird’s ‘Such Is The House’ sounds absolutely nothing like Sohn, the similarity is some of the elements makes it almost instantly relatable. The lyrics appear to focus on self-perception and self-worth which is all pretty heavy but when put with music that sounds like this and vocals that sound like that, things don’t seem quite so stern.


Throwback Thursday
The greatest debut album singles UK indie band other than The Kooks? Yeah, reckon so. I don’t know the first time I heard The Fratellis but this was the first song I heard and I fell completely in love with it. Whilst ‘Creepin Up The Backstairs’ is not the most radio-friendly of the singles from their debut album ‘Costello Music’, I do think that it is genuinely the best, it just suffered from debut single syndrome.


Friday
'Come & Go’ genuinely is new pop punk at its finest. After the “loss” of A Loss For Words this year, to me, it’s as though Broadside have literally just stepped in, picked things up, and got on with it in the best way. The thing about ‘Come & Go’ is that there’s just so much going on the whole time. There’s not a dull moment for the entire duration of the song. You know when a song sounds like it’s actually five songs in one and it’s really confusing? Well this is like that, but without any aspect of confusion. Every section and element flows into the other so seamlessly and I don’t know how a fan of pop punk could not fall in love with this, and Broadside overall.


Saturday
Oh you thought I was joking? Lol no. I’m becoming extremely obsessed with this at a rate that is probably putting my health at risk. After seeing her on Monday, I also have a huge new found appreciation for Carly Rae Jepsen. And this is just so fun. Imagine being a fun enough human to record your single in a language that DOESN’T EXIST. Yeah, pretty fun. The best thing though, is that this genuinely sounds absolutely ridiculous and it completely does not matter in the slightest.



December playlists so far: YouTube / Spotify / Deezer

Sunday, 6 December 2015

ICYMI - This Week on WIIHAMB - 2015 Week #48

In case you missed it - You shouldn't have, but just in case you did.

Reading back on last weeks ICYMI, apparently I thought I was going to switch everything over this weekend... lol. Instead I've been playing Until Dawn. End of year lists are coming together extremely slowly but mildly surely. Other than that, I only went to one show this week and it was to see my sometimes favourites Yearbook and they were lovely. So that's that. Week 48, eh? The end is nigh.

Keep up to date with all of the daily goings-on over at WIIHAMB Daily.

Sunday
What do you mean it’s Sunday night? I don’t care for your facts because Lenno is certainly telling me otherwise with his disco infused ‘Fever’. Lenno is Finnish and a mere 20 years old which all sounds very promising. I’m struggling to find anything about the mysterious Benson whose vocals feature on this track other than that he’s from the UK… but I’m sure he’ll enlighten us when he’s ready.


Monday
No Rest In November - Not a Round-Up (But It Kinda Is)
I wrote about a couple of releases that I thought were really rad last week and also a load of shows that I went to that I thought were cool and stuff.


Tuesday
LATE CONTENDER FOR SONG OF THE YEAR. Brace yourselves WIIHAMB fans, brace yourselves. ‘Colorblind Cruisin’ is taken from Sofi de la Torre’s new EP ‘Mess’ and essentially it’s all so totally rad as fuck. Her “thing” is #popdoneright and I literally could not possibly agree more. The whole EP is so great, such a lovely thing to surprise me towards the end of the year, but this track is really really special. According to her Twitter bio it would also appear that Sofi eats burgers, which is cool, because anyone that doesn’t obviously can’t be trusted.


Wednesday
‘Sweet Innocence’ is by far my favourite song from Louis Mattrs’ latest EP ‘Slow Waves’ which was released last week. I don’t know if this is mostly due to the fact that Elli Ingram features on it or not, but look, Elli Ingram is great and we haven’t heard much from her this year, SO THIS GOT ME STOKED. Anyway, she’s not credited and I don’t know why but I’d also quite like to not get into matters (no pun intended) that I don’t understand. In short, this is a lovely little song that I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing over the past week or so.


Throwback Thursday
It’s not a party if there is no Kevin Lyttle involved in said party. Is there actually anybody on the planet who doesn’t rate this song? Kevin Lyttle paved the way for Caribbean artists with dreadfully great songs though didn’t he? Look at Omi flying now. Would he be here if it weren’t for Lyttle? Who knows, but I’m inclined to believe he wouldn’t be. Although, I think if ‘Turn Me On’ had first seen the light of day in 2015, we probably wouldn’t love it a fraction of the amount that we do.


Friday
Kyko is a guy who I had… kind of written off before now. His music was fine but in all honesty I didn't think that it was anything special. Until now. I would assume that Kyko had been sitting on his ‘Animals’ EP, which was released earlier this year, for a while and now he’s in a far better position to make what I would say is far better music. I have no idea how true any of this is, but it’s what I would assume. ‘Pull Me Up’ is a lovely step up from ‘Animals’, and I think it’s a far better showcase of what the London based 19 year old is capable of.


Saturday
‘Gone In The Morning’ is the follow up to ‘Cold Love’, which was Etham’s first single in his new guise. Upon the first listen to this track I was very “yeah, but what’s so special about this?” Three listens later, what is so special is that even though the elements within this song are far from new, piano based sultry R’n’B pop, it has been done exceedingly well here. Purely on the basis of commercial appeal, it would be ridiculous not to tip Etham for big things in the future… maybe not as soon as 2016, but if he carries on like this, it’s not far off.



November playlists: YouTube / Spotify / Deezer

December playlists so far: YouTube / Spotify / Deezer