Thursday, 3 January 2019

My Top Ten 2018 Songs That Wouldn't Fit Into Any of the Other 2018 Top Tens I Did

A final ten songs which wouldn't fit / I didn't have room for in either My Top Ten Country / Americana Songs, My Top Ten Scottish Songs, My Top Ten Trump Songs or My Top Ten Indie/Alt Guitar Songs from 2018...

10. Jonathan Wilson - There's A Light

Laurel Canyon producer who's worked with Conor Oberst, Father John Misty, Bonnie 'Prince' Billie, Roy Harper, Dawes and Glen Campbell... among others... also makes a decent racket on his own.

9. The Hold Steady - Eureka

The Hold Steady got back together at the end of last year but have been pretty slow in releasing new material. Still, I'm a huge fan and every track is to be treasured. Hoping for much more in 2019.

8. Charlie Dore - A Dog Out Looking For His Day

Remember when Sting did that song from the perspective of a dog? No? Consider yourself lucky.

Anyway, here's the concept done right by the lady who brought us Pilot of the Airwaves way back in the 70s. Yep, she's still going strong.

7. David Byrne - A Dog's Mind

And here's another dog song, from David Byrne's best record in a while. Wish I'd got to catch him live.

6. Mark Kozelek - My Love For You Is Undying

Mark Kozelek probably released another twenty albums this year that I haven't yet heard... he's probably released another one while I was typing this sentence... but his eponymous solo album produced more glorious autobiographical ramblings that you'll either dig or want to bury. The word "art" is much misused in the contemporary music industry, but I would argue that Kozelek is the closest thing we have to a true artist working in the field today, putting himself 100% into his music, warts and all, and making a truly individual noise that will touch and speak to only a tiny minority... I consider myself fortunate to "get him" where millions won't.

5. Luke Haines - Subbuteo Lads

And then we have Britain's answer to Mark Kozelek, another "artist" whose work becomes more eccentric and individual with every release. His latest album, I Sometimes Dream Of Glue, is a collection of songs about Airfix, Hornby, sex and Subbuteo that ploughs deeper into the unique 70s/80s nostalgia groove that has become his stock-in-trade. Although Subbuteo Lads isn't the best song musically on the album, it does have the best opening line.

4. Tom Odell ft. Alice Merton - Half As Good As You

From two artists who've swam about as far from the mainstream as it's possible to get... I give you the best pure pop song of the year, from an artist following very well in the footsteps of Elton John & Billy Joel (he's even supported Billy and covered Piano Man for Children In Need). This particular track starts out as a straightforward piano duet then morphs into and 80s power ballad - wait till the drums hammer in around the 2 minute mark and we're suddenly into Diana Ross / Lionel Ritchie or Roberta Flack / Peabo Bryson territory.

My Top Ten: proud to have been irking the musos since 21012.

3. Bruce Springsteen - Growin' Up (Live On Broadway)

I only got the album for Christmas and haven't watched the Netflix performance yet... but if this is anything to go by, I'll have a lot more to say about this record soon.

2. The Fugitives - No Words

A tribute to Leonard Cohen from his fellow Canadians. Powerful stuff.

1. Okkervil River - Famous Tracheotomies

Will Sheff's parents tried for a long time to have a child, with miscarriages and more making it a very traumatic time for them. After Will was finally born, he became very ill as a young boy. The operation that saved his life involved fitting him with a tracheotomy tube which he then had for a long period throughout his childhood.

This song is about Sheff's gratitude for that little tube that allowed him to still be here today... and many other famous names whose lives have been saved by tracheotomies, including Dylan Thomas, Mary Wells, Gary Coleman (Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes) and Ray Davies, who wrote Waterloo Sunset in memory of the time he himself had been recovering from such an operation.

1 comment:

  1. The video for Famous Tracheotomies impressed me. Very clever, I don't know if the memorabilia and other papers on display are real or not. Maybe some are, some not.

    And thanks for sharing that tribute to Leonard Cohen


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