Top 5 tracks of the last couple o’ years

5. Teleman – Christina

So they’ve succumbed to continental organs and delayed clean palm-muted 1950s electric guitar… so what?! This sound captures the moment quite nicely in many ways, and it’s a sweet song about sweet release.

4. The Foals – My Number

I’m sure you’re seeing a pattern here – all very indie isn’t it? Maybe, but I listen to a lot of 6Music! What do I like about this track? Apart from the delayed muted guitar (which I have a soft spot for) they do parallel 10ths really well. Not like Paul Mealor, who – like many contemporary choral composers – overuses this interval in a very lazy way! It’s also magnificently catchy, and you should never underrate a good tune and a good set of gestures (like the pseudo-oriental high guitar opening riff).

3. Little Dragon – Ritual Union

After years of complete apathy to new music, this little number got me back on track, for which I’m forever grateful. Simplicity done well I really like. As with so many around today, sounding a bit like a 1980s console is in, presumably for reasons of nostalgia. And I’m not immune to this effect. In fact, I’m a complete sucker for it.

2. Major Lazer – Get Free

No other ML track sounds like this. I’m almost scared by the surrealist shanty vibe I get from this track. I get the feeling of Pirates of Dark Water and Monkey Island. (Alright then, I AM a sucker for nostalgia. But I’m getting to that age…) The understated off-beat flutey organ lies in contrast to the intense and sometimes harsh vocals from Amber of The Dirty Projectors (another fine group, I might add). Again, Major Lazer gets a win here for not doing too much. This song is at number 2 because more than any other track it inspired my latest release under my new band Claude Canvas. Here’s a sneak preview for you…

1. David Bowie – Where Are We Now?

Phil, you’re so predictable. Well maybe, but context is everything… And here Bowie’s come back with something amazing – nostalgia (quelle surprise), yearning, and authenticity. This is what people I want to watch and hear are made of. I mean, he wears a t-shirt in it relating to his first love Hermione Farthingale (also the girl with the mousy hair), someone he’s still not really over after more than 40 years. This song is bitter-sweet, persongified [sic]. I did a blog post on the return of Bowie, click me.

Other nominations: Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill, James Blake – Retrograde, Aluna George – Attracting Flies

Note: There are songs I was going to include but couldn’t. Why? Because of their hijacking by advertisement companies. This includes the Intro of XX’s self-titled album and Santigold – Disparate Youth, which will forever be Direct Line.

Click on “follow” (bottom right of screen) to keep up with these blogs and, as ever, thanks for reading…

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Author: Phil

Film composer, concert composer, sound designer, choral composer, arranger, song writer, musician.

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