For the past decade or so, I have been in love with Best Coast. I think this is the band that may have started my obsession with bands from California and becoming obsessed with the way they made me feel like I was right there rather than where I currently was. Always seeking some form of escapism, and I always find it in music. Best Coast released their new record, Always Tomorrow today and I’m so excited to listen to it and write about why I love it. Maybe it’ll bore you, maybe you’ll feel the same way as me.
Today in Manchester it has rained pretty much all day. This week has given us the kind of weather that makes you want to stay at home and not go anywhere, even if like me, you love your job- you still don’t want to get out of bed. But that’s probably part of me having depression too but whatever. The sun has again come from Best Coast. This record is totally different; it is not like Crazy For You (the baby) or California Nights, and all in between. The thing I have always adored about Best Coast is the growth. What we got from Crazy For You and the journey from there to here is fucking insane. You feel like you’ve grown with Bethany and Bobb. You feel part of the journey. Always Tomorrow is such a mellow record, lyrically. Musically it is their heaviest and still has that beautiful honesty in the lyrics. I love how Bethany doesn’t need to be over the top with her words- she is so relatable, and personally, I think the band are criminally underrated.
I’ve got a lot of sentimental value attached to Best Coast. When I met my girlfriend 10 years ago (we’ve not been together that long because back then I was a dick to her) and I would always bang on about Best Coast to her. She loves them too, and during our weird friendship (which was me being too much of an idiot to say how I felt) Our Deal was the song, THE SONG. This is why I feel like I’ve grown up with the band, and songs like Different Light and For The First Time are the songs that make you realise just how far the band have come, and how strong Bethany is. She’s just an exceptional writer, and I love the emotion she pours into the songs. I think For The First Time is a polite fuck you, and I love that.
Always Tomorrow is full of hope and growth; like I said it’s a heavier record, and it’s still got that typical Best Coast anthemic feel- this is apparent on songs like Graceless Kids. I’d play this stupidly loud right now if it wasn’t 11pm. I think this will be the one that is screamed by Bethany, and by the crowd back to her on tour. There is something so powerful about this song, and honestly, listen to it through headphones so you can soak up every single word. I just love her so much, and her words have got me through a hell of a lot and beyond. Make It Last is one of those songs that just make you feel something other songs haven’t quite done yet. It’s such a perfect song.
Rollercoaster is one of my favourite songs on the record; I love the slick sound on this record, and I love everything about this song. It is hard to pick a solid favourite, and I know I don’t need to, but I feel like this might be the one I end up going back to. There is something about this record that reminds me slightly of Courtney Barnett, and that’s always a great thing, you know. They’ve both got this beautiful way with words that makes you feel like they are telling your story and spilling out everything you are thinking and feeling.
This record will tug at your heartstrings and it will stay with you, just like all their records do. Best Coast have been doing this for a decade or so now, and I love how every record is different and a step up from what they did before. I love how well Bethany and Bobb work together, and I love what they create together.
For when you feel hopeless, hopeful, lost, lonely or found- this record will be such a comfort. Songs like Rollercoaster, Wreckage and Master Of My Own Mind will get you right in the gut, and again are prime moments of growth on this record. Bethany’s voice has never sounded so strong, and you can feel every single word that she sings. She has such a distinctive voice, and I love how her voice and Bobb’s musicianship are just a perfect combination. They are both brilliant musicians, and Bethany’s voice is so soothing. True is Bethany’s 60s Girl Group moment; it reminds me of the Wall of Sound era. You could imagine Ronnie Spector belting this one out, it is a gorgeous love song. It has this innocence and wonder to it that just makes you really proud of what the band have achieved and make you so proud to be a fan.
These 11 songs will be all you need; they will comfort you, and they will be your crutch. It is such a beautifully honest record; just play it loud and let everything out. Let songs like Seeing Red be your release. Then fall into the world that Best Coast have given us for the past 10 years or so. It’s a stunning record, and just what I needed. Even the cover to the record fills you with hope; there’s something about the cover that makes you want to stare at it whilst playing the record. You can also sense the creative urgency on this record and given that it’s their first full length record in 5 years, it’s like they were never gone.
That wonderful lo-fi sound is there, it will always be there, and they do it in their own way. They make their own rules, and it’s just one of the many reasons as to why I love and will always love Best Coast.
“I don’t really mind All of this wasted time Just wish that I had something to show for it.”
Best Coast are one of those bands that magically take you to a place that you possibly can’t ever afford to go. In my case, I’m far too broke and too much of a coward to go on a plane for longer than 50 minutes. Best Coast take you by the hand and take you to a Californian beach. With their past records they have taken us on some ethereal journeys to the West Coast, their latest and probably best release, California Nights is no exception.
With Best Coast, I always seem to hold some sentimental value to Bethany’s lyrics. Some that in time will eventually leave me be, the rest will probably irk me for a few more years. You adapt and can sometimes forget. Crazy For You had songs on it that were a constant reminder, The Only Place was easier to listen to and Fade Away made it easy to be an adult. Where does that leave California Nights? The escape route, easily.
The record consists of songs about leaving, growing up, being unsure and general growing pains. There are many bands that can write in a vulnerable manner but there is something about the way Bethany does it that makes you feel as if you’re the one she’s writing about. It is exactly as if she’s got in your head and wrote every nagging thought you had down and projected them for the world to hear.
Every band has that one record that defines their career and becomes their defining record.Combined with the growth in Bethany’s lyrics and Bobb’s ability to take you on some lucid trip with his ridiculous guitar skills, these are just some of the factors that make California Nights their defining record. They’ve gone from fast-paced sun-kissed tracks to hazy sunset and anthemic gems for the lost. Their sound has grown into a fully fledged adult still flailing in that awkward stage. Listening to California Nights is like falling in love, finding pieces of yourself and getting to grips with self-acceptance. Thing is, it doesn’t matter if others don’t like you or accept you. If you don’t accept yourself, then it can get difficult. I know. I know. Records like this make it so much easier to feel alright in your skin. Even if you dislike it.
It is fair to say that this record is one of the best this year. It just shows how strong a band Best Coast are. California Nights is the essence of looking into the sunset on your own, as the sun sinks into the sea with a cool yet calming breeze circling around you. It is the sound of the summer that you can feel all year, that’s the backbone of Best Coast and it is much stronger and a lot clearer in this record. The songs on this record can mend and fix a person all at once. The songs on California Nights are what daydreams are made of. Full of hope and courage at best. Songs like Jealousy see the wrong in how people behave, songs like In My Eyes make you think of the wrongs you are trying to correct even if nobody wants to know, songs like When Will I Change are like coming to terms with everything around you. The art of growing up is underlying in this gorgeous record. There is so much to say about this record; it’s the kind you sit down with someone and talk about how bloody brilliant it is. Or you could be a sad case like myself and write about it!
The vulnerability in the songs is what makes this record so damn honest and easy to connect with. I’ve read reviews about this record that say that every song sounds the same, they haven’t grown. The same old shit from those who like to be mean. Maybe it’s because I really do love this band a hell of a lot that I can’t see why anyone would slate it. Maybe I’ve got some sentiment clinging to this record that I daren’t let a bad word be said. Or maybe, just maybe I can hear a band that I’ve been a fan of for so long and who mean a lot to me, have become the band that they deserve to be. The lo-fi sound isn’t as prominent as it once was but the subtle angst peaks through and when you feel it, it’s something to really treasure.
Whether you’re a stroppy teen or an uncomfortable adult, guaranteed there are songs on this record that will make you feel as if it was written for you. Maybe it was because really, nobody likes feeling alone.
I’ll stand by the title track being the most euphoric on the record and is easily one of my favourite songs of the year, but I feel with this record that each song, with every listen they will become a favourite. There are no album fillers and there aren’t any dull moments on this record. It’s a record to take a long walk to, to listen to on your bed at 2am when you can’t sleep, to wander aimlessly up and down the beach to, to get lost and found to. Just let this record become your world, let it be the soundtrack to the summer and beyond. Records like this make you proud to be a fan of a band you quite simply adore.
There are some songs that when you listen to, nothing can touch you. Every sad and horrible feeling you are carrying around fades away. A song that just becomes a part of you, a very important part of you. It doesn’t matter who sings it, just as long as you feel it.
Songs that take you away, I feel, are the best ones. Real life is dull and repetitive. How do you escape it? Through headphones. You take a song that whisks you away to some place so calming and your own piece of perfection. You can find it anywhere. You might already have that song, if you do then remember you can always have more.
For me, the song that sums up everything surrounding escapism and daydreaming is California Nights by Best Coast. It is 5 minutes of sheer bliss. I urge you to take 5 minutes out of your day to zone out and listen to this gorgeous song. I’ve been a fan of Best Coast for years, and I say with confidence that this is their greatest song to date. Their debut record holds a lot of sentimental value to me, but I am willing to move on from it and cling onto California Nights with all I have. It sounds nothing like their previous songs/records, but still holds firmly onto that beach/dream-esque atmosphere. Best Coast are a band you listen to when on the beach on a hot day with nothing else to do. Pretty hard to do that when it’s freezing cold out, so you play it on repeat and allow it warm your bones in the comfort of your own home.
Listen to it on the journey to/from work to imagine you are anywhere you want to me, place it at work, on your lunch break, before you go to bed. It doesn’t matter, all that matters is you allowing yourself to be taken on this ethereal trip that you don’t want to come back from.
I wanted to write a massive essay on how this song makes me feel and such, but my words will not and cannot do the song justice. I heard it last week and it’s all I’ve been listening to. It’s all I want to listen to. Some songs win you over instantly and become a huge and vital part of you, that’s exactly what California Nights has gone and done. It is one of those songs that reinforces your love for a band, for music.
Have it on repeat, and go somewhere nobody can disturb you.
Longing VS wanting. Innocence VS not really knowing. Caring VS not caring. Life VS death. Love VS stupidty. In the long run, it is probably all the same thing. You wish to burn out what you see in your mind. You wish you could see certain things forever. You wish you did one thing differently, at one point. You wish you were more eloquent with your words. You wish you wrote THAT song so you could play them it; so they get it. Will they ever get it? Does anyone ever really understand? Are we just killing time by explaining. These are the thoughts I am not paid to write down. I’ve never been paid for this. I don’t expect to. They want you to be like them. Dress like that, talk like this. Walk as if you don’t care, behave like an obnoxious fool. Keep me indoors please.
You slip away from reality sometimes. You lose tough. With yourself and others. Maybe you only talk to 2 or 3 people everyday. But they are the ones that you love so much. Maybe one of them you love more than most, because this person owns your heart. This person is on your mind, constantly. Or maybe it just isn’t like that. Maybe you have no idea. Sometimes you think you cannot get lower or higher than your current state. I don’t think this makes sense, because I don’t want it to.
As you get older you learn to cast away your wants, your needs and your desires. You learn that none of it matters. You see everything around you become so typical and bland. You notice you have no plans. You don’t want what they want. You don’t want a 9-5 lifestyle where you do the same thing every day. You still want freedom burning inside of you. The only burning they have is heart-burn. They are typical, and you cannot relate. You know of no one else who feels the same. You think you are wrong, for about 5 minutes. Then you realise that being different is not a bad thing. It is never a bad thing. They may mock your thoughts and how you view the world. But it gets you through.
Trust your heart- not theirs. If you must, spit blood upon those who tell you that you are wrong.
Nothing and no one is worth the torment.
It’s like I am teaching myself all the things I wish I knew sooner. But I just can’t listen to myself.
The second record. The dreaded second record. Make or break a band. Or so they say. Personally, I just think it is some kind of superstition or whatever to shit up a band. Don’t buy into it. Don’t believe what anyone ever tells you. The only place you’ll find truth is in a Spiderman comic. But does that mean you have to believe me? You can if you want.
I’ve been hopelessly and stupidly in love with Best Coast for the past 2 years or so. I heard Boyfriend and I felt like I had heard the song that’d change everything for me. Obviously I substituted Girl for Boy, the song always holds so much for me. The debut record just reminds me of Summer. Every day since I bought it 2 years ago, I’ve played it. I’ve played it to death, and I’m not entirely sure if I am ready to let it go and open myself up to the new record. I mean, can I really love The Only Place as much as I love Crazy For You? Well, as someone who foolishly has a lot of love to give; I can. I can truly love this record with all I have.
Alright so some naughty so and so has uploaded it to YouTube, but I need cheering up so I decided to listen to it. I WILL be buying The Only Place when it comes out, so its okay. I don’t illegally (or legally) download music. It’s pointless. I need to have the record in my hands. The Only Place is so fucking different from Crazy For You. Those who want that same ol’ lo-fi vibe, go back and listen to Crazy For You and refuse to open yourself up to something new (you boring sods!) The Only Place is more 60s girl groups than anything else. Tales of heartbreak with big drums, it’s the perfect merge of topics and sounds. Maybe I am just utterly biased towards Best Coast. I just think Bethany has one of the best voices around. So it isn’t as big/bold as..whoever- that’s why I love her. You can pick up on every tremble, crackle and sense of vulnerability in her voice. You cannot pick up on lonely feelings in something that is overproduced. If you are seeking Crazy For You all over again, then well, I guess the only thing these two records have in common is that Bethany allows you to truly connect with her, and relate to every word she is singing.
There is so much heartbreak on this record, and at times a sense of not feeling good enough. The feelings that we all feel at some point. The feelings that make us human. You should never be ashamed of that. It is totally okay to feel that way, I guess it keeps you going. Sometimes the worst feeling you can possibly imagine keeps you going. This is why I just love Best Coast. The way in which Bethany touches on these topics makes it totally okay for you to be eating cold pizza at 3am in ripped jeans, watching really bad tv shows and crying at animal rescue adverts. The alternative is sleep, but not all of us get to experience that. What I’m trying to get across is that, Best Coast make it okay for you to hit rock bottom. They make it okay for you to feel low and to currently be worthless. They give you hope. Enough hope to get through the Summer. Enough hope to go through Hell and back.
I should probably mention certain songs, right?
How They Want Me To Be is on there. I’m so fucking happy about that, because that song came out at a really vital time for me. Like, it is okay to be who you truly are although others want you to be a certain way. Never ever do that. Never give in to what people want and expect from you. Dreaming My Life Away makes you want to just lie on a bed of water and float away some place without any way of being contacted or bothered. You will find utter peace in this record. I’m pretty sure Dreaming My Life Away could be my favourite, for now.
I adore Better Girl. I think most of us want to improve who we are, and what we are. Songs like this make it easier to accept this. Changing is difficult especially when others call you out on it. Bollocks to it all! Do what makes you happy, and be honest with yourself. I’ve got a lot of love reserved for the song, Last Year. I’ll call that one out as a favourite too.
From listening to this record, I seem to have learnt a lot. Maybe I knew it all along, and I needed Best Coast to drag it out. Sure you can sense some of that lo-fi vibe, but it is NOTHING like Crazy For You and that’s not a bad thing. I say this a lot, but you truly cannot expect a band to keep making the same record over and over. This is why certain bands last because they keep changing with every record. You can find this in the works of The Kills, Placebo, IAMX and of course, Best Coast. To constantly sound the same over and over shows you haven’t grown. We are always changing whether we like to admit it or not. When one of your favourite bands changes their sound on every record, you feel at ease with the concept of changing. It makes it easier.
The Only Place is not just the perfect album for the Summer. It is one of the most perfect records I’ve heard this year, and I spend every day listening to Music. It isn’t easy to make a second record that competes with the first, but Best Coast have done it. I’ll probably end up playing this every single day much like I did with Crazy For You..for 2 years solid. I think that justifies just how brilliant Best Coast are. We need them.
Oh and also, pretty much backs up my theory on duos being the best!
Wants and needs cloud your judgement. It’s easier to ignore them both so you can carry on. And carry on you will. This is the hangover talking. Not in a physical sense, that passed at half 10 this morning when I stood in the shower playing Explode by Uh Huh Her about 5 times until I felt like a person again. Things go wrong very quickly, you try to be cautious. You do what is right. You leave things behind so you can move forward. The things you never faced smack you right in the face when you have brief moments on your own. I’m trying to distance myself from this because some things, well..you’ve got to never tell so you stay sane. So what happens? Lose.Your.Shit. Lose your mind if you want. Nobody is strong all the time. Nobody is always weak. You can find strength in the things you think are killing you, metaphorically. You hold everything back. And for what reason? You’ve got your reasons. You try to let it out, but for some reason- it just won’t come out. Not because you’re biting your tongue constantly, but..the words. The words are not there. So you find a sense of peace and become calm in the midst of hearing THAT certain part in a song that you love. The song that cradles you. The song that nurses you. Like a whisper in your ear, “It’s going to be okay.” It will be okay.
One day I will take on board what I have just typed up. Until then, I’ll remain a hypocrite, or maybe just one of life’s lost causes plodding their way through. Knowing that nothing is secure, or forever. Time is just a way of limiting yourself. I never wear a watch. Lose yourself to something positive than give yourself up to something destructive. This is why I don’t show my poetry or songs to anyone. It goes deeper than the paragraph above, and I’m ashamed of it.
So, with this utter nonsense out of the way- there are songs. There are always songs. Songs that will drag you through because you just don’t want to think about how you’d word it. Wants and needs. You want a person, but do you need them? Anyone who says they don’t need anyone is lying. Even if it’s just one person, you cannot deny that you need them. It doesn’t have to be in a romantic way. A relative, a close chum- you need them. You want them around. You think you’re going to lose them at times. You think you’re about to because the Universe is a fucking BITCH. Solace is found in music. Shut it all off and fall into the music. It’s the only way you know how. And maybe…just maybe we are all struggling to get to the same thing in life. So, please be kind to everyone. Be respectful and tolerant. Walk gently through life and do everything with heart. Speak up. Be strong, be weak. Be yourself.
Sheryl Crow once sang, “A change would do you good.”True isn’t it? Change is a good thing. Why stay stuck in your ways when you can become something better. Why settle for less when you will find something better. Its always the case, and yeah it causes us good ones to be left behind- but whatever. Right now, it isn’t about that.
Best Coast are BACK. Remember how their debut record ruled your summer when it came out? How Boyfriend is the story of your life? How the lo-fi sounds sparked up your insides? I understand, I really do. I’ve played that record to death. I play it most days. I had Crazy For You as my ringtone for a while, but then I had to change it because I wouldn’t answer my phone. I changed it to something by Warpaint, and didn’t answer my phone. So I keep it on silent….and never answer my phone. I hate having a phone, as you can tell.
Back to the subject of change. Many will probably say that Best Coast have sold out and hate the new sound. Then again, some may actually realise a band cannot keep making the same record, with the same sound over and over again. Personally, I love the song. They could make a death metal record and I’d probably still love that.
I just love Best Coast, and their new track The Only Place is everything I love about them. A song about the beach and creating a wonderful summer vibe. You can’t hate on that.
I know I’m doing this too early in the year, but if I do it now- maybe I won’t change my mind. I know I’ll change my mind as soon as I publish this. I’ll hear a song and think, “SHITTING HELL. THAT NEEDS TO GO ON MY LIST!” Hopefully I will gain some self control and not do that. I’m not doing this in any order, however the last song I mention is my song of the year. It’s pretty obvious what song it is. I’ve got a cool story to accompany it too, it’s just given it so much more meaning to me and I love it more than I did before.
Let’s begin :
Dirty Beaches- Lord Knows Best.– When I first heard this, I honestly didn’t think it was something from this year. I just thought it was an old old song being re-released. I was stupidly wrong. Lord Knows Best is taken from Alex’s album Badlands which was released in March this year, it’s such a beautiful album. What I love about this song is how old it feels, the sample on a loop and Alex’s vocals. His voice sounds so desperate, which is what drew me in straight away. I love anything that sounds dark, angry, frustrated and painful. This doesn’t mean I’m some morbid wanker, far from it. I’m just someone who is always drawn to the dark side of things- it just means more to me than hearing something cheerful. However, this is lyrically, not a dark song. It’s about loving one person and nothing/no one else matters. Just this one person. I guess you could call it a love song. Whatever it is, it’s one of the best things I’ve heard this year.
Wye Oak-Civilian.– You know when you hear a song, and you give all your attention to the lyrics? That’s what happened when I first heard Civilian by Wye Oak. The album is just stunning. This song means so much, “I am nothing without pretend. I know my faults, can’t live with them.” It just screams out fragility. The whole song does. It’s almost as if, you can use this song to admit to all your faults- you’re human, and it is how you feel. I adore the build up in the song. Their musicianship is so strong and so inspiring, it’s just so stunning. It’s one of the songs that make me wish I could write something as powerful as this. As far as duos in music go, Wye Oak are one of my favourites.
Widowspeak-Wicked Game.– I know it’s a cover, but it’s so good. I love how haunting they have made it, but at the same time still has the same feel as the original. I usually hate it when a song I love is covered, but this is just stunning from start to finish. The way, “This world is only gonna break your heart” is sung is damn hypnotising. The song makes you feel like you are in some kind of trance. It’s just perfect. If you’ve never listened to them before, start with this cover.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart- Heart In Your Heartbreak.– I know this came out late last year, however the track is taken from their second album which came out in March this year. So, I’m going with that. Their album came out at a time that I wish to never go through again. This song was my crutch for 2 months. I used to listen to it to stop myself from feeling like shit and realising…well, I don’t want to make it too personal. Basically, when you think you can’t get over having your heart broken- you actually can. And when you do, you becoming strong and nothing can touch you no more because you have felt so shit, you’ve experienced rock bottom and you will do anything to never feel that way away. I cannot pick out a lyric that I love, because I just adore it all. This song was around when I didn’t know what to do with myself or what to do with how I was feeling.
Novella-The Things You Do.– When you listen to Novella, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking you were listening to a band from LA. They have that gorgeous lo-fi/sufer pop feel to their music. They formed in Brighton and are now based in London. If you love Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast, you are truly going to fall in love with Novella. I hope next year beings them great success because they really do deserve it. This song causes your head to spin and your body to float. It’s so beautiful.
Zola Jesus-Vessel.– I am going to struggle putting this into words because the music Nika creates owns a large part of my heart. Her music is so enthralling and haunting. Everything about her music just makes my soul shake and my head swim. I am constantly in awe of her talent. She’s only 21 years old, she’s so bloody gifted. Hopefully I’m seeing her in November. I’m oretty sure it’s going to be like some kind of religious experience. I have every confidence that her album Conatus is going to be one of the best albums of the year. Her voice is so distinctive and powerful. I love the dark feel in her music. I love how her music can make everything better. I took a walk today and just played her music. It was like I was drifting off into another world. A dreamland. I honestly cannot praise Nika’s talents enough. I really don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like her music. She’s a massive credit to the music industry, I just hope they realise that instead of obsessing over pop stars that contribute nothing.
The Horrors- I Can See Through You.– I could pick any song of theirs, but I Can See Through You is my favourite off Skying lyrically. The album is beautiful, but more on that when I write about my favourite albums of 2011. Faris’ vocals on this song are so strong. The band sound as perfect as ever. So captivating and hypnotising. I know a lot of people are getting into The Horrors based on Still Life. What pisses me off is that they dismissed them during the Strange House era. That album will always be one of my favourites. The raw, brutal sound to it is amazing. The garage rock vibe it has is stunning. However, those that are only just getting into The Horrors have missed out on many years- their loss.
The Kills-The Last Goodbye.– It was close to impossible to pick which song by The Kills I wanted to include. I toyed with the idea of putting Satellite in because I love the reggae electro feel it has. Then I wanted Baby Says because I love it like someone would probably love their child. Then it was Nail In My Coffin. I went through the whole album, until I chose The Last Goodbye. Why did I choose The Last Goodbye? Well, it has the best and my favourite lyric from a song I’ve heard this year. This line describes me better than I could. This line owns my heart. This line makes me feel okay with being a sensitive bugger. The line is of course, “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” I read an article about the album before it was released, and they spoke about this song and mentioned the lyrics. When I read that line, I was instantly blown away by the honesty and vulnerabilty in the lyrics. Then I listened to the song. I cried. It was like finding the piece of you that you had missing for so long. I have no idea what will happen when I see this live. I’ll probably want to get on stage and hug Alison. When she sings this, you can see she puts all she has into it. It is so heartbreaking and so perfect. You can take what you want from this song, that’s what I love about The Kills- you can create your own meaning to their songs. If I could thank them personally for this song, I bloody well would.
Florence And The Machine-What The Water Gave Me.– I guess anyone else would pick Shake It Out, but I like to be difficult don’t I. I’m choosing What The Water Gave Me because I love the darkness around it. Shake It Out is beautiful, and it feels like Flo is taking you to Church. The lyrics are haunting and gorgeous. Much like What The Water Gave Me. I love how the song builds and builds, when she sings “Let the only sound be the overflow. Pockets full of stones” it sounds and feels so enchanting and euphoric. All her songs are euphoric. Her music makes you feel free and weightless. That’s why I love her. I cannot express it in a way that you will understand, but that’s as close as I can get right now. Pretty sure Ceremonials will be the best album of the year. October 31st cannot come quick enough.
It’s honestly no surprise what I’ve picked as my favourite song of the year is it? I said it in February and pretty much every other day since. You ready?!
SUMMER CAMP-I WANT YOU. – This is the only song that I have heard this year to have such a grip over me. It’s done something to my brain. I have to listen to it every single day. If I don’t, I get the shakes (I don’t really….) Elizabeth and Jeremy have created the best song of the year EASILY. I know I love Flo and The Kills but this is honestly the greatest thing I have heard this year. No other song has had this hold over me. The lyrics, oh jesus, the lyrics. So true! It states exactly being in love is like- cruel, intense, dark and grand. Being love can turn you into a dickhead sometimes can’t it. However, if you listen to I Want You, you can see it isn’t always the case. Some have said it’s the stalker anthem of 2011. I don’t think it is. I think it’s quite simply, intensely liking/loving and wanting someone; and you just want them to feel the same. You believe you can make them feel the same. The synths, the guitar and the drums…oh lord. When it drops and kicks in it is like a glorious kick in the face. I’ve only been in love for real once. It’s more than enough isn’t it? If I was to ever feel that way again, I’d use this song to clarify how I felt. I’d play it and think “Does this person make me feel like this?” And if the answer was yes, it’d be love. If the answer was no, then I’d go back to my books and records to save myself disappointment. If any of you listened to BBC 6Music yesterday morning, on Lauren Laverne’s show. They played Better Off Without You and I Want You. I tweeted them saying it was amazing, and Elizabeth replied with, “I was thinking of you when we played I Want You. Not in a weird way.” HOW AMAZING IS THAT? Seriously, so fucking cool. It made my year, no doubt. I’ve decided, if I ever decided to inflict my presence upon a girl and start a relationship, when we split up- I’m going to play Better Off Without You to drag me through it. Oh, I’ve not heard Summer Camp’s album yet but I can tell you it’s the best album of the year. It’s right up there. Trust me. Now, get your ears around my favourite song of the year. If it doesn’t cause your bones to move, heart to skip several beats, your head to spin and your soul to feel reignited- then I think you have no braincells left. Cheers Summer Camp, for making the best song of the year!
I do feel bad for leaving out some songs that I fell in love with this year, so have a few more :
I’ve always been told to never work with family or to work with someone you’re involved with. Perfectly good advice, right? If anything seeing the same person every single day and living with them would just make you mad. I don’t care how in love you are, you will reach a point and think, “Why do they exist?” Alright, that’s harsh and I only slightly mean it.
When couples make music together- it never really works out does it. Just look at Ike and Tina. They may have made some amazing music, but the outcome wasn’t exactly loving was it? I’m slowly drifting away from my point.
Nathan from Wavves and Bethany from Best Coast are a couple. Now, if anyone has seen photos and interviews of them together, they will see that they are probably the best couple around right now. I adore Wavves and Best Coast. That lo-fi/surfer feel to their music is just brilliant. I love everything about their music. They don’t change who they are nor do they change their sound to sell records. They make music for their love of music- there’s not many that do that now.
Last night, Wavves premiered a new song that they have recorded with Bethany from Best Coast. Obviously,it is brilliant.
Wavves are set to release the EP, Life Sux on September 20th.
After 3 attempts write this, this is my last go. Trying to sum up the importance of a debut album isn’t easy, nor is it easy trying to think of the best debut albums ever. There have been so many phenomenal debut albums, some people just overlook and others are regarded as highly influential.
Over the past 3 years there have been some amazing debut albums released such as Lungs by Florence And The Machine to Cults self titled debut which was released this year.
The hardest thing about putting out such a great first album is following it up. How many bands have managed to set such a high calibre with their first album and pull it off with every release? Of course The Smiths managed to do it, and in my biased opinion, more recently The Horrors have evidently done it. More on Strange House later. I always have strong affection towards debut albums as you can truly feel and understand what an artist is trying to do. It’s always good to listen back to a debut album when a band has released 3 or 4 albums into their career. You can really hear how an artist has grown and changed their sound.
My personal favourite debut album of all time has to be Psychocandy by The Jesus And Mary Chain. I love the reverb sound, the intense subject matter and of course Jim Reid’s stunning vocals. I adore the production on the album, it has influenced so many bands that I love such as The Horrors. There has never been a debut album as gripping and as brutal as Psychocandy. Although the band have released some fantastic albums, this is the one that stands out for me- it is timeless and just everything an album should be. It’s dark, it is passionate and honest. If more music was to this standard, well, the music industry would be in a better place I suppose. The Jesus And Mary Chain is a band that inspires me in ways no other band ever has, and probably ever will. Of course The Smiths are the band that owns my heart, but I feel The Jesus And Mary Chain own a part of my mind. The heart is greater, that I know. I just love the feeling I get from listening to Psychocandy, it just feels like the first time I am listening to it every time I do. It’s just a perfect debut album from start to finish. I don’t think any album has single-handedly started its own genre in a way Psychocandy did. It’s just everything, and anything after it has just lurked in its shadows.
Last year two debut albums came out that just instantly blew me away. I felt like I was in a different time whilst listening to it- personally, that’s what makes a remarkable album. Regardless if it is a debut album or an artists fifth album.
The two albums are Best Coast’s debut self titled release and of course, The Fool by Warpaint.
Best Coast’s debut was the soundtrack to summer 2010, there’s no denying it. The album instantly became a piece of art that I treasured so much, I still play it every single day. There is not one song that bores me. I don’t really hold any personal situations to the album, give it time I guess. It’s just an album that makes me feel like I am sitting on a beach, staring out to sea and forgetting everything. It’s the perfect form of escapism. I love Bethany’s vocals especially on Our Deal. There’s something so heartbreaking about that song, but you just can’t stop listening to it. Oh her cat, Snacks is quite possibly the cutest animal ever.
Where do I start when talking about The Fool by Warpaint? Anyone who knows me a tiny bit will know that album is one of the most important albums in my life, ever. Of all the albums I own, this one is one I hold very highly. I love how every song makes me feel like I am floating on water towards something better. There’s always something better. Warpaint’s music makes a hopeless person like myself quite hopeful.
Songs such as Lissie’s Heart Murmur and Shadows are so important to me. The way Emily sings on Lissie’s Heart Murmur just moves me in a way I didn’t think could happen. I adore Theresa’s vocals on Shadows, so much frustration in the line,” I feel like the shadows, I don’t even bother for any more than that.” It’s an album to lose yourself in, and probably find parts of yourself too.
I remember seeing a copy of an album with five men wearing high-heels and make-up on the cover and just being in awe of the cover. I found the album in the drawer in the living room at my mum’s house when I was around 15/16. I took the album to my room and just played it. I didn’t move. I was entirely transfixed with the sounds that were coming out of my temperamental CD player.
New York Dolls are quite possibly one of the most important bands ever. They’ve influenced so many artists that I adore with every fibre of my being. Yes, I mean Morrissey. Their debut album has one song on it that just means the universe to me, Subway Train. I adore everything about the song, especially the lyrics. Frustration with a twinge of angst- mixed with longing. They are the best kinds of songs and Subway Train is one of them.
The album is the blueprint of what would later emerge from New York City.
Although Live It Out is my favourite album by them, Metric’s debut release, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? is such a fantastic piece of art. The album starts with IOU, and right from the start you fall in love with Metric’s sound. They have a specific sound that I have never ever heard in any band. Whether it be in a band I love or a band I dislike, their sound is something that has never been replicated- thankfully. I highly doubt anyone could. Songs such as Wet Blanket, Combat Baby, Dead Disco and The List are just stunning. I’ve been fortunate to see them live, and the energy they have on record is just the same live. Just with a bit more sweat. The production is just stunning. I’ve been a fan of Metric since they started out and their sound is so distinctive. What I love about their debut is the Punk and Riot Grrrl feel it has- two genres that mean a lot to me, and for a band such as Metric to combine those two genres to create Old World Underground was just brilliant.
I have two more debut albums to write about. Both have this brutal sound to it and contain such a force that just shakes your world and your whole being. I know that the albums I have mentioned and are about to mention are probably odd choices for some, but they are debut albums that just mean a lot to me, and to others I’m sure. I could mention the usual such as The Smiths debut album and Is This It by The Strokes, both albums of course are masterpieces and mean a lot to me. I have Is This It tattooed on me. Some may think it’s a morbid thing to have tattooed, it isn’t- it’s a declaration of love for such a phenomenal album.
Strange House by The Horrors is a frickin’ amazing take on Garage-Rock. I remember skipping a lecture at University to go out and buy the album. I did it a lot whilst at College and Uni. My priorities have always been based on music; it’s a good and bad thing. Good for me, and it probably pisses others off. They don’t get it, I don’t expect them to.
I feel Strange House has been overlooked by so many. Guaranteed it sounds nothing like Primary Colours and Skying- none of The Horrors albums sound like their last one at all. That’s why I love them. Their music means a lot to me, I cannot describe why. Strange House reminds me of my first year of Uni. Probably the happiest I have ever been. Everything was new to me and I was becoming the person I always wanted to be. The sound on Strange House just instantly took over me. From Faris’s screams to Rhys’ mental keyboard skills. I remember going back home during the holidays and my mum telling me she loved Count In Fives. I’ve played her all three albums by them, and she too is in awe of their sound. I’ve got a pretty cool family. My auntie and uncle both adore The Horrors.
The way The Horrors dressed during the Strange House era was just beautiful. If I was a guy, or hell, if I was skinny I’d probably dress like that. I know they will never create an album with the same sound as Strange House but each album still has that raw, brutal feel. A feel that is not evident in a lot of music right now. A lot of people are getting into The Horrors based on the single Still Life. However, I urge you new fans to please listen to Strange House. It’ll do you a world of good if you do.
The last album that I am going to bore you with, if you are still with me is, Keep On Your Mean Side by The Kills. The title alone is bloody great. The album defines the whole sound of The Kills. Unapologetic brutal, dark, intense, raw and powerful sounds. Everything about this album is sheer perfection. From start to finish the album has you in a chokehold. The Kills music feels like a pleasurable punch to the face. It hits you over and over- you don’t care if it hurts, it is the best feeling ever. The music has this hold over you. Alison’s beautiful and vengeful voice twinned with Jamie’s genius guitar playing steals your heart away. It takes you to a place that is dark, poetic and sublime. I love how they have captured the same feeling people must have got when they first heard The Velvet Underground when they started. They are my generation’s take on The Velvet Underground. The dark lyrics with harsh guitar sounds, it’s just everything that music should be.
I adore Alison’s vocals on Wait and Gypsy Death & You. It is so pure, just enthralling. I love the aggression in their music- songs such as Cat Claw, Fried My Little Brains and Kissy Kissy just pour out such aggression that overwhelms you and leaves you thinking and feeling “The hell have I just exposed my ears and soul to?!” It is hands down, one of the most brutal debut albums I have ever heard and probably will hear. It’s brutal in an Iggy Pop sense, true Punk ethic. The Kills are a band that I look up to; I love the connection Alison and Jamie have with each other. I love that just two people have created a sound that so many need so many others around them to create and just cannot get it right- The Kills just need each other to make that sound. I admire them so much; I’d say they are quite possibly the hardest working musicians around. I cannot praise them enough nor can I express my love for their music in good enough words. Each album they put out has the same level of intensity and frustration in it- with no apologise or explanation. It just is. And what it is, is truly beautiful.
I know there are so many albums I could have written about such as The Long Blondes debut album, Scott Matthews debut solo album, Richard Hawley, Ramones- the list is endless. I just wrote about the ones that mean something to me.
Recently my mum posted me a Morrissey book and Scott Matthews debut album. She knows of my love for The Walker Brothers and I was familiar with Scott’s solo work. It’s a beautiful debut album. As are debuts from others such as Zola Jesus, The xx, Aaliyah, Jay-Z. Honestly, the list is endless and the more I mention the more I want to write about these albums. It just shows how vital the debut album really is, and a lot of the time- inspires others to pick up an instrument and start their own movement. I’ve written over 2000, I think I’ve bored you enough now haven’t I?!