The Jesus And Mary Chain are my favourite band of all time- that will never change. However, when I hear about someone covering them, it causes me to get a bit angry and sad. They never seem to get it right. Why? Because they’re not The Jesus And Mary Chain. I can let it go when it is for a good cause though.
I was just reading something on a site, and I saw Seapony had covered Just Like Honey. It turns out 11 bands have all covered this song for charity. I read up about it, and I honestly think it is one of the most beautiful ideas I’ve seen in a long time.
I’m running the London Marathon for Breast Cancer Care (www.breastcancercare.org.uk). I asked 11 bands I featured on my podcast (www.JustLikeHoney.co.uk) to cover the same song: Just Like Honey (original by The Jesus & Mary Chain). The compilation costs minimum £8 (about $12) but you can give more to support more people affected by breast cancer.
This is a wonderful idea, and one I will contribute to for sure. I’m not going to say anything about the artists that are featured on the compilation at all. It wouldn’t be right, but I can tell you that every single version is brilliant. No version ruins the original. Each version is done in such a perfect way. Some have take onboard the distorted sound, others have made it sound more vulnerable. This is a charity that is so very dear to my heart, as you know- so please support it.
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 know it’s only August, but I feel I need to write this down now. Was 2011 awful? For music? No. For other things? More than likely. Yes this year was shit due to Gaga putting an album out, Amy Winehouse’s tragic death and ITV still allowing X-Factor to exist. Why it exists, I have no idea. But it is does, for those who don’t know any better.
I’m going to attempt to think of 10 reasons (in NO order because I will want to change my mind if I do that) as to why music this year was not shit. I may rant, I may not be able to think of 10 reasons.
-The Kills : Finally my favourite duo EVER released the flow-up to Midnight Boom. Blood Pressures is probably my favourite album of the year. However, come 7th November and I will say Florence’s album is. The Kills are a band that I will always love. They could (I know they won’t) make the most wankiest record ever, and I would still find something to love about it. Blood Pressures has a bluesy feel to it but still has the same raw vibe No Wow and Keep On Your Mean Side have. The Last Goodbye is the saddest song I’ve heard this year. If a song could break your heart, that would be it. The lyrics to Baby Says are stunning. I just ove how Jamie and Alison’s voices fit together. I think their bond is one of the greatest things ever. Everyone needs a friendship like that. “Send your love on a rampage, give her everything you’ve got. And when you come to hate her, show her more than just a spark” is one of the best lines off the album. However, not just from The Kills but my favourite line from a song that I have heard this year is easily, “How can I rely on my heart if I break it, with my own two hands.” The way Alison’s voice sounds on this is so beautiful but it just tears you up so much. I’m just happy to have another record by The Kills in my collection.
-The Horrors: I still want to slap people who dismiss The Horrors. Just like I want to slap those that think Skying sounds like Simple Minds. I think those that are saying these things are actually deaf. Or just extremely fucking stupid. Skying is the best album put out this year by an English group. I am still in love with the sound they had wth Strange House. But, I love how they have developed with each album. You cannot deny how much of a masterpiece Primary Colours was and still is. They’re just everything a band should be. They don’t justify what they do to anyone. They make music for them. That’s how it should be. They haven’t bought into a gimmick and gotten famous based on that. They are ALL fantastic musicians. Joshua is genius on that guitar. There aren’t enough words for me to describe my love for The Horrors.
-Zola Jesus: Quite simply one of my favourite female musicians ever. Her voice is so haunting. It takes over you and before you know it, you have been thrown into a world that you never thought existed. I love how dark and eerie her music is. I have every faith that her new album, Conatus is going to be nothing short of amazing. I love that her music just blows me away with every listen. I listen to songs such as Trust Me and Run Me Out, and this wave of amazement just takes over me. She has this force within her music that I’ve never heard in anyone before, she’s only 21 years old! I love the build-up in all her songs. It’s like this intense and euphoric takeover. Why didn’t this year suck because of Nika? Well, just listen to Vessel.
-The Weeknd: Of all the artists I found at stupid o’clock in the morning due to not being able to sleep, The Weeknd is hands down, the best thing I have discovered this year on the internet. I love his voice so much. So soulful. I love that he’s sampled Aaliyah’s voice on one of his songs and he’s also sampled Siouxise & The Banshees too. His Mixtapes are utterly mind-blowing. Trust me, you need this guy in your life. Head over to his wesite and get his Mixtapes. You’ll here amazing songs such as THIS TRACK!
-Cults: Okay, so I heard about this duo last year but their debut album came out this year so it’s allowed. What I love about this duo is their 1960s feel they have to their music. Never Saw The Point means so much to me, “I never saw the point in trying, ’cause I would only let you down. And I just couldn’t take you down there with me, I couldn’t stand to see you drown.” It’s just such a gorgeous and fragile song, I suppose that is why I adore it so much. Since its release lat year, Best Coast’s debut album has been played every day- I’m clearly going to do the same with Cults. I love that it doesn’t sound like anything around now. A fantastic debut album.
-Seapony: Seapony make me want to leave everything and everyone behind and just go live on a beach. I can’t swim, so I guess it’d be boring after a day or so. However, there is nothing more peaceful than looking out to a strectch of water listening to your favourite music. I’d love to do that to Seapony. I love the summer vibe they feel. Is it chillwave? I don’t know, I reckon they fit under the dream-pop genre. They remind me of The Drums mixed with Beach House and a hint of The Raveonettes. I just adore the whole sound and the gentle vocals. Especially on ongs such as Dreaming and Late Summer.
-Blood Orange: This year Dev Hynes released the first album of his current project, Blood Orange. I love everything he does. Whether it’s for others (Solange Knowles), as Lightspeed Champion or Blood Orange. Coastal Grooves is a MUST-HAVE in your collection. It’s such a strong album. It feels like New York City must have felt in the 1980s. It has a brilliant feel to it. It’s music you can just relax to and walk round the park in the sun to. There is no denying the genius that Dev is. He kills the guitar, he’s got such a distinctive voice. I just love love love him. Anything he does is just perfect.
-Summer Camp: Another duo that have won my heart over this year. I love everything about their music, however it is one song in particular that since first hearing it in February this year I have played every day. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t played it since. The synths kick in during this song and it is is SO good. Elizabeth’s voice is stunning. The lyrics to I Want You are so dark, and slightly brutal. But hey, all comes with liking someone, right? I don’t know. I like to think I don’t know. “You’re so smart, you break my heart” if someone said that to me, I’d be so flattered. It’s probably my favourite song of this year. If I was a DJ I’d play this all the time, and if no one danced to it- I’d bar them from the club.
-Morrissey: I could write an essay on this man until my hands were numb from typing. I’ve probably done it before to be honest. This year on Janice Long’s show, she played three new songs by my god, Morrissey. Every single song was perfect. For me, I fell more in love with Action Is My Middle Name. The lyrics are typical Morrissey- witty and oh so bloody charming. People Are The Same Everywhere- well, the title speaks for itself really. So true. What I love about Moz is that he has always done what is real and honest to him, he’s never answered to anyone. It’s something I admire and love about him. It’s why I love him. We should ALWAYS do things for us, that makes us happy- because the day you let others rule you, you are no longer a person. I saw him twice this year- and yes as soon as he walked on stage, I bawled. I’ve seen him 4 times so far, and each time I have gone with my mum. She loves him as much as I do. I could never ever go to a Moz gig with anyone but my mum, it’d be wrong. I told her this, and she agrees. Hopefully he wil release his new album soon. “Biting my initials into your neck. You are my possession, you don’t realise yet. Am I moving too fast for you? Am I begining to confuse you?” Only Morrissey could say such a thing. Hero. Absolute hero.
-Florence & The Machine: I really couldn’t make this list without mentioning Florence could I. After hearing What The Water Gave Me (studio version) I cannot ait for 7th November. I just know that her second album will blow my mind. My last article on Florence just sums up my love for her, so I won’t bore you with another essay. Her album is out in time for my birthday (HI MUM!!!!) and I am hoping there’s a tour. The sound has a more soulful and gospel feel to it which I love so much. I’m beyond happy that the album is out this year, some said that it would be out the start of 2012, I guess it’s too good to make us wait. Besides, she’s worked with Paul Epworth on it- you just know it is going to be THE album of the year.
As I feel like I have missed so much out, here are some tracks by artists that have made 2011 less shittier than it was:
Some may call it “dream-pop” or “surfer-pop.” Such silly lables really aren’t they. Personally, I’d just call it MUSIC. We don’t need to sub-catergorise music to justify it. It is what it is. So, how would one go about describing Seapony? Well, listen to the following and you can make your own mind up 🙂
Listening to their music just makes you feel like you are floating away from eveyrthing and into the unkown but it is entirely relaxing and comforting. They are the perfect band to carry with you all throughout the summer. Even if you are currently being exposed to torrential downpour. Oh England, how you let me down every summer!
If you enjoy the music of Best Coast, The Drums, Dum Dum Girls, Beach House etc then you’ll love Seapony (or at least you should!)