The darkness is better than daytime. I don’t really like daylight. I don’t like things shining brightly in my eyes, yet I hate sunglasses and in the summer, I just squint and go partially blind. My eyesight is awful at the best of times. It makes everything much more interesting. Sometimes.
My thing about the dark, is for a while (when I was a child) I was terrified of it. Then I grew out of it, and it became something that didn’t trouble me anymore. I don’t mind it getting dark at 4pm, it doesn’t bother me. I think I enjoy it more than still seeing everything clearly at 8pm you know? Sure the summer is nice, but I just like the dark. I like listening to certain bands when everything is dark; inside and out. For example, I cannot walk about in the daytime listening to Burial. It has to be dark out. I have to either be on the bus home or just lying in complete darkness. The music he makes creates something in your mind like no other. Seventeen Seconds by The Cure (their best record) is not a record I can listen to during the daytime either. It has to be pitch black, just to get the true and tense atmosphere of the record.
I can listen to the likes of Beach House, Warpaint, Morrissey, Captain Beefheart anytime. It doesn’t have to be light or dark. It can be anytime at all. Warpaint aren’t a band I feel I can sit and listen to with anyone else around. Maybe because if the person didn’t like them or get it, I’d be a bit (a lot) distraught. Aside from Stars, I can listen to Warpaint anytime.
Nick Cave, I can listen to him constantly. Grinderman, The Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party. Any of it, all of it at anytime. Much like Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. Most get lonely at night, but when you listen to certain songs you can feel lonely right there and then. Or maybe, you feel less alone. Music is such a powerful thing, and it can take you anywhere. It goes with you everywhere. I go to music before I go to a person. It is like a reference point or something. I’m not sure. This is so so badly written, and maybe I should say sorry. But I cannot say sorry if I am not. Do what you want.
The night-time is the perfect time to fix everything. Some fuck things up at night-time. You can do both. In whatever order you wish to do so. No one’s going to judge. And if they do? Whatever. Who cares. See, the night-time can also make you rant can’t it. Or maybe that’s just me.
I seem to be growing tired of writing. I have no idea why I do it. It’s not like any good comes from it, or anyone sees it or whatever. I do it, I suppose because a small part of me thinks I must. I probably shouldn’t. I’ll drag the writing about a bit longer. We can only go so far.
As it’s dark outside, thankfully; maybe these songs will indulge you in it a bit more.
The Weeknd as the most exciting thing to have happened to music this year, easily. You can keep your mundane and generic sounds. The Weeknd took R&B to a level it should’ve been at years ago. I still stand by that the genre lost all meaning when Aaliyah died. The production and sounds on her second album, One In A Million was so advanced and took you to a different world. That’s exactly what The Weeknd has done; especially with yesterday’s release Echoes Of Silence.
You know an artist is utterly incredible when their site crashes due to an insane amount of downloads. He has, no doubt, made R&B an exciting genre again. What I love about him, is that his music takes you mind to a different place- just like Burial does. There is something so stunning about The Weeknd’s music that just sets your soul on fire. You have to just put your headphones in, shut off the world, turn the lights off and go some place else. Just let yourself freely drift there. The journey to that place is so euphoric, the comedown isn’t something you should dwell on- just keep playing his music.
Echoes Of Silence is avaliable on his site for free download- as are his previous two mixtapes that you need in your life. If the current state of music leaves you crying into your hands most days- then let The Weeknd ease the pain and reinforce your faith in music again.
For the past year or so, I’ve been in awe of an artist called The Weeknd. He’s basically the best R&B artist around right now. He doesn’t have this boring and bland sound that many have. He has this soulful voice that sends on you some kind of euphoric trip. One of my favourite tracks of his, The Knowing now has a video. His music makes you feel like you are totally zoned out, on another planet. The video to The Knowing does exactly the same. Honestly, there’s nothing I can say about him that I and others haven’t already said. He’s the best at what he does; his mixtapes prove this, and so does this video.
I’m getting this out of the way now because it means I can edit this to high heaven and pretend I never missed a record out. I’ll change my mind and probably lose sleep over this. I don’t sleep, so that’s bullshit isn’t it. This year, musically, has been awesome. Aside from music, it’s been fucking awful. But that’s just my personal perspective. I don’t like to moan and bitch about shit I can’t do anything about because it just frustrates me. If I could make people I care for and love alright, I would. But I can’t. That itself has made this year borderline SHIT. Also, if I wake up on my birthday this year and I am not a Superhero, I will be pissed off. I’m aiming to be Psylocke or Wolverine. My obsession has been spiriling out of control for a long time. The older I get, the more convinced I am that I am a Superhero. Fuck it, maybe we all are. Deep down.
I suppose I better get on with this seeing as I have no chance of sleeping. This isn’t going to be in order. I dislike order, I welcome chaos.
Originally I was going to list 10 albums and bang on about them, but I thought better of it. Instead, I’m going to ramble on about as many albums as I can in different parts, because it gives me the ability to rant more.
The Horrors-Skying: If it possible to love an album likea child, then that’s how I feel about this record. What pissed me off the most about this was people who thought that The Horrors sounded like fucking Simple Minds on this record or that the band only started with Primary Colours. Piss off you uneducated shitstain of life (I’ve drank wine, potty mouth ahoy!) The Horrors started in 2005/2006. There was an EP, then Strange House came out. Their debut LP was beyond stunning. It was full of agressive garage rock sounds that just shattered your skull and shook your weary bones. If you dismissed this record and judged them by how they looked- then I hope you feel foolish and stupid. You missed out on something well and truly wonderful. Right, so Skying. Skying is perfect. Everything about this record is mind-blowing and earth-shattering. It’s like looking into the eyes of someone you adore (and they adore you too) and feeling so at peace, that nothing can touch you. The build up in Endless Blue is so good. It is full of euphoric sounds that make you feel you are entering another dimension. A lot judge The Horrors as being a dark, depressing band. Those that do this are obviously missing the point. Skying is pretty upbeat and just so ethereal. It gives you something no other band could. It makes you feel so open and hopeful. It is a truly wonderful album and easily the band’s best. Although I still hold Strange House so dear to my heart. You cannot expect a band to keep making the same record over and over. This is why I love Horrors, they are not afraid to push boundaries and make music that sounds so unreal, you have to slap yourself a few times because you cannot believe what you are hearing. Best British band? Damn right they are.
The Kills-Blood Pressures: I have no idea how I’m going to do this without becoming a mess. This album kept me sane, there’s no doubt about it. The album was released when I was not at my best, maybe I never am. Maybe that’s what keeps me going. Blood Pressures kept that part of me going that didn’t want to keep going. Every track on this record means the world to me. I adore every single song. I’ve loved Alison and Jamie since the very start. I own every record, and every single one has given me the same feeling. The feeling that, you know, it’s totally okay to be a shaking wreck or a bit mean. It’s okay to like the dark side, it is okay to question everything and everyone. It’s okay to be by yourself. The record just made me feel okay. Did it change things for me? In short, yes. I have played this record whilst making journeys that broke my heart. I’ve played this record when I didn’t know what to do with myself; when I had frustration and fury fidgeting in my mind. It’s basically my crutch. It kept me going and gave me some strength to carry on. Every single song is just perfect. Alison’s voice on The Last Goodbye breaks my heart every single time I play it. The line, “How can I rely on my heart, if I break it, with my own two hands.” Is EASILY my favourite lyric of the year. If I was ever asked to use a lyric to describe me, I’d probably us that. The beautiful Baby Says has the same vibe as a song by the Velvet Underground. It’s perfect. The Kills aren’t a band that you can casually stick on in the background. They are a band that make you fucking feel something so raw inside. It makes you feel like that, you just have to get up and do something. I don’t know what. They just give you this energy that makes you fight everything off until the bloody and bitter end. It’s soulful, it’s blusey, it’s punk, it’s raw. It is everything.
Zola Jesus-Conatus: When I played Stridulum II for the very first time last year, I nearly gave myself third degree burns because I was cooking as I was playing it. My attention was all on Nika’s delicate and haunting voice. Conatus basically had the same effect. I played it and I couldn’t focus on anything. I could’ve been looking at something mesmirising, but I would’nt be able to focus. All my thoughts and energy would be on the record. Conatus,to me, is just a wonderful work of fragile art. It shows just how vulnerable the human soul can be. All too many times we are told to be strong and to just deal with it. You know what? Sometimes you can’t be strong, sometimes you just have to let go and lose yourself. Personally, I think that shows greater strength. Nika is only 22 years old, and she is making works of art that someone like Chris Corner or Lou Reed would make. Her music makes you see everything in a different light, that’s why I love her. Her music is dark and intense- two things that I love about music. If it dark and makes me feel creeped out; I will fall in love with it. There’s something so enigmatic and captivating about her music, it is truly divine. She makes you feel things you probably should be afraid to feel, but isn’t that what music should be about?
The Weeknd-House Of Balloons: I have no idea if I am impressed easily or not. I guess with music it is hard to move me. With people? There’s been very few who have amazed me, I could give you names; but I’m not that kind of person. I heard of The Weeknd last 2010. What You Need was the track I remember listening to on YouTube. I’m a huge fan of R&B, but the good stuff. Think artists such as Jodeci, Aaliyah, SWV, Ginuwine- that kind of feel you know? Along comes The Weeknd and I feel like I’ve been taken into a different universe. When Timbaland and Missy produced Aaliyah’s second record, One In A Million they made this sound that was so futeristic and powerful. You were unsure if anything could be like this again. Move on well over a decade, and you still question if a sound can be created like that again; that makes you feel so strange inside. It makes you turn to jelly and you love it. The Weeknd’s music is just mind-blowing. He’s done this all by himself, the last installment in his trilogy is due soon. I’m so excited about it. Thursday is an amazing mixtape, but House Of Balloons just blew me away. What did it for me was his sample of Siouxsie’s Happy House. As someone who has a massive obsession with Siouxise, I was unsure about this. I had nothing to fear at all. House Of Ballons/Glass Table Girls became one of my favourite tracks of the year. The album is just in a different league of its own. The Weeknd is on a different level, no doubt. This is how R&B should be sounding. Fuck it, it’s how music should be sounding. It should be pushing the listener and making you feel things so deep inside of you that you don’t know what to do with yourself.
I know I rarely sleep, but I’m going to try sleep and think of more albums to continue with tomorrow. I’ll probably be pissed off if this disturbs my slumber and I turn my laptop on at 4am with the urge to write. It happens a lot, I just learn to fight it.
My biggest musical obsession this year has been mainly directed at The Weeknd. I’ve tried to work out why I love his music so much, but to be honest you don’t always need to explain it do you? You like what you like. You hate what you hate. You don’t always need to justify it.
When I heard his first mixtake this year, House Of Balloons, I was instantly blown away. I remember hearing Timbaland’s music in 1996 and the production was so good. So fucking good. The music he made with Aaliyah was instantly timeless. One In A Million will ALWAYS be one of the greatest albums ever, on so many levels. The Weeknd has created a sound that makes me feel the way Timbaland did in ’96. The futuristic feel in his music is unlike anything else around right now. His sample of Siouxsie & The Banshees Happy House is easily one of the best samples I’ve heard in a long time.
His new track, Initiation has a chopped up sound to it. Normally I’m not a fan of the chopped up sound, but this is RIDICULOUS. It is amazing. It fucks with your head and you just zone out. That’s pretty much what you get from The Weeknd’s music. His last mixtape, Thursday is astounding. I just can’t get enough of his music. It’s perfect to listen to when you’re on a bus or train late at night and just need to go some place else in your mind.
I hate remixes. Okay, maybe hate is a bit harsh. I dislike greatly. Keep the song as it is, do not mess with it. However, if you feel the need to do so- you better make sure it’s bloody good.
This year, one of my favourite artists has EASILY been The Weeknd. He’s taken R&B to a different level. He’s doing something that’s not been done before, and I’m still in awe of his sample of Siouxsie & The Banshees on House Of Balloons.
He’s recently remixed Florence & The Machine’s Shake It Out. If I wasn’t a fan of The Weeknd, I’d probably dislike this. But, I’m a huge fan of him and of course, a massive fan of Florence. It doesn’t have the same hymn/Church feel to it, but that’s okay. The whole pont of a remix is to make it different, and that’s exactly what The Weeknd has done.
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:
What’s 21 years old and makes sexy music? I hate the word “sexy.” It’s so tacky isn’t it. Not with this. Oh the answer by the way is, The Weeknd.
The Weeknd is 21 year old Canadian Abel Tesfaye. He’s slightly like James Blake but with soul. A lot more soul. I love James Blake but The Weeknd is on a whole different level to what is around right now. I imagine this is the kind of music you play to a lover or something. I’m starting to sound like either someone’s Grandma or a pervert. I’m neither.
I was aware of his music just before I started listening to James Blake. I heard the name being mentioned on several American music sites I read, so I listened. And with his mixtape causing the internet to go mental a few days ago, I thought now would be a good time to share him with you.
Wicked Games was one of the first songs I heard by The Weeknd. Mind was well and truly blown. Seriously. This isn’t music you lay on your bed thinking about life too. It’s music to play on the nightbus just wanting to get home. It’s got that feeling to it, I can’t explain.
I honestly have no idea if the UK will care about him, they should. But sadly, the media is wrapped up in vile reality shows so anything with real, raw talent is constantly ignored. I’d take someone like The Weeknd over your generic, repetative chart music any day.
I’ll tell you what The Weeknd reminds me of- The xx. It’s dark and atmospheric. Yes the lyrics are sexually charged, but that is by no means a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s fucking brilliant. I just love everything about The Weeknd’s music. The way it’s produced, his voice, the drum machine. Everything and anything. It’s just so utterly perfect. The build-up in all the songs will cause your body to tense up and leave you covered in goose-bumps, like all good music should.
Oh, and he samples Aaliyah’s vocals on What You Need which is just beautiful. She’s my favourite female singer of all time, and he uses her vocals in such a gorgeous way.