Jonathan O’Shea returns to share his top fifteen tracks of 2014 over the course of the next three days. In this inaugural instalment, the 2011 ‘Midlands rear of the year’ nominee counts down numbers 15 through 11.
The Festive Fifteen, my favourite tracks of the year, is on the way to becoming an annual tradition (I think this the 6th one).
Each Christmas holiday, I like to review the great new music that’s been produced over the past twelve months and make sense of it all by pointlessly ranking some of it and then clumsily boxing it up like a scraggy bundle of deep-fried chicken. Then I present it to the world.
Here, in the first slice of a triple-header, I give name five of the past twelve months’ stand out releases that narrowly missed out on top ten honours.
15. Temporary Ground – Jack White
Straying across archetypal White Stripes slide-guitar territory, and lending brilliant use of Lillie Mae Rische’s ethereal vocals, this song even has a gleefully ghoulish whistling bit halfway through.
14. Talking Backwards – Real Estate
For anyone who’s endured the silent torture of time spent with a loved one who only ever hears their own version of events. A delightfully dreamy way of airing a universal frustration.
13. Government Trash – Death From Above 1979
Sonic assault on…well, everything (I think). Three minutes of relentless ass-kicking anti-authoritarianism. “Nothing is free/Call the police/They dress to kill/I dress to die!” You get the idea.
12. Liberty (Is Where We’ll Be) – Gruff Rhys
Builds from a shuffle into a strident, if typically wry, ode to freedom (and Welsh pioneers.) Glorious pedal-steel guitar too.
11. Archie, Marry Me – Alvvays
Instant indie classic. Melancholic Camera Obscura-esque vocals, wonderfully witty wedding-related lyrics about floral arrangements and bread-makers, and lilting 90s guitars.
Remember to tune back in tomorrow to find out which tracks made the cut for positions 10-6. If you do we’ll save a puppy, if you don’t we’ll slump into rice milk addiction and over zealous bouts of tea bag folding.