Christmas can already be painful enough without music dredging up rotten memories. Nonetheless, ‘Christmas Will Break Your Heart’, a special release by James Murphy, under his LCD Soundsystem moniker, is too solid to ignore.
LCD Soundsystem was thought to be all but over, with its final show taking place at Madison Square Garden, New York, in April 2011. Versions of this new song have exist for some eight years, Murphy said in a passage shared with the upload.
“For the holidays we give you the previous, very long run-on sentence, and this song: ‘christmas will break your heart’, which is another one of those songs which had about 75 lines of lyrics, though we’ve knocked down to 8 to keep the suicide rate in check,” he wrote.
’Tis not the season for melancholy, but you may begrudgingly find Murphy’s taken on Christmas blues to be accurate. Just make sure you give yourself a jolt of aural gin to keep yourself on the level.
Here we are: after 40 albums, we’ve reached 2015’s top 10. Before we get to the albums themselves, allow me to briefly reflect on the year that was and what it meant for music.
In more ways than one, 2015 has been a year of conservatism: UK voters elected the Conservative party for its second consecutive term; acts of terror have caused many to adopt conservative, even prejudicial, attitudes towards those that do not share their skin colour, beliefs or culture; and, in the world of music, known quantities continue to attract the most marketing dollars, media attention and consumer sales. On the surface, it would seem that the nonconformists, the mavericks, the idealists and those that would dare to dream have all been ignored.
Hopefully these final 10 albums will express what I mean by that, each in their own way.
10. Ibeyi – Ibeyi
9. Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now
8. Little Boots – Working Girl
7. Blur – The Magic Whip
6. BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
5. The Skints – FM
4. Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin
3. Denai Moore – Elsewhere
2. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
1. Andreya Triana – Giants Continue reading →
Contrary to what the collage above may lead you to think, albums 20 to 11 are not an all-black soirée – I just wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to get the gorgeous faces of Raury, Lianne La Havas, Dornik and Eska on a single spread.
We’re steaming towards the top-crop by way of these first 10 phenomenal records, which include avant-garde works, retro-chic disco and stupendous acts of personal atonement.
20. Golden Rules – Golden Ticket
19. Jamie xx – In Colour
18. Dornik – Dornik
17. Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern
16. Eska – Eska
15. Raury – All We Need
14. The Milk – Favourite Worry
13. Björk – Vulnicura
12. Lianne La Havas – Blood
11. Rae Morris – Unguarded Continue reading →
In part three of this year’s albums round-up, we have old-new soul man Leon Bridges, the ethereal excellent of Wolf Alice, the everyday empress of garage rock Courtney Barnett, a whole lotta funk, and a Brazilian funkstress that is more than a match for Shakira’s hip-shaking.
30. Mark Ronson – Uptown Special
29. Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
28. Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool
27. Flavia Coelho – Mundo Meu
26. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
25. D’Angelo – Black Messiah
24. Leon Bridges – Coming Home
23. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
22. Jazmine Sullivan – Reality Show
21. Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators – Happiness in Every Style Continue reading →
Director: JJ Abrams Starring: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega
History has taught us that anybody attempting to revive a film series as monolithic and beloved as Star Wars was doomed to fail. There is too much legacy, too much expectation and too many stakeholders to please, the naysayers said. JJ Abrams and crew have just proved them wrong, because The Force Awakens revitalises the series with the spirit and spectacle many have longed for. Continue reading →
The countdown continues with Disclosure, Songhoy Blues, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis and two rising stars from different sides of the Atlantic.
40. Disclosure – Caracal
39. Marina and the Diamonds – Froot
38. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – The Third
37. Belle & Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
36. Songhoy Blues – Music in Exile
35. Years & Years – Communion
34. Oshun – Asase Yaa
33. Sherika Sherard – Just Saying
32. Gengahr – A Dream Outside
31. Everything Everything – Get to Heaven Continue reading →
Here we go – somewhat later than planned this year, it must be said. The first set of albums from my picks this year includes some of the year’s catchiest chart music to some seriously overlooked gems for jazz and surf rock fans. Let’s get stuck in.
50. Black Rivers – Black Rivers
49. Peace – Happy People
48. Miguel – Wildheart
47. ASAP Rocky – At Long Last ASAP
46. The Chemical Brothers – Born in the Echoes
45. Summer Twins – Limbo
44. Rudimental – We the Generation
43. The Gene Dudley Group – Zambidoose
42. Ella Eyre – Feline
41. Jess Glynne – I Cry When I Laugh Continue reading →
South London producer Paul White and Florida rapper Eric Biddines teamed up to release one of 2015’s funkiest hip hop records, Golden Ticket by Golden Rules.
Now the duo have released a whimsical, festive-themed hip hop single to keep us going through these dim December days. A great track that reminds me of the sentiment of Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home for Christmas’. Continue reading →