Everything

Ricky’s Favourite Songs of the Year

Posted on by Ricky in Everything, Year End Reviews | Leave a comment

Here we go. This year I basically just listened to whatever my friends and Spotify told me to listen to. The days of digging through the crevices of the music underbelly to find the next big bands are over – I leave that to the kids. My time is now consumed weaving through corporate bureaucracy, stuck in an endless cycle of self pity while collecting a decent paycheque.

Phoebe Bridgers – I Know the End
Don’t we all want to just scream at the end of a perfect folk song? I know I do. This song and/or other songs off the Punisher album was probably on everyone’s list. It’s a great record and this song just captures this year really nicely.

Khruangbin – Pelota
Few discoveries were more enjoyable than that of Khruangbin, the Texas trio whose music can’t be described as much as it has to be experienced. Maybe I miss traveling to my second home of Spain this year or something, but this track (sang in Spanish) has got a ton of funk and travel nostalgia attached to it. A pleasant diversion on an otherwise gloomy year.

Jayda G – Both of Us
This is the song you’d play in 2020 if you were hosting a big party and it’s the first hour and you want people to mingle and feel cool about being at your party. Obviously I am not having a party this year, but if you thought the virus was fake and didn’t give a shit about everyone else like half the people in the States, this is the track you’d put on in that precious first hour to set the table.

Su Lee – I’ll Just Dance
This super cute song may have my favorite music video of the year, and really captures that Covid feeling and the uncertainty of everything these days. But this music video is something else.

Austra – I am not waiting
I wouldn’t call this a comeback, because for me to say that I would have to know how successfull/unsuccesful Austra has been in the many years since they stormed the Toronto music scene. What I will say is that this year Austra released a stellar album and “I Am Not Waiting” leads the way. This is essentially just a great pop song but as is the case with Austra, Katie Stelmanis’s amazing voice always adds that extra bit of depth and drama to the song, it’s like the fish sauce of music pop world, just adds umami.

Jessie Ware – Spotlight

It’s been fascinating watching Jessie Ware morph from gentle ballads to dancefloor fillers. I guess she is in the drink a bottle of wine a night part of her life, and I’m here for it. This track, as with anything that is on her most recent record, just mooooooooves, but at the same time does not betray her sense of writing hooks. A great combination.

Retro Music Video Review of the Day: Placebo – Running Up That Hill

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This is one of my favourite music videos because god damn, Placebo fans put in some effort here. Why don’t more bands crowdsource their videos more?

There’s some major dramatic fan contributions here, let’s grade them because i’m bored.

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I think this guy thought he was submitting this to a 98 Degrees video – F

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Is this person cosplaying as Brian Molko? – A+

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Does it get more early ’00s than this haircut? All he’s missing is a nose ring – B

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This girl filmed it against a moving backdrop somehow – A+ for effort

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Points for creativity, but kinda dangerous to suspend recording equipment above a tub of water, no? I have to take points away for that – C

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This girl is too pretty and living in a way too scenic place to be participating in this video – D

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I think this guy’s late for his Tiga concert – C

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How humid is the place where this girl lives? 150%?

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Dude looks like he’s doing facetime, but actually singing Placebo in public – A

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“Then you really might know what it’s like”

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Why is this kid here?? What parent subjects their kid to this? F

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I mean this was Tik Tok before Tik Tok right?

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This was a good angsty move – I like it.

All in all, solid effort – fans!

This song was also in The OC season 4 episode 1, when Ryan decided to take up bare knuckle fighting in some illegal underground restaurant in Newport (????) after Marisa died in the previous season. No jokes.

Britpop(ish) Tournament Round 2 Preview

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Gruff Rhys

Round 2 is here! No surprises so far.

Some tough battles lie ahead. Vote here

Here’s a video of each of the bands.

Stone Roses
How can you not post this famous meltdown on their first TV appearance?

Pulp
This video is permanently embedded in my head as it eloquently capture one of the best moments in my life. The way the scrim goes away as soon as the first chorus hits. Bliss.

Suede
Despite being known more for their rock tracks (“The Drowners”, “Animal Nitrate”) or their pop tracks (“Trash”, “Beautiful Ones”), it’s the slower tracks that make it for me. Take “Still Life” – this is a stripped down version (vs Dog Man Star‘s triumphant orchestral version) and it’s still stunning.

Here is the piano based stunner “The Next Life” off of their first record

James
I love James, but they are going up against Pulp.

If you haven’t witnessed James live, you are missing out.

Manic Street Preachers
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? I have never seen this before. JDB singing a Beautiful South song???

Here is “Motorcycle Emptiness.” I like this video because I caught on to Manics in the late ’90s and had no idea JDB looked like this in another lifetime.

Blur
I normally hate Jimmy Fallon but this shit is too wholesome

Saint Etienne
This song is so good.

The Verve
It saddens me that “Bittersweet Symphony” got all the hype off that album. This is the heart.

Supergrass
Supergrass on Ali G:

Stereolab
One of my favourite shows from last year. Remember when we went to shows? Here’s Stereolab on Jools:

Radiohead
I can’t imagine randomly getting tickets to go see Conan and then fuckin’ Radiohead drops “Fake Plastic Trees” on you.

Lush
Late Shows were a treasure for discovering new music. Too bad they’re not that important anymore.

Super Furry Animals
This might be my favorite SFA song.

Elastica
Still good even to this day.

The Charlatans
Part of me feels like they should win due to Tim Burgess doing the #TimsTwitterListeningParty thing. Also, they are still going strong. Longevity has to count for something, right?

Oasis

I often forget about this Christmas single, but it’s quite good.

Britpop Tournament Preview 2 of 2: Part 2

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bpbattle

Welcome to the second part of our tournament preview. Once again, to summarize, we made a NCAA style tournament and seeded some bands. Below is a simple comment about each band, and a song we’ve added to our playlist.

Have a read!

Matchup 9

Blur001

Blur (2)
To go from being just another baggy (Manchester sounding band) to the kings of Britpop, wow. Suede may have kicked off Britpop, but “Girls & Boys” and “Parklife” both charting in the UK top 10 was when I knew this was something properly big. – Martin

Song: “Girls & Boys”

vs

Gene (30)
First time I saw Gene, I stood next to Justine Frischmann at the Sheffield Leadmill. Nothing particularly original about them, but, my god, their first few singles were amazing. – Martin

Song: “Be My Light, Be My Guide”

Matchup 10

St Etienne (14)
A proper pop band, with a great band name, in a fair and just world they would have had half a dozen number 1 singles. The intro to “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” is difficult to better. – Martin

Also – JOSH – we miss you. Talk soon.

Song: “Nothing Can Stop Us Now”

vs

Morrissey (19)
Morrissey’s stock has fallen faster than oil prices in recent years, but was anyone really surprised?” – Ricky

Song: “Everyday is Like Sunday”

Match 11

Ride001
Ride (11)
My brother saw them sign to Creation Records with Alan McGhee backstage at a gig in Sheffield. “Leave Them All Behind” is 8 minutes of brilliance. – Martin

I also asked Frank to give me a few words, but he ignored me.

Song: “OX4″

vs

Stereolab (22)
My friend Caroline said they don’t belong here because they weren’t Britpop, but Stereolab were always kind of outsiders so this makes perfect sense in this imperfect world. – Ricky

Song: “French Disko”

Match 12

The Verve (6)
If the video for Bittersweet Symphony was released in the age of social media #vervesidewalkchallenge would exist. – Ricky

Song: “The Drugs Don’t Work”

vs

Sleeper (27)
Let’s be honest, you discovered these guys on the Trainspotting soundtrack. – Ricky

Song: “Inbetweener”

Matchup 13

Suede (7)
Ricky’s favorite band. He’ll be hurt when they get eliminated, because not enough people know about the record Dog Man Star. Shame on all of you.

Song(s): “New Generation” + “Beautiful Ones”, because I love Suede and I think there’s two iterations of them in the Britpop years (Pre/Post Bernard)

vs

Shed Seven (26)
Until recently Ricky Witter kept the Britpop torch burning with his radio show ‘Disco Down’ – Ricky

Song: “Disco Down”

Matchup 14

Supergrass (10)
As an Immature teen, I was always displeased that Supergrass’s breakthrough into North America was for their 1999 self-titled record, instead of I Should Coco. Why? Who knows. So young. So gone. – Ricky

Song: “Alright”

VS

Ocean Colour Scene (23)
Songs For The Front Row is the ultimate cottage soundtrack – Ricky

Song: “The Day We Caught the Train”

Match 15

Lush (15)
One of the few bands to transition from the early 90’s shoegazing scene to Britpop. Single Girl was one of the biggest tunes of the era. And I once danced with Miki Lush at the Sheffield Leadmill (as in danced vaguely near her). – Martin

Song: “Single Girl”

vs

Teenage Fanclub (18)
Norman Blake now resides in Kitchener ON, this alone will guarantee Canadian votes. – Ricky

Song: “The Concept”

Match 16

Radiohead (2)
We’ve got Radiohead on this list, even though Thom York once described Britpop as something that made him “fucking angry.” Other than that, no real flaws with Radiohead. – Paul

Song: “Paranoid Android”

vs

Stereophonics (31)
Often derided for writing shitty songs, Stereophonics became quite popular despite a lack of critical acclaim. Also- were notoriously large Tragically Hip fans. RIP Stuart Cable. – Ricky

Song: “Dakota”

CLICK HERE TO VOTE