Paul’s Favourite Songs of the Year

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2020 was not a great year by any standard, but there was still a lot of great music that came out this year. So continuing on from Ricky’s recent rundown of his favourite songs to come out this year, here’s a few of the songs I enjoyed quite a bit this year.

Molly Tuttle – A Little Lost
I first discovered Molly Tuttle last year (and subsequently came to regret not catching her November 2019 show at The Horseshoe – who could have predicted that’d be my last chance to see her live for the foreseeable future?) but this was the year I really got into her discography, beginning with her most recent release, a collection of covers entitled …but i’d rather be with you. Her cover of Arthur Russell’s “A Little Lost” stood out as one of the highlights, but it’s a great album overall that really shows off her talents as both a guitarist and a singer.

Shitkid – Waste of Time
Like a lot of musicians who weren’t able to tour through most of this year, Åsa Söderqvist of Shitkid turned to recording instead. And while there were others who were more prolific (top prize would likely go to Daniel Romano, who put out a total of 9 albums this year … though I didn’t listen to most of those, so he’s not on this list), Shitkid did end up putting out a total of four releases this year. “Waste of Time” comes from her 20/20 Shitkid album, which came out in September on PNKSLM Recordings.

Kelly Lee Owens – On
Kinda sad video but a great song from Kelly Lee Owens’ latest, Inner Song.

Tim Burgess – Empathy For The Devil
Tim Burgess deserves an honourable mention for this year based solely on him starting up the “Tim’s Twitter Listening Party” series, which helped to bring people together through a shared love of music, but he also released a pretty solid album (I Love The New Sky) this year as well.

The Beths – I’m Not Getting Excited
With their 2018 debut Future Me Hates Me, The Beths became one of my favourite acts to emerge over the last few years and with their second album Jump Rope Gazers, they continue to impress. Oh how I envy the people of New Zealand who will be able to see the band on tour next month …

Ricky’s Favourite Songs of the Year

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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.

Song Of The Day: Diet Cig – Who Are You

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With the end of any year comes a time of looking back and reflecting on the year that was and, well … this year was a lot. This year was a year that most of us are pretty eager to put in our rear view. That said, we are a music blog, so of course we’re taking the time to look back over the music that came out this year, including the stuff that somehow missed our attention when it first came out.

One such album is Diet Cig‘s sophomore album Do You Wonder About Me?, released back in May of this year, which somehow already seems like the far distant past, so it’s no big surprise that I had somehow forgotten that the band even put an album out this year. Luckily, the band released a video for single “Who Are You?” earlier this month as a reminder. Check it out below.

Song Of The Day: Viagra Boys – In Spite Of Ourselves (with Amy Taylor)

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If you were to make a list of acts least likely to release a song in tribute to the late, great John Prine, Swedish post-punkers Viagra Boys would probably be pretty high on that list, yet somehow their version of Prine’s “In Spite Of Ourselves” absolutely works.

Check out the video below for Viagra Boys’ “In Spite Of Ourselves” featuring Amyl & The Sniffers vocalist Amy Taylor in the Iris Dement role.