Aah…we had so much hope for this year becoming the one where we would return to normality. Little did we know! Things would just progress as Covid started outsmarting us and showing its many faces whilst we are hiding ours almost permanently behind masks.
We didn’t have the creative outburst that we had in 2020, as our initial found freedom turned sour and let to depression and frustration for many souls. That, of course doesn’t mean we didn’t have many great releases, because music, as always seems to be one of the few things in life that never lets down. Unfortunately, I have to say, scrolling through lists and recommendations, I found many bland summaries of unimaginative hipster mixes and autotuned dreariness that were “sold” as unique and interesting. I have no idea what these editors are on.
I personally think that Architecture of the Ages was a definite highlight, but I cannot pick that as I was on it! Simon and I did muster up a few lists of singles and albums that we have been playing a lot or just think is worthy of a mention. I made a little Spotify playlist of these favourites for your listening pleasure. More classic indiepop from Simon, more bop from me!
Enjoy! Happy Holidays and a happier New Year!
Estella Rosa’s Top 5’s:
- Lunarette – Tangerine Spritz (90’s indie dance revisited: this track’s boss and has been on repeat here many times. Man that bit from 1:45!)
- Men I Trust – Tides (on repeat on repeat on repeat : a perfect blend of soothing contentment, fluffy clouds and unsettling eeriness.
- Thundercat ft. Louis Cole & Genevieve Artadi – Satellite (with these legendary names involved things just cannot go wrong. Impossible!)
- Redspencer – All I do (60’s psychpop in a newish coat, or spencer. Redspencer are Australia’s best kept secret!)
- Rachel Love – The Long way Around (My fav single from that outstanding album. Instant Scritti vibes guaranteed!
- Lunarette – Clair de Lunarette (strangely enough, this just preceded Tangerine Spritz and different in sound, but just superb danceable dreampop!)
- Rachel Love – Picture in Mind (amazing debut from ex Dolly Mixture Rachel that makes up for the loss of Margo Guryan)
- Men I Trust – Untourable Album (these people have a signature sound that is unrivalled, although many try… and fail!)
- Laure Briard – Eu Voo (outstanding Neo Bossa Nova by French Laure and her Brazilian troops)
- You’ll Never Go To Heaven – Wave your Moonlight Hat for the SnowFall Train (let go of what you believe music/songs should be like and listen/experience)
Simon Heavisides’ Top 5’s:
- Pale Blue Eyes – TV Flicker (right at the post punk/dream pop sweet spot, roll on that album…)
- Nah… – Dagen van Gras, Dagen van Stro (such a unique atmosphere on this one, balanced between sadness and catharsis)
- Blue Arcade – Somebody Else (Aussie indie-pop with depth, Blue Arcade make it look effortless)
- The Francine Odysseys – Before You (the terror of new love articulated perfectly)
- Desperate Journalist – Personality Girlfriend (less post-punk more jangle pop but just as impassioned, great video as well)
- Catenary Wires – Birling Gap (for anyone who says something along the lines of, ‘they don’t make them like that anymore’ well, you know what? They do. All killer no filler as someone once presumably said)
- The Chills – Scatterbrain (a record that reminded me why I loved them in the first place. Jangle pop New Zealand style: peerless)
- Rachel Love – Picture in Mind (a future classic, beautiful pastoral bliss)
- The Reds, Pinks and Purples – Uncommon Weather (another future classic in the making? Maybe, certainly many of the qualities that probably made you fall in love with ‘real‘ indie pop are here in abundance)
- Spearmint – Holland Park (twenty six years on Spearmint have amassed a mind-blowingly great back catalogue, but guess what? Holland Park is another gem. Heartfelt, moving, literate, but above all else such great songs)