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2018 Best New Talent - Short and Sweet Festival Sydney
2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)
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Top Ten songs of 2013
There were many good songs this year. I had over a hundred in a shortlist, but few great ones. There was some quality ballads however, and as you will see, I'm still in touch with my inner teenager.
The Kite String Tangle - Given the Chance
I chose this one as they came out of nowhere (Brisbane), unsigned, with a crisply produced track like this. Great work. You can download it for free here.
Deepfieldview - She's adorable
An instrumental produced by the late Danny Lackey. I only learnt of his passing after I tried to contact him to say that I wanted to make a video out of his song, which you can see below. More of the story here.
Total Slacker - Sometimes you gotta die
Has a very familiar nineties feel yet can't quite place it's origins. Love the tongue in cheek video too.
Solkryi - Home
Sydney's post rock instrumentalists team up for the first time with a vocalist and produce one of the best tracks of the year. Not a single unfortunately but I would expect it soon. Debut album was released this year. http://solkyri.com/
Deer Tick - The Dream's in the Ditch
Taken from the alt-country rockers fifth album, this sounds embedded in the seventies, yet somehow smelling of roses. Guess it's timeless.
Low - Just Make it Stop
Another ballad from the husband and wife team. They've been around for twenty years and yet appear at the top of their game.
Teenage Sweater - Young Glitter
Another instrumental. This one with an eighties pop feel. Unfortunately it received little attention. I think it's a cracker. http://www.tricycle-records.com/artist/teenage-sweater/
Vance Joy - Play with Fire
I've heard this countless times and it never wearies. Should become a classic, at least in Australia, up there with Hunters and Collectors 'Throw your arms.'. Great lyrics from the singer/songwriter who has just signed a five album deal with Atlantic Records. A major coup. 'You say your heart is on your sleeve. Well, that ain't showing through to me.' And 'I see that I could no wrong, in my old man's eyes.' Play now. Repeat. Buy. http://vancejoy.com/
The Great American Canyon Band - Lost at Sea
Another great ballad with emotional lyrics. 'Lost at sea and I'm never coming home.' Many music videos detract from the song in some way, but this one complements it beautifully. http://thegacb.bandcamp.com/
ChVrches - The Mother we Share
Danceable yet imbued with emotion. Beautiful in every regard. Very eighties yet doesn't aim to appeal to radio stations by dropping the F bomb. It wears its heart on its sleeve, speaking of family in a way that seems very personal yet clearly universal. At just over three minutes it's easily the best song of the year for me. http://www.chvrch.es/
Three of the artists are Australian, one Scottish and the rest, American. Sorry Brits. You didn't do it for me this year.
Sigur Rós - Ísjaki
Wooden Shjips - Everybody Knows
The Polyphonic Spree - Popular By Design
Pond - Giant Tortoise
Youngblood Hawke - Say Say
Royal Concept - Cabin Down Below
Roddy Woomble - Listen To Keep
The National - I Should Live In Salt
Satellite Stories - Lights Go Low
The Drones - Why write a letter...
New Politics - Harlem
Dead Owls - Only Child
Junip - Line Of Fire
City Calm Down - Pleasure & Consequence
Washed Out - It All Feels Right
Minks - Ark of Life
Telekinesis - Ghosts And Creatures
Worlds end press - Cry
Stars - Hold on when you get love and let go when you give it
I'd love to hear your picks.