2011 was a massive year for Fife’s best loved secret King Creosote aka Kenny Anderson. His album with Jon Hopkins, ‘Diamond Mine’, was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize and made it into the final 10. For a minute, I and countless other Scots were sure he was going to walk away with the prize, only to be pipped to the post by the largely disappointing ‘Let England Shake’ by PJ Harvey. Not to fear though, with songs as stunning as ‘Bats In The Attic’, we all know who the real winner was.
This is a lovely, chilled out curious little song. I find myself asking ‘what the fuck was that noise there? Was it a piano? a guitar?’ with every listen. 2011 was the year that these Edinburgh chaps suddenly started cropping up in the pages of NME and being lured down to play south of the border, and it was this song that kick started the sudden interest. Here’s hoping, that in 2012, PET build on what they’ve started.
Leeds band This Many Boyfriends caught my attention this year, with ‘Young Lovers Go Pop!’. A massively catchy pop tune, with terrace chant style ‘Whoah oh ohs’ and pounding drums (so good that they get name checked in the actual lyrics). You’d be hard pushed to find a better indie pop song this year.
My (nearly) 3 year old son can instantly identify a great song. No fucking shit. He does two things: 1) Starts dancing in a crazy excited fashion and 2) Begins humming the melody of the song before the melody has kicked in. Memorable. Great songs are memorable. ‘Ffunny Frends’, the lo-fi Prince meets Beefheart freaky funk madness signature tune of Kiwi Ruban Neillson aka Unknown Mortal Orchestra, is such a beast.
How stupidly fucking talented, beautiful and cool can one person be? American born Annie Erin Clark, she who is St Vincent, is that very person. Once a member of The Polyphonic Spree and part of Sufjan Stevens touring band, she’s not only drop dead gorgeaus but plays guitar with a ferociousness and inventiveness not seen in years. Oh and she and has the pipes to m tooatch. Her album ‘Strange Mercy’ has been troubling the top regions of most end of year polls, which this little beauty features on. Sounding like something Prince only wishes he could write these days, one listen to the batshit craziness of ‘Cruel’ and you’ll be humming that bastard guitar hook for the rest of 2012.
A familiar staple in the Edinburgh/Anstruther indie pop kids live set, 2011 saw them finally record their much loved King Creosote cover. With a face melting accordian solo (yes you heard that right) from the King himself Kenny Anderson, this was the sound of a band taking their hero’s song and making it their own. Fucking Braw.
My top 20 songs of the year won’t be to everyones liking. They’re not all beard-stroking numbers. 2011 saw me fall in love with indie pop all over again and big massive catchy tunes. Folk music was out (thanks Mumford & Sons and your sea of immitators) and songs that I could get drunk to and try and attempt to dance were in. I certain new band from America (you’ll find them in my 10-1 list) completely stole my heart and a few Scottish bands made me go “Gadzooks!!”.
11. Friends – im his girl bassline of the year. No contest.
12. Arctic Monkeys – Don’t sit down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair I’ve not really enjoyed their music for a good few years now, but was immediately hooked to this song’s Josh Homme heaviness and piss taking lyrics. It’s big, dumb and stoopid.
13. Allo darling – lets go swimming Twee as fuck, and thanks to repeated plays by Josie Long, it became one of my most listenedto songs.
14. Cold Specks – Holland
15. Cashier No9 – Lost At Sea
16. King Post Kitsch – You Talk Too Much with the spirit of stiff little fingers hanging over the chords this catchy little number’s all the better for it. SHOULD’VE BEEN A SINGLE!
17) Spook School – Hallam ukele, seagulls, haunting melody. A cracking wee song inspired by ‘Hallam Foe’ by these Edinburgh newcomers
18. Summer Camp – better off without you 2011 saw a bombardment of cutesy boy/girl duos mainly from London, this one made up of Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Walmsley, were one of the better ones. This – the opening song on their latest album ‘Welcome To Condale’, regardless of what anyone else tells you, is the best most ridiculously 80’s pop thing on it.
19. The Strokes – under cover of darkness the one good thing about a shit new album, that could easily stand up next to anything on ‘Is This It’.
20. Los Campesinos! – hello sadness: with one of their earliest and my favourite songs (you!me!dancing!) finding its self soundtracking a fucking budweiser advert off all things, Gareth Campesino! & Co had plenty to be sad about; this, thankfully, wasn’t one of them