Monday Mixtape


What to write, what to write? I’ve been struggling with this weeks mix tapes. I dedicated a lot of time this week to trying to reacquaint myself with podcasts and have unintentionally not listened to much music except for a brief foray into blues music. In a week or two I imagine I’ll be offering a fairly esoteric blues mix tape, but watch this space for that one. I ended up thinking, however, that in the closing weeks of this year I will inevitably do one or two mix tapes that are about, either, my favourite albums of the year or my favourite songs (possibly both will happen). The problem is though it has again been a great year for new music and any song choices I make for a list of favourite songs would omit many tracks equally worthy of inclusion. Therefore I decided to offer up a couple of this years stand out songs that, unfortunately, probably would not make my end of year list. So here’s a bunch of stuff released this year that I hope you’ll think is pretty great too.

(You can listen to the whole playlist here)

1)    Nadine Shah – Aching Bones

Critically she is being pitched somewhere between Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, and, to be honest, I can’t argue with that comparison. The rhythm guitar that thuds and steamrolls this track along sold me immediately.

2)    The Men – The Seeds

The Men are growing to be one of those band that are looked over in the underground because they don’t generate enough hype, while producing albums that are consistently great. This year’s New Moon is no different and here is one of the standout cuts.

3)    Tera Melos – Slimed

There is such a strong 90s, California slacker sound to this track that I cannot resist it. What really sold me was the use of alternate time-signature and a wildly uncommon riff.

4)    Earl Sweatshirt – Chum

Earl Sweatshirt is a perfect example of looking back to go forward. His album is a great antidote to the hyper-produced, hyper-egoistical, hyper-misogynistic world of hip-hop being received in the mainstream. His rhymes explore identity and his personal anxieties whilst his beats are reminiscent of the De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest in a minor key. A standout album of the year.

5)    Deerhunter – Back to the Middle

Their latest record didn’t receive as much positive praise as their previous albums, but in spite of all that, for me, Monomania is a very fun album; and if you can have fun with music, isn’t that enough, really. And try to deny this gem, it’s lovely.

6)    Waxahatchee – Lips and Limbs

I really like Waxahatchee. I mean, I really, really like Waxahatchee. She is incredibly reminiscent of the sound K Records effectively trademarked in the 90s that I was obsessed over in my teens, and she does it brilliantly. Check out her first album, American Weekend, too, for a stripped down acoustic sound.

7)    Summer Twins – The Good Things

This may be a track out of season now, for it definitely is best suited to the summer months, but it’s just an absolute joy to hear. Try not to feel better when listening to this song, it’s almost impossible.

(Read more about Tom here)