My Songs of 2016

Given singles are increasingly irrelevant, I’ve done a list of songs I loved this year.

Click on the title for the Spotify playlist. I’ve not put them in any particular order but suffice to say that Bowie’s comeback was my musical highlight of 2013. I thought nothing could beat the rush of waking up to his surprise single in January but watching him back in action in the The Stars (Are Out Tonight) video was awe-inspiring. Nothing else comes close, which is saying something as there are some astounding albums in this list.

They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories.. – The Bullitts
Pale Green Ghosts – John Grant
Rewind The Film – Manic Street Preachers
Pure Heroine – Lorde
Electric – Pet Shop Boys
Upstream Color – Shane Carruth
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Once I Was An Eagle – Laura Marling
Immunity – Jon Hopkins
The Electric Lady – 
Janelle Monáe
{Awayland} – Villagers
Pedestrian Verse – Frightened Rabbit
Reflektor – Arcade Fire
The Diving Board – Elton John
The Thieves Banquet – Akala
Mosquito – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tales of Us – Goldfrapp
Trouble Will Find Me – The National
The Next Day – David Bowie
The 1975 – The 1975

My Albums of 2013

The remarkable thing is that this grim misery is skilfully and appealingly delivered with wit and affection – these are not tales of woe to be pitied but rather testimonies to the strength to be found in our shared inadequacies. In immediately identifying himself as the target of his ire Hutchison brilliantly makes the misanthropy of the opening Act Of Man (featuring brutal lines like “Man – he breeds although he shouldn’t/He’s breeding just because he cums”) not only palatable but sympathetic. There is no superiority here at all but rather identification – “I am just like all the rest of them/Sorry, selfish, trying to improve”. This message is all the more conspicuous for being carried on the back of a sky-scraping musical backdrop which ticks all the boxes of a ‘stadium anthem’ (including guitar which heavily recalls U2) while avoiding the hollow bombast which that phrase implies.


The new Frightened Rabbit album is well worth checking out. My review at the link above etc.

Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse