What I listened to in 2016

Marlon Williams

I was really stunned by Williams’ take on this song. After watching it about eighty times and making all my friends watch it in controlled silence, with constant visual attention, I’m still not sick of it. Check out a couple of songs from his album which came out in February 2016 here

The Lemon Twigs (see Lemon Twigs @ Hare & Hounds)

I actually found about these guys from the Song of the Week crew on Twitter. I ask myself ‘what’s not to like about The Lemon Twigs’ and the unshakeable reply is ‘nothing’. Their album has been percolating through my brain ever since and I even got to see them in November. And they got to see ME which must have been pretty awesome for them.

Thee Oh Sees

“Don’t you know how much I don’t love you” What can I say? They keep releasing mind altering music at an alarming rate, and this particular dose of Thee Oh Sees contaminated my auditory canal for some weeks. I just kept replaying The Axis like a test rat repeatedly pressing a red button to release pleasurable brain chemicals in a laboratory.

Demon Fuzz

If you want to look cool at a poker game withe some hip dudes, then drop some Demon Fuzz and shut the freak up. There’s even a cover of I Put a Spell on You in the mix. That’s all that needs to be said about Afreaka!

Dungen

Flute you say? I’ve got just the meatball for you. Swedish neo-psychedlia band Dungen have been around since 1999 waiting for me to discover them.

Jaye Bartell

Light Enough came out in April 2016, but this track has been dossing about on YouTube since February. Ever since then I’ve had it marked as a song of the year contender

Attic Abasement

Again, Dream News was released on May 27, 2016 on Father/Daughter Records – but I’ve been returning to this track since February. Another strong SOTY contender.

Anenon

Something a bit saxual. A slowly evolving masterpiece from Los Angeles producer Brian Allen Simon (aka anenon).

Nick Carter

Nick Carter describes this remarkable album as “the culmination of a slightly obsessive idea I had about sound.” Built around heavily distorted piano backed with bass, drums, and touches of guitar and sitar, its six tracks are frequently dreamy and hypnotic (reflecting Carter’s belief that “repetitive music radiates an unusual ethereal depth”), but can also be unnervingly intense. Recorded in Bristol, England, in 1978-’79, it was pressed in a tiny run aimed at generating major label interest; when that failed to materialize, Carter left music behind. (taken from www.forcedexposure.com)

Julian Cope

I just hadn’t heard it before and it’s beautiful, far more captivating than the better know ‘World Shut Your Mouth’ single.

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The Lemon Twigs @ Hare & Hounds, BM

“These words, these words, mean nothing to my soul”

They’re from Long Island, NY and they have waists that must make shopping for trousers extremely difficult. I remember seeing Jimmy Pages slacks in the V&A museum and thinking the same thing. Perhaps one day Brian D’Addario’s stripey flares will be hanging in a rock n’roll hall of fame somewhere in New York attracting glances from fans all over the world. In the future when seasoned fans have listened to their debut album ‘Do Hollywood’ time and time again, and new converts have heard ‘These Words’ so many times growing up that it’s ingrained in their DNA. Because, believe me, this album will last the test of time. And, just like Biann and Mike grew up listening to musical legends from across the decades, future musicians will look to them for inspiration.

What is it that makes them so great? Marty! we have to go back to the future to answer that one… get ready for some strained musical analysis from a complete layman. Ready? 1…2….3….4…. I think, non-standard time signatures play a big part in creating their sound. Or at least the transitions between tempos, the fast about-turns and graceful retardation into something completely different – the very stylistic pulse that makes it so bloody hard to dance to for more than a minute before realizing you missed a beat. I think you need music running through your veins to pull off these arrangements. Acrobatic song writing that never once stumbles and face plants the mat. It’s this, foremost, that elevates a song above just a catchy riff and a harmonious melody.

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Between songs the siblings trade passive aggressive remarks. They sometimes sound a bit like the ninja turtles arguing over a slice of pizza – ‘Hey Mikey! You’ve already had two slices..what’s the next song again?’
I would say they were in need of a few extra slices of pizza, but I too was an undernourished lad at that age (17 and 19) with atrophied arms and straws for legs. A very desirable body type for people wanting to wear vintage t-shirts and have hair like an extra from Austin Powers. I would’ve fitted right in with The Lemon Twigs.

What else makes them great? Bear with me on this one… something about them is off-kilter, alien almost, and you know what that means. It means you can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. It’s like they’ve burst out of Jim Henson’s workshop and onto the stage and if you look away you just might miss that miracle.
The duos youth and physicality really pumps you up during the set – Mike was literally kicking the roof and letting the plaster fall around him. When you get that kind of display it becomes your duty to follow suit (by slightly speeding up your wiggle)

Go and see The Lemon Twigs now, before they leave you behind…