I am back home for Christmas and I am writing this from my parent’s house. As such, I thought it would be fitting to post the song that most reminds me of the mix tapes my father made for long childhood car journeys which I have written about extensively.
I think this stands out most because of the uniformly wacky lyrics. It is typical of this eclectic duo, who are more than just a novelty act and put out some pretty great poppy electronica music.
I was attending Mardi Gras with Fidel Castro
Buxom cross dressers threw fake gold coins at our feet
As we discussed the fate of the revolution
Suddenly, CIA men dressed in bikinis
Tried to stab us with fountain pens
Fidel blew mustard gas from his cigar
And immobilised the lot of them
19 tequilas later we had a deal
Havana goes back to the mob
And Fidel and I open a chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken shops
Dario G – Sunchyme
After a few days of fairly esoteric choices I wanted to post something a little more recognisable. I imagine this will be very familiar, certainly for people of my vintage anyway. It is a classic, upbeat dancer. A pretty bizzare video here too.
This is the best new hip hop song I have heard in ages, probably this year. Whilst that is less of an accolade than it might seem (I find myself somewhat disillusioned with the current scene) this is still pretty great and I have been feeling it all week.
The supreme hook is so fresh and catchy and the rhymes are by Oddisee, a favourite I highlighted earlier in the year. A pretty winning combo.
Los Hijos del Sol – Linda Muñequita
One of the biggest surprises of the year for me has been my growing affection for world music. It has literally come from nowhere.
I know virtually nothing about these guys (they may be from Peru) and even less about what they are singing about (feel free to enlighten me if you are able). However, this has been stuck in my head since I heard it on Tom Ravenscroft’s 6music show last week. The jangly guitar is completely infectious.
Gene Chandler – Duke of Earl
This is classic early soul with something of a doo wop sound. The vocal is remarkably good.
Steve Arrington – Feel so real
This is a classic, upbeat 1980’s tune. It is my last Saturday in London in 2011 and I intend to mark it with a bang. This is the kind of song I want as a soundtrack.
Fleet Foxes – Blue Ridge Mountains
This seems a fitting song today as it was relentless freezing from the moment I stepped out the door on my way to work this morning into driving sleet and snow until now as I strive to maintain feeling in my fingers as I write this before bed. I am unsure why but I associate these guys with cold weather.
This is my favourite track from their eponymous 2008 debut album. It has an expansive, echoing sound and makes me think of a stoic, frozen expanse. They seem to have blazed a trail as I have heard quite a bit of similar sounding so-called ‘chamber pop’ music of late, most notably Loch Lomond and Dark, Dark, Dark.
Jimmy Ruffin – What becomes of the broken hearted?
Classic early Motown. It came into my head today for no reason in particular but I am pleased that it did. It is perhaps a little heavy on pathos but a great song nonetheless.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Round and Round
This was one of my favourite tunes of last year. I first listened to it because of the intriguing band name but there is something more to it than that. It has a really pleasing retro sound, like a dreamy forgotten favourite from the 70’s.
The utterly random video here is also pretty enjoyable. John Travolta? Check. Aerobics? Check. Naturally. Hipster enough for you? It strangely works well with the song though.
Without Gospel music there would be no Soul music and without Soul music my world would be a much worse place. Lots of the soul greats got their first breaks singing gospel such as Sam Cooke who is the lead vocalist here.
The purity and power in the vocals here is startling and the harmonies are perfect. I don’t know if I could ask for much more from a song.