Friday, 2 November 2012

Top Songs of Autumn 2012

Days are shorter, nights are colder, scarves are warmer, songs are better. This post is a shortlist of what's been playing through our headphones throughout the autumn.

1) Best Of Friends - PALMA VIOLETS

Hailed as the new future of British rock, here's the fresh, experimental sound of Palma Violets. The critics seem to be loving these guys, as do we. They've already nabbed themselves a front cover of NME, and after a summer of festivals (Reading, Leeds, Psych Fest, Eden Sessions - that's right, you heard it here first), they're ready to take the alternative music scene by storm. Brace yourselves, readers.

2) Something Good - ALT-J (∆)

If you're after a brief summary of this track, the clue's kind of in the name. The latest release from (Mercury Prize winners) Alt-J's recent debut 'An Awesome Wave' combines afrobeats with oh-so-pretty-sounding piano-led instrumentals, which together with Joe Newman's smooth vocals create the perfect track to listen to when you're in a melancholy mood. Their upcoming UK tour sold out like hot cakes, and if you've heard their music before, it's easy to see why.

3) Friday Night, Don't Ever Let It End - SPECTOR

Bored of listening to the same songs about Fridays (believe us, there are many)? Here's something new to add to that particular collection - it's Spector, and it's excellent. Featuring the synthy-guitarry riffs hooks that Spector do best and an anthemic chorus that was made for crowds to sing along to, who's complaining? No need to even mention Rebecca Black.


Well hello stranger! It's been too long since we've heard something new from the Manchester-based quartet, but GOOD NEWS - they're back! 'Cough Cough' is the first single from Arc, the follow-up to the band's 2010 album 'Man Alive', and promises more of Everything Everything's enthusiastic indie randomness. Glad to have you back, boys!

5) Tightrope - WALK THE MOON

After that impressive performance at the iTunes Festival in September, it's hardly surprising that we're mentioning Walk The Moon (yet again!) Their latest electric-guitar-loaded release is quirky and fun; this is a song that's guaranteed to brighten up any bad day and bulldoze through those November blues. As seen in the above video, dancing like nobody's watching is highly recommended.

6) Madness - MUSE

A rather sharp contrast to previous hit and official Olympic anthem 'Survival', Muse's controversial dubstep influences manifest themselves here - but fear not, bloggers, it's all good. Riffs, reverbs and hidden relationship advice (see online interviews) transform this into a track which could make a MUSEr out of anyone. You converted yet?

7) How Do You Do? - HOT CHIP

If, like us, you've been long awaiting the return of indie-electronic powerhouse Hot Chip, you'll love this second single from album #5, 'In Our Heads'. '80s-style synths are juxtaposed alongside lyrics which look on the bright side of life ("A heart is not for breaking\ It's for beating out all the life that is to begin"). 'How Do You Do' will remind anyone will remind anyone who was ever a fan, of the reasons why they first fell in love with this sound.


It's plain to see that pianos are back in the world of alternative music, with the likes of Alt-J (∆), King Charles, and now The Maccabees bucking this trend. 'Ayla' is quite simply a dazzling display of melodic excellence, which for us secures a place for The Maccabees' LP 'Given To The Wild' in our Favourite Albums Of The Year (a very prestigious title indeed). Both heartwarming and atmospheric, you couldn't want more from a ballad like this.


Another brilliant sophomore album? There are way too many of these at the moment; all this good music is eating up all of our time! Most well-known for their songs 'Joanna' and 'Dancing Song', Newcastle's Little Comets show that the UK music scene is far from running dry - their unique take on "kitchen-sink indie" makes for very good listening. Note their use of pots, pans and percussion (hanging conveniently on a rope suspended from the ceiling) during their live tours - one of which I (Felicity) was fortunate enough to see! :)

10) I'm His Girl - FRIENDS

Who says feminism is a thing of the past? Friends smash that thesis with a metaphorical sledgehammer, with their feisty new song 'I'm His Girl'. Far from your typical generic love song, this track certainly packs a punch as it addresses the issues of equality and possessive relationships, with a degree of sassiness that even Destiny's Child would be proud of. What a song.

11) Life's A Beach - DJANGO DJANGO

After groundbreaking performances at Reading and Leeds, we were very excited to see what this brilliant band would do next. The answer? Chilled-out, desert-esque 'Life's A Beach', which you'll probably want to sing/hum/whistle* constantly after a couple of listens, annoying nearby friends/family/flatmates* in the process. They'll never understand.

* Delete as appropriate.

12) Endless Flowers - CROCODILES

To cut a long story short, Crocodiles is the sort of band which makes you question why on earth you haven't discovered them before. The San Diego noise pop outfit (who recently played at Rough Trade East, London) have a similar vibe to The Drums and The Raveonettes, and this track from the band's third album (of the same name as the song) isn't one you'll forget in a hurry.

Isabella and Felicity, OTJ x

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