Blimey. This year’s list was hard to compile given that I restrict myself to just 10 choices (self-inflicted stupidity!). I have been listening to plenty of punk, coldwave, indie-pop, riot grrrl, queercore, garage and post-punk but I think this selection is a fair reflection of my listening habits these past 12 months.
Tracks missing the cut include the likes of Underworld, Joanna Gruesome, The Radio Dept., The Legends, Earth Girls,The Liminanas, Red Sleeping Beauty, Massive Attack, Jessica & The Fletchers, Vital Idles, Useless Youth, E’spaniel, Nice Try, Hate Week, Primetime, Tape Waves, The Wolfhounds, Merchandise, Slam, Blind Delon, Lad’s Mags, Bruising, Frustration, Pet Shop Boys, Slowcoaches, Cayetana, The Sticks and a lot more besides.
But before I start I will of course have to give a mention to the debut release on Whoops Records! the label I have set up with my mate Mr Dufflecoat.
10. The Shivas – I’ve Had Enough
Distinctive alt rock/garage from the Shivas. Love the almost sleazy vocals on this one (or is it just me?). I have not yet had my fill of this track this year and it’s the ideal place to start this years top 10.
09. Motorama – Holy Day
Superior post-punk from Russia. Holy day is a synth based tune that nods in the direction of the Brussels coldwave scene of the late 70’s/early 80’s.
08. Safe Places – Wild Ride
The shoegazing tag is one of the most misused on Bandcamp. I have wasted countless hours wading through tripe but persistence pays of as you will occasionally come across triumphs like this. I first heard Wild Ride back in January and it has stayed with me ever since.
07. Orkestra Zajenie – Brittle Confessions
Simply put this is perfectly crafted pop music by way of Germany.
06. Holy Now – Wake Up
Beech Coma Records have released three great singles this year including efforts from Bruising and Posture. However, it’s this release from Sweden’s Holy Now that gets the vote. If the Cardigans were ethereal and dark…..
05. Efialtis – Μαλάρια (Malaria)
London based band with Greek/ Cypriot/ Welsh roots. They sing in Greek a language which makes Μαλάρια (Malaria) an even more effective rousing punk tune. Play very, very loud!
04. Strange Passage – Lament
If I compiled a 20-25 entry best of 2016 list most, if not all, the tracks on this impressive demo tape would have found a place. I have plumped for opener Lament which grabbed my attention instantly which, given the amount I listen to on Bandcamp, is no mean feat. It’s jangle pop at it’s finest.
03. The Holiday Crowd – I Need This Bed To Myself
It’s safe to say that The Holiday Crowd’s self-titled second album is up there as one my favourite albums of 2016. Their homage to all things 1980’s is reflected on this track that sounds like Edwyn Collins fronting Josef K.
02. Tinsel Heart – Wasted Yet Sad
Coming out of nowhere as 2016 heads to a close are Sweden’s Tinsel Heart. This release seemed to have gripped the indie-pop legions on the internet who have been waiting for that new band since the Pains lost their way on and after their second album. Fuzzy as feck!
01. TV Crime – Hooligans
What a tune. Power pop with a 1977 punk attitude complete with a rousing terrace chant chorus. When I dropped this at the Culture Bunker Punk night the place went mad despite no one knowing who it was!
And that’s er it for another year! Here’s to more fine tuneage in 2017.