2011 Playlist - Volume 4

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3. Jan. 2012, 17:52

On the home strait now! Here are the last 5 tracks, kissing goodbye to 2011.

16. Midnight City - M83
From album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming



So far, I’ve only listened to the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming twice – this is the lead single. Parts of it were so good that I had tears in my eyes. It’s an awe-inspiring, cinematic double album that requires time – listening to individual tracks to soundtrack my commute doesn’t do it justice. Vocally, it’s a real departure for M83 – less of the whispered vocals, more euphoric yelps that almost explode with exuberance. Predecessor Saturdays=Youth has become a real touchstone for me, I expect this to do the same. It’s like the soundtrack to someone’s life story.

17. I’m Not Simone Choule - The Opiates
From album Hollywood Under The Knife



The final fruition of a Billie Ray Martinproject that first kicked off back in 2007, Hollywood Under The Knife is darkly delicious record, full of forboding tension, sounding as if it was written alone, accompanied by a glass of strong liquor at 4am, the TV on and the sound off, with only tears to keep you company. I’m Not Simone Choule is the standout for me - ambient electronica underpinning the sensory deprivation of the lyrics coupled with the potency of her voice, which is still a thing of wonder.

18. I Won’t Let Go - Monarchy
From album Around The Sun



It seemed like it was an eternity between Around The Sun (or Monarchy as it was then known) leaking on to the internet and it finally getting its official release. Turns out, they were tinkering with it and making it better, although I don’t think We Were Young should have been relegated to a bonus track. I Won’t Let Go, a late addition and possibly my favourite song this year, is a brilliant dance record, invoking French disco and 90s house accompanied by soulful lead vocals. The video was similarly astonishing, demonstrating just how far the “I” was prepared to go for love...

19. Wonders - The Sound of Arrows
From album Voyage



This is the most recent album I bought this year and it’s shaping up to be one of the best of the year. It channels the childhood innocence of “The Never Ending Story” and theme songs like “Mysterious Cities Of Gold” & “Ulysses”, hammered home by the use of a children’s choir on a couple of tracks. Like songs for a lifetime-defining film, it reminds you of being a kid and the simple excitement of just being alive.

20. Synchronised - Sophie Ellis Bextor
From album Make A Scene



The album they said would never happen, that Sophie’s album finally saw the light of day in May this year was surprising enough, but then it hit the Top 40, without any smash hit lead single, big budget video or PR push. It’s a real triumph in a struggling industry, where acts are dropped if they get Top 10 singles or moderately successful albums. The Richard X tracks (Magic and Starlight) are the most successful, alongside Pop Moment That Never Was Bittersweet and this track.

And that's it! A flavour of my 2011 soundtrack.

Goodbye 2011....and hello 2012! Happy New Year!

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