Sunday, 21 December 2014

Flycasual's - Best 5 of 2014

2014 - Another Great Year For Music

This time of year always fills me with a sense of happy dread. Not only is Christmas round the corner with all the buffoonery that that entails but it's the real stress of compiling your best of the year. Never mind an eight month old baby and getting my head around a new job it was this exclusive list that was giving me sleepless nights. Many thanks as always to my fellow bloggers Old Pa, Sfw, London Scouser and Shell Hunter for providing class A material for the blog but also contributing to my soundtrack of the year. Props y'all!

Jungle - 'The Heat'

It's not very often a band comes along and completely knocks me out Frank Bruno style. These guys ticked all of my boxes since I first heard them earlier this year, they were elusive, their videos had some brilliant dance choreography and they had a retro vibe not heard since Hue and Cry in the 80's (ok maybe not them but they're definitely channeling a 80's white soul ting but light years better). Needless to say they didn't disappoint at Latitude either, the moshing (why?) kids did however. Band of the year, sound of the summer, stunning!

War On Drugs - 'Red Eyes'

On many a best ofs list and for good reason, it really doesn't get much better than this. Devastatingly brilliant, it gives me goose pimples every time. Beautiful melody, beautiful musicianship, a track perfectly put together...and then he goes "woo" and it kicks off! Almost Springsteen-esque. Oh stop gushing! We missed them at Latitude but we past the tent when this played and that was highly memorable. Thanks to Old Pa for the heads up, track of the year!

Royal Blood - 'Loose Change'

An absolute belter! That's a lot of noise coming from two guys. Watching them perform live is something else, this is only the beginning for the talented Brighton duo. A firm family favourite, 'Loose Change' is the brightest diamond from a solid debut album.

Run The Jewels - 'Close Your Eyes' feat Zach De La Rocha

Fierce, chaotic and rude, reminiscent to how I felt when I first listened to Public Enemy in the 80's. Run the Jewels is Rap's in form duo, EL-P and Killer Mike, with a VIP guest spot from Rocks very own, "I'm bloody annoyed", Zach De La Rocha (who incidentally did his verse in one take). Perfect for the middle aged dad to turn the stereo up to 11 in his Peugeot estate after the kids are safely dropped off at school/nursery. A Bombtrack fo' sho'.

Tony Allen - 'Go Back' feat Damon Albarn

It would have been hard to ignore Damon Albarn after he released his debut solo, Everyday Robots, earlier this year. Though it was a decent album with some notable standouts, it was the sobering collaboration with Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen that hit the spot.

It took lots of workin and twerkin to squeeze dem tracks into a top 20. A labour of love fo' sho' and I'm sharing it below, have a listen. Or if you're feeling a little adventurous try my B-sides for size here.....

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Flycasual's - Best 5 of 2014
4/ 5


21 December 2014 at 15:53

Jungle. I just commented on Shell Hunter's post to the effect that I need to delve into these guys a bit further and this tune reinforces the point - it's excellent. Great clip too.

War on Drugs. Fantastic live version. It's been their year really hasn't it? The only reason that the LP is a little down on my own Top 20 is because it's been a bit overplayed by 6Music. Terrific record though. (Is it just me, or does the playing on this version have something of 'Sultans of Swing' about it? Just me then!)

Royal Blood. Not really my thing, but they make a bloody impressive racket.

Run the Jewels. Absolutely hated 'Close Your Eyes' for the first half a dozen times I heard it, but it has gradually worn (or more accurately pummeled) me down. It definitely has something. I'm not sure I'd want to drive while listening to it though, it could cause all kinds of problems for my fellow road users.

Allen & Albarn. I agree. There were some real standouts on 'Everyday Robots', but this is better than any of them. Excellent.

Thanks for another ear-opening year of fine tuneage Flycasual. Compliments of the season to you and the family!

21 December 2014 at 16:43

I'm so sorry I haven't been able to keep up with everything here this year but I'll work my way through everybody's tracks over Xmas all being well. From your descriptions and what I know already know there's something from each of you that I will enjoy (in this case I can already tell you it's Tony Allen/Damon).

In the meantime though I just wanted to make sure I had chance to wish all the lovely Tune Doctor team a very happy Christmas and a fabulous music-filled 2015! Look forward to listening to all you have to offer next year and thanks for this one!

21 December 2014 at 20:00

Jungle - flipping excellent. Will follow up.

The War On Drugs - they are everywhere now and deservedly so. Your first two choices make it seem like the 80's never really went away which once would have upset me but in retrospect they sound OK.

Royal Blood - will keep an eye on them. Seems like it's not just BSP rocking Brighton.

Run The Jewels - middle aged dad's dropping their kids off at school and then cranking up the stereo for the home trip? Whatever next?! I just keep it loud both way. Have to watch for the bad language, mind. This is great.

Tony Allen - If only he'd not stuck Damon on the vocal track! Could have been 5 out of 5 for you from me. Oh, I don't mind Damon at all but he just gets everywhere - would like to hear a female voice on this instead.

Have a great Christmas, sir, and best wishes to the family.

21 December 2014 at 20:02

The Swede: No it's not just you - it has to be admitted that Dire Straits are in the mix for The War On Drugs. Never mind, though - still great.

22 December 2014 at 02:24

Nothing wrong with Sultans of Swing!! Thanks for all the comment and your regular visits to our blog, you all make it worthwhile. Unfortunately I have had little time the past year to spend quality time on your blogs let alone my own one but hopefully that can change come the new year. Have a good Christmas and a happy new year.

22 December 2014 at 10:02

Another great mix of choices!
Jungle - undeniable talent and a pleasure to watch their videos. A nod to the 80s in a good way! Band of 2014.
WOD - such a good song through and through. Makes me feel like punching the air when he goes 'woo'! Was a hard choice to miss them at latitude but it was if someone knew we were walking passed at that particular moment, great memories.
Royal blood - genius riffage. Who needs 4 members to make a racket!
RTJ- it's always going to be angry where Zach is involved! Like this, refreshing angry rap, not enough of that around anymore
Tony Allen - loved this when you chose it earlier too. Damon is a genius too, you can't deny it guys!
Happy xmas to all and we'll all be back in the new year!!