It’s been exactly two years since I started this blog and the difference it has made to my life has been remarkable. Not the writing part; I’ve always done that. Even when I wasn’t writing for publication, I was wittering away on internet forums or clogging up Facebook with my rantings. No, it’s the inspiration. It’s like being in love. You know, the butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling you get that makes you feel like you’ll just burst if you don’t shout it from the rooftops – that’s how I feel when I hear a great song. It goes far beyond just transforming my mood or giving me an idea. The word “inspiration” is related to breathing, and that’s how essential and natural this process is. I might have a conscious discipline to blog every day, but that just facilitates my discovery of these wonderful tunes – the words that appear on the screen are just a manifestation, a by-product of the process. If I couldn’t write, I’d just have to speak about it, and if I couldn’t speak I’d grunt and gibber. I’d point. I’d take you by the hand and drag you over to the record player. This. Hear it. Now.
It’s that time of year again where we reflect on the best of the year’s new music. Here’s some of my favourite songs of the year, with download purchase links for the songs you’d like to keep.
Today’s Sunday Times has a great article on Danish electro experimentalist Oh Land (AKA Nanna Oland Fabricius).
‘Fabricius — known by her stage name Oh Land — is describing the noises she recorded in her native Copenhagen when she began making music six years ago. “I had a computer in my bedroom, but no instruments,” she recalls. “Instead of drums, I recorded myself hitting pots and pans. I discovered that buzzing flies sound like synths, and that you can make amazing rhythms using door handles. I carried a recorder everywhere. I walked through the traffic in the centre of the city, taping people ringing the bells on their bikes and honking the horns on their cars.”‘
I’d already found my pick for #musicmonday just before I clicked on this random link using the Twitter hashtag. However, I was so spellbound by this that I figured I’d leave the other – presumably better-known – track for another Monday.
This is the sort of dreamy pared-down electro pop of Glasser or Bats for Lashes, but the vocalist has a really distinctive voice – not especially pretty, but not unpleasant to listen to.
It reminds me a little of 80s electro-industrial – especially with all that very deliberate banging around with big sticks – but it’s very “now” in terms of sound. I’m intrigued enough to find out more.