Top Ten Tracks of 2016 – May to August

After the underwhelmingly lukewarm reception of January to April’s arbitrary list:    

I felt I couldn’t deny my loyal and passionate fan base the second instalment. Here are the top ten tracks for May through to August in case you cared. Which you probably don’t…

10. Your Best American Girl, Mitski (Puberty 2)

With wistful vocals and a fuzzy Weezer esque chorus, this track is the highlight of an album which is full of intrigue despite lacking the consistency to make it anything more than an album you dip into for two or three tracks. In this song Mitski tackles cultural identity, gender presumptions and what the American dream has in store for young, mixed race females. Probably. I like the bit where she goes “Oooohhhh, oooohhhh”.


9. Vincent, Car Seat Headrest (Teens of Denial)

This is the first rock album I’ve heard for years which is just that. No synths, no electronic drum beats, it doesn’t take itself too seriously or try too hard and does… well… rock. This track really should be the opener given its atmospheric build up. It’s a hell of a journey and stays well away from following a standard formulaic song narrative. Which is nice. Just a shame their name, Car Seat Headrest, is about as emotive as calling yourself “Dental Floss” or “Pocket Fluff”.

Disclaimer: This is the strongly edited single version. It’s about two minutes shy of the actual album versions length. And a little bit crapper for it.


8. Nebula, Julianna Barwick (Will)

Quite breathtakingly beautiful and all consuming, Barwick whisks us off to some distant enchanted land where all men, women, flora and fauna are created of the same energy and breathe as one single entity in an ever changing backdrop of serenity and unbridled beauty. Or alternatively we think, “Wow, Enya looks good for her age”. I listened to this album while walking around a costal path this summer and it totally gave me a spiritual hard on.


7. Glass Eyes, Radiohead (A Moon Shaped Pool)

To be honest, this list could have just read like A Moon Shaped Pool’s track listings, so incredible, once again, is Radiohead’s most recent release. The band just refuse to create anything other than sublime masterpieces, spewing with originality and progression. The song is inspired by a close friend of Colin Greenwood who actually has a glass eye called Pete Philpot. “It’s not a metaphor for anything and the song contains no subtext” said Thom Yorke “It’s just about some c**t with a f**king glass eye, alright?!”

Live version only. Go buy the album.


6. CIRKLON3, Aphex Twin (Cheetah EP)

Aphex Twin revolutionises dance music into something which you could only dance to if you were having some sort of limb aneurysm. However recent releases have contained more rollers and this is an example of Richard James’ ability to keep things fresh while maintaining a semi coherent pulse. It’s especially effective if you listen to it while attempting overly ambitious cross stitch or needle point. Just gives it that edge.


5. 22 (OVER S∞∞N), Bon Iver (22, A Million)

Ok so the album is yet to be released but if the two tracks put out are anything to go by, it’s going to be wonderful. Despite their self titled being an impressive piece of work, you did worry it might become a little played if new avenues weren’t explored. Thankfully Vernon has obviously picked up some exciting new habits in the bands five year hiatus, and here’s hoping it’ll be a Bon Iver for Bon Iver. Yeah, I went there. What’s that? Get your own poorly organised wordpress account then. Jesus. You people…


4. Curtain Twitcher, Yak (Alas Salvation)

After one of the gigs of the year at The Bullingdon back in May, Yak released one of the albums of the year, Alas Salvation, which is so consistently mesmerising that it makes picking out an individual track nigh on impossible. The rise in prominence of the young band has led to the emergence of a new beauty procedure in their hometown of Wolverhampton, the back, sack and yak where the ear canals and voice box are also coated in hot wax and dehaired.


3. Degraded, Preoccupations (Preoccupations)

So we are all a little miffed about the name change. The band have gone from the name Viet Cong, conjuring images of thoughtless brutality, mans inhumanity to man and revolution at all costs to a name that has all the emotive spectacle of a book full of beige paint samples. However their music hasn’t lost its edge and they still are waving their post punk flag with gusto as we eagerly await their forthcoming record. And who said Canada was full of pussies…?


2. If You Should See, Wye Oak (Tween)

Ah yeah, I’m driving down a boulevard with the top down and the wind in my hair. But I’m sad. And nostalgic. You see I’ve just come from the vet and had my beloved pet chinchilla put down. I’m remembering the good times. And the bad. The frailty of life. And that everything has intrinsic benevolence and an incandescent fervour to exist. I’m also five days off the medication that has been, in the words of my neurologist, preventing a cataclysmic nervous breakdown. That’s what I get from this track anyhow…


1. Daydreaming, Radiohead (A Moon Shaped Pool)

Back once again with the ill behaviour, with the ill behaviour are Radiohead with another beauteous offering. The most remarkable thing about this track is that it will lodge itself firmly in your consciousness and follow you around for days, giving the opening and closing of doors far more symbolism than ever before. I can’t wait to see Thom and Jonny’s   faces when they discover their track topped a list created by an irrelevant, wannabe music journalist for a four month period in mid 2016. I might get invited round Thom’s for a mung bean and tofu ratatouille and a go on his iron lung…


Thoughts, etc? @RichardBrabin

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