101 songs that prove 2017 wasn’t entirely awful after all

Don’t worry, there’s no Lil Pump/Big Shaq/Katy Perry/Chris & Kem/Ed Sheeran here.

2017 has been quite a year. To celebrate three things – its musical goodness, me finally getting things in order on these pages, and a year of better playlisting that’s allowed me to bring all the best bits together without it taking approximately a million years – here’s a collection of 101 of the best songs it’s spawned. There’ll be many more words, playlists, and things appearing here over the coming months, especially if I can figure out how to make Spotify embeds look as nice on WordPress as they can elsewhere, so do say hello if there’s anything you think I’ve missed.

Continue reading “101 songs that prove 2017 wasn’t entirely awful after all”

“We’re the antithesis of Nashville” – An interview with LANY

The ‘ILYSB’ trio spills the beans about their debut album, building a fanbase, and what makes London feel like home.

In the space of just one year, American electropop trio LANY has gone from playing a loft above a Camden bar on a night off from support shows to filling venues ten times the size up and down the land and across the world. With fans already assembled outside and around KOKO in the middle of the afternoon, Surge joined Paul Klein, Jake Goss, and Les Priest up in the rafters to find out all about their plans to make 2017 (and 2018) ((and probably every subsequent year)) the year of LANY.

Continue reading ““We’re the antithesis of Nashville” – An interview with LANY”

This Year In Records 2016

What made 2016 tick, from ANOHNI to The xx.

Originally published in The Edge

Now we’ve finally reached the concluding moments of 2016, it’s time for This Week In Records to splash out a little bit. You may be familiar with our methods – trawling the web for every last morsel of new music worth your attention and delivering it promptly for breakfast every Friday, with an occasional side dish of irritability whenever someone dares to “spill” a piña colada over a marimba and ends up regurgitating a soulless rendition of a decent dance record from the last millennium. Today, to celebrate the end of all things, we’ve cast our glances right back to where it all began.

Elsewhere on this site, you will find serious collections and rankings of the year – albums, films, games, TV shows, etc. – but This Year In Records is for celebrating 2016’s music in all its delectable forms. Over the next twelve pages, we discuss one release from every single New Music Friday. Some are fantastic. Some are abominations. Some will be recalled as the releases that first caught attention from the music heroes of tomorrow. One is a miserable spawn from The X Factor.

If a rapid whiz through 366 days of music sounds appealing, allow me to be your guide. I promise I’ll only rap twice.

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Live review: LANY at Heaven, London

The synthpop band finds Where The Hell Its Friends Are.

Originally published in The Edge

Particularly in this age of vehement digital obsessions, it’s not tricky to observe obsessive teenage mentalities from a relatively safe distance or even unintentionally kick a nest of Beliebers, whose attempts to insult me were as unimpressive as his music at the time. Yet, that idea of swooning over a heartthrob figure is a phenomenon that has taken a while – almost two decades, in fact – for me to fully appreciate. Even though my own teenage years contained sporadic and prolonged infatuations with particular artists and their outputs, these were built on foundations of what was to me groundbreaking musicianship, not through bleary-eyed desire.

All that changed when I found myself, perhaps foolishly, spending a night before a far-from-out-of-the-way spring coursework deadline at a LANY show. Smitten with ‘ILYSB’ after hearing Zane Lowe suffering from the same sentiment on Beats 1 the previous autumn, their night off from arena shows with Ellie Goulding and John Newman took them to Camden’s Assembly (then Barfly), where a quaint capacity crowd was treated to an intimate and sweaty performance of, at that stage, the band’s entire discography. As frontman Paul Klein spoke modestly about the band’s feeling of overwhelm by the love they were receiving through his matted mane of flowing locks, almost everyone hung off and echoed every one of his words, even though new single ‘WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS’ was just three days old. Continue reading “Live review: LANY at Heaven, London”