I’m gonna drive until it burns my bones”
There isn’t really a better way to start. The two M83 shows I saw this year were absolutely incredible, and Highway was a highlight both of Scala set and the simply stunning St Giles in the fields set. The track has a vast space you can wallow and swim in, and it’s has this thump of celebration throughout. It’s also best representative of the friendship Marky Mark and I reforged over the last few months, something I’ll cherish as a highlight of the year.
“When they pin me to the wall I’ll say ‘I’m with America!'”
The Indelicates were the most contemporary of the vindictive lyricists I listened to this year, and I listened to an awful lot. Their abum was the first thing I played wen I moved into Alice’s place, which – lest we forget – lasted for four months. The track’s in here partly for that, and partly for the drunk discussion Gillen and I had in the cab from Bristol to Chrissy’s old place, but there’s a separate blog in that soon. Finally, America: My perception has changed in a huge way in the last few months, and the election was a wicked night spent in the company of Nick Parkinson from ROH. Any night involving roast dinner at 1am is ace by me. Obama’s speech would have made me cry, and I not been an hour too tired by then.
“I hope my heart goes first,
I HOPE MY HEART GOES FIRST!”
So, culture eats itself. Kieron takes responsibility for the song and album title, trough remarks made to Gareth. turns out I have my share of blame too, recommending him Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry, an introduction to my – and now his – most important literary figure. It led to being offered a spot in the next tour ‘zine and was a huge boost of confidence while I reeled from the shock of Alice breaking up with me, more on that later though.
“All this just to go out for the day”
I ummed and ahhed about which Submarines track to slip onto the Ten. Part of the rush of cultural brilliance that was November, Honeysuckle Weeks was sunshine pop exactly when I needed it, a burst of brilliance. Versatile, fun, exuberant, the whole album just cheered me up. And still does.
“Christ was an extremist,
With a kamikaze soul.”
So, Mister Luke Haines. I got the record last lear, but only really started to listen to it late last year, around the same time I picked up …Malry. Funky, nasty, dangerous, album and track make me want to cultural strike in painful ways, attack instead of defend. The dark nights and streetlights conjured are appealing in all the worst ways, and the album is cemented besides Unknown Pleasures and In The Aeroplane Over The Sea as an all time favourite.
New York, 2008. A wonderful trip, the highlight being the night I met Etgar Keret at a screening of Wristcutters, A Love Story. I would later take the gang of us to a club, dance to Los Camp! and The Pipettes, drink an ungodly quantity and vomit up 8th Avenue, waking only in my bright blue pants on top of a bed, arms spread like Jesus, sore. None of which coveys how still and beautiful an instrumental this is.
“I feel you’ve ruined me forever”
I got my heart ripped out and stomped on, thrown into pity and wallowing, but also chasing every opportunity I could to stuff that horrible, shitty void.
“I don’t want to sound trite but you were perfect”
Because cherishing the memory of all that we were is just as important as anything else, and I will always smile to think of all we did together.
You see, I never really got We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed until after the break up. And now it works wonderfully. And that’s just the perfect track, really.
“Don’t you worry,
About the pretty creatures in the street,
The pretty creature that I’d like to eat up for breakfast,
That’s all in the past.”
And at first it’s about leaving behind the memories of what I wanted and what I’ve done, accepting that those temptation will always remain but that I’m never going to act on them. And then it’s about being robbed about the chance to move into the future, because nostalgia works both ways, and you can conjure romance in anything, really. Telling that I found this track around abut the time Ali and I had friction over Kate (not Kate Jackson).
“You control your emotions,
It’s as simple as that.”
Songs about songwriting and the thought process behind it don’t work, and then this wanders along, a wonderful combination of anger and reflection, blended with the noir aesthetics I’ve grown a huge affection for over the last year. It’s inspirational too, though admittedly bitter by it’s close. I remember walking to McKelvie’s from Ali’s when I heard this for the first time, and I played it twice on the way back.
“When the smaller picture’s the same as the bigger picture you know that you’re fucked!”
Because, really, they defined the year. And I think I can fly when I hear this track. And it makes me realise how important the wing of friends I have now are going to be as they carry me into tomorrow. And I met Julia, Marc and Anna, all of whom now have a special place in my heart, as well as Phil and the other LUC dudes, who have just been throughly sound, incredibly supportive and pretty much inspirational. It doesn’t matter how hard the blow, fuck it, we roll and recover.
“Do you remember,
How we’d fall asleep on the bathroom floor?”
Nobody should explain bonus tracks.