The Buzz – Hermitude
This was the second single from ‘Dark Night, Sweet Light’, the masterful 5th album from the Blue Mountains duo. To say they nailed this album is an understatement. It has all of the hallmarks of that great Hermitude sound and then there are certifiable bangers like this.
That first drop in this song makes me want jump around like a maniac. It gives me goosebumps on goosebumps. It makes me want to scream out in joy. When a song does that, you know it’s bloody good.
It made it to No. 100 in the end of year ARIA chart. That chart should be the other way around.
Should Have Known Better – Sufjan Stevens
From the desperately sad ‘Carrie & Lowell’, Stevens takes us on an autobiographical journey through his childhood and personal life. This song is so delicate, but so precise that you can’t help feel release from it, especially in the second half of the song.
He’s come a long way in a ten years since the legendary ‘Chicago’, the song that for many (including myself) introduced us to the world of Sufjan Stevens. His voice evokes peace in my mind and makes me smile despite the sadness of the lyrics.
Still bummed that I missed his live show in last year. 2016 perhaps?
Once – Ngaiire
What a talent we have inherited from PNG via New Zealand. Ngaiire is truly something special and this song is the perfect example of what can be achieved when you want it bad enough. Her voice has been borrowed by artists like Blue King Brown, Paul Mac and The Tongue and yes, ‘Australian Idol’. It’s this song that has shown us what she can do.
‘Once’ is a single from her upcoming second album, due out in 2016. The beat provided by Paul Mac, Megan Washington on co-writing credits and the overlay of Ngaiire’s sublime voice makes this a downbeat dance delicacy and one of my tracks of the year.
Peep the clip below for lots of sweet cameos from local Sydney artists as well!
Long Loud Hours – Urthboy
Speaking of albums to look forward to in 2016, this artist is at the top of my list. Urthboy has been metamorphosing before our eyes over recent years. From the rap and dance hits of ‘The Signal’ in 2007 to the critically acclaimed full band performances of ‘Smokey’s Haunt’ in 2012 to the next big chapter in Urthboy’s career which has begun with this perfectly penned tune about a prison break.
If Long Loud Hours is anything to go by, Australia’s history should all be written by Tim Levinson. He has a way of bringing stories to life in a way that makes you appreciate the subject in a whole new light. This is a man whose opinions match mine in almost every way and demands an audience with how he approaches life even if he doesn’t realise it.
Multi-Love – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Some musicians are just talented beyond conceived possibility. I put Ruban Nielson in this category. As Unknown Mortal Orchestra he creates these tracks that make you just want to put on some really good headphones, close your eyes and let it absorb your very soul.
This song does exactly that. Listen to it carefully. Listen to the layers. Listen to the effort that has gone into it. Then do it again, and again and you’ll hear something new every time.