Marking the 10th anniversary of its inception, here is the 11th edition in the dTunes series. After much deliberation and ruthless editing, the collection of 20 songs from the year is ready to be released into the wild.
Side A- Give
1. Greens & Blues – Pixies
Okey Doke. Back to their best here and proving that some comebacks produce worthwhile results, we kick off with a Pixies ride through love, loss and space. The best boy band to downsize to three members in 2014.
2. Things We Lost In The Fire – Bastille
Get the hands up and the fists pumping, the next of our festival fit entries. A more literal reflection on loss in this one. You’ll be singing “fings we laust” in no time. Promise.
3. Spark – Amber Run
Continuing the pyromaniac theme, we’re still in mud & portaloo territory here so keep the arms up. Any song that mentions a comma and a full stop is worth a vote. “The beating of drums in the back of your chest”. Single word titles for songs are another weakness of mine. Observe.
4. All Works Out – The Riptide Movement
First of the home entries, were it not for “Happy”, this would be odds on favourite for the “Most Positive Lyrics” award. A good old fashioned rock stomper into the bargain, go ahead and listen to this one on the bright side of the road.
5. My Type – Saint Motel
You can sit down after this one…. This one makes all parts of you smile and that ensured its place on the team sheet from the first time I heard it. The intro never goes away and keeps you locked in until the end.
6. Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
OK time for a break…of sorts. This one bobs and weaves throughout with a great breakout in the middle that gets you back on your feet again. The positivity theme continues
7. Magic – Coldplay
The first of the three U2* songs included here. This one builds nicely throughout and it does bring you back to why they were good in the first place. Another happy song….
*small prize for 1st correct entry
8. Riptide – Vance Joy
Time to get a bit earthier for the next while. One of the earworms of the year “ahooooooo” and the inevitable Australian entry that always seems to make the list. Real name James Keogh, we can surely claim him?
9. The Heart – NEEDTOBREATHE
Could they have made this sound any happier? Even the reference to “living hell” sounds upbeat. Foot stompin’ clapalong folk pop with a great “oh-oh-oh” thrown in for good measure. Watch out Mumford & Sons
10. The Wilder Mile – Freedom Fry
Love the intro. I am partial to vocal sharing songs, even more so when it’s male/female. The sweet guitar bounding along throughout keeps this one. Love their name too.
Side B – Get
11. Ambulance – Rainy Boy Sleep
This year’s Norn Iron entry, this has an infectious refrain and I love the kids sing along. Short and sweet. The campaign starts now (or should that be “noy”?) for roadies to test the mikes by singing “2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1.
12. It’s a Longer Road to California Than I Thought – The Wind and The Wave
It’s A Longer Title For The Song Than I Would Have Liked. The honeysuckle vocals and the road trip memories evoked make up for it. The chorus keeps coming back for more all day long.
13. Into The Wild – Lewis Watson
This ticks nearly all my boxes. A slow burner, a great chorus, a sweet melody and a beautiful voice. The reckless optimism is wonderfully captured in both the lyrics and his delivery. Sing this one out loud, you’ll feel better.
14. Take Me To Church – Hozier
Behind the hype, there is a truly special voice. Behind the voice, there are great songs. The stratosphere beckons for this fella and it’s easy to see why. Check out the album
15. This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now – U2
Again, looking beyond the hype (pardon the pun if you’re a U2 anorak), this album produced some great, great moments. None more so than this one. Songs starting with choruses is another weak point of mine. It helps when it’s a great chorus. I’d say Edge loves playing this one.
16. Nothing Stays The Same – Luke Sital – Singh
The only constant is change as they say. Another strong chorus here with the obligatory “oh oh oh” refrain that I’m also partial to. A better stage name could help his sales…
17. Rabbit – Lily & Madeline
Single word title again…if this was released in 1990, I would have worn out the tape. A lovely mix of the melodies but anchored in a solid simple bass, drums, guitar arrangement. Run rabbit, run.
18. One Day I’ll Be Rich – Current Swell
The ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ entry. A cautionary tale about the dangers of fame and fortune, it’s hard not to be drawn in by this one. It trundles along without every taking off but therein lies its charm.
19. Boy – John Mark Nelson
Another melodic tour de force, another single word title, another double-barrel surname. I guess you can’t have it all. “Don’t fear your life boy, grow and change”. Clap along and learn the chorus. For C.
20. My Favourite Faded Fantasy – Damien Rice
Damien Rice returns and ends the journey for us here. He has a knack for the hooks and who would have thought “what it all, what it all” would be one? We’ll leave it there so.
If you’re on Spotify, you can get the playlist via this link: http://bit.ly/dTunes2014
That’s it for another year. thanks for listening,