Thursday, 4 December 2014

Top 114 Songs of 2014, #90 - 81

The Preatures, MKO, Remi + Jack Colwell!

by Velociraptor

And I thought I knew you,
But baby you make me so blue. 

You're always going to have a good time with Velociraptor, because Jeremy Neale and his music friends want you to, "make like a powerful metal guitar solo and key change your life today." I took that from Neale's Facebook page. Go and give it a like and have a read, it will make your day. Velociraptor fly the flag as the franchise players in Brisbane's burgeoning Garage Pop scene and with 'Ramona' they're showing that status isn't changing anytime soon. It's as good, if not better, than what's come before with some banging hooks and a nice surf rock-ish "love" story driving it along. You stay classy, Jeremy Neale and friends. I'd write out everyone's names, but I'm pretty sure the band's got about forty-five members. (Matt Bond)

Like many people, I have a facebook account. I show appreciation for things on that facebook account by pressing the ‘like’ button, that is, the small thumbs up symbol. I follow a lot of pages on my facebook account. I quite enjoy ‘Shit Brick Fences Of Melbourne’ and the ‘Walthamstow (Unofficial) Tourist Board’, as well as one of my more recent favourites ‘The Same Photo Of A Fork Everyday’. I like all of these pages, but I think the page I press ‘like’ on most often is that of Jeremy Neale, singer from the band featuring here at number 90. Jeremy Neale is a beacon of light on a social media tool too often darkened with an addiction to boredom and I feel like I need to pay his band and their song ‘Ramona’ the ultimate compliment, which I give to Jeremy Neale’s facebook page every couple of days so here it is… (Jo Michelmore) 

#89. BUT I SAY
by Tulane

If silence is golden,
Then you certainly are king. 

Sydney's Tulane is a duo made up of vocalist Nikki Malvar and guitarist Nikk Retalic. They work really well together as a pair. All the proof you need of this is in their 2014 release, 'But I Say'. It shows you don't need all the bells and whistles to make a connection with the listener. Sometimes all you need is a relatable story, an emotive performance and a memorable melody. Try not to feel just a little bit heartbroken while you're listening to Malvar's performance. Tulane as a duo are hopefully just getting started. I want to hear a lot more from them in 2015. (Matt Bond)

Well, I certainly do wish I was better at this writing thing. I wish I had the words to describe the sadness and the desperation and the heartbreak and loneliness in Tulane’s ‘But I Say’, but I don’t. I’ve written thousands of words on this here blog and I’ve learnt that it’s mostly easier to let the artists speak for themselves, because they have the emotional capacity to face their own sounds, which are sometimes so beautiful I can’t. So I’m gonna leave this one in the words of half of Tulane, Nikki Malvar, because besides telling you to press play, I just can’t describe the beauty of heartache as well as she does; “Despite the fact that your head might know better, unremarkable people can make remarkable impressions on your heart sometimes. ‘But I Say’ is one of those unfortunate stories.” Yep. It is. (Jo Michelmore)

#88. CUT
by Hopium

Everyone here is just a bad version of you...

It could be because I’m a bit of a creep, but I really love and appreciate this song. I mean, I have all kinds of crazy thoughts that run around this brain of mine that are confined to a diary and a therapist. Okay, both of those things are lies, but I really do need an outlet. I digress. The point I was going to make is that I feel like this song is such a collection of random, private ramblings. I mean, “I'll cut off my legs so I could never leave you”? It’s brilliant. (Katie Langley)

There are some grand declarations of love and all that stuff in music. But if you can come up with anything that compare to, "I'll cut off my legs so I won't ever desert you, I'll cut out my tongue so nothing I say can hurt you, I'll cut out my eyes so they won't ever wander, I'll cut off my hands so there's no chance I'll ever touch another," please let me know. I don't know much about Hopium, because they're doing the whole 'mysterious' thing and not giving much away about themselves, but they've got some world class music to their name and 'Cut' is one of the best things to come out of 2014, so they can be as mysterious as they want. Brooding and industrial dark electronic pop with killer vocals and unforgettable lyrics. What's not to like? (Matt Bond)

Ah see, here we go. This is the kind of thing I get. I don’t often admit it, because no one really wants to know about the darkness, but this is the kind of thing I revel in. You hear those beats? Do you hear how painstakingly placed they are? Do you hear the tiny cracks inside every one that pound against that little paranoid part of my head? Can you hear the synths? Can you hear the shadows creeping in over every sense of light? Do you hear those words? Don’t pretend you don’t. We’ve all been there. Some of them you’ll hear more than others. But those lines; “Maybe I wanna see what burns, maybe I wanna see what breaks, maybe I need to learn from my own mistakes” well, they’re ones that hit a little closer to home than I care to admit. Except I just did. (Jo Michelmore)

#87. TYSON
by Remi

And I'm Tyson, circa 88, 
Yeah right, son. 

Before this year, I wasn't the biggest fan of Australian hip hop or rap. If that's your thing, that's great, but you don't really need to tell me about why I'm crazy for not declaring a 360 song as my, "jam". My attitude has been turned around quite a bit though in 2014, with releases from the likes of Tkay Maidza, Citizen Kay and this guy right here, Remi Kolawole. 'Tyson' has a great beat, shows that Remi can rap with the best of them and doesn't make me want to punch myself in the face in a display of pain transference. It might not seem like it, but that's a huge compliment to a really excellent song. (Matt Bond)

Fun fact: 'Tyson' runs for four minutes 20 seconds. Yes, 4:20. (Katie Langley)

2014 did something completely unexpected to me. Well, maybe it wasn’t 2014 itself, but artists like Remi, who kinda called out my name, made me sit up straight and demanded I listen. I’ll admit it to you Remi, I’ve always had this minor awkward relationship with Australian hip hop, it’s always made me cringe a little. Ok, more than a little. You Remi and your song ‘Tyson’? No cringing. Because it doesn’t sound like you have anything to prove, you’re just doing your thing and you don’t care whether I like you or not; but not in an ‘arrogant-wannabe-something-you’re-not-rapper’ kind of way, just in a ‘hey-I’m-just-doing-my-thing-you-do-yours-whatever’ kind of way. Maybe it’s that whole liking the boy who doesn’t like you thing I’ve always had, but whatever, that’s my psychological makeup I have to deal with. This is just a song countdown. I like you Remi. I like you a lot. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Jack Colwell and The Owls

A frightened child thrown into the wild...

You'll probably get sick of me repeating the same sort of lines throughout this countdown, but here's another one of our favourite people from 2014, Jack Colwell! His unique musical style made us big fans and 'Seek The Wilde' was just one of his tracks from the year we've been loving. Colwell set out to deliver a "baroque pop romp" on 'Seek The Wilde' and he more than delivered. In a sea of overproduced electronic music that all sounds a bit same-same, Jack Colwell stands out by composing an actual song with these things called instruments. And they're instruments that aren't just like a guitar or a triangle. There's a harpsichord. And what sounds like a flute and an oboe. And it's still really good pop music. It's only a matter of time before the right person pays Colwell the attention he deserves and his music gets celebrated the same. (Matt Bond) 

If you’d told me at the end of last year that we’d be featuring a song with a harpsichord in this year’s countdown, I may have been a little surprised. Don’t get me wrong, I would have been incredibly happy, but I would have been surprised, it’s not an instrument you hear every day and I would probably have demanded that you tell me how you know this you gypsy fortune telling freak and then I would have wanted you to play the song for me immediately. Ok, maybe I wouldn’t have said gypsy, but I would have wanted to hear the song. If you’d played me the song, I would have demanded to know the artist, because this is one song I LOVED from the very first note the very first time I heard it. It is so joyous, so bouncy, so full, so melodic and fairy tale and whimsical and goddamn I just want to get inside its soft feathery sounds and roll around. Is that weird? Shut up you gypsy fortune telling freak. (Jo Michelmore)

by Japanese Wallpaper ft. Jesse Davidson

If you wanna be my friend,
Stop trying to be my lover. 

I find myself using the word mesmerising a lot, but when I say it about this song, I actually, genuinely mean it. ‘Between Friends’ is just beautiful with its serene tones, the synths crashing around the sounds of twinkling bells and that chorus lyric whirling around and around my mind, over and over again. All of this from someone barely out of high school; way to make the rest of us who just write a couple of words on a blog every now and then feel inadequate. It’s ok, I’m prepared to feel inadequate when the music sounds this delicious. It’s simply stunning and only the very start of what I expect we will hear from Japanese Wallpaper in the future. (Jo Michelmore)

Japanese Wallpaper, for real-real name Gab Strum must be very happy with his 2014. He took out the triple J Unearthed High competition in July, joining the likes of Asta and Snakadaktal (R.I.P) as winners. 'Between Friends' alone is enough to say, "I'm a big winner, just give me the title!" Beautifully put together by Japanese Wallpaper and completely chilled out, the track scores bonus points for Jesse Davidson's restrained vocal work and the somber tone of the story against the ethereal music production. (Matt Bond)

This is one of those amazingly powerful songs that, depending on your mood, has the ability to reduce you to tears or make you smile. Isn’t that the best kind of music though? Music that makes you feel so strongly that you’re overcome with emotion. The answer is yes. (Katie Langley)

by MKO

And I know I'm just one fish in the sea,
But you're gonna get to know me. 

After seeing them live and declaring myself a fan of MKO last year, the release of ‘Puddles' was a perfect piece to put in the giant puzzle of MKO. I say puzzle, because sometimes I’m not sure whether to refer to just Hannah Macklin as MKO or whether to consider MKO a trio or a band or a sound or a feeling. The thing is, MKO is probably all of these things and when she and they are creating these sounds and I am swaying along to them, I don’t even care who they are, I’m just lost in the stylishly smooth beats and Hannah’s effortlessly sweet vocals singing of messes and guesses and puzzles and puddles. (Jo Michelmore)

After a stellar 2013, we weren't sure if MKO would be gracing us with their musical presence in 2014. Luckily for us, these Brisbane babes aren't ones to rest on their laurels and we got treated to a couple of new numbers including this one, 'Puddles'. It's dreamy. Isn't it just the dreamiest? Hannah Macklin can do no wrong, her voice is a thing of wonder and I'm convinced this is her best performance to date. It might even be my favourite MKO song so far too. If their trend of one-upping themselves continues, I'm already fascinated about what comes next. (Matt Bond) 

by Julia Why?

Just give me,
One night where I can't think. 

Julia, why have I only just now heard this song? Badoom-tish! Clearly I’m behind the times, but it’s better late than never, right? I love me some rock, I love me some grunge, and this new found love affair is definitely not going to be just a one night kind of thing. (Katie Langley)  

Bands like Julia Why? are the ones who make me wonder why I never went through with that high school fantasy of picking up my guitar, finding myself a denim clad band member or two and started playing gigs in venues I was too young to actually be allowed into. Why didn’t I do that Julia, why? I actually have a friend named Julia, so that isn't neccassarily just a ridiculous play on words or a rhetoric question. The clip for ‘Just One Night’ is all sorts of high school fun and the song is full of “na-na-na-na’s” so I can’t find anything not to love and well, this is our top 114 so I shouldn’t be finding things not to love, right? Julia Why? and your perfect pop punk. I demand more than one night, please and thank you. (Jo Michelmore)

by Dear Plastic

I've been picking the pockets of strangers,
Using what I found, to guess their names. 

Dear Plastic's debut album, The Thieves Are Babes, was one of the best releases of the year and 'Buck Up and Pay the Reaper' was one of its greatest tracks. I was completely sold on it when the chorus hits and vocalist Scarlette Baccini starts howling lines about looking out for number one, smiling like a dreamer and bucking up to pay the reaper. It's grungey-vibes galore and I'm loving the quiet, atmospheric moments in the verses and the fuller sound as the band lets loose in the chorus. As for the video, the performances from the band members are great. And then it's kinda gross, but the song... the song is a delight. And it's not even our favourite Dear Plastic song of the year. #foreshadowing (Matt Bond)

Oh this one caused some controversy in the IMKOS office (don't be fooled, we actually don’t have an office, it's mostly just Matt and I sitting in track pants in front of laptops which are in front of TVs). Back in May, Nayt and I battled it out over whether we loved the clip or hated it (Nayt a little on the hate, me a little on the love, neither of us really committing to either emotion) but we both came to the conclusion that regardless of what we thought of the clip, it had made us realise we liked the band and I guess that’s the job of a clip anyway, is it? I don’t even know any more in this crazy minefield of a music industry I keep observing. I do know that ‘Buck Up And Pay The Reaper’ is a glorious piece of dark indie pop rock that deserves to be heard by a lot more people than just Nayt and I arguing over what to love and what to hate about milking potatoes. (Jo Michelmore)

by The Preatures

Now don't make me reason, don't pretend,
Reel me in so our love can begin again. 

There’s a reason why 'Somebody’s Talking' has become one of my favourite pre-work bus anthems – there’s a feel good vibe that provides the perfect amount of hope and zest. It’s not an I’ve-had-4-coffee’s-and-I’m-so-amped kind of rah rah song. It has a quiet confidence that gives you a reassuring pat on the back to let you know, “you got this.” (Katie Langley)

As infectious as last year's breakthrough single, 'Is This How You Feel?', this year's hit from The Preatures, 'Somebody's Talking' makes me want to dance like I'm on one of those 60s TV shows where the band's playing and all the teens are on stage with the band and just dancing around them. That's exactly how it makes me feel. But then I'd probably just be standing around like a creeper, staring at Isabella Manfredi because she's just the perfect front for a band and her voice is magical. Yep. (Matt Bond)

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