Monday, 5 December 2016

Top 116 Songs of 2016, #80 - 71

by The Montreals

I don't want you to see what I've done...

'Lo-Fi' grabbed our attention, but it was 'Indigo Club' that really made us stop and take notice of The Montreals. Representing (r)Adelaide in the indie music stakes I just made up in my mind, The Montreals do the city of churches proud with huge hooks and summery rock vibes. I don't know much else about Adelaide except the 'rad' and churches thing, but I want to know a lot more about The Montreals. (Matt Bond)  

by Olympia

In the night, you drive, taking in, it all
When you talk, to her, lonely hearts, will call. 

I was alive in the 80s, but I don't really remember any of them. If the 80s were my time, I would have been all shoulder pads and bigger than you hair and pink stilettos and electric blue drinks and I would have had some kind of glamorous job and a sports car with a mobile phone as big as a house and I would have listened to synth laden pop songs like 'Self Talk' while living my fast life and people would have thought I was so fabulous and so successful, but after it was all done they'd hear the words of the songs I was listening to and suddenly it would all make sense. "There's just self talk...when all you want is love". It's not the 80s, but Olympia makes the visit there an awesome experience. (Jo Michelmore) 

Olympia put on one of our favourite sets at BIGSOUND and 'Self Talk' was one of the live highlights. Which makes sense, it's one of the highlights on the debut album of the same name. The music is infectious (in a good way, not an itchy bits way), easily winning 'automatic replay' status for its 80s charms and Olympia's equally detached and inviting vocal quality. I don't know exactly what it is about the lyrics that makes me curious about the way Olympia's Olivia Bartley sees the world, but I'd be fascinated to see things the way she does. When your writing's this good, you're seeing things the rest of us might be missing. Luckily for us, we get the benefits of listening to music of this quality. (Matt Bond)    

by The Belligerents

Take my hand and pull my heart
Don't be mad, I'm all you've got

2016 was like a coming out party for The Belligerents. Yes, just like debutantes of days gone by or teen dramas of today, The Belligerents stepped out into the world as the band they were meant to become. They've gone from Brisbane rockers to a band that can step onto any stage in the world and kill it. Which is hopefully what the near future's going to bring them; more stages to play on in more parts of the world. Because the music they released this year is ridiculously good. 'Before, I Am' is an exotic riot that will leave you tapping, humming and singing along until you find yourself wanting to jump around and scream along to your new favourite song. It must be time for a full album from these guys. (Matt Bond) 

To be belligerent, one would probably need to be fairly hostile and almost aggressive, so the name of this band has always amused me, because their brand of rock isn't anywhere near offensive, but it is good. I'll be honest and say I'm not even sure what all the lyrics really are, because I'm so caught up in the manic guitars and the quick drumbeat that I've got no time to be worried about belligerence. I have got time for some head nods though, of which there are a lot required in this track. Before I am belligerent, I am a big fan. (Jo Michelmore) 

by Kimbra

You know I want skin to skin
So gimme that sweet relief.

Matt messaged me one afternoon this year with the news Kimbra had dropped a surprise track and a message saying something along the lines of "WTF?" because Kimbra was pretty much the last person we were expecting a track from that day. Any day really. Therefore, it turned into a good afternoon with the sound of 'Sweet Relief' as a constant reminder of who Kimra was, who she is and all the places she has to go. We'll always have a sweet spot for Kimbra and this track was such a nice way to remind us not to forget her talent while she prepares us for all the awesome to come. (Jo Michelmore)

Kimbra is ready to make it a night, to remember, from January, to December. I can't be the only one getting those vibes from 'Sweet Relief', right? Maybe not in the words of a Bryan Adams song, but you're definitely getting what Kimbra's getting at here. She wants to talk about all the good things and the bad things life can bring, she wants to talk about... getting that sweet relief. Released as something to satisfy any hunger for new material as she heads into the studio once more, 'Sweet Relief' was an unexpected Kimbra release that was greatly appreciated all the same. It's a musical fit for the brilliant era that was The Golden Echo and will likely bridge the gap to however Kimbra reinvents herself for her next album. You already know it's going to be brilliant. You already know it's going to give us all that sweet relief. (Matt Bond)  

by Wild Beasts

No getting it right, no getting wrong
Just getting it on.

When I first wrote about this song earlier in the year, I said something about it not being something I expected from a band I never really knew what to expect from, which meant it really should have been something I expected from them, if you see what I mean. What I didn't know was that six or so months later I continue to find things in this track that surprise me, like the odd back and forth vocal in the chorus, which I still love each time I listen and the sudden end, which shouldn't really be a sudden end, considering I know when the song ends. Also, there is a lyric about eating cake, which means no surprise, I'm a fan. (Jo Michelmore)

#75. 1993 (NO CHILL)
by Paces ft. Jess Kent

There's always calm in the storm
Time is now, yeah, the time has come.

What were you doing in 1993? I was in grade 1. Life was pretty good... Power Rangers was a thing, I was loving 4 Non Blonde's 'What's Up' something sick. I'd like to think I was pretty chill, but the reality of that is probably something very different. I'd like to think I'm pretty chill now, but the reality of that is also probably something very different. IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU?! Sorry... sorry. Two artists that are the definition of chilled are Paces and Jess Kent. So even when they're putting out a song together about 1993 and having no chill, they're still the most chilled combo you're going to come across. 2016 was a breakout year for both artists, who've created a healthy amount of buzz around them over the past 12 months. I hope they carry that into 2017 and move onto even bigger and better things. (Matt Bond)  

Oh my gawd I love the chorus in this song. Like when I say love, I'm talking mad crazy repeat that bit again type love. And it's my favourite kind of chorus, because the words and the musics are so polar opposite they work perfectly together. The bouncy beats make every minute feel like summer on a beach but the words "no chill no chill" are hilarious, because chilled is exactly what these three minutes are all about. (Jo Michelmore

by Tash Sultana

Welcome to the jungle
Are you gonna dance with me? 

Right, well apparently Tash Sultana is 21. Maybe she's 22 by now, I'm not sure. Either way, early 20s? Are you actually serious Tash? How can it be possible you're this talented at such a young age? It's like those memes about "all my friends out getting married and I'm just over here (insert verb here). And that's exactly what I'm doing. Sitting in front of my laptop writing words while Tash Sultana is out there somewhere being amazing and writing songs about jungles. It's not all hopeless though. At least I've been listening to incredible songs this good all year.  (Jo Michelmore) 

I didn't know much about Tash Sultana until I saw Facebook blowing up about Jetstar losing some of her equipment/instruments while she was heading off on an overseas tour. Loving nothing more than people having a go at Jetstar, I read through my fair share of articles and got the impression that Tash Sultana was pretty rad. And then I heard this song 'Jungle' on the j's and was like, "who be this?" "This be Tash Sultana," said Shazam. Her radness confirmed, I got myself a copy of the Notion EP and I've been loving her music ever since. 'Jungle' is the track I keep coming back to. The level of musicianship is incredible, Sultana's performance riveting. I missed my chance to see her at BIGSOUND this year, but I won't make that mistake the next time she comes to Brisbane. I'll pay for some Virgin tickets myself to make sure she has a comfortable journey. (Matt Bond

by Alex Lahey

Let's go out and have fun tonight
Let's go out and get drunk tonight.

Yes. Let us all go out and have fun tonight and get drunk tonight and I'm really not going to do that because I totally love bed and sleep. Something else I totally loved in 2016 is the music of Alex Lahey, she of the quirky/classic lyrics and shout-a-long choruses. I love her dry delivery that's neither apathetic or enthusiastic. And I love that there's nothing even remotely pretentious about her music. Through songs like 'Let's Go Out', Alex Lahey comes across as a totally normal person, just like you or me. She's totally that friend that you'll go out on the town for, even though you value those precious bed/sleep times. And this isn't even our favourite Lahey track of 2016. We'll get to that later. Much, much later. (Matt Bond)

This super bouncy number needs no words, the energy kind of speaks for itself, but I can't quite figure out when Alex Lahey started stalking me so she could represent my entire life in her clip for 'Let's Go Out'. She has my slippers, she knows my bank balance, she ignores text messages, she burns unhealthy snacks and she keeps money under her furniture. The only bit she got wrong was the running out the door. Find fifty bucks? I'm getting Uber Eats and staying in. (Jo Michelmore)

by Kid Runner

There is no box to put me in
You can't close me up, no not again.

So in that award winning film that I'm going to write, direct and and play the lead in, there is going to be an amazing scene at the end where I have defeated all the villains and a smouldering dusty city awaits behind me while I embrace the long lost love of my life. 'Give Me Something To Love' will be playing because it's a song made for glory and the camera will pan back on an orange sunset and everyone will smile and cry because love is  exactly what my character has been fighting for during the whole film, while also combating evil villains attempting to take over the world, of course. We're going to win an Oscar, baby. Ok, we may not, but Kid Runner will, definitely. Oh my gosh, regardless of how ridiculous my imagination is, I really love it if that last bit happens. But for real. (Jo Michelmore) 

#71. TIME
by Sarah Belkner 

Time is what you make of it
Time has let you down.

Sarah Belkner kept herself busy this year. She spent some of the year supporting Sarah Blasko and the rest of it supporting Olympia. And when I say supporting, I believe she pulled double duty for a lot of these shows as an opening act as well as playing in Blasko/Olympia's bands. She backed up Elk Road for Like A Version last month too, no biggie. On top of all that, Belkner has managed to put out the best music of her career and that's exactly what 'Time' is. 'Time' has a maturity, depth and level of class that will leave you in awe. Backing up Belkner on the track is a who's who of local legends, with Brendan Maclean, Ngaiire, Elana Stone and Billie McCarthy featured. But it's Belkner that stars on 'Time' and it will hopefully be Belkner starring in her own headline tours going forward. Hers is a rare talent to be celebrated. (Matt Bond)  

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