Yup… It’s New Year again and that means its time for the annual ‘JPC’s Sound of…’ that thing where I run through the songs that I’ve been listening too throughout the year. Last year was an odd year full of motivational songs for some reason but I’m pleased to say that this year things are a lot less motivational, though no less diverse, odd and downright inexplicable! Enjoy.
Katie Melua: Better Than A Dream
For years I had this vague memory of a video I owned as a child. It came with a massive wipe clean colouring mat and that’s probably why I remembered it. I had no idea what it was called but I had a recollection of it involving a dark room and two people gathering round a crystal ball in the centre of it. And then by chance, at the start of the year, I found out what it was. It was called The Dreamstone and that those two people weren’t people but green rodent things and that crystal ball wasn’t a crystal ball but the titular dreamstone. But what most sparked my attention was the theme music. Somewhere it stirred something in the back of my mind and I just fell in love with it all over again. I then found out that Katie Melua did a cover version of it… I actually like this version better than the original. It sounds more natural.
Fun. –Some Nights
Carry On made it onto my list last year and this year Fun. have made it again with Some Nights. It has, for a reason only known to my subconscious, replaced Carry On as last years go-to song when I’ve needed perking up.
The Strypes- Hometown Girls
I was doing one of my semi-regular trawls through the NME when I came across these guys. They looked about twelve and I wasn’t expecting much from what I was about to listen to. But it was a worth a shot and if you don’t give new things a try life becomes exceptionally dull… And it came as something of a shock. It was proper rock and roll of the old fashioned kind and I was impressed. These guys were so radically different to almost anything else out there at the moment. The song manages to be both modern and old fashioned at the same time and it is also, in my opinion at least, a very good song in its own right. Although… I do have to question the repeated line of ‘I reek of sweat and teenage innocence.’ Here’s a couple of tips: Firstly, never say that to a girl. Tell a girl you smell of sweat and she’ll run a mile. Second: Invest in some deodorant. It might also be an idea to start using aftershave.
Theme From ‘A Bridge Too Far’
Is it any wonder this is here? Especially when I was rewriting the whole of Operation Market Garden and shoving it onto the Mersey… All the time I was writing I had this (and the Dambusters march) going through my head. I couldn’t help it. Really. I suppose it serves me right for doing what I was doing… It was a toss up between this and the Dambusters march (guess which bit that accompanied 😉 ) but this won out. So, for providing the backing track to the creation of a war story in Runcorn (complete with tanks, exploding motorway viaducts and mutant abominations) this is here. It wouldn’t have been 2014 without it.
ABBA- Slipping Through My Fingers
Lord knows how I ended up with this. It was one of those songs I just thought of listening to on a whim and then, somehow, it ended up being stuck in my head. Its a very melancholy sort of song and not on the usual ABBA playlist (where usually reside the likes of Waterloo and Dancing Queen) but it’s just as good as that other stuff is. Though I still have no idea how it ended up here.
The Vamps- Cecilia
This slipped onto my radar towards the end of the summer and at first I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It was very different to all the previous versions of Cecilia and I wasn’t sure I liked the added/adapted verses. I wasn’t sure I liked it at all. But it got stuck in It grew on me though. I quite like the way it is different. It has a nice reggae rhythm to it and its kind of catchy. Probably the song that I’m most surprised actually ended up on the list this year. I can’t say I like any of The Vamps other stuff but I think it’s the song that matters and not the band. People often seem to forget that when it comes to music.
George Ezra- Listen to the Man
When George Ezra first came into my life it was as though he had deliberately set out to annoy me. Every time I tried to watch a YouTube video there he was begging his calculator not to leave him… But then I saw his album being advertised on telly (I’ll tell you now that it was on one of the breaks of Gotham) and I was intrigued by a section highlighting this song… What was Ian McKellan doing in a music video? So I looked at the song and I really loved it… Its one of those songs that gets inside your soul and embeds itself there in quite a permanent fashion. It’s a late and unexpected entry on this years list but I’m glad if any song had to force its way on to the list it was this one.
And that was 2014… A year of completely unexpected surprises and almost all by artists born after August 1984… with the exception being ABBA and the Theme from a Bridge too far. But each year, I suppose, comes with its own surprises and if these ‘sound of’ posts teach us anything it’s that there will always be something new (or in a few cases old) to listen to, something that will lodge itself in your brain for a short while before making room for something else. Here’s to 2015 and whatever music it will bring!