I’ve given myself an extra spot cos I got the COVID, so I deserve one. The Claire Beck’s Saturday SoundSystem ‘Best of ‘21’ special goes out this Saturday 18th at 9pm on Today FM and I’ve got my usual best of Spotify playlist too:
Dry Cleaning – Strong Feelings
Man, Florence Shaw is just. so. cool. The lyric from this ‘I’ve been thinking about eating that hotdog for hours’ really resonated while lying on the floor in lockdown listening to their album New Long Leg. The fact that I still go back to it post lockdown is testament to how damn good it is.
The Fantastics feat Sulene Fleming – Hey Mister! (Art of Tones mix)
One of the most popular tracks on my radio show this year from Londoners The Fantastics. Sadly, no festival moments again this year with it but I’ll look back fondly on roller skating around blasting it in my headphones during the July heatwave. There’s an album version but Art of Tones has managed to take the best parts of it and weave them together to make it sound beautifully full for the remix.
Black Country, New Road – Track X
When their EP came out back in February in the throes of the big l*ckd*own, it was the perfect accompaniment to my mood. BCNR are over the top, dramatic, angsty – and I’m here for all of it. I’m going to my room and I’m not coming out till their Dublin show in April. Speaking of – that sold out Whelans show has moved to The Olympia and it’s still not sold out! I think people don’t know it’s moved – you’re welcome.
Dames Brown – What Would You Do?
House music fans will already be familiar with Dames Brown’s vocals from tracks like Sophie Lloyd’s Calling Out and Horse Meat Disco’s Message To The People. Their debut solo effort is everything I’d hoped it would be – a homage to the musical history of their hometown Detroit that lets their vocals shine. I interviewed them recently and they mentioned that they are finishing off their debut album and we should hear it in 2022.
Gabriels – Love and Hate In A Different Time (Kerri Chandler Remix)
I feel like LA trio Gabriels’ EP Love and Hate In A Different Time got a bit overlooked last year, probably due to it’s December release date. While the EP version of this track takes you to church, Kerri Chandler’s empathetic reworking takes it from the pulpit to the dancefloor, without losing the emotional impact.
Wet Leg – Wet Dream
Indie isn’t dead, it just bored itself into a coma. But it’s ok, cos Wet Leg knows CPR.
Dying for the album and to see them live ASAP.
Seaward & Thunburg – Max The Disco Strut
Aussie Jazz double bassist Max Alduca got drunk on a jam sesh with Swedish duo Seaward and Thunburg and this unbeLIEVABLY funky track is the result. If O’Flynn’s Tru Dancing makes you want to do the splits, the same part of your brain will light up for this one.
Elaine Mai feat MayKay – No Forever
I could have picked a number of tracks from Elaine’s stunner of a debut album, but I’ve gone for the one I played the most. Buy the album immediately if you missed out, you won’t regret it.
Hard Feelings – Holding On Too Long
This collaboration between Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) and Amy Douglas (songwriting credits include Roisin Murphy’s Something More) is a match made in dancefloor heaven. Amy’s voice is incredible here and the piano is sublime. Their self titled debut album is full of gems but this is the one for me.
Lauer feat. Dena – Make It Stay (Gerd Janson Remix)
Another big Saturday SoundSystem anthem from the summer. Lauer went full 80s on the album (Answers 2 Trouble) which I loved, and this remix of the standout track from it is built for a sun-baked festival stage. Fingers crossed I can take it to one next year.
CMAT – No More Virgos
I adore everything about CMAT – the songwriting, the voice, the aesthetic, the humour. She is a true original and I’m buzzing for the album. It was a toss up between No More Virgos and I Don’t Really Care For You for the top spot. In the end, the iconic line “Oh the Marian Keyes of it all” was pipped by the fact that I’m a (very) virgo gal but I’m not mad, at all. It’s a total tune and seeing her perform it live at Whelans (at one of the handful of gigs I saw this year) was a cute lil moment for the gang.