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© 2017 by James Parkin

Best of Indie 2017

This playlist contains the best songs from 2017, comprised of the songs that were submitted to me for review either by Influencer sites or via the collaborative playlist. I started this Blog in December 2017, so its a 1 month best of the year....think of it as a proof of concept. That being said, the songs are highly recommended by me.

Click the image to access the Best of Indie 2017 in Spotify

Song of the Year:

The Star off Machine by Scott Neuffer

 

This song reminds me of the first time I heard Kid A. I didn't like it...Kid A I mean. I wanted my Radiohead to sound like it had done in the past. This song made me feel like that. It started out with some wacky drum beat, strange vocal effects, strange guitar effects, someone singing some trippy lyrics, almost tribal....and I thought where is this going?! 

It made me want to listen...would it go anywhere or would it just be a bit of a mess.

I still dont know...but its unlike anything else I've heard in a long time and that alone is saying something in an age where its hard to find something new.

Almost exactly halfway through...the guitar becomes more melodic, the singing more melancholic and I was hooked. I dont know anything about this guy - It sounds like its recorded at home by someone who is not afraid to experiment. I mean that as a compliment though. Its experimental. Its not contrived. Here is someone who is writing from his heart for himself and thats the way it should be.

Every so often a small child like noise occurs...his baby? Some random kid? Just a random noise? Who knows?

This song makes you question. It makes me question why my music is so symmetrical. Like listening to Jeff Buckley, it inspires because it breaks the rules.

He isn't the best singer. Or the best guitarist. And it doesn't matter. Its original and that makes it my Song of the Month.

Other songs worthy of mention;

Flow with the Flow by Mayaenova- Very catchy chorus played by musicians who sound like they are enjoying themselves. There is nothing complicated going on here, its catchy, one dimensional and thats absoloutely fine. When it comes on I tap my feet and smile inside.

Watergum by Max Koffler - This has an air of cool about it. Kinda like listening to a Morphine track. A soundtrack to a strange night out in a foreign city where you meet some people that open your mind to new experiences. Halfway through the song the Bass Guitar starts to funk it up and kudos to whoever played that. It paves the way to an outro from the vocalist which the name of the song is derived from. A cool track.

Nothing by Zola Blood- I cant remember where I heard this song, but apparently I added it to the playlist. The synth sounds are really cool. The verse is very sparse and then this infectious chorus hits you and it becomes a toe tapper, something to maybe even sing along to. A song I'd want to hear in a club. A soundtrack to a bloody good night out in a European City.

Enough by Mess -I also added this song personally. I stumbled on it as it was on a playlist that featured 'Lullabye'. The singer has a really uniquely beautiful voice, the guitar is cool, the drummer shows real talent with some very clever fills. They use space to create changes in melody and tension. Hailing from Kansas City, I spoke with them a bit and commended them on this song and decided to buy their EP. A worthwhile purchase. Its always tempting to compare bands to others and I try to avoid it because it makes it sound like that band is not original. Thats not the case here - This band do remind me of Daughter - but they aren't copying them. I;m not even sure they are familiar with Daughter and it doesn't matter. I'm glad their are bands like Mess in the world. The final guitar solo and tone on that guitar solo by the way is really really nice! Great work.

Just to be the one by Playmoboys - When this song starts I was going to remove it. Its not the best start. The guy doesn't have the best voice and musically its not anything amazing....but....then a girl starts singing and I'm reminded of 'The xx'. A band that may not have the best voices or the best chops on their instruments, but the sum of the parts adds up to something very listenable. To the guitarists credit too, there is a nice solo and the song has been well produced. I look forward to hearing more from these guys.

Dear Joe by Robin James - A Bluesy guitar intro, reminiscent of White Stripes leads into a well written bridge/chorus and then the drums kick in and i'm transported to a dive bar....somewhere you'd go when you've had a shit day and need to be with other people who have had a shit day and knock back some Jack Daniels. The guitar solo 2ish mins of the way through is noteworthy, possibly overdone with reverb but but its played from the heart and thats what counts. If this is where Blues has evolved to 100 years after it first landed then its in good health.

Told Ya by The Sulks - So this starts and I'm thinking 'oh great - its Supergrass'. Except its not and to be fair they find their own style pretty quickly. Some nice guitaring throughout and a cool chorus, with tight harmonies elevate it. Some good Bass guitar work - not over indulgent...just in the pocket serving the song. The same is true of the drumming.

Desert Bloom II by Proxima Parada - This was very close to being my song of the month. Its really chilled, unique sounding taking in influences of Bob Marley and a bunch of other people that my tired mind cant put my finger on, but they aren't copying anyone. They've created something here that would work well in any environment. On the beach it will make you feel cool, in a club it will make you wanna groove, in bed it will make you wanna fuck, it inspires...on the other hand if you just wanna stick it on in the background then it does that well to. A cracking track.

Daydream by The Rewind- A cool guitar intro kicks this puppy off and a positive lyric. Can it stay on the right side of cheesy though? Its a happy song and happy songs can be cheesy. Fortunately, a tight band comes in and creates a bit of a toe tapper. In particular the low end keeps it tight with a nice Bass guitar and high hat pattern. Not overplayed - just playing what the song needs. Middle 8's are always interesting - many songs dont have them but this does and it benefits froma change in mood. Its instrumental but it breaks things up and again keeps it on the right side of and stops it being a bit cheesy. A nice guitar solo with good tone is very listenable. In summary, this is a song that if I was half the age I am and in a bar I'd be looking at the dance floor hoping to see the girl of my dreams dancing to this.

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