Another year of fantastic music has flown by and through it thousands of songs have reverberated through the RouteNote office.
To mark the end of a year, and a decade, we’ve come together to share the songs that have meant a lot to us, that have been on repeat, or just given us a good vibe more than any other in 2019.
The Zephyr Bones – Telephone
A smooth bass intro and a well timed electric guitar transition. Telephone is also about distance from someone important to you which everyone experiences in their life.
Don Broco – T-Shirt Song
My choice is T-Shirt Song by Don Broco. I’ve been doing a lot of driving this year and the album this track is from is extremely enjoyable to have at full volume in the van.
Not to mention the absolutely bangin production. Tune.
Idles – Danny Ndelko
Whether you’re politically inclined or not – this track is day to day life and can’t be avoided. It’s a rampage that lets you feel like you have the establishment by the throat for three and a half minutes. It’s Catharsis for the disenfranchised. C-O-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y!
Earth Tongue – Probing the New Reality
Love a tasty bit of psych rock me. Give me that fuzzy goodness baby!
Land Of Talk – It’s Okay
I am a huge sucker for a cry alone in your car song, and this one seems quite timeless to me. Each listen allows you to be enveloped in the delicate swelling synths and fragile vocal harmonies, all whilst keeping a grounding drive. The instrumentation accompanies the imagery created by the lyrics “maybe when I die, I’ll get to be a car, driving through the night, lighting up the dark” – gets me every time.
Winston Surfshirt – Be About You
This track is a straight up guilty pleasure, minus the guilt and double the pleasure.
note – this description has also been used to describe Ed Pipkin
Gorillaz – We Are Happy Landfill
It’s like this bunch of cartoons listened to “I Like Driving In My Car” by Madness and went “Hey, you know what? This would make the basis of a great angry punk anthem” and followed that thought to its end-point.But surprisingly it works, and the result is a gut-stirring track which, in such times that we live in, is great for when you’re feeling all shouty and anti-establishment.
Ween – Oh My Little Country Cottage
What a year, what a summer. I love summer. Isn’t summer the best? I love summer and the sun. And everything fun! I’m gonna learn to play the flute.
Boston Manor – Halo
Up and coming English band, picked up by America could just be the next big thing 2020 could be the year for Boston Manor. Just enjoy listening to the new school of old school music.
Nine Inch Nails – The Great Destroyer
Picking a song that sums up an entire year is difficult. Years are large and unwieldy things although I reckon could probably track down a 20 minute rock opera. Sadly I can’t think of one off the top of my head. But if I imagine all the music I listened to this year crammed into a single song like a sun collapsing into a black hole… it would be probably be an unlistenable monstrosity.
If you care to look you can find entire films condensed down to a single frame. Which puts me in mind of a certain song. At the very least the second half of it. So this is my choice.
Koizilla – I Can’t See Anything
Koizilla are surf rock, and weird syncopated grooves, and flute that’s a bit folk and a bit hippy and a bit jazz, and fuzzy psych, and funny, and they do it in a way that’s so effortless and so enjoyable. It’s far too straight-up fun for music that has this much in it.”I Can’t See Anything” does it all and it’s my record of the year.
Fatlantic – The Easy Way to Fall
I stick this on in the morning and by the end of it, I’m ready to get up and go for the whole day! A real musical motivator, absolutely love this tune.
Squid – Match Bet
Really been getting into this band this year. They’ve got some solid bangers and this track is probably my favourite. The vocal delivery right down to the timing of each word feels refreshing and the contrast of the verses and the choruses works so well.
Sungazer – Drunk (live)
Sungazer somewhat ditch their usual 8-bit and chiptune style influences for a super hypnotic lull, with YouTubers Adam Neely (Bass/Keys) and Shawn Crowder (Drums/Samples) providing a killer groove over the whole track that is infused with Jazz and Hip Hop themes.
Stormzy – Blinded By Your Grace (feat. People)
This song is both deeply meaningful to me and as a live performance it’s beautifully simple. Also, I’m a sucker for good harmonies and the poetry of rap which just makes it the best of 2019 for me.
Rob Zombie – Dragula
It highlights times at download festival which i had never been to before this year and got to guitar teck for O’Deus!
Steve Hauschildt – Saccade (feat. Julianna Barwick)
Steve Hauschildt’s ambient electronica album ‘Dissolvi’ is full to the brim with beautifully rich & warm tracks, but ‘Saccade’ featuring Julianna Barwick is the stand-out for me. Julianna’s ethereal voice repeating ‘It is the snow falling’ over and over is kinda haunting, but you know, in a good way.
Aurora – Churchyard
I came across this performance on KEXP by accident. Drawn in by Aurora’s unique and heartwarming smile, i decided to check it out. 2019 has been a year where we’ve noticed positive female role models emerging. I not only see Aurora as someone whose music I have enjoyed, but as the full, positive artistic package, for adults and children alike. Unconventional, exciting and naturally uncompromising, this song, from this performance stayed with me throughout 2019. Watching her makes you glad to be alive.
Rachel Sermanni – Breathe Easy
Heard her on late night Scottish TV whilst up in the highlands this summer and have had the album on repeat ever since.
Sorrow – Timid
This whole release for me, represents the past years turbulent ups and downs as each track takes me back to reminisce on each of those moments.
It was extremely difficult to chose just one track from this release but I chose ‘Timid’ for it’s beautiful soundscapes, progression
and way it strikes a chord emotionally. Just stunning.
Claudio Coccoluto – The Horse Running
I picked this song as it makes me want to find my dancing shoes and get down!
Si Phili – Windrush
Here is my selection. It came out just over a year ago but I keep going back to it because THIS is how you make a Hip-Hop record.
Forget all that grime nonsence and Stormzy hype, this is the real deal. It has it all! Meaningful educational heartfelt personal lyrics delivered with an impeccable and passionate flow combined with a seriously heavy beat that skilfully interpolates a famous piece of news reel featuring Lord Kitchener arriving in Britain. If you don’t know Si’s work as well as his work in Hip-Hop group PhiLife Cypher, do check it out as it is some of the finest Hip-Hop to emerge from this nation. Hope you enjoy.
Christo and the Electric Spectacles – I Don’t Want to Know Why
A real unknown that I legit lovelovelove.
Fat White Family – Touch the Leather
Me and my baby gonna touch that leather. I’m vegan.
Jack Stauber – Buttercup
Dont try and sing this song without the lyrics you will summon a demon
Loyle Carner – Angel (feat. Tom Misch)
Name a more iconic duo. Two of the nicest guys in music come together with perfect ‘summer vibes’, plus a music video that is absolute friendship goals.
Music is good and so are Chon.
Floating Points – Truly
Floating Points manages to make grooves that I never knew existed until now.