Top Moon Tunes 2018 Volume 2

And so, just over a month from volume 1 we now have volume 2 of the monthlyish Moon top tunes. Unlike volume 1, it does contain tracks released in 2018 or at least tracks from albums released in this year.  It kicks off with a gorgeous slice of  dreamy folk and ends with an epic slice of psychedelic folk-rock, but inbetween it is pretty much rock 'n' roll all the way.

As with volume 1, it is embeded below via Playmoss and so playable on any old device. I have checked the Playmoss app for Android but found it does not include any of the Bandcamp content in playlists and this currently renders it a bit pointless. I have also found that on a mobile their website works best in desktop mode rather than in mobile mode, especially as it pushes the pointless app. What works best, on Android at least, is an embedded playlist, so the best way to listen to this playlist is via The Moon.

It is also on Spotify, although it is only 13 tracks as the Ty Segall and The Wind-Up Birds tracks are not available.

There is a bit of guff on each artist beneath the playlist.

1. Brona McVittie - We Are the Wildlife

Ms McVittie is from County Down in the part of the currently virtually borderless island of Ireland that is currently part of the United Kingdom and is still part of the European Union. It may soon become a more distinct part of the United Kingdom, whilst also in a customs union with the rest of the island of Ireland and the European Union, or the island of Ireland might end up becoming divided by a border again. This is all thanks to the need to keep the Conservative and Unionist party together due to its greater than usual infestation by imperialistic wet-dreaming, little Englander appeasers. This album is however, the perfect antidote to all the Brexshit madness as it is a gorgeous collection of new and traditional folk songs with a bit of electronica thrown in . This title track is a good representative of the sound and pace of the whole album.

2. Sunflower Bean  - Crisis Fest

Now for some rock 'n' roll from a young band who previously featured twice on Moon Best ofs, but have struggled to match the brilliance of the double A side single they released in 2015 after a debut 5 track EP. Their debut album did not feature either track and was less psychedelic punk and more (very good) indie jangle. The first new single from last year was another lovely slice of  indie pop, but with this politically charged slice of glam punk, they have come closest to matching the A sides from 2015 and it is Ms Cumming's finest vocal to date.

3. Martha Ffion - Take Your Name

Ms Ffion is an Irish songwriter based in Glasgow in the Land of More Enlightenment to the north of The North. I have had my eye on her for a couple of years via a 5 track EP release, but the three singles she has released recently, presumably for her debut album, have been a step up. This track is her at her most rock 'n' roll with her default sound being more dream pop with songwriting reminiscent of Paul McCartney at his most Top Pop.

4. Ezra Fruman - Driving Down to LA

Mr Furman is a multiple Moon offender who first featured back in Feb 2014 and this latest album is The Moon album of the month. I am limited to Youtube for this album on Playmoss and so we have the first single which was released last year and one I filed under "interesting". The next single Love You So Bad did not make much of an impression and I was wondering if he may have run out of steam after releasing 3 brilliant albums. However, the third single Suck the Blood from my Veins was more like it, with what would have previously been freaky sax replaced by quirky synth sounds. Then the album came out with its concept of being a road trip of an Angel and his lover on the run in a world where Angels are outlawed by a fascistic government. In the context of the album, the first two singles work really well and it is also evident that Love You So Bad is the only radio-friendly song on it. There is still some fantastic freaky sax on the brilliant No Place, but also a lot more of the quirky synth sounds which successfully update his rock 'n' roll sound.

Check out this brilliant  playlist of the best of his first band available via Spotify.

5. Graham Coxen -  In My Room

This is from the soundtrack to The End of the F***ing World by Mr Coxon that came as a very pleasant surprise via a Spotify new music email, as I had no idea it was in the works. It turned out I had already heard some of it as I had watched the first episode of the Channel 4 series and had thought some of the music sounded familiar and had even tried Shazam but Shazam failed to recognise it. As an album it is his most diverse to date and is only bettered by The Spinning Top, his brilliant acoustic folk record from 2009. The TV series is available on All4 and I would also very much recommend it, especially if  you get into the album first, but there is also some top older tuneage used brilliantly. This track is one of the more straightforward ones, but contains probably Mr Coxon's finest vocal.

6. The Velvet Hands - Only Blame Myself

Hot on the heals of featuring on a Best of 17 this London/ Cornwall in Brexshit Blighty based band have released another great single. Previous releases have brought to mind The Libertines, The Arctic Monkeys and The Wind-Up Birds (see below) but, this one brings to mind a more rock 'n' roll Franz Ferdinand.

7. Marlon Williams  - Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore

From a chap described as the New Zealand Roy Orbison. This is from his second LP and it is my favorite song of the year so far. It is a duet with Aldous Harding his ex and a singer who released a critically acclaimed, but non Moon boat-floating album last year. His first LP is apparently more Americana sounding but this new one is more expansive and brings to mind not just the great Mr Orbison , but also Nick Cave and Elbow.

8. Caroline Rose - Bikini

This is the re-invention of the year so far from a very talented singer songwriter from Trumplyland. She first appeared on The Moon back in 2014 with the release of her debut album on a proper record label. But she had self-released a brilliant album in 2013 called America Religious which now only exist as a 3 track EP on Bandcamp. Her other debut did feature re-workings of two of the tracks, but was not as impressive as a whole. Her sound was also very much Americana, but then in an interview with American Songwriter in 2013 she did say " I’m never going to consider myself an Americana artist, because eventually I’m going to branch out and do other stuff." Well with her new LP she has been very true to those words with a radical change to a fantastic new wave style with brilliant synth sounds, but with a great rock 'n' roll energy that is well represented by this track. Another pre- release from the album was Getting to Me which was the nearest to her previous material and I thought there might be more like it on the LP, but it turns out that it is the only track like it and many of the rest are quirky Top Pop that is mostly very good indeed. But the highlights do have a bit of rock 'n' roll in them and this track and Soul No.5 are two of the finest slices of Top Pop rock 'n' roll  of recent times.

9. Shannon and the Clams  -  Backstreets

This band from from Oakland in Trumplyland and their previous and 4th album featured on The Moon back in 2015. For their 5th their sound can still be  described as "Etta James, backed up by the 13th Floor Elevators singing Shangri La's tunes", but they do sound a bit more polished and bigger sounding. I am limited to the Ubend singles for this playlist, but this track is a good representative of the album.

10. The Lovely Eggs  - Wiggy Giggy

A cracking latest single from this Preston based husband and wife duo in the Land to the north west of the North. It is similar in  style and comes close to matching The Magic Onion, the brilliant single from their excellent last album. The rest of the album carries on in much the same style and does lack the diversity of its predecessor; it is less Beatleesque and more Fall-like. It is a blast though and you can add a bit of variation by adding tracks from recent single releases, including an acoustic version of Magic Onion featuring Sweet Baboo.

11. Ty Segall -  The Main Pretender

Mr Segall has now brightened up my January 3 years running and especially this year with the release of a 19 track album which is his most diverse and most consistently brilliant LP.  Sadly, it is not available  to stream on Spotify etc  and this is one of just 5 of the tracks you can stream on Bandcamp. But the album is very much worth the $9 price.

12. The Wind-Up Birds - Where We Built Our Settlements

This band from Leeds and Gods Own County in Brexshit Blighty first appeared on The Moon back in 2014 with A Best of the Wind-Up Birds on Spotify. At the end of the post I said "I hope that their next album will be the classic they are so obviously capable of making as I think this playlist is 25 songs of unrelenting brilliance." Well, it has taken a while and we now have a new "short album or long EP" from them. Initially, I did think they had lost a bit of their energy but it did not take long for tunes to take hold. It is only 9 track but you can also check out their 5 track EP from 2016 which is of a similar sound and standard. Again sadly, neither are available via Spotify etc, but they are definitely worth the asking price and you can currently buy their full digital discography for a mere £16.96.

13. Belle and Sebastian  - The Same Star

From the second of the three recent 5 track EPs which have showcased the full range of sounds of the now 20 odd years of one of Glasgow's, The Land of More Enlightenment to the north of The North and Brexshit Blighty's finest bands. I am limited to the tracks available via Ubend for this playlist and this track starts quietly but builds into quite a stomper that would have gone down a storm at the Belle and Sebastian disco night in South London back in 99...

14. Laish - Time Elastic

The lead single from this now London based solo vehicle for Danny Green. Tracks from the previous two albums featured on a A Best of 13 and 16 on The Moon and this track is an encouraging opener for album number four.

15 . Trembling Bells - Christ's Entry Into Govern

Anotherband from Glasgow in The Land of More Enlightenment to the north of The North, although they are led by Gods Vey Own Alex Neilson aka Alex Rex  who released Song for Dora The Moon song of the year and one of the albums of 2017 with his debut solo LP. The Trembling Bells had featured on the pre-Moon playlist A Best of 2010, but had then slipped off my radar. However, this epic first single from the new album, carries on from Mr Rex's 2017 efforts and has a wonderfully deranged ending reminiscent of Song for Dora.


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