Top Moon Tunes 2018 Volume 4

After a bit more than a month after Volume 3, The Moon now presents Volume 4 of monthlyish Top Tunes. It is about as diverse as Volume 3, with a London based Bahrainian, a couple of artists from Dublin and an eclectic mix of Trumplylanders with sounds  ranging from Rock 'n' Roll, Psych Rock, Hip Hop, Top Soul Pop, Country Soul, Baroque Pop and a bit of folksiness.

After not featuring at all last month, little england has managed to strike back with 6 of the artists involving at least one person from the biggest part of the Disunited Kingdom to vote for Brexshit.

It is embedded below via Playmoss and so playable via any old interweb connected device and  is fully available via Spotify and, as usual, there is a bit of guff on each artist below the playlist.

1. Madonnatron - Mermaids

This is a band from London in Brexshit Blighty and are labelmates and part of the same "scene" as The Fat White Family. Their attitude and sound does come across as similar to the Fat Whites, but with a bit more creativity and variation. I was aware of their debut album from July 2017, but I was then a Groove Music subscriber and it was not available. With the end of the Groove subscription I am now back on Spotify and so got into the album after the digital unveiling of this track. It is a great LP, but one without anything all that radio friendly.  This brand new single is their most radio friendly track so far with a cracking chorus and bodes well for the future.

2. Trembling Bells  -  Death Knocked At My Door

A second entry on Top Moon Tunes 2018 from this psychedelic rock folk  band from Glasgow in The Land of More Enlightenment to the north of The North. This is one of the more energetic tracks on  their top new album, which has turned up the dial in their sound on the psychedelic and rock fronts to great effect. They should be the headline act at festivals across the land.

3. Goat Girl  - Throw Me A Bone

Another band from London in Brexshit Blighty and from the "pubs and community spaces of Peckham and Brixton". They did first come to my attention with the release of Country Sleaze, their excellent debut single, but then further singles released last year sounded interesting but did not quite grab my attention. However, when the album came out it only contained Country Sleaze, and Cracker Drool and not the other 3 2017 tracks and again it all mostly sounded interesting to start with, but has grown on me, with tracks like this one and Viper Fish, matching the power of Country Sleaze. Like Madonnatron, they don't do radio friendly but their unconventional rock 'n' roll with bags of attitude comes together brilliantly as an LP, and those 3 other 2017 tracks can be added to extend the brilliance.

4. Dr Octagon  - Area 54

This was brought to my attention by the AV Club and is a classic slice of Hip Hop from Trumpyland's  Kool Keith, Dan The Automator and DJ Qbert. It is from a top new LP which is the first music they have produced together since their Dr Octagon debut back in 1996 - which is considered one of the classic Hip Hop albums of the 90s.

5. Kali Uchis - In My Dreams

According to Wikipedia Ms Uchis is "a Colombian-American singer, songwriter, poet, record producer, music video director, and fashion designer." Previously she has been the featured artist on a number of  singles and on the last Gorillaz's LP, but she has just released a cracker of a soul pop record. Brought to my attention initially by the AV club sharing her After the Storm single; she has also been recommended by God Is In The TV and even Uncut Magazine. This track is the most poptastic on the LP and features some bloke from Brexshit Blighty who goes by the name of Damon Albarn and he informs us that we are "at our happiest when we don't exist".

6. Eels - The Deconstruction

E or Mark Oliver Everett, originally from Virginia in Trumplyland has now been releasing music for over 3 decades and I have admired a few of his songs over the years, but have not got round to listening to one of his albums till now. It is his first for 4 years after taking a bit of a hiatus. He has reunited with his producer from his breakthrough LP from 96 and that is most evident on this gorgeous opening and title track. The rest of the LP is generally more low key but very good indeed, with some vocals that remind me of classic Boo Radleys

7. Fontaines DC -  Boys in the Better Land

Yet more new rock 'n' roll with what Miriam Gonz├ílez Dur├íntez  (aka Lady Clegg, as she is the better half of Nick) would call "cojones" - only this time it is from a bunch of blokes from Dublin, EU and so Bono should be doubly pleased...

Initially brought to my attention by a very excited Andy Von Pip in the VMPE and also since by God Is In The TV. This is the "B side" to their third 2 track single. The previous 2 singles were released without DC in the name but they can now all be found on Spotify and all 6 tracks and crackers delivered with marvellous attitude and arrogance.

8. Courtney Marie Andrews - Border

Ms Andrews is from Phoenix, Arizona in Trumpyland and has an interesting back story. This track is from her 6th album since the release of her debut back in 2008 and she was also briefly "an auxiliary member of Jimmy Eat World". She also spent years travelling and busking whilst managing to release her first two, now unavailable, albums independently. I became aware of her due to her breakthrough in 2017 with her last LP Honest Life, but the straight up county sound and vocal style did not quite float my boat. However, this new LP is quite a big step up and comes with a big injection of soul into her sound and with more depth to her voice. This track is the most rock 'n' roll, with a fantastic organ sound. The rest of the album is more subdued, but gorgeous and also a bit political, as it is inspired by the plight of the middle America she grew up in. It is the Moon Album of the Month.

9. Neko Case -  Bad Luck

Ms Case is from Virginia in Trumplyland but I was first aware of her via her contribution many Moons ago with the Canadian group The New Pornographers. Her 2002 solo album Blacklisted did very much float my boat and all her albums since have been high quality, with tracks appearing on a number of Moon yearly Best ofs. This is the second single from her upcoming new LP and is apparently a old tune she re-visited when recording the LP in Sweden after hearing that her house back in Trumplyland had burnt down.

10. Sunflower Bean - Anyway I Can

A second track on a 2018 Moon Top Tunes from this very talented young New York band, who had also previously featured twice on Moon Best ofs. Since Crisis Fest featured in Volume 2 they have released their second LP and at first listen I did think that, like their debut, it would not quite live up to expectations. The first half has the first two great singles plus the title track and third single, which does sound a bit ropey, if quite pleasant, but something you would expect 22 year olds to produce. My initial impression was also not helped by some pretty lukewarm reviews that mention Fleetwood Mac a lot. However, the second half of the LP has revealed itself to be quite brilliant and includes this gorgeous track. It also sounds begger all like Fleeetwood Mac, but instead rather  like The Velvet Underground at their most poptastic and melodic.

11. Shacks - Birds

Another New York band and one that previously featured on The Moon with their debut EP/mini album. This is from their debut LP and one of many lovely tracks. The album as a whole is a bit too lovely and coffee table and this track is one that pushes the boat out a bit more than most of the others. They could do with dialling up the strange more and adding a bit of edge.

12. The Straylings - Call Me Rosa

The Straylings are based in  London in Brexshit Blighty  and are a duo formed of ex-The Veils guitarist Oliver Drake and Bahrain born Dana Zeera. This is their second LP, but I have only recently come across them thanks to God Is In The TV. This gorgeous slice of baroque pop is a highlight and also quite unique on an album that is otherwise very good "noise pop, with an edge: laced with a psychedelic stomp".

13. Paddy Hanna -  All I Can Say  Is I Love You

Mr Hanna is from Dublin, EU and is another artist recently brought to my attention by God Is In The TV and who has just released his second LP. This excellent slice of baroque pop is just one of many on an album of baroque pop reminiscent of a young Neil Hannon, but if he was from Dublin rather than the part of the island of Ireland that may well be soon cut off from the Union of (relative)  Enlightenment.

14. Fenne Lily - on Hold

Ms Lily is from Dorset in Brexshit Blighty and is ridiculously young to be making such fine and mainly acoustic folk music, but apparently she was discouraged from watching TV as a child and given a guitar instead. Also brought to my attention by God Is In The TV, but oddly not FRUK. This single is one of the more electric on the album and is a very fine a impressive debut.

15. Laish -  Blink Of An Eye

A second entry on Top Moon Tunes 2018 from this London based solo vehicle for Danny Green. Album number four has now been released and on Playmoss this is an excellent live version of one of the many top tracks on it. Mr Green is very much becoming a kind of understated Neil Hannon of the Teenies.


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