Top Moon Tunes 2018 Volume 6

A month and a bit on from Volume 5 here is Volume 6 of the monthlyish top Moon tuneage of 2018 plus a rediscovery and a  new discovery from 2017.

It contains a few new artists to The Moon along with a few repeat offenders from previous 2018 Top Tunes and then quite a lot from long established artists who are all managing to do new and interesting stuff. It is rather poptastic, epic and out-there at the same time and it ends with a fantastically political and brilliant Jazz-Soul track.

As usual it can be played via any old device via Playmoss below and for once it is more fully available via Spotify as it has the full 9 minute epic version of Fist of Fury from Kamasi Washington, but on Playmoss there is just a 4 minute version performed on Later with Jools Holland on the BBC, which is pretty good, but the one vocalist is a bit drowned out by Mr Washington's sax.

As usual, there is a bit of guff about each artist below the playlist.

1. Luke Haines - Evreybody's Coming Together for the Summer

This is the first ever appearance by Mr Haines on The Moon including his other incarnations:  The Auteurs, Baader Meinhof and Black Box Recorder and this is no doubt a bit of a over-sight on my part. I have always followed his career with interest and did have the debut Auteurs LP on cassette many, many Moons ago. This track was the lead "single" and it struck me as more playful and less serious than my preconception of his previous output. The album is a concept about the miniature citizens of Glue Town  who survive "on a diet of solvent abuse and perpetual horniness" and it carries on where this song kicked off. It is a great listen, which is lyrically and stylistically distinctly Copian.

2. PINS -  Serve The Rich

Back to 2017 with my-rediscovery of the year. Thanks to the VPME I have been aware of PINS, from Manchester, UK,  from around 2015, but the first track to float my boat was Too Little, Too Late, the lead track from their 2015 LP which I checked out but it did not quite make the grade for Too Little, Too Late to make A Best of 2015 on The Moon. But then the release of this track in late 2017 pointed to a new bolder and more polished sound and I recently went back to find out if I had missed any recent releases and found that they had also released a 5 track visual EP in 2017, which features a brilliant collaboration with Iggy Pop, along with a cover of  a Joy Division track which is a great version of a great song, but it is just one of 4 standouts. They have also released another single since 2015 along with a great cover of Hybrid Moments by The Misfits and I have put them together in a Spotify playlist.

3. Melody's Echo Chamber - Quand Les Larmes D'un Ange Font Danser La Neige

Melody Prochet's long awaited second LP has now been released and it is a glorious mix of Anglo/French potastic psychedelic rock 'n' roll. The only thing wrong with it is that it is just 7 tracks, but you can extend it by getting hold of 3 songs from an EP released on Soundcloud after the abandonment of the LP she was making with Kevin Parker, her then lesser-half. It shows that it is not likely that the abandonment was for musical reasons.

4. Our Girl - In My Head

Our Girl are a threesome from Brighton UK who are being produced by the exceedingly talented Mr Bill Ryder Jones. This blistering track is pretty hot off the press; it does not have quite the same melodic qualities of there previous releases, but is more urgent and with great guitar sounds. There is an album worth of tracks you can check out on their own Spotify playlist, including a Ty Segall cover.

5. Boy Azooga  - Jerry

Boy Azooga are four young chaps from Cardiff, Wales led, Davey Newington who had previously earned his chops as the drummer for Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon. I have been aware of them since their debut single Face Behind Her Cigarette was released late last year and it was a great start which reminded me of the debut from the World of Twist from many moons ago. I was not that taken with the second single Loner Boogie, but this third one is a joyous classic. The album is now out and I am not sure how good it is yet but first impressions is that it is as diverse and interesting as the singles suggested.

6. LUMP - Curse of the Contempory

This is from multi-Moon offender Laura Marling's project with Mike Lindsay of the band Tunng. And it is great to see Ms Marling branch out a bit, as she has been successfully doing on her last couple of LPs, but with LUMP she has pushed the boat out further and the results are great with the only downside that it has just six songs. This title track is a standout and one where she has pushed her voice to a new level - somewhere between Kate Bush and PJ Harvey.

7. Rechorduroys - Two Stones

This cracking slice of rock 'n' roll, from a New York, USA band, was introduced to me not by the AV Club or GIITTV but by Folk Radio UK (FRUK). It very much reminds me of peak Lemonheads, but then also has an explosive ending that makes it just an extra bit special. An album has just been released and it is growing on me quickly. It is a varied LP with not another track quite like this opener, but there is a lot of Beatle and Beach Boy like melody and it ends with some great guitar sounds. There is not a lot of info on the band other than that they are led by a Benjamin Garrett who was previously in a band called Party Boat.

8. Gabriella Cohen -  Hi Fidelity

Ms Cohen is from Melbourne, Australia and a track from her excellent debut LP appeared of on A best of 2016 on The Moon. It was the best album not to get a Moon post that year, as I only got into it late in the year. I would think her debut was a few years in the making but, her follow-up has been produced relatively quickly. It is not as great as her debut, but it is lighter and more relaxed, as well represented by this track.

9. Riley Moore - Sitting on a Boat

More great American rock 'n' roll courtesy of FRUK. Mr Riley was born in Dallas, but grew up mainly in Nashville. He moved to Australia aged 18 but is now back in Nashville and living on a boat. An 8 track LP has just been released, plus there is an EP with two tracks not on the LP. The pre- LP releases are diverse Americana and folk; on his website it states that he is "heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, John Prine, Jason Isbell and John Moreland", but thankfully, as evidenced by this track, he does not take himself quite as seriously as his influences.

10. Neko Case  - Curse of I-5 Corridor

A second entry on Top Moon Tunes 2018 for the multiple Moon offender Ms Case, after the poptastic Bad Luck featured on Vol 4. This epic is one of her finest creations from a top album and this track also features an understated but great vocal contribution from Mark Lanegan -  another multiple Moon offender.

11. Gruff Rhys - Negative Vibes

Another second entry on Top Moon Tunes 2018 hot on the heels of Frontier Man featuring on Vol 5. The album is out now and as hoped it is as good as his last proper solo LP and possibly with better tuneage, such as this track which would not be out of place on Wake Up by The Boo Radleys. He has also just released a politically charged charity single to mark 70 years of the NHS and thankfully it is much better than his pro-EU effort.

12.  Father John Misty  - God's Favorite Customer

And another second entry on Top Moon Tunes 2018 after Mr Tillman featured on Vol 3. The album is probably his most consistent in terms of song quality and far more concise than his last LP. This title track is one of the more serious and longer tracks but it is a great song and features some glorious backing vocals.

13. The Surfing Magazines  - New Day

Another year and there is bound to be at least one new LP from the Wave Pictures, the most multiple of multiple Moon offenders, but the one just released was recorded in a day and it shows, but it is still pretty good. However, when checking the reviews for the album I discovered that two thirds of the Wave Pictures had released an album in 2017 with one half of fellow multiple Moon offenders Slow Club. And it turns out to be a very fine LP of garage rock with some great sax and harmonica. It has  a bit of a slicker sound and production that the typical Wave Pictures LP, but, as this Mr Watson sung track shows, it should not put off their fans.

14. Gorillaz  -  Idaho

A track from Mr Albarn's third on the road album. The first was Democrazy back in 2003 from the Blur Thinktank tour and then The Fall  created on an iPad on the Gorillaz Plastic Beach tour. It was very industrious of him but the problem with both of them was the production was sketchy and so were the songs. Thankfully, The Now Now sounds studio produced and it also has this track, which is one of his finest melancholy moments. The rest sounds pretty good and it is a good accompaniment to Humanz from last year.

15. Kamasi Washington - Fists of Fury

As mentioned above, on Playmoss it is a mere 4 minute live version, which does not really do justice to the epic 9 minute original on Spotify. It was brought to my attention via The AV Club a while back, but I wanted to wait for the album before including it on The Moon. I was hoping that the album would contain more songs but, despite it being a double album this is one of just a handful of tracks with lyrics. It all sounds great, but I can never get that into non-song based music. Still this track is one of the songs of the year and decade.


Trending on The Moon