heard on the wire

This spoon in my drawer, a reminder of childhood

I do have a spoon in my drawer that reminds me of the kind of spoons my grandparents had. There is only one band on Earth who could possibly have been alive to that fact. They are, quite obviously, among the nominees for 2011’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life.

Any year that sees the release of a new Half Man Half Biscuit LP is a good year. Wirral’s finest released their 13th studio LP in 2011. While 90 Bisodol (Crimond) isn’t as musically inventive as some of its procedures, its lyrics are among the very best that Nigel Blackwell has ever written.

Read the rest of this entry »

We’ll always have Venice ’till it falls into the sea

I could stay forever hanging out, to quote Allo Darlin, but time is short and there are still at least half a dozen more nominees for 2011’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life, including my favourite folk-, country- and dance-tinged tracks of the year.

But first the aforementioned Allo Darlin’ and a version of a song by Darren Hayman, no stranger to these parts. Like an increasing number of independent artists and labels, All Darlin’ are selling the single through their Bandcamp page, whence they may actually get a fair share of the proceeds. Spotify it ain’t.

Read the rest of this entry »

Four in the morning

This morning brings four more nominees for 2011’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life, as I try to squeeze the remaining 14-or-so tracks into the next couple of weeks. Then maybe I’ll have time to post a few holiday faves for the festive season, before announcing 2011’s winner. Oh, the suspense…

First up a track from Married to the Sea, a free LP from Canadian musician Charlie Berger’ With Hidden Noise project. It’s lovely.

Read the rest of this entry »

My family tells me no

The cover may be one of the year’s worst, but Acid House Kings’ second LP, Music Sounds Better With You, was one of 2011’s highlights for fans of Scandinavian indie pop.

And who isn’t.

Read the rest of this entry »

This much delight fills columns

I could have picked any of several tracks from The Big Roar, one of the finest LPs of 2011, but while this contender for this year’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life is perhaps the most predictable, it’s also the most worthy.

And the video is filmed in a bike shop.

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t say turtles don’t carry their record collections on their backs…

One of the loveliest, most touching things that The Becster ever did for me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes it snows in April…

…is my favourite Prince song, just edging out Sign o’ the Times in the battle of the only two Prince songs I really like. It’s also a metaphor for the arrival of heart gladdening tracks that first graced iTunes with their presence in April 2011.

I know little about any of these bands, though Vivian Girls have received quite a lot of attention on one or two blogs. What I do know is that these were nice tunes that beckoned the longer, warmer days ahead. And they’re all candidates for 2011’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life.

Read the rest of this entry »

The clock is ticking…

They’re chiefly known for their louche covers of new wave classics such as Love Will Tear Us Apart and Teenage Kicks, which gave the band its name; The Becster calls them Vaguely New, which rather fits; and they’re astonishingly good live.

The band’s array of singers also have a musical life apart from revisiting the music of the late seventies and early eighties. The two producer-musicians behind the band, Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, collected some of those recordings into an LP released in March 2011.

Read the rest of this entry »

Even in dreams I cannot betray you

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were my 2010 choice and runner-up for song-from-each-year-of-my-life, so my expectations were beyond high as the release date of their second LP got closer and closer.

Those expectations were tempered when the band added another guitarist — hinting at a shift from pop to “serious” rock, never a good thing. That the 2011 LP, Beyond, survived the transition is a testament to the band’s sensibilities and songwriting, which spawned at least half a dozen excellent numbers to go with those two moments of genius from the previous year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Freak out, freak out, freak out!

Tapes ’n Tapes hail from Minneapolis, have been compared to Arcade Fire and in 2011 released a decent LP called Outside.

And Outside features this track, a first of two more nominations for my 2011 song-from-each-year-of-my-life.

Read the rest of this entry »

archive

about

heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

subscribe

Hear it on the wire, by receiving email notifications of new posts.

copyright

All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.