This isn't a 'best of' because this blog isn't an awards ceremony or a magazine. This is 20 of the best songs, an overview and an introduction for friends. A reminder that new music is still the most exciting art form.
Most years there are one or two strong themes that run through the annual compilation. Maybe one scene has dominated, like last year's UK DIY. Not this year. It's coming from all angles and it's great.
Each year I concentrate on new acts. But Lee Fields (b. 1951), after a relatively fallow few years, has in Special Night made what might be his best album.
And yes, that is a new Jonathan Richman song. Honestly, I think there are only 3 albums he's made in the last 20 years that could go toe to toe with his very best (Surrender To Jonathan, I'm So Confused, Her Mystery Not Of High Heels And Eye Shadow). But there are brilliant songs on every album. He's a treasure and so is this song.
I've got no idea what 2017 holds, but I'll listen to everything Big Crown Records puts out. And if there are debut albums by Spinning Coin, Charlene, Sheer Mag and Oslo House, it'll be another great year.
Oh, metadata fans - my itunes has been screwed up for 18 months, so I made the CD using Windows. No complaining now. Yes, I should probably just do a stream rather than make a CD. Next year, perhaps.
Albany - Spinning Coin
Such A Star - Unity Floors
Can't Stop Fighting - Sheer Mag
Sometimes - Chook Race
Strange Boy - El Michels Affair feat The Shacks
Hoodlove - Charlene
Dry Salt In Our Hair - Le Super Homard
Song About Me (feat Maddie Acid) - TV Girl
(Don't Wanna Be) One Of The Boys - Heavy Pockets
Outside O'Duffy's - Jonathan Richman
Plateau - Oslo House
Ultra Vivid - Ulrika Spacek
The Sweetest Feeling - The Perfect English Weather
Ode To Islands - The Tyde
A Man Of My Age - Arborist
Closed Eyes - Society
Best View Of Dean St - Backyard
Smiling - Lady Wray
The Inconsolable Jean-Claude - Lake Ruth
I'm Coming Home - Lee Fields & the Expressions