Wednesday 30 December 2020

2020: 20 songs by 20 new acts

What a year! Generally, sure, but for music 2020’s been quite a vintage. What have we learned? Well, San Francisco is setting the scene, but ignore Gothenburg, France, Australia and all points in between at your peril.

A list without Star Feminine Band, deathcrash and Sally Anne Morgan is evidence that this overview doesn’t have all the hits, but suggests that there’s so many new sounds on offer to widen our musical imaginations.

Very few 7” singles this year - the vinyl revival for new releases is about limited albums on heavy splattered vinyl. Luckily, my OnlyFans account is quite lucrative but for those without money-spinning sidelines, bandcamp remains the place to go.

No predictions for 2021, although maybe Slumberland will open their chequebook, sign every Bay Area band and become a billion dollar media conglomerate. Even more excitingly, periods of economic stagnation and social inertia ignite the most combustible music scenes. So until rebellious adolescents react defiantly, this is what some of 2020 sounded like.

Friday 11 December 2020

Typical Girls

In which Gothenburg trolls San Francisco by taking a shot at the 2020 pop board and scoring a bullseye.

If 2019's most exciting new music was coming from Gothenburg - avant-garde electronic ambience, freak-folk, hijacking Felt's guitars that sound like pins popping in your head - then 2020 has been ruled by San Francisco's jangle, DIY pop and sunny psych.

So members of various Gothenburg bands have formed Typical Girls and released an ep that sounds like it could have been recorded and released in San Francisco. This is just so much fun. They even cover The Troggs' With A Girl Like You and make it sound a bit like Massachusetts by The Bee Gees.

Final score: Gothenburg 10, San Francisco 10. So long as both cities keep producing records this good, there'll be no favourites, just time for celebration.