Spillyear 2015

Spillers, we’ve reached the end of our journey through five and a half decades of popular music. It’s been fun.

I’m not intending to go back before 1960, so we have just one year left: 2015. Remember it?

Let’s make a playlist

Thanks to all of you for joining in. I’ve discovered and rediscovered lots of wonderful music, found out more about all of you, enjoyed the reminiscences and occasionally robust discussions. Some years are bigger than others. For me, my teenage years – in the 90s- were the hardest to narrow down to a top 3, and I suspect that’s true for most of us. But the main conclusion is that every year has given us a wealth of fantastic music. Wonder what the next 55 years will hold…


48 thoughts on “Spillyear 2015

    • thank you for doing this barbryn, it has been a really fun idea. I hope between us all we can come up with a new game which is inclusive and allows us to inflict our favourite tunes on each other in the future

  1. My Festive Spill top 3 were:
    3. Susanne Sundfor – Memorial
    2. Katzenjammer – My Own Tune (my girls are planning to do a dance routine to this at the school talent show, on rollerskates. Proud dad.)
    1. Joanna Newsom – Waltz of the 101st Lightborne Elite

    For a bit of variety, let’s have:
    3. Susanne Sundfor – Kamikaze (for the mix of beats and harpsicord)
    2. Belle and Sebastian – Play For Today (their songs with female guest vocalists are always great)
    1. Joanna Newsom – Sapokanikan (there’s just an astonishing amount packed into these 4 minutes, musically and lyrically)

    • Not sure why it did that, a bit random.

      A couple of points:
      Firstly, eagle-eyed Spillers might have noticed that I confidently asserted that Paranoid Visions’ It’s A Bloody Road To Freedom was the best single of the year in the middle of 2015. They then released the album which some even better tracks on such as this, and my policy with this game has always been not to include the same artist more than once per year.

      Secondly I wanted to include No Uniform by External Menace, but there’s no link.

  2. A mate at work introduced me to two of my choices for this week as he is younger and follows contemporary music. Work started to change quite dramatically, and so our decision to leave Al Ain and move back to Belgrade was well-founded. That move is impending – we should be out of here in two week’s time. Hectic, stressful, but at least I’ve got all of my music packed. It’s costing a fortune, but as I will be more or less retired, it’s a luxury that needed to be indulged.

    Jamie XX – Loud Places. Apparently, this album samples a range of different dance styles over the past few years. ‘Gosh’ is a great way to start the whole thing rolling, but I think I like this track most.

    Father John Misty – When You are Smiling and Astride Me. The album can be a bit depressing, but there’s no getting away from its quality on lots of fronts.

    Bob Dylan – The Night We Called it a Day. For many, Dylan covering Sinatra is a worst nightmare, but I love both of them. Bob’s voice sounds great, and this track has such poignancy. Lovely.

  3. As I’m not sure I’ll have access next week for the final year, can I just say how much I’ve enjoyed this project? It has given me real pleasure to open up the list each week and play it through from start to end as I ploughed through my daily toil. Years became personalities as styles shifted. I relived memories, made more vivid by hearing again the music that accompanied them. I learnt lots about all you lovely Spill people. I heard stacks of great music for the first time. What a winner!

  4. 2015 was the year that I finally got to see a band that I love almost beyond logic. For a whole host of different reasons I never got around to seeing them before, but I finally got to see King Crimson in their latest incarnation with the three drummers, and what a brilliant thing this version of the band turns out to be. Another live highlight for me was seeing The Unthanks at the Colston Hall. It was a magical night.

    I also saw Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Richard Hawley and Steve Hackett last year, three more superb gigs. I absolutely loved the Steve Hackett gig. It was in two halves, the first was all about his latest album Wolflight and the second was a mixture of his older solo work plus a tour through his time with Genesis.

    My Festive Three was a pretty eclectic mix of music, but I think that it stands up pretty well as a selection. I chose;

    Goran Kajfes Subtropic Arkestra – Dokuz Seki/Esmerim
    The Unthanks – Mount The Air
    Guapo – Obscure Knowledge III

    Instead of putting those on the playlist, I’ll pick three different tunes.

    I also bought a fairly wide selection of albums last year, too, but I think that just reflects the different things I like. One pretty trainspotterish ambition I realised was replacing all my Led Zeppelin CDs with the remastered editions with the extra tracks. That truly is a Whole Lotta Led. I think that it is fair to say that a selection of new albums that stretches from <b<The Unthanks To Kendrick Lamar counts as eclectic.

    Anyway, my three picks are;

    Steven Wilson – 3 Years Older
    Richard Hawley – I Still Want You
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Peasantry Or ‘Light! Inside Of Light!’

  5. I (criminally) managed to miss the Unthanks album until December when I bought it just before seeing them at the Union Chapel which was a stunning performance.
    Other albums in the library from last year: Father John Misty, Wire, Courtney Barnett, Olivia Chaney, Katzenjammer (of course) and Susanne Sundfor.

    I think I’ll be terribly boring and stick with all three of my festive picks although I’m sorely tempted to include the Unthanks title track which Carole chose at the time.

    Olivia Chaney – Blessed Instant
    Susanne Sundfor – Delirious
    Katzenjammer – Rockland

  6. my 3 festive spill picks were
    froth – turn it off
    tropical trash – leisure exposure
    autobahn – impressionist

    the ‘close’ tracks were:
    beautiful blue sky – ought
    the sky of all places – spectres
    pop song for euthanasia – shilpa ray
    reaper invert – wand
    an artificial spring – girls names
    need you – royal headache
    cowards starve – protomartyr

    stuff since then I’d add
    pretty girl/55mm – helta skelta
    bite down – gold class
    sun belt – the uranium club band
    how it’s gonna go – clud nothings/waves

    i’ll go with gold class, uranium club, wand …and maybe sneak a couple others in 😉

  7. Charles Bradley – Changes
    pinkshinyultrablast – Holy Forest
    Gun Outfit – Legends of My Own
    Matrixxman – Augmented
    Tamaryn – Cranekiss
    Jlin – Guantanamo

    • Hi fuel. Have you heard Charles Bradley’s take on the Dead’s Cumberland Blues (he said in a shameless attempt to attract people to his Day Of The Dead post)?

      • yep I love the spiky guitar sound GC get on that track. I did get grandfeathered – had a couple listens and sounds pretty good, maybe better than EEM. I’m on hol in July so hope to properly listen to stuff I’ve bought as I’ve overdone it and not properly concentrated on anything. really like the UCB stuff. they look lots of fun so hope they’ll stick together long enough to get to the UK.

  8. I’m glad we have another year to go. It has been fun, so thanks barbryn!

    2015 … hmmm … sort of re-discovering myself a bit this year … sprog growing up slightly … making new friends locally … getting my head around who I am and where I am in life … new relationship towards the back end of the year … rather a psychedelic and dreamlike tinge to my choices … Not quite like the old days, but probably just as well!

    Dean McPhee – Solar Crown
    Riverside – Lost (Why Should I Be Frightened By A Hat?)
    David Cross & Robert Fripp – Starless Starlight Loops (though I discovered it later)

  9. Venice Trip Reign Dance was played a lot by me in 2015. Sadly they’ve split up now, but I still like their recorded outlet. The rippling guitar and mellow freak out in the middle delights me.

    Julian Cope is an artist I’ve loved for a long time, but saw live first in 2015, I listened to his album Trip Advizer a lot, especially The Were All On Hard Drugs

    The Darkness released a new album last year, the lead single Barbarian has the silliest chorus, but the kids loved the video, so I’m selecting that.

  10. I was lucky enough to see all these artists last year. I’ll start with a lovely song from Suzanne Vega from Tales From The Realm of the Queen of Pentacles, then Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr from their album Murmurs, and finally it will have to be another one from Katzenjammer’s Rockland

    Suzanne Vega – Crack in the Wall
    Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr – Some old Salty
    Katzenjammer – Lady Grey

    Busy year, with a wonderful trip to Italy with the family in the Spring, taking in Venice, Rome, Florence and Pisa (and loads of art – also went up the Leaning tower which is now open). Also saw the Pope (in the distance). Later, the Cambridge folk fest where I saw Katzenjammer amongst others – hadn’t been to it for years – with trips to Norfolk to see OH’s relatives and to London to see some art exhibitions, and also The Book of Mormon (recommended!) and a play at the Globe. Various visits to Devon including the Brixham Pirate Festival and other trips out for example to Bodnant Gardens to see the famous Laburnum Arch in full flower. Shrewsbury Folk fest as usual, an outstanding line-up there, including Richard Thompson and Jonathan Byrd, both of whom I saw on other occasions too. Finally the Great British Folk Weekend at Bultin’s, Skegness. Saw the play Dead Dog in a Suitcase twice, excellent. So a very cultural year generally!!

    • I hadn’t realised that Some Old Salty was written by Lal Waterson. Have just remembered seeing Al Stewart too, also Eddie Reader, and Seth Lakeman, Seth’s Brother Sean and Kathryn Roberts were at Butlin’s , also pretty good. This was the second time I’d been to the Butlin’s folk weekend, never having ventured to Butlin’s before. And how could I forget, I got to see Dismaland, a real highlight of the year!

  11. Not one of my better years… I think of it in terms of albums rather than individual tracks: GY!BE, Young Fathers, Kauan. One classic pop song: Christine & The Queens, Christine. A bit of jazz vocalese from Julia Hülsmann Quartet with Theo Bleckmann, Your Technique. Finally, something I didn’t actually discover until this year: Public Service Broadcasting with Go.

  12. Ahh…2015, I remember it well. Looking back, we didn’t know how lucky we were. We still had Bowie and Prince and thought they would be around forever. And we were so naive! Back then Donald Trump still seemed like a joke outsider, rather than a scarily likely prospect of being the leader of the most powerful superstate the world has ever known, if he gets in there’ll be hell toupee!..I’ll get me coat….

    Music wise it was a vintage year for me.

    For a nice bit of variety will go for some angry-as-fuck American transgender punk, some chart-topping UK grime and some blissed-out Japanese vaporwave:

    G.L.O.S.S. – G.L.O.S.S. (We’re From the Future)
    Skepta – Shutdown
    2814 – 新宿ゴールデン街

  13. One thing this series has taught me, or at least revealed, is that my favorite Spillers are all female. Or to be more precise, my favorite playlists week after week were all consistently created by female Spillers! I wonder what that means?
    Each week I’ve opened two pages, one the Spill and the second, the youtube playlist, having them side by side let me see who posted what with it’s accompanying youtube video. Plus I’d frequently go to Wiki for info on unknown artists.
    I haven’t participated because I just don’t think of my musical acquisitions by the dates released or purchased, I’m often buying something that’s decades old and rarely anything that’s ‘contemporary’, plus I wouldn’t know how to phrase the question to Google to ask their advice.
    So I’ve just enjoyed this series as an outsider, standing on the sidelines each week and looking forward to the video playlists. Almost all of the music and artists was new to me, some I couldn’t play and some I enjoyed but most of all I enjoyed the ‘mini films’ that accompanied many of the songs, wonderfully creative!
    Thanks to all participants and of course to Barbryn for the idea and for hosting it, it’s been a wonderful weekly treat.

  14. Not a vintage year but then again I seem to be losing touch with the “happening” music these days – old age probably !

    Hard Bastards – Roots Manuva ( big thanks to whoever recommended this )
    A Beginning Song – The Decemberists ( probably their best album since the first )
    Face to Faces – Sleaford Mods ( most important band in UK at the moment )

    also the Strypes, Gilad Atzmon, Ezra Furman

  15. oh if I had time to listen and narrow it down – 3 of these would feature:

    Paint Something – Desperate Journalist
    March Of The Penguins – Mammoth Penguins
    Girls of 1926 – Chorusgirl
    Groove It Out – LoneLady
    Miss Understood – Lolina
    Ader – Landshakes
    Nowhere Bound – The Manhattan Love Suicides
    Ævintýr – Soley
    Sunk – Stealing Sheep
    Soul Makossa (Money) (Club Mix) – Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP
    Indian Summer – Surf City
    Heart and Soul – Ringo Deathstarr
    Heavier Slower – Monophona
    Ballin’ Chain – DILLY DALLY
    Slacktivist – Desaparecidos

    • Shows how out of touch I am. I’m really not 100% sure which is the artist and which the track in that list, shane!

      • There was a fad for bands trying to name themselves after impossible to ‘google’ things, i.e. ‘Girls’ – it made them seam cool to the hipsters and harder to find and steal the tracks.
        Club Mix would work like that for a band.

        So song first as abahachi worked out.

        But it’s not really out of touch, is it? – just personality differences in how people engage with music at any time. I have sought out my taste niche in every decade I’ve been alive and will continue to do so until I die. I have no respect for artists output as a whole (having sat in on album recordings when songs had to be tossed out as the studio time was nearly over) – so I’ll buy an album and compile the cream.
        Other’s like that whole album – whole artists output – idea. Just personalities. All cool.

        This list; it’s a particular strain of music I find: mostly female vocalists – slightly edgy/feedbacky/noise (but only a hint) to pop sensibility indie. My taste is quite staid in comparison to say panthersan’s crate digging of edgy/feedbacky/noise of a more distinct persuasion.

        Dilly Dally had that 90’s female grrrowl to their vocals.
        The Manhattan Love Suicides have that Jesus and Mary Chain feel.
        Desperate Journalist have the feel of Canadian basement band group The Organ (but that reference probably doesn’t enlighten anyone much!).

        Hopefully over the weekend I’ll get time to make a playlist – for anyone who likes this sort of thing!

        Glad you are happy Chris – I will get to listen to the dead post you put up soon (not on Spoti*y though – unless they have done a deal to give the charity a proper cut in their listening revenue).

      • I had a vague feeling I’d seen Ringo Deathstarr and Desaparecidos in previous (shane?) posts, so I would have guessed it was song/artist had you forced me into a choice…

        I’m full of admiration for the amount of music truffling, listening and appreciation you (and several others on here) get through. I suspect I’m genetically-inclined towards the find-and-keep approach to music – maybe the only way to ensure I’ll listen to new bands is if they cover Dead tunes!

        (I’d like to think the Spotify revenue – meagre though it may be – will all go to Red Hot)

    • Ringo Deathstarr were a name I had heard of but never listened to until now. Just listened to a couple of theirs on YT and now feel like doing a lot of catching up.

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