AGAIN: in no particular order and almost guaranteed to have songs missing.
Wheeee, here we go again!
“Confetti (In Your Fucking Face)” – Motherfucker
This band is in my top three music discoveries of the year, via my pal Nyala. Their rock/punk/hardcore sound is unlike anything else I’ve heard this year – which is super cool, but also super rare. I unreservedly adore many, MANY of the post-punk revival bands that are working right now, but it’s easier to trace the lineage they follow from: here’s some Gang of Four, there’s the PiL, here’s a bit of Delta 5.
Motherfucker are harder to shoehorn into a specific punk timeline, and all the more rewarding for that.
“Silver Spoons” – Skinny Girl Diet
I’ll just let them say it.
On riot grrrl:
“We feel like some parts of are very vacuous. The ’90s Riot Grrrl movement shouldn’t be ‘revived’ just as an aesthetic. It was more than just a fashion statement: it was a political movement and we feel like some people are forgetting that. We also think that it shouldn’t be revived at all because it is a totally different era and there should be something new, because although the current state of politics is slightly similar to back then, it’s also very different and people should focus less on reviving something from the past and focus more on creating a new movement for the future – one which makes history instead of being some gimmicky fad that fades away.” [source]
“The Big Freeze” – Hag Face
Hag Face (“witch punk from Calgary”) are the biggest treat. They’re bratty and scream-y and scary and messy. They appear chaotic, but it’s a testament to their rhythm section – Kelsie and Lindsay – that everything seems like it might fall apart at any second but never actually does.
And most importantly, they look and sound like they’re having a hell of a lot of fun.
“Carrion Flowers” – Chelsea Wolfe
I think if Chelsea Wolfe were a spooky, scary, one-trick pony, her appeal would have worn off several albums ago. Put another way, her growth as an artist is rather an anomaly in the particular goth-folk genre she works in.
But nope, she has both songwriting chops and a genuinely creepy, unaffected style and delivery. I think it’s the effortlessness with which she delivers the spookiness: this is goth for grown-ups.
“Fool” – Nadine Shah
I keep thinking of all the upcoming possibilities for Nadine Shah’s music career. Two albums in and she’s established herself as an incredibly talented songwriter who takes herself as seriously as she takes her influences. She’s not the canvas upon which her influences play; rather, she takes them and fashions something new and sharp.
“Straight Lines” – Shopping
Shopping are doing the right thing with their post-punk throwback angle: they’re bringing the politics back alongside those familiar angular sounds.
That unlikeliest of things, a post-punk revival band fronted by a queer woman of colour, Shopping make personal the 21st century’s particular economic and social failings, while actually answering their own big questions and carving out space for themselves to speak their minds. The politics don’t come at the expense of fun, though – this was some of the most nimble and sprightly rock of the year.
“Flesh Without Blood” – Grimes
The song I listened to most while dancing around the house pretending to be a Grimes-style urban faerie. This is also true of Art Angels in its entirety. She makes perfect electro-pop seem so easy.
Grimes truly is a phenomenon and deserves every single one of the accolades she’s receiving.
“Helelyos” – Sexwitch
The album that most made me question my no-spirituality-in-any-guise-ever stance, let’s be totally honest here. I had no idea witches were having all this fun without me.
But seriously, I know it’s all stereotype and in-joke. Still, that doesn’t detract from the effectiveness of the six psych covers on offer here from Natasha Khan, Dan Carey, and TOY.
“Bitch Better Have My Money” – Rihanna
Yeah, the video’s better than the song, but the song ain’t exactly shabby. I’d probably help kill a person if Rihanna wanted me to.
“Shake It Off” – Screaming Females
This Taylor Swift cover is almost better than their album Rose Mountain. ALMOST.
Cheers, Marissa Paternoster.