Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ten years of STN: the offcuts

That is to say, twenty songs that might have made it to our daily year-by-year playlists except whether through streaming intransigence, never getting beyond DIY/demo stage or just not playing ball none of them are on Spotify, surprisingly so in at least a couple of cases, but they're all by artists who we love(d), cherish(ed) and support(ed) via the blog so in this time of rememberance they too deserve recognition. Two of them are linked to abandoned Myspace pages!

Proton Proton - Plates (2005)
Fashoda Crisis - The Berry-Brown Face of Robert Kilroy Silk (2011)
Mega Emotion - B R A I N S (2013)
My Bloody Valentine - In Another Way (2013)
Moscow Youth Cult - Girls Of Boredom (2010)
Picture Books In Winter - Horizontally I Am Champion (2008)
Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline) (2005)
Adam Donen and The Drought - Five Minute Zeitgeist (2008)
GoodBooks - Walk With Me (2007)
A Classic Education - Stay, Son (2008)
Jonquil - Lions (2007)
Gossamer Albatross - The Ground Will Take Us Down (2008)
Anathallo - Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash) (2006)
Rhosyn - Glass (2011)
Trips And Falls - And in Real Life He Wears Corduroy Pants (2010)
Meursault - Crank Resolutions (2010)
Bill Callahan - Small Plane (2013)
Shy And The Fight - All That We See Or Seem (2012)
Trust Fund - Reading The Wrappers (2014)
The Understudies - Everyone Deserves At Least One Summer Of Love (2013)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ten years of STN: 2009

Year five of our trawl through the ten year back catalogue of the blog ahead of next Thursday's anniversary, today alighting on twenty songs which forever now will mean the last year of the Noughties. Again, highlight to get the textual playlist.

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Ebony Bones! - The Muzik
Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
Wild Beasts - We Still Got the Taste Dancin' On Our Tongues
The Phantom Band - The Howling
Emmy The Great - First Love
Hello Saferide - Anna
Laura Marling - Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)
Bat For Lashes - Moon And Moon
Graham Coxon - Sorrow's Army
Broken Records - Slow Parade
The Low Anthem - Charlie Darwin
The Leisure Society - The Last of the Melting Snow
Gabby Young & Other Animals - We're All In It Together
The XX - Islands
Stairs To Korea - Boy Bear It In Mind
Super Furry Animals - Inaugural Trams
Seeland - Library
The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea
Dananananaykroyd - Some Dresses
Nosferatu D2 - 2 People, 0 Superpowers

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ten years of STN: 2008

Something we maybe should have mentioned earlier as we continue counting down the STN Years is that we've applied a one song per artist rule for the entire project, because otherwise we'd get bogged down pretty quickly. So if your favourite hasn't turned up, we hate you just hold on. Today, twenty songs that to us represent what we were doing here in 2008, with the text playlist magically appearing via highlighted selection underneath.

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The Indelicates - New Art For The People
Mystery Jets - Young Love
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - We Call Upon The Author
Wire - One Of Us
Johnny Foreigner - Salt, Peppa And Spinderella
Fanfarlo - I'm A Pilot
The Long Blondes - Century
Portishead - The Rip
The Chap - Fun And Interesting
Parenthetical Girls - A Song For Ellie Greenwich
Fujiya & Miyagi - Knickerbocker
Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen
Three Trapped Tigers - 1
Zombie-Zombie - Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free
Arthur & Martha - Autovia
Micachu - Golden Phone
dEUS - Slow
The Walkmen - In the New Year
The Wave Pictures - Instant Coffee Baby
Her Name Is Calla - New England

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ten years of STN: 2007

Remember the heady, crazy days of 2007? To continue our tribute to ten glorious years of STN, twenty of its finest represent that year in the Spotify playlist below, and again if you highlight that big block of white empty space below it it becomes something else entirely.

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Battles - Atlas
Panda Bear - Comfy in Nautica
Robyn feat. Kleerup - With Every Heartbeat
Crystal Castles vs HEALTH - Crimewave
White Williams - New Violence
BARR - The Song Is The Single
Field Music - In Context
Cats On Fire - I Am The White-Mantled King
Strange Idols - She's Gonna Let You Down Again
Wake The President - Remember Fun?
Those Dancing Days - Hitten
Au Revoir Simone - Fallen Snow
Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted
Okkervil River - John Allyn Smith Sails
Jens Lekman - A Postcard to Nina
The Acorn - Crooked Legs
Piano Magic - England's Always Better (As You're Pulling Away)
Burial - Archangel
Liars - Plaster Casts Of Everything
Blood Red Shoes – I Wish I Was Someone Better

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ten years of STN: 2006

It's STN's tenth birthday next week, so we've put together ten year-by-year twenty track Spotify compilations to give an overview of the sort of records we were keen on in that particular year. Here's number two for its first full year, and we can only apologise.

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Experiment time! Highlight the space below for the playlist.

MJ Hibbett & The Validators - The Lesson Of The Smiths
Camera Obscura - Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken
Cat Power - The Greatest
El Perro Del Mar - God Knows
Broken Family Band - It's All Over
The 1900s - Bring the Good Boys Home
Hot Chip - Over And Over
Jeremy Warmsley - I Believe In The Way You Move
Midlake - Young Bride
Caribou - Hendrix With KO
Scritti Politti - The Boom Boom Bap
Guillemots - Trains To Brazil
Clinic - If You Could Read Your Mind
Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
The Thermals - A Pillar Of Salt
The Playwrights - 21st Century Kaspar Hauser
Sondre Lerche - Airport Taxi Reception
TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me
Grizzly Bear - On A Neck, On A Spit
iLiKETRAiNS - The Beeching Report

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ten years of STN: 2005

"This song is dedicated to some of the best bands in the country..."

On April 29th 2015 Sweeping The Nation will turn ten years old. It’s been a hard old journey to get this far, full of disenchantment with the way both blogging and music were going, but we’re going to make it.

What more fitting way to celebrate the milestone, then, but with an overwrought and overthought series of playlists? To be exact, over the next ten working days we'll be posting a 20-track playlist a day, each of them featuring some of the best songs to have come through our office between the start of 2005 and the end of 2014. We've taken out some of the big obvious stuff, mixed it up a bit, been forced to drop some really good records that just aren't on Spotify at the moment and used our ninja mixtaping skills for a better listen. Think of it as a Garry Mulholland-style trawl through the thick edge of cool music culture, only half-arsed and with nothing like a representative taste of fashions, genres and cultures. And hey, it fills the time.

And by the way, had we been more appreciative of SEO back then the blog wouldn’t have such an obviously cribbed title.

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M.I.A. - Bucky Done Gun
The first record ever written about on STN, and a track that with its Rocky slicing is as much a call to arms as anything else we've written about

CSS - Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
Wine and bed and more and again. Didn't know their strengths, which invariably meant a punked-up second album swiftly followed by obscurity

Patrick Wolf - The Libertine
Has there been a more frustrating pop auetur in the last ten years? Big chorus and hook surrounded by florid vignettes

M83 - Don't Save Us From The Flames
Before the brief backing music ubiquity, the ghostly synths got overloaded

Pagan Wanderer Lu - The Memorial Hall
AKA Andrew Paul Regan, one of those we've stuck by through these years for the fairly obvious reason that his records always come at ideas from odd angles

Broadcast - Black Cat
Nobody really thought about things in the way they did, and post-Ghost Box what would have happened had Trish Keenan not passed on would have been fascinating

The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno
Big brassy power-pop. Every New Pornographers album contains one amazing moment; this was Twin Cinema's, and it might have been the best of all

The Go-Betweens - Here Comes A City
An object lesson in how to reform a working relationship and pick up in just the way you left off. Grant McLennan another great loss of the decade

Sons And Daughters - Red Receiver
From the Glaswegian set they never quite received their due but The Repulsion Box was an overloaded red-lit sweatbox in sound

Sleater-Kinney - Entertain
Righteous fury and HGV riffage. How did it take them this whole ten years to gain their widespread due?

The Lucksmiths - A Hiccup In Your Happiness
Picking up the Go-Betweens' striped sunlight sound and turning it inwards, they should soundtrack every midsummer existential crisis

The Spinto Band - Oh Mandy
Well ahead of ukelele trends, they're still around but never recaptured their wistful moment

Sufjan Stevens - Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!
He only did two states! The slacker. Never trust him with anything

The Mountain Goats - This Year
Teenage John Darnielle escaping his abusive stepfather for a while to spend time a girl not doing much except underage drinking. A tiny story in an overgrowing narrative

Jeffrey Lewis - Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror
In which our narrator is sparked by seeing someone who might be Bonnie Prince Billy into an extended self-searching quest as to whether DIY life is really worthwile. Doesn't end well for Lewis

Prefuse 73 feat. El-P & Ghostface Killah – Hide Ya Face
Yeah, alright, we really dropped the ball over the years on our affection for skewed rap production just as it became mainstream. Scott Herren isn't a hip-hop producer, which makes this more interesting

Girls Aloud - Biology
Ah, the failed poptimist's easy get-out. But it's great, isn't it?

Saint Etienne - Milk Bottle Symphony
And so in a different way is this, taking leads from the Annie record of a year earlier as it draws pen pictures of morning home life, suburban and urban simultaneously

Final Fantasy - This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine
Owen Pallett can made the smallest details sound huge and the most heroic violin solos sound sad. And we know Funeral came out in 2005 in the UK, but it's too obvious

William Campbell & Kevin MacNeil - Local Man Ruins Everything
Singer with briefly feted Astrid and Outer Hebriden poet combine for extended acidly nostalgic soliquoly. How all mixtapes should end, maybe

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Summer Camp - Bad Love

The title track to album number three, four if you count the Beyond Clueless soundtrack, isn't hazy retro, disco or really anything they've explored in great detail before. It nods at current pop while still mired in the world of analogue synths, the squelchy electro bassline gives you something to dance to and Elizabeth feels sorry for you if you think you can't deal with her. Bad Love the album is out 25th May.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Girls Names - Zero Triptych

You always fret whenever a band returns with a track they proudly claim is eleven minutes long and in three parts but Girls Names pull it off with this 12" out May 11th. Give it a while to work through the electronic fuzz and hang on as it blasts into the stratosphere in a not-un-Toy-like manner, infused as much with post-punk darkness as the psych-Kraut-shoegaze fun.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Catenary Wires - Intravenous

Having done thirty years' service to indiepop through Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey moved out to the countryside and ended up writing and recording a set of songs that remain minimally acoustic while still sumptuously put together, influence somewhere between the great country duettists and the Magnetic Fields. Album Red Red Skies is due 1st June.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Roxy Rawson - Bouncing Boots

We were wondering just recently what had become of Rawson, a Parisian conservatoire trained violinist and pianist raised in Hitchin and now based in San Francisco Bay with a leaping, swooping vocal style whom we first wrote about not much short of four years ago and pretty much never heard from again... until now. Turns out that after a Pledgemusic campaign in 2012 she fell ill for a while, her upcoming album Quenching The Kill charting her journey from darkness into hope. Drama and ambition are here in spades, plucking out emotive imagery and vulnerability with the innate knowledge that better is on its way. If this is how that early promise is being fulfilled the album might well be one not to sleep on.