As you will now know, Can You Hear This is now a year old; congratulations once more to Devan Carlton for winning our competition and choosing a great album as a prize. Nowadays a year in music is a long time, different reviews, news and music-related scandals becoming a daily occurrence thanks to the Internet. I’m not complaining because as a music blog we contribute to this, but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and look at the music and events that have really made a different to the industry, and more importantly to ourselves. It’s been a year of exciting collaborations with Jay-Z and Kanye exciting us with news of their own royal wedding. It’s been fantastic year once more for up and coming artists from Britain and internationally. We chose to vest our pop music interests in Jessie J, while more alternative acts (Two Door Cinema Club, The xx) have also flourished. Recently, we’ve been saddened by the loss of a fantastic female artist, Amy Winehouse whose loss will be felt for years to come. Having created such stirring singles such as Love Is A Losing Game, Back To Black and Rehab, that rare example of a candid, open pop song that achieves massive commercial success, Winehouse was truly inspiring. I hope her wonderful female presence continues to influence new artists and live on.
To celebrate our own birthday, I asked Michael and Jonah to contribute their choices of favourite singles from the last year, or the records that they felt were the most important (although it’s only natural that these choices should overlap). The list had to be comprised of songs that were either released as part of an album, or released as a separate single since our birth date, 27 July 2010. I really hope you enjoy our lists, I’d love if you reacted, either by agreeing or (but more interestingly) by disagreeing in the comments and of course post your own choices- it’s a big world out there after all.
1. Lost In The World -Kanye West (feat. Bon Iver) My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was one of my favourite albums last year, it felt like an artist who had been let loose with regards to his creative choices. Although it was criticised for its sprawling, unedited content just like Lady Gaga’s second album, Born This Way, this was what worked best for West.
2. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry In a year of outrageous commercial success for Perry, her single Teenage Dream marked a highlight for her career in terms of its maturity, despite its nostalgic nature. I could have just as easily put Glee’s cover here, which sealed the show’s popularity and proved its force within the music industry:
3. Girls (Who Run The World) – Beyonce As Beyonce notes, girls run the world. Well, the music industry certainly. Despite my earlier condemnation, I’ve pulled a U-turn on this single and seen what it truly is; an urgent, important single with a brilliant message- for boys and girls.
4. Icarus – BASTILLE How is it that BASTILLE have not exploded yet? Despite their capslock name (surely, it isn’t too late to change), this band has all the makings for Alternative Rock success. Icarus is a remarkably accomplished single, boasting a booming chorus and classical imagery all the way.
5. Rococo – Arcade Fire Worthy of all their critical acclaim, Arcade Fire returned in full blast with The Suburbs. Although I still prefer the awesome nature of Neon Bible, the latest album was still a highlight for me. Rococo harks back to the band’s earlier days, with a rousing, anthemic sound.
1. Ghosts – Big Sleep It’s all about what this song represents. It’s far more than just a great song, it’s the rebirth of a sound that I feared we would never get to hear again after Drive Like I Do split. Here’s hoping for their future.
2. When I Think Of You (I Smile Neon Light) – The Sunbeat Revival This was the song that really helped kickstart our blog. The great back story to a fantastic track made this a song that has to be appreciated in our first year:
3. Laura Palmer – BASTILLE Unanimously adored by all on the blog, Bastille has a wonderful sound which is perfectly encapsulated in the first song we all heard from him late last year. He’s one for the future, after all his music has appeared on Made in Chelsea.
4. City Dreams – Antonio Paul This song just makes feel really happy. The lovely guitars and catchy vocals make this song, released in September, one that belongs on your playlist right now. Australia has some talent in its music scene!
5. Believer – John Maus This is a weird choice for me. Blogged only a couple of weeks ago by the Jonah, Believer just surrounds you with its quiet hopefulness. This theme is beautifully mirrored in the album artwork of a lighthouse. It just feels like it has emotion behind it contrary to the vast array of superficiality in current pop music.