101 songs that prove 2017 wasn’t entirely awful after all

Don’t worry, there’s no Lil Pump/Big Shaq/Katy Perry/Chris & Kem/Ed Sheeran here.

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2017 has been quite a year. To celebrate three things – its musical goodness, me finally getting things in order on these pages, and a year of better playlisting that’s allowed me to bring all the best bits together without it taking approximately a million years – here’s a collection of 101 of the best songs it’s spawned. There’ll be many more words, playlists, and things appearing here over the coming months, especially if I can figure out how to make Spotify embeds look as nice on WordPress as they can elsewhere, so do say hello if there’s anything you think I’ve missed.

Continue reading “101 songs that prove 2017 wasn’t entirely awful after all”

This Year In Records 2016

What made 2016 tick, from ANOHNI to The xx.

Originally published in The Edge

Now we’ve finally reached the concluding moments of 2016, it’s time for This Week In Records to splash out a little bit. You may be familiar with our methods – trawling the web for every last morsel of new music worth your attention and delivering it promptly for breakfast every Friday, with an occasional side dish of irritability whenever someone dares to “spill” a piña colada over a marimba and ends up regurgitating a soulless rendition of a decent dance record from the last millennium. Today, to celebrate the end of all things, we’ve cast our glances right back to where it all began.

Elsewhere on this site, you will find serious collections and rankings of the year – albums, films, games, TV shows, etc. – but This Year In Records is for celebrating 2016’s music in all its delectable forms. Over the next twelve pages, we discuss one release from every single New Music Friday. Some are fantastic. Some are abominations. Some will be recalled as the releases that first caught attention from the music heroes of tomorrow. One is a miserable spawn from The X Factor.

If a rapid whiz through 366 days of music sounds appealing, allow me to be your guide. I promise I’ll only rap twice.

Continue reading “This Year In Records 2016”

“Intimate is a good word to describe it” – An interview with HONNE

We get cosy in a van just before their sold-out Brighton tour date.

Originally published in The Edge

In July, London-based electro-soul duo HONNE released Warm On A Cold Night, an exquisite compendium of heartfelt musings and engulfing melodies, and their sold-out tour of the nation to support it following a number of sojourns to festival stages across the world saw them take in the chilly sea breeze around The Haunt in Brighton on the first day of 2016’s darker nights. Shortly before the gig we ventured backstage with James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck, taking shelter in Liv Dawson‘s tour van to talk about the goings-on of their early musical inspirations, why remixing on the road still proves impractical, and their striking recent releases of a sensual ‘Good Together‘ video and ‘FHKD‘ adorned with Kill J‘s whispers. Continue reading ““Intimate is a good word to describe it” – An interview with HONNE”

Album review: HONNE – Warm On A Cold Night

A flowing and cohesive set of soulful electronica gleaming with romance, Warm On A Cold Night may bear few unique moments though its dedicated crooning through the narrative provides a perfect soundtrack for the nocturnal and wistful.

Originally published in The Edge

“Okay, it’s 3:17am… If you don’t got a lover, just close your eyes and listen to HONNE.” This instruction, courtesy of a sultry croak from a radio host at the opening of HONNE’s debut album, could not be any more apt. At this point of the evening, timed to experience the album in the sort of woozy, tender emotional state it appears to command, keeping my eyes open is enough of a chore, and the smooth organ-like instrumentation of title track ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ forms such a feathery pillow that is close to being a lullaby. “I want to take you to paradise / In a 1950s Merc,” sings Andy Clutterbuck, HONNE’s bearded half. Expecting anything other than syrupy romantic adventures from Warm On A Cold Night would have been foolish. Enamoured with the tender embrace, I go wherever he asks me. Continue reading “Album review: HONNE – Warm On A Cold Night”