Over the last week, including today, you would have noticed that Happy has been featuring the top ten picks by musicians as they reflect on the year that was 2014. Not only does this make doing editorial easier, but it gives us a chance to peek behind the curtain and see what drives the artists we all know and love.
Jack Colwell played at one Happy’s HEAD! shows a few months ago and we’ve been good friends ever since. He also lent us an exclusive track way back in May which is an absolute gem! He was kind enough to lend us his thought on the top ten tracks that rocked his world in 2014.
Jack Colwell shares with Happy the music that made his Good Song List for 2014!
With You – Sarah Belkner
There’s a special place in my heart for Sarah. I love the fragility in her voice that disguises a more sinister undertone. Shades of Beth Gibbons and Alison Goldfrapp paint Belkner’s single with some serious analogue keyboard sounds. Give the clip a watch if you can – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Her Hands – Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders
Jack’s back. Ladder is all about the tension in his latest single off the synth laden Playmates. While usually playing to the darker side, there is also a great deal of humour in Ladder’s work which comes through in the video for Her Hands. Not just an impressive lyricist, the different instrumental textures across this track make it easy to come back and listen again, and again and again. Highly Recommended for: anyone who likes good music.
Chi Chong <3 – Post Paint
Post Paint are my friends, that’s true. But it’s not bad to include your mates in your top 10 songs of the year when they produce great and interesting work. Lovers of Pavement and American Football will enjoy the harsh juxtaposition of sound. Partly brash and industrial pushing against the dulcet tones of Ailsa Fulcher’s soothing voice and violin.
P.S Bligh from Post Paint also plays in Low Lux, you should see them if you can.
Two Alarms – Scott Spark
When your name is Scott Spark you’re already off to a great start. The snappy alliteration of Spark’s name is almost as snappy and catchy as the lead single off Scott’s Muscle Memory released earlier this year. Spark is a wordy man – “I’ve gotta get a different job // I really hate my boss” would be clunky in the hands of most musicians, let alone in a lead single; Here though, the message soars – and with the acrobatic ease of a well trained vocalist. One of Bernard Zuel’s favourites of the year and a hit on Double J, Two Alarms is the pick-me-up you need in the morning before your coffee and commute.
Low High – Ella Hooper
A powerful song steeped in the modern ideologies of rebirth, witchcraft and rekindling your spirit – Ella Hooper, a woman who needs no introduction to the Australian audience, showcases a vast array of intimate and sensual songs on her album ‘In Tongues’ but this is the one I keep coming back to. Also, ‘Everything Was A Sign’ is a real heartbreaker. Get your ears on that, too.
Real Bad Looking – Alex Cameron
Supposedly the punch of the song, “Well, who the hell are you to tell me that I can’t leave my kid in the car” was a newspaper headline about a woman who left her child in a car on a boiling hot day to drink at the pub. Enjoy. #jumptheshark
Carousel – Holiday Sidewinder
I was always a big Bridezilla fan – they were a great band. Anyway, lead singer Holiday Sidewinder has continued to make music as a solo artist. One of two singles released this year under her own name, Carousel shows promise for what Sidewinder will do next. It’s kind of a David Lynch meets Dolly Parton kind of thing, which when you think about it makes perfect sense, really. Love the Hammond Organ – Ride with pride.
Wild Waters – Jane Tyrell
Tyrell has had a huge year – I feel like I read her name everywhere, which is a good thing because she’s an excellent musician (Designer and illustrator too!). Tyrell brings the trip-hop. I close my eyes and just sink into the sound – I bought this on vinyl and it sounds even better. For those who would like to hear what Massive Attack would sound like if they got PJ Harvey to do a [feat], you’ll be into this.
I’ll Go Crazy – Bluejuice
It’s Bluejuice’s last year :'( Goodbye guys, luv you. X
Bittersweet – Emma Swift
There’s a place in everyone’s heart for a sad song covered in rhinestones. What I love about Emma isn’t just the fact that she’s written a perfect country songs with all the right trimmings, but she is so-so-so dedicated to country music, and music in general. Swift spent a few years in Nashville perfecting and crafting her sound, learning from the best, and her crowd-funded EP she released this year is truly just gorgeous. It also features one of my favourite songs of all time as a cover, Total Control – The Motels. Emma was nominated for an ARIA this year, but more importantly she’s the last top track on Jack Colwell’s top 10 for 2014. For fans of: big hair and the crying guitar.
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