2020: tracks of the year

Lots of music bought this year, thanks to both Bandcamp Friday and lots of time indoors.

The Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can Can

Not only was this an important song for that whole election thing, the drum part slaps, in the most exact sense of the word – to say nothing of the did-Biggie-sample-this bassline.

Paul Kelly – Take It Away From Him (Put It On Me)

I’ve been going through Vince Aletti’s compilation of disco columns from 1973-1978, and this not quite a hustle manages to be both plaintive and sexy (and has a great guitar part to boot).

Skipworth & Turner – Thinking About Your Love (Instrumental)

Let it be said: I love me a good low piano bassline. This was a very complicated Shazam dig from the Sadar Bahar show at Nowadays, via a compilation called “The ClubHouse Anthology Vol. 4 Special Edition”, by “The ClubHouse DJs”, and a track called “DJ Mixed Track Copulation”.

Caribou – Ravi

A tiny bundle of delight and joyfulness.

Robyn – Honey (Avalon Emerson Deep Current Reroll)

I think you could very reasonably copy and paste what I said last year about the Avalon Emerson remix I mentioned then, which involved words like “rocket-fueled”, and “to the stars”. Adding Robyn’s vocals only manages to, somehow, improve things.

Four Tet – Gillie Ama I Love You

Another tiny bundle, this one of happiness and relief, and maybe add gratification as well.

Two Lone Swordsmen – It’s Not The Worst (Lali Puna Remix)

Like the above Four Tet record, this one is nothing more and nothing less than the right sample, given the right backing – and the right year for this sort of vibe.

Pete Seeger – Amazing Grace, Cambridge, 1980

I ended up listening to a lot of Seeger around the election, and in general I didn’t like his sing-alongs; even though they were obviously the whole point for him, most of them sound iffy on record. This one, recorded in 1980 after he had moved mostly into elder-statesmen territory, sounds astonishing. Seeger takes it slow and then slower, and the audience eventually turns into an immaculate, Messiaen-esq wall of sound.

Honors out to the do-be-do-be disco of The Tymes – You Little Trustmaker, the relentless funk of The J.B.’s – Do in’ It To Death (Parts 1 & 2), Axel Boman’s tragically balaeric Eyes Of My Mind, Shanique Marie’s pure 🔥🔥🔥 Ring The Alarm, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s trio of Fake Mona Lisa, Solo, and Comeback.