ROUND UP: BEST OF 2019

THE ROUND UP 2019

Words: Daniel Burton 

In a year where we have seen some of the best bands come and sadly, a la Queen Zee, go, here our Round Up man Daniel put together the team’s favourite tracks of the year in a collective look back of the last year of the decade.

TV Said So – Red Rum Club (Elena)

Looking all the way back to January 11th, Red Rum Club released their debut album Matador and it proved to be the catalyst to a tremendous 2019 for the band. 

It all started with a sold-out March tour, numerous slots at top festivals across the UK and Europe in the summer, and another UK tour which all culminated in a sold-out hometown show at o2 Academy Liverpool. Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind year.

Taken from said debut album, with a thumping bass line the driving undertone to the scouse Americana rock, and one of the catchiest chorus’ only second to their very own Would You Rather Be Lonely, TV Said So is one hell of a hit from Red Rum Club and is yet another of their tracks that I cannot get out of my head for hours after hearing it.

Hypersonic Missiles – Sam Fender (Sammy)

Although 2019 could quite rightly be given to Lewis Capaldi as he’s taken over the entire world, I think Sam Fender would take a very close second to him, and you simply cannot argue. Whilst his debut album was delayed in the release, once it hit our ears he couldn’t have wished for a better reception, with a huge amount of help from undoubtedly the biggest hit from the record title track, Hypersonic Missiles. It is politically fuelled and every lyric fired up to the nth degree with influences from the “Orange faced baby leading the ship” across the Atlantic to “Feed(ing) the corporate machine”. It is lyrics like this and Sam’s down to earth persona that has won over the hearts of so many across the country and lead to his success through 2019.

2019 hasn’t been without its troubles for him though. Plagued by numerous bouts of illness, he had to pull out of a number of top festival slots across the summer and ended the year having to cancel shows on his biggest headline tour to date, but that cannot take away from the frankly crazy year that he has had. Travelling to every corner of the world playing to thousands of fans, two sold out UK tours with a further one planned for 2020 and having the best possible response to his album he could have wished for.

Please – The Night Café (Dan)

Since its release in May, I have literally not been able to stop playing this song. It has become the soundtrack to many a drive and long journey. Starting with a smooth but indulging drum beat that is continued throughout, it is then accompanied by signature Night Café dreamy riffs and general rhythm guitars. For me, it is a perfect song for whatever mood you are in, as it can suppress negative emotions or boost happiness and joy. The volatility and the up and down nature as it drifts from the chorus’ to bridges and into verses plays a bit part in creating these effects.

It’s been a busy year for the band, releasing 6 singles and a subsequent album alongside touring and festivals, but they are yet another artist that has been hit by bouts of illness, also having to postpone their entire tour until April.

 

Look What You Started – Ten Tonnes (Clare)

Ten Tonnes (aka Ethan Barnett) has had a fairly busy 2019; he’s had 2 UK tours, a European tour, countless festival appearances across the UK and Europe and the small matter of releasing his debut album in May. 

He had already stamped his mark on the rising stars list of the UK indie-rock scene in 2018 but in 2019 with his debut album, he has only cemented his place at the top of that. Admittedly I hadn’t listened back to the album for quite a while before now, and I forgot how ‘complete’ it is. There is everything from the rock hit, the dance-along pop number to the indie bop, and within the album, there is a clear mark of progression. There are some of his early tracks that have been left untouched, some that have been slightly remodelled and then there are his brand-new tracks which reflect the level of maturity he has gained over the last few years. Look What You Started is certainly one of the later. There must be something in the ‘Barnett’ blood because as with his brother (George Ezra) there is an effortless skill of writing lyrics with earworm hooks that seamlessly get everyone singing and dancing and best of all it just comes so natural.

Ad Blue – FEET (Amy)

From the off, FEET give the impression of being a very down-to-earth hard-working band, and their music reflects this. Every track is finitely polished and every detail perfected, with nothing left to chance. Within the lyrics, they feel very close to heart and clearly inspired from personal experiences. As a complete package, they are very much like Sports Team, but lyrically they remind me of Lady Bird and sonically a slower more intricate No Hot Ashes.

Ad Blue is a great summary of what FEET have achieved in 2019 and give huge hopes for what more they can achieve as they stride into the new year.

2019 has seen FEET play a number of strings of UK headline dates and a handful of festival slots, but looking forward they have a very exciting 2020 ahead of them. They are due to support Inhaler on a number of UK dates before they hop across the pond and play SXSW in America. 

Getting Over You (Wabi-Sabi edit) – Childcare (Meg)

It’s one of those songs you can sing at the top of your lungs whilst playing through a speaker, a song those of us who have had a breakup can relate to and feel empowered by. Childcare always have these quirky lyrics in their songs and Getting Over You doesn’t fail this. The layers they’ve created via the vocals and instruments works together so perfectly and it’s one of those songs that’ll get stuck in your head and you won’t be annoyed by it; trust me, it’s happened to me one too many times. 

Sports Team – Here it Comes Again (Kimberley)

Sports Team was one of those bands that while I knew the name and had perhaps heard a few of their songs, I was overall rather unaware of them. I’d never really taken the time to listen to them properly until mid-June when they released a single by the name of Here it comes again. Headphones in, it took perhaps a handful of seconds to understand my previous passiveness was a mistake. The bold drumming at the start and the eager vocals just dragged you in, until you reached the chorus which itself was busting with energy and excitement. I remember for the next few months it was constantly on repeat as one of those instantly recognizable summer bangers. 

My only regret of the year is not having the chance to hear it live.

We’re Not Defective – FEVA (Rosie)

Newcastle’s four piece FEVA stormed 2019 reinforced by a string of releases but the pinnacle being: ‘We’re Not Defective‘. An empowering anthem encompassing a fight against stereotypes sound tracked by an intoxicatingly engaging bass line and a soul inspired guitar riff. The tone is set from the get go by Reynolds pleading: ”you’re not alive just to sit on a fence, you’re not alive just to satisfy your rent.” Kickstarting a haunting breath encrusted drum beat. 

This song is heavily driven by the intent in its underlying message highlighting the morsel of mortality that we own, evoking the mighty importance of pursuing our purpose. 

Hailing from the front line of the new renaissance of guitar music, FEVA are unapologetically in your face and this will continue throughout 2020 with it lining up to be a very promising year. 2020 will hero the bands sound delving into darker dimensions alongside their live spectacle filling bigger venues and seeping into new places. 

Cocaine – Gen & The Degenerates (Gary)

Gen and her degenerates have had a busy 2019, releasing some of their very first material and gaining one Gary Lambert as their hometown fan-boy. It’s no surprise that he would pick the brave and bold Gen & The Degenerates as his track of the year. He has ranted and raved about their live set, he’s shot them a dozen times or more and their music has impacted not just him, but has started to filter through to the rest of the team. It’s now not just Gary that waits with baited breath to see what support slots get thrown their way in 2020 as these could be key to getting this bunch of degenerates up on stage in front of the wider audience they deserve.

Home To You – Cate Le Bon (Nick Jacques)

Despite not being a new artist, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon, has been impressing with new material and so much so that she’s won the heart of Nick enough to make it as his pick of 2019 and this man gets to see and hear a lot of new music so, to set the scene; Cate has really pulled some punches to get this shout. Home to You, is taken from Cate’s fith album, Reward, that was released back in May this year.

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