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  • Alistair Braidwood

Now Hear This: It’s The Top Five Songs of the Year…

This is the second of the Scots Whay Hae! annual end of year roundups and is simply my favourite songs of the year which may have passed you by. It doesn’t include tracks from the better known acts who released material, or any of the folk who will feature in the best albums of the year list, so there is no Moffat, Creosote or others you may expect to appear. If you’re havering for an album countdown right now then this years BAMS are out for you to argue over at Peenko’s place. There will be a top 5 albums of 2011 here soon, but that’s for another day.

Most of this list comes from those nice folk who have sent music to Scots Whay Hae! over the last year, and I thank everyone who did. If you didn’t get a mention then it would be because I didn’t have time to do so, or it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but everything gets a listen. I would say that the following are in no particular order, but there is one song which I fell in love with over all others. Mummy Short Arms won wide acclaim for the single Chance, but nothing bettered their summer release Cigarette Smuggling which remains my song of the year. Have a listen:

There were a couple of bands who sadly split this year deserving of a mention in dispatches. One was Come On Gang who left us with the fabulous album Strike a Match to remember them by. Then there was the mighty YAK (aka You Already Know) who played one of my favourite gigs of the year at The Cathouse and released the album Petrol Money, then, like that, they were gone. From Petrol Money this is Let’s Fuck and it is a heavenly slice of noise:

I said this wasn’t about albums, but it is Christmas so here is one of my tracks of the year with the rest of the album thrown in with it. Dalyrimple Goes Wrong is Daniel Parry and he recorded these songs over 5 days, which is almost unbelievable. The album, which pushed many of my musical buttons, is called For Shut Eyes and if I had to chose a favourite track it would be It Stinks in Here Like Fetid Brains, but it is when you listen to the album as a whole that it makes the most sense. It’s one long favourite track, and if you think that’s cheating then, as Pitt the Younger once said, ‘poo to you with knobs on’:

One of my favourite new discoveries this year was Arran Arctic who released his latest album In My Hands in Spring. I was delighted to find that there was a significant back catalogue to explore. This track is the beautiful Interrupt Me, and if you listen to it on You Tube there is a huge clue as to why this appeals. On the right of the page are over ten recommendations for Mark Kozelek songs. Kozelek is one of my favourite singer/songwriters of all time, but Arran Arctic is my latest flame and deserves such comparisons. This is ruddy gorgeous:

The final choice is from a band who featured in November’s round up so it may be fresh in your mind, but I make no apologies for including it here. It’s a track which sums up a year when rhythm in guitar music made a strong comeback to blow the cobwebs away. This is By The Fire by Blank Canvas:

That’s it for a bumper year. Those just bubbling under were The Seventeenth Century, Honey, Silent Forest, Prince Edward Island, The Darien Venture, Miniature Dinosaurs, Randolph’s Leap and many more. Can’t wait to hear how 2012 will progress, it’s got a lot to live up to.


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