Fresh off the release of their fantastic debut album, Look At The Powerful People (seriously, check it out, it’s great), London quintet, Formation, have put together a list of the best songs that they have heard so far this year.
As the guys say themselves, “2017 so far… We’re hardly a quarter of the way into this year, but already there have been some amazing tracks released, making all of us in the Formation camp very excited about things to come. So here’s a playlist of tracks that make us hopeful for the year ahead!”
Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy”
It’s great to see Father John Misty back at it with his unique and hilarious lyrical commentary. Hopefully the album, of the same name, will live up to expectation and in his own words “Ladies, I hope we don’t end up regretting this”.
Vince Staples – “Bagbak”
We played with Vince at a festival in Ireland last year and while watching him backstage a security guard told us to stop making trouble and then taped the outline of a box around us, on the floor, and told us not to step outside it. Still not sure why he did, but putting a bunch of mixed race people in a box in a predominantly white environment, while listening to rap, had some connotations. Vince told him to fuck off. Vince is one of our favourite rappers.
Thundercat – “Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)”
This was always going to be a smash, any track with both Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins on it is probably going to contain some old-school pop magic, but adding Thundercat’s modern, funky twist to this classic smooth-pop style is a big win. Add some tongue-in-cheek cameo introductions and what else is there to say…ladies and gentlemen…Thundercat.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Rattlesnake”
King Gizzard is one of those bands I’ve been meaning to listen to for a while and when this track “Rattlesnake” appeared I jumped on it. This band is amazing, although any band with two drummers is probably gonna be great. Their adventures in microtonal tunings and the stranger side of elongated pop composition make this a really interesting listen, time to get into the entire Microtonal Banana record and then keep digging.
Laura Marling – “Next Time”
I’ve been a long time fan of Laura’s music, having been to one of her earliest shows in London supporting Jamie T at the now defunct 12 Bar in Denmark St back in the mid-2000’s. The lead up to this new album Semper Femina had me very excited with some great singles and dramatic visuals to match. The songs sound as emotive as ever, with a slightly more subtle and stripped back arrangement and production, leaving Laura’s excellent vocal talents to shine.
Arca – “Piel”
This new material from Arca is a big depature from we are used to hearing from him. Although, this direction had been teased on the more recent “Sin Rumbo” track and he maintains the black teeth and bruised faced visuals along with the choral style vocals. But Piel goes all the way, stripping back everything to expose a frail but beautiful vocal performance from Arca that leaves me really wanting to see where he can take things on this new album.
Alt-J – “3WW”
As a band I don’t think we’re huge Alt-J fans, but this track is maybe their way around that. It’s both subtle and OTT all at the same time, equal parts Nick Drake, Mariachi, Glam and Electro-Pop, the chaotic transitions and structure make it quite an adventure and interesting listen. Intriguing.
Power Trip – “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)”
Classic fucking metal. Kerry King style guitar solos with hardcore, Lemmy-infused vocals and chugging grooves, nothing could make me happier. Although this might not be as progressive or boundary pushing as some music coming out this year, sometimes its good to have some fresh metal to pump through the house as loud as possible.
The Cyclist – “Pressing Matters”
Although the A-track from this latest Cyclist release has been available for a bit, the actual vinyl press didn’t stock till 17th March and sold out super quicky. I love the “tape throb” texture of The Cyclist, lots of saturated synths, tubby bass and subby kicks that seem to whirl out of the speakers. This track has a bit more of a breakbeat quality to it, with a choppier groove interspersed by washes of spacey chords and delayed vocals.
Formation – “A Friend”
We couldn’t make a list and not put Formation in it, especially as this is an exciting year for us. Check out our debut album Look At The Powerful People! Here’s to a great year everybody, music is power!