End of Season Roundup & Favourite tracks of 2015 Spotify Playlist

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Season’s greetings to everyone who follows, reads, sends music, helps or writes for the site etc. Somehow everything’s been kept on between the ditches for close to six years now and it weren’t all of you, the site would be pretty useless, so thanks a million – it’s very appreciated.

It’s been quite a year if I’m honest, so many great albums, lots of new musical discoveries and some splendid gigs (not enough of the latter, on my behalf). I got to interview two musical heroes of mine, namely Conor from Villagers and Cian Ciaran from Super Furry Animals, which was fantastic to say the least. I finally managed to take the plunge into podcasting, creating music podcast ‘Millions Like Us‘, with Mr. Justin Beats for 604now. It’s been lots of fun and very interesting so far, and hopefully we can kick it up a notch in the new year.

Personally speaking, the high point of the year from a musical standpoint, was the release of GruffWuff; a 19 track compilation of new, previously unreleased & exclusive tracks from some of my favouorite artists to celebrate 5 years of BarryGruff. It was amazing to to work with so many artists that hold a special place in my heart and, importantly to pull everything together and get it released on time – a lot of thanks for that goes to Stevie Moon who was yet again, a huge part of another Gruff project. Not only was it an amazing experience to be involved with but the response was phenomenal, it was heartwarming and made all the hard work which everyone did, worth it. A special thanks to everyone involved, and everyone who supported it, you know who you are. I think this will warrant a dedicated post in future.

So, for 2015, that’s almost that but before assuming radio silence over the festive period (with normal service resuming in the New Year), we’ll just have a quick round up of links and the small matter of my 100 track strong Spotify playlist of favourites from 2015 (and a sly Christmas tune below that). ICYMI, let the roundup of links commence…

My Top Albums of 2015

2015 according to members and artists from the GruffWuff Family: here

Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2015

You can download GruffWuff for Free from here.

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Billy Bragg – Handyman Blues

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The great Billy Bragg is set to return with his first studio album in nearly five years, since Mr Love & Justice. The new record entitled Tooth & Nail will be out through Cooking Vinyl on March 18th 2013.

To coincide with this news there’s a treat, ‘Handyman Blues’. Serving as a taste of what’s yet to come with album, it is a slightly downbeat, somber lament about an inability to perform the simplest of DIY or ‘handyman’ duties, and his love for the written word. It is a rather lovely song, if somewhat slightly tongue-in-cheek. 

You can listen to ‘Handyman Blues’ below or head over to Billy’s website and get the track for the cool price of an email address. 

Free Music: Nowonder – Color The Concrete EP

Nowonder is the pen name of LA-based electronic artist Danny Choi.

Choi is not afraid to dabble in a bit of experimentation, something Color The Concrete is testament to.

It is a genre hopping broad blend of styles, from the Gallic fervor and Justice-esque hooks of ‘Manic’ to the juddering electro-pop that is ‘White Light’ this is an EP that doesn’t wait around in one place for long.

You can give ‘Manic’ and ‘Bright Spell’ a spin below and download the EP for free via bandcamp.

 Nowonder – Manic

Nowonder – Bright Spell

Free Music: Guards – Covers EP

Guards self-titled EP was one of the best EPs released last year. This fabulous introduction to Richie James Follin’s breezy, lo-fi garage pop comes highly recommended.

Guards have returned with a free three-track covers EP of reverb-laden versions of Metallica’s ‘Motorbreath’, Vampire Weekend’s ‘Taxi Cab’ and M.I.A’s ‘Born Free’. The M.I.A. cover is the stand out track, simply because of the three it’s most similar to the best bits of last year’s EP.

Pop over to bandcamp and pick it up for FREE.

Guards – Born Free (M.I.A. Cover) via Sendera

Guards – Taxi Cab (Vampire Weekend Cover) via Nialler9

Free Music: The Dirty Lungs – ‘Deregulate Your Heart’

The Dirty Lungs are a pysch-rock 4-piece hailing from Birmingham, Alabama.

Their rather brash, explosive garage-psych rock has already taken them to the heady heights of sharing the bill with Harlem, Bonnie Prince Billy, Monotonix, Ladyhawk, and Tapes n Tapes. The Dirty Lungs stock is certainly rising, a claim which Deregulate Your Heart is testament too. Seriously exciting vibe to this EP with plenty of scuzzy riffs and rhythms, this is so much more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

They are also preparing to release a 7″ in March so keep those eyes peeled. Download Deregulate Your Heart for FREE via bandcamp below.

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