Ten Tracks of 2018

2018

Whittling down your favourite tracks of any year is an arduous task and this year, a particularly good one musically, has proven equally if not more difficult.

That said, in the interest of posterity, I condensed it down to ten and there is a nice extended 30-track playlist below too.

So, in no particular order, here are my favourite ten (then 30 below) tracks of 2018. Enjoy!

Omaloma – ‘Bubblegum’

Welsh artist Omaloma aka George Amor (Serol Serol & Sen Segur) has carved out special space on the musical landscape with a series of blissful, spacey psych-pop singles; ‘Ha Ha Haf’, ‘Aros O Gwmpas’ and ‘Eniwe’ in recent years.

This year, Omaloma added ‘Bubblegum’ to this burgeoning list of stellar singles. A first on vinyl, released as a 7″ single, ‘Bubblegum’ is utterly divine and marks the pinnacle of the project thus far. Sung in English and Welsh, ‘Bubblegum’ is a four-minute sojourn to a spellbinding interstellar paradise. It coolly swaggers as it moves on by, leaving us in a dream-like state, with an alluring blend of slinky, synth-pop with psych brush strokes, woozy synth lines and Amor’s soft, soothing bilingual vocals. Instantly lovable, it breezes gracefully by with a seductive soulful underbelly and charm to woo you.

ilu – ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’

Dividing their time recording between Tallinn, Estonia and rural Wales, Ilu are a Welsh Psych/Krautrock outfit crafting epic, spacey, interstellar hymns – of Spiritualized proportions. Backing up these lofty claims is stunning debut single ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’. Propelled along Krautrock, motoric grooves ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’, spacey synths and heavenly harmonies envelop spiky post-punk guitars and bass rumbles which coalesces into one coherent, unstoppable sound. Sizzling danceable grooves are woven tightly into their mammoth tones and grinding churn, which is all punctuated with a beautiful yet melancholic sense of longing. As far as debut singles go, they don’t come much bigger or better than ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’; an immaculate palate of sonics, sounds and textures.

Accü – ‘Did You Count Your Eyes?’

Accü is the multifaceted, genre blending solo project of Cardiff-based musician and producer Angharad Van Rijswijk. Accü’s debut album Echo The Red is one of 2018’s very best and lead single ‘Did You Count Your Eyes?’ is quite something. An offbeat exploration of imaginative experimentation and colourful, kaleidoscopic sounds, ‘Did You Count Your Eyes?’ is a spellbinding cosmic sojourn to psychedelic space. Fusing elements of frayed electronics, squelchy synths, soft-edged psych-pop it tips along a tidy drum beat with reverb-laced vocals swaying through a cascading sequence of crackling, frazzled electronics. Moving with a dreamlike, otherworldly aura; ‘Did You Count Your Eyes?’ is colourful, imaginative and fearlessly exploratory off-kilter pop.

Silverbacks – ‘Dunkirk’

Dublin-based outfit Silverbacks have delighted and excited at every turn thus far and none more so than with ‘Dunkirk’. A sprawling three-minutes of post-punk underpinned by an insistent, nagging bassline and increasingly manic, winding guitar lines, metronomic drumbeat and Gang of Four calibre bass lines. It is the ideal backdrop for Daniel O’Kelly’s stream of conscious musings of a dystopian future where Dunkirk, despite its history, has become a built-up holiday destination for young families. ‘Dunkirk’ is Silverbacks at their finest and signals strongest their evolution beyond their early Pavement-esque beginnings, to a coveted plain where parts Talking Heads, Television, LCD Soundsystem and Gang of Four can all coexist and flourish.

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OMALOMA – ‘Bubblegum’

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Beginning with ‘Ha Ha Haf’ in 2016 and ‘Aros O Gwmpas’ and ‘Eniwe’ a year later, Omaloma have carved out special space on the musical landscape with a series of blissful, spacey psych-pop singles.

Omaloma aka Welsh artist George Amor – formerly of now defunct Welsh psyche supremos Sen Segur – has added ‘Bubblegum’ to this burgeoning list of stellar singles.

‘Bubblegum’ is Amor’s first on vinyl, released as a 7″ single and download, it is utterly divine and arguably marks the high point of the project thus far. Sung in English and Welsh, ‘Bubblegum’ is a four minute sojourn to a spellbinding interstellar paradise. It coolly swaggers as it moves on by, leaving us in a dream-like state, with an alluring blend of slinky, synth-pop with psych brush strokes, woozy synth lines and Amor’s soft, soothing bilingual vocals. Instantly lovable, it breezes gracefully by with a seductive soulful underbelly and charm to woo you, so powerful is this that it will have you headed straight for repeated listens.

Tune in to ‘Bubblegum’ below and the 7″ and download can be found here.

Omaloma – ‘Aros O Gwmpas’

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‘Aros O Gwmpas’ is the brand new single from Omaloma, the latest musical incarnation from Welsh artist George Amor; formerly of now defunct Welsh psyche supremos Sen Segur.

Following on from shimmering, psychedelic escapism of debut single ‘Ha Ha Haf’ and ‘Eniwe’, with this new one ‘Aros O Gwmpas’, Amor has distilled the very essence of summer. Self-described as ‘Welsh language psychedelic space schmooze’, the song dazzles us with three minutes of shimmering, sun-kissed and gravity defying and dreaminess. A slinky soft-disco groove, spacey-synth and alluring, peaks through the haze to mingle gracefully with floating vocals, delivering the poetic welsh language. This is soft, soothing and effortless psych-pop perfection. Ladies & Gentleman, we are floating in space.

Tune into the sound of summer below. ‘Aros O Gwmpas’ is out now via Recordiau Cae Gwyn.

BarryGruff April 2016 Playlist

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Your regular monthly round up all the blog action, in a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured throughout the month.

April was good, as was the weather but even better tunes and whatnot (although I was pretty busy with matters away from the blog). We had tracks courtesy of Amber Arcade, FFUG, SALES, Holy Fuck and Foreign/National from their respective, new and forthcoming albums. We had introductions to Supermoon and OMALOMA, while there were excellent new singles/EPs from Colleen Green, L.A. Witch, Koloto, Peaness, The Orange Kyte, Estrons and Pavel. Oh, and there were two new episodes of ‘Millions Like Us’, Justin Beats & I’s music podcast for 604now (if you missed them, check ’em here). You can also subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter.

Well then, that’s that for another month – listen to BarryGruff’s April 2016 playlist below. Enjoy!

Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode #15

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Yip, it’s that again already and we’re thrilled to share yet another Millions Like Us Podcast with you all.

Every two weeks, Justin & I, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now, aim to deliver an eclectic selection of top class music. There’s plenty to chew on for Episode #15, well over an hour in fact, of great tunes and plenty of chat, encompassing everything fro, Bluetooth headset wearers, Siri bashing, Fergie time, NOFX hoodies, the Rocky Mountains and of course, music.

You can read more on it over here and of course, listen below (and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump too). You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic, Mixcloud & SoundCloud, or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

As mentioned in this episode, Justin has been busy compiling tracks featured in the series. If you’re a Spotify user, then you can access this 6 hours plus playlist here.

Thanks for all the support and once again, till next time, thanks for listening! We hope you enjoy Episode #15. And last but not least, thanks to Caroline for the stylish image.

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Introducing: Omaloma

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Omaloma is the new musical project of Welsh artist George Amor. Formerly of now defunct Welsh psyche supremos Sen Segur, and current bass player for Palenco, Amor has heralded this fine news with a debut single of shimmering, psychedelic escapism, in the shape of ‘Ha Ha Haf’.

Released on Cae Gwyn Records, ‘Ha Ha Haf’ (translates as ‘Ha Ha Summer’) is ever so pleasing on the ear. Imbued with a suitably sunny disposition, it is a bright, cheery and beautiful, psych flavoured pop song. Awash with undulating effects, cosmic rhythms and meandering melodious, it perfectly combines piano, jangly guitars and soft, soothing vocals (sung in Amor’s native Welsh). Breezy pop brilliance from Omaloma, which much like April in Vancouver thus far, is an early taste of summer.

Needless to say, it is going to interesting tracking Omaloma’s progression through 2016, and beyond. For now, you can enjoy the wonderful Ha Ha Haf’ and ‘Lutra’, Omaloma’s inclusion on Swooshed; Cae Gwyn Records’ most recent and most excellent compilation (it is available here).