High Contrast (aka Lincoln Barrett) is a Welsh electronic music producer and DJ. For his 2020 track Time is Hardcore, he teams up with Kae Tempest, who contributes spoken word and rap - and by singer Anita Blay (formerly CocknBullKid) who provides the chorus vocal.
There aren’t many new tracks on this blog because the premise is that it’s about songs I’ve lived with long enough to know I’ll always love them. But I want to introduce a few from 2020, starting with Idoru, the final track from Miss Anthropocene, the 2020 LP by Grimes.
As the dying embers of punk faded, this new sound seemed like something we’d been waiting for - the next phase for pop/rock. A big leap forwards while still being rooted in the present.
Shortly after sample-heavy Hot Doggie by Colourbox appeared on the 4AD Compilation “Lonely Is An Eyesore”, the label released a collaborative single between Colourbox and label-mates AR Kane as a Double A-Side. The result was less of a collaboration than intended. One side was nearly all AR Kane, the other side was nearly all Colourbox. It was the latter side that got the airplay, and that took the song to the top of the UK Charts.
The fourth and final LP from School of Seven Bells was completed without main songwriter Benjamin Curtis, who sadly died young in 2013. But it’s a fine record, and the opening track, Ablaze, is a highlight from 2016 - a year of many highlights.
Chew Lips looked like they could be on their way to stardom at one point, but sadly it wasn’t to be. One critically acclaimed album and a few singles are all we have, which is a great loss for all of us.
The third track featuring Dot Allison on vocals. Here she is with her electronic trio One Dove on a record produced by Andy Weatherall and remixed by Stephen Hague.
The second of three tracks featuring vocals by Dot Allison - this time a track from her first début LP, 1999s Afterglow.
The third in a trio of songs by a pair of my favourite artists of recent years. Following Salt Spring by Anomie Belle, and Gumball Machine Weekend by Yppah, this track sees them working together on Film Burn, one of several collaborations between the pair on the 2012 Yppah record Eighty One.
The second in a trio of songs by a pair of my favourite artists of recent years. Following Salt Spring by Anomie Belle, we have Gumball Machine Weekend by Yppah, from his 2009 LP “They Know What Ghost Know”.
This is the first in a trio of songs by a pair of my favourite artists of recent years. First up is singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Anomie Belle, with Salt Spring from her 2016 LP Flux.
The second in a trio of songs by bands who couldn’t resist getting a bit sweary in their names, this is a powerful, uplifting, instrumental that fitted in perfectly when used in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Scot composer and musician Anna Meredith combines electronica with classical instruments to produce music that has connections to past yet which still sounds fresh and modern.
Gwenno Saunders came to relatively wide public awareness as a member of The Pipettes, but has forged a successful solo career since. In 2018 she released an album in the Cornish language, but here I’m highlighting Amser - the Cornish-language track of her otherwise-mostly-Welsh 2014 LP Y Dydd Olaf.
An absolute banger from Le Tigre, a punky electronic three-piece featuring Kathleen Hanna, formerly of the legendary Bikini Kill.
A glorious uplifting pop tune from the Scotland’s three-piece Chvrches.