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Various Artists

Piccadilly Records Compilation 2023

    It’s not an easy feat nowadays to get a record pressed in time for the end of year when there’s so much good music coming out every week, but we’ve once again managed to collect a stylistically diverse, cohesively sequenced collection of our 2023 favourites onto vinyl for your cut-price record buying pleasure.

    Opening up the collection, and responsible for me asking an embarrassing amount of times ‘who is this?’ is the soaring “Kisses” from Slowdive’s new offering, and our well-deserved album of the year, ‘everything is alive’. I couldn’t imagine a better follower than “Failsafe” from Catatonic Sun’s self-titled album, as it takes the spine-tingling heft of the former and slides a little into more psychedelic territory.

    The Nabihah Iqbal album came out of leftfield for me, and once again the eponymous track here is my top cut on the album, providing the perfect segue into Beach Fossils’ “Don’t Fade Away”, which reinforces the lysergic drift we’ve established while adding a little more structure. Closing the side, both bar italia’s “Nurse” and John’s “Service Stationed” provide a move towards more dynamic, post-punk indebted minimalism, with bar italia’s thoughtful garage groove setting up perfectly for John’s undeniable blast of power.

    Jungle keep bringing the goods, and there couldn’t have been any other choice than the funkiest cut on ‘Volcano’, the brilliant “Candle Flame”. This funky banger sets the perfect opener to the B-side, with the melodically pristine “Good Lies” from Welsh duo Overmono bringing us to the dancefloor before shop favourite Matthew Hallsall leads us to the chillout room with his keyboardy jazz odyssey “Mountains, Trees And Seas”.

    There are few tracks that could close out a compilation more perfectly than JIM’s anxiolytic melody-rich “Phoenix”, J-Walk’s brilliant “Cool Bright Northern Morning” (from Aficionado’s essential retrospective compilation) or Jalen Ngonda’s swinging, soaring wonder “Come Around And Love Me”, and here you get them all in one stretch. You lucky people.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Good Ol' Picco Recs eh? Once again bringing you a lovely selection of some of our favourite tracks of the year, on vinyl, for a ruddy good price! What joy. Soak in that tracklist. Feel it.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A:
    Slowdive “Kisses”
    Catatonic Suns “Failsafe”
    Nabihah Iqbal “Dreamer”
    Beach Fossils “Don’t Fade Away”
    Bar Italia “Nurse!”
    John “Service Stationed”
    Side B:
    Jungle Featuring Erick The Architect “Candle Flame”
    Overmono “Good Lies”
    Matthew Halsall “Mountains, Trees And Seas”
    JIM “Phoenix”
    J-Walk “Cool Bright Northern Morning”
    Jalen Ngonda “Come Around And Love Me”

    Various Artists

    Piccadilly Records Compilation 2022

      This year sees another superb selection of EOY favourites committed to vinyl for your budget priced listening pleasure. I remember TVAM playing at the launch of our end of year booklet way back in 2018, and thinking they were destined for great things, turns out that “great things” was kicking off our end of year compilation in 2022! (and writing one of the best albums we’ve heard all year too, obviously). From the distorted kosmische groove of “Piz Buin”, we segue into the similarly machinated throb of “Ploys” by Working Men’s Club before things take a more relaxed turn with the off-kilter jangle of shop favourite Cate Le Bon from February’s Pompeii.

      I have to admit I hadn’t listened to that much Kokoroko when we were selling all their 12’s last year, but Could We Be More was where it really clicked for me, and I’d consider the brilliant “We Give Thanks” as the finest cut from the whole album. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a track from Luke Unabomber’s top-spot compilation I wouldn’t be happy to see here, but to have King Errisson’s “Space Queen” and Pye Corner Audio’s “The Warmth Of The Sun” closing out the A-Side seems like the perfect shot / chaser.

      We’ve got post-rock leaning arty indie from caroline in the intoxicatingly climactic “Dark Blue” before the beautifully melodic “Stevie” from Warpaint’s Radiate Like This moves us into more airy downbeat territories. Next up we’re pulled into even more psychedelic realms by Gwenno’s Superb “An Stevel Nowydh” before the masters of modern psychedelia The Orielles present one of the more jagged but most alluring cuts on their brilliant Tableau. King Hannah’s “All Being Fine” grooves away perfectly before handing over to the unbeatable Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band to bring us home with “Gino And Rico”. What a collection!


      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A
      TVAM : Piz Buin
      Working Men’s Club : Ploys
      Cate Le Bon : Harbour
      Kokoroko : We Give Thanks
      King Errisson : Space Queen
      Pye Corner Audio : Warmth Of The Sun (Edit)

      SIDE B
      Caroline : Dark Blue
      Warpaint : Stevie
      Gwenno : An Stevel Nowydh
      The Orielles : Television
      King Hannah : All Being Fine
      Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band : Gino And Rico


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