8 DAWN: Second Line

2019 #11, 2013 #24

DAWN (née Richards) is quietly becoming one of the world’s most astonishingly unique, progressive and essential artists. Well, I say ‘quietly’, there is absolutely nothing ‘quiet’ about her sixth studio album. It’s an extravagant, extraverted, shameless parade of confidence. Continuing the dissection and celebration of what New Orleans means to her that began on the (already fucking amazing. Already fucking. It fucks. That album fuuuuuucks. This one might even fuck harder. I have been violently pegged by this album for eight months now) 2019 album ‘New Breed’.

But ‘Second Line’ expands its focus far past the Louisiana city, aiming to use its Afrofuturism to comment on wider instances of black people migrating across state lines and why they ever felt moved to do so. Even when the lyrics or the spoken word montages from DAWN’s mother don’t explicitly make the statement, DAWN’s incredible amalgamation of seemingly every black musical culture of the last 500 years – jazz, obviously, but DAWN also ensures that you’d be able to consider her but never box her in as an artist performing funk, R&B, soul, hip-hop, blues or even grime – is still a pronounced statement on both the artist’s continued existence despite so many barriers, and also to the communities that were able to inspire that. There’s a lot going on here! Which is one of the reasons I love it!!

SO WON’T YOU CLICK LIKE ME?

Legit Bosses: The 112 Best Songs of 2019

OK OK OK! There were 112 amazing songs released in 2019 (or, erm, released earlier but I just listened to them a lot this year), and here is the definitive, objective and scientifically proven ranking. You can disagree all you want, just remember your disagreement is merely an opinion and this list is fact.

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Or maybe not. I made a big change of tablet and therefore music player this year, and I might not have remembered all of the songs I deemed to be Legit Bosses earlier in the year. But whatever, here are 112 amazing songs, here’s the YouTube list and here’s the Spotify playlist, now please leave me alone, yeah?

Starting at number 112 wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith…

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Necessary Evil 2019 (16-11)

Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo-yar!! This will actually take us up to the top ten! And it’s not even Christmas yet!! Just to be clear, you should all be very impressed.

16 Pickle Darling: Bigness

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Just… gorgeous. ‘Bigness’ seems almost like it was intended as something of a wry, ironic name, as Mr Darling deals in ostensibly small scale music. His songs can initially seem so slight, polite, inoffensive and casual, all linked with a voice so hesitant and unassuming that it’s the volume and urgency that a fruit fly might adopt if it wanted to get the waiter’s attention at Costa Coffee to inquire as to what was taken its Hazelnut Praline & Cream Latte so long but didn’t want to make too much fuss. The tags that the album is identified with on Bandcamp are alternative; bedroom pop; christchurch; new zealand; pop; indie; indie pop; Christchurch, which tells you one thing… Well no, it firsts lets you know that Pickle Darling is from Christchurch, New Zealand, as he’s so keen for you to realise that that he states it twice, but the second thing that the tags tell you is that ‘Bigness’ is a bit of a cheery, unassuming and- in the words of Helltown– ‘bedroom bullshit‘ kind of record. It’ll be fine. It’ll be cheery, a little bit twee but well meaningfully pleasant. Most of all though, it’ll be small.

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Best Albums of 2013: Necessary Evil’s Chris Benoit

I’ve tried to put this off for a long time: the 2013 best albums list that I originally emailed off to ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ around Christmas that year is the final collection to be posted onto the webisphere and officially archived. I considered never doing it, denying its existence and never admitting to the shameful mistakes it contains. However, when I write my NE2017 list (soon, I promise) I want to make a point of referring to artists’ past entries in the Necessary Evil Blogging Universe (NEBU), so I’ve relented and made it available to read.

I was mainly worried about two things: firstly, I spent 6 months of 2013 in hospital, occasionally politely coughing and making my existence known to death’s door, so the fact that I managed to still mash out a top 50 at year’s end- while being an astonishing achievement warranting some achievements in disability award- makes me assume that a large portion of it will be unreadable madness.

Yes, very funny: more so than usual

Secondly, Arctic Monkey’s award for best album was soon revoked in light of their tax dodging selfishness, and the records for 2013 now show Hjaltalin’s astonishing ‘Enter 4′ as the greatest album, as despite it only finishing 5th in this initial list, by the time Arctic Monkey’s were stripped of the award it had grown into my favourite release of the year. Arctic Monkey’s win in 2013 is now viewed in the Necessary Evil Online Community (NEOC) with the same divisiveness as Benoit’s Wrestlemania 20 Heavyweight Championship win, and doubtless the posting of this list will be viewed as an extremely controversial move by victims of the Arctic Monkeys’ crimes. I apologise for any offence caused, but you must understand the importance of establising the legitimacy of NEBU.

So, I re-read the list for the first time in years and…

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It’s…

…not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I’d say that 2013 might contain some of my best and most incisive actual music writing, and I didn’t cringe nearly as much as I feared. Jesus, some of the entries (The Strokes, Arcade Fire, Kanye West…) are some of the best normal writing I’ve ever done! From death to coherence: I’m such a fucking inspirational figure

It’s far from perfect- I make a quip about Bowie not dying, I’m a little too subtly sexist in my Haim review, Steve Mason is number fucking two…- but I’m not completely overwhelmed by shame posting them

Also: Daft Punk are only no.42, Vampire Weekend 34, that’s pretty gangsta

NE2017 soon, I promise

I love you all

Except you

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