We’ve been lucky enough for London roots-rock band Curse Of Lono to put together some of their favourite tracks of 2016 for you…
So here we are. 2016 is over and we’re still alive, which is more than we can say for a scary number of our musical heroes. 2016 may have been the worst year ever for aging rock stars but we will also remember it as the year that saw the release of our debut EP and our first European and UK tours. On top of that, 2016 brought us some great new music. Here are some of my favourite tracks. Enjoy!
Dawes – When The Tequila Runs Out
This is one of my favourite tracks of the year and it was accompanied by one of the coolest videos I’ve seen in ages: a slow-motion party scene featuring Mandy Moore looking fine as always. This is definitely the anthem for the holidays (even though I’ll continue take beer over champagne any day).
Adia Victoria – Dead Eyes
Adia Victoria sits somewhere between Sister Rosetta Tharpe and PJ Harvey. She has the voice of an angel and one of the filthiest guitar sounds I’ve heard in a while. Her band is amazing as well. We played with them in October and enjoyed a few drinks after. Lovely people. Epic band.
Wilco – Cry All Day
Wilco have been bridging the gab between indie, college rock and Americana since the 90’s (long before Americana was a genre). If there’s one band that makes this genre cool, it’s Wilco.
Hayes Carll – Love Is So Easy
Hayes has been one of my favourite songwriters since I first saw him at SXSW back in 2004. His albums ‘Little Rock’ and ‘Trouble In Mind’ are never rested for long. I saw him with his full band in New Orleans the night before I proposed to my wife. I tried to buy him a drink and, though he politely declined, my wife and I consider Hayes to be part of the family.
Hiss Golden Messenger – Tell Her I’m Just Dancing
This is my favourite tune off a truly stunning record. I only got into Hiss Golden Messenger recently and regularly have it on repeat.
The Lumineers – Cleopatra
The Lumineers are the gateway drug responsible for turning hordes of teenagers onto music that was previously reserved for old gits. They are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. They’re probably too big to be cool but I don’t care. I love this band.
Uncle Lucius – Flood Then Fade Away
This Texan band has been together for over a decade and that really comes across in their live show. We just did a European and UK tour with them and, as well as being an incredible band, they are some of the nicest people we’ve met in a very long time.
Bon Iver – 29 Strafford APTS
Bon Iver’s ‘For Emma Forever Ago’ and the follow-up EP ‘Bloodbank’ were etched so deep into mine and many of my friends’ psyches that it was impossible to accept 2011’s effort. This album is difficult in parts but it’s worth persevering. This is one of the standout tracks.
Band Of Horses – Casual Party
I saw these guys when their first album came out and I’ve been obsessed ever since. It’s indie. It’s rock. It’s Americana. It’s f$@&ing glorious!!
Kurt Vile – I’m An Outlaw
Ok. I admit it. I really, really, REALLY wanted to include ‘Pretty Pimpin’ on the list but, as it came out in 2015, I had to go for the only single Mr Vile put out this year. Don’t get me wrong, this is a wicked song with a very naughty banjo but, if you don’t already know it, go and listen to ‘Pretty Pimpin’. It rules!!
The Slow Show – Hurts
I first came across this Manchester band when I heard the song ‘Brother’ off last year’s album. It literally reduced me to tears. The new album, ‘Dream Darling’ is equally amazing. It went straight to number 1 in my living room.
Guy Clark – Dublin Blues
Ok. So this might be cheating but I don’t care. Guy Clark recorded this song in 1995 but, as he passed away this year, I simply couldn’t leave him off. We have lost so many talented musicians this year but Guy Clark’s death is the only one that made me cry like a little boy. Guy is one of my greatest song-writing heroes and his music got me through the hardest time of my life. I learned to play ‘LA Freeway’ when I was going through heroin withdrawals in a sober house in south Florida over a decade ago. I was lucky enough to meet and interview Guy when I was filming the ‘We Dreamed America’ documentary a few years ago. He was a true gent and he even let me play his guitar.
Viola Beach – Get To Dancing (BBC Session)
Having paid tribute to Guy Clark, I wanted to also tip my proverbial hat to this young band who tragically lost their lives in February. We played with them at a Sofar Sounds gig last November and, like everyone else, we were deeply shocked at the news of their passing. So here’s to a lovely, talented bunch of lads who died far, far too young. Although they don’t fit into the Americana category, I think this track works well with the other songs on offer here.