Christmas Posts 2011 #25


Never mind trying to post more new stuff this year, this was recorded in the last week!

A beautiful rendition of the Christmas carol, this also comes with extra information – such as the origin of the carol, what those three ships were, and how exactly sailing into Bethlehem may be a bit of poetic licence… Matt Norris play the Hogmanay celebrations on December 31, on the same stage as Primal Scream, Bombay Bicycle Club and Sons & Daughters.

I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In) by Matt Norris & the Moon

Meanwhile, although this stream is credited to Riley Briggs, this comes from a gig he and the other Aberfeldy members played at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh. This was around the time that 17 Seconds Records had issued their single ‘Claire.’ This is a cover of the Chris de Burgh Christmas perennial. It would be great to hear the version of ‘Merry Xmas Everyone’ (yes, the Shakin’ Stevens one) that they performed at the Voodoo Rooms last Christmas.

A spaceman came travelling by Riley Briggs

17 Seconds’ Top 75 albums of the year


1. PJ Harvey Let England Shake
2. Gang Gang Dance Eye Contact
3. Kate Bush Fifty Words For Snow
4. Kurt Vile Smoke Ring For My Halo
5. Rob St. John Weald
6. Bon Iver Bon Iver
7. Battles Gloss Drop
8. Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat Everything’s Getting Older
9. Cocknbullkid Adulthood
10. Rayographs Rayographs
11. J Mascis Several Shades Of Why
12. Bjork Biophilia
13. Wilco This Whole Love
14. Asa Beautiful Imperfection
15. Cure Bestival Live 2011
16. Damon & Naomi Broken Horse
17. Kate Bush Director’s Cut
18. Butcher Boy Helping Hands
19. Anna Calvi Anna Calvi
20. Shona Foster The Moon And You
21. Birdengine The Crooked Mile
22. She’s Hit Pleasure
23. Mogwai Hardcore Will never Die But You Will
24. Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers Luck
25. Clean George IV God Save The Clean
26. St. Vincent Strange Mercy
27. Thurston Moore Demolished Thoughts
28. Moth and the Mirror Honestly, This World
29. Ghost Poet Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
30. John Maus We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
31. King Creosote and John Hopkins Diamond Mine
32. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Mirror Traffic
33. King Post Kitsch The Party’s Over
34. Fucked Up David Comes To Life
35. Found Factorycraft
36. Adele 21
37. Tom Waits Bad As Me
38. M83 Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
39. Sonic Youth Simon Werner A Disparu
40. Shonen Knife Free Time
41. White Heath Take No Thought For Tomorrow
42. We Were Promised Jetpacks In the Pit Of The Stomach
43. Justice Audio, Video, Disco
44. Jay-Z & Kanye West Watch The Throne
45. Wild Flag Wild Flag
46. Gary Numan Dead Moon Rising
47. Oneohtrix Point Never Replica
48. Josh T. Pearson Last Of The Country Gentlemen
49. Milk Maid Yucca
50. Seafieldroad Seafieldroad
51. Cat’s Eyes Cat’s Eyes
52. Lil Daggers Lil Daggers
53. Benjamin Francis Leftwich Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm
54. Metronomy The English Riviera
55. Horrors Skying
56. Trips and Falls People Have To Be Told
57. Kode 9 & Space Ape Black Sun
58. Toro Y Moi Under The Pines
59. Vaccines What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?
60. Panda Bear Tomboy
61. War On Drugs Slave Ambient
62. Micachu & the Shapes and the London Sinfonietta Orchestra Chopped and Screwed
63. Le Reno Amps Appetite
64. Jeffrey Lewis A Turn In the Dream Songs
65. Wake The President Zumutung!
66. Esben and the Witch Violet Cries
67. Unknown Mortal Orchestra Unknown Mortal Orchestra
68. June Tabor Ashore
69. Rustie Glass Swords
70. Pyrolator Neuland
71. Shivers More
72. Sons & Daughters Mirror Mirror
73. Prurient Bermuda Drain
74. Noah and the Whale Last Night On Earth
75. The Fall Ersatz GB

Christmas Posts 2011 #24


Having posted about Irish act Sweet Jane yesterday, I’m still waiting for people to start jumping up and down and talking about how great they are.

Today’s Christmas posting (and I’m really pleased that I’ve had so many new submissions this year) comes from them again, and it’s their version of ‘Silent Night.’ This is my favourite Christmas carol of them all, deceptively simple, utterly sad and even though it is over 100 years old, showing bands that they could take the idea of three chords and create Slowcore decades before anyone even thought of the concept of indie music.

Enjoy. I certainly am.

Sweet Jane – Silent Night by Sweet Jane [ Free Music ]



London band Straylings having been winning fans, not just of DJs like Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq but also legendary US producer Kramer, who’s worked with the likes of Low, Galaxie 500 and 17 Seconds favourites Withered Hand.

The two piece band are Bahraini/Austrian songwriter Dana Zeera and London born guitarist Oliver Drake. The latter had previously played with the Veils (who were signed to Rough Trade in the mid 2000s, round about the same time as those other 17 Seconds faves Aberfeldy). According to the press release, he turned up at her door. Whether this was accident or design, it was certainly serendipitous, as ‘Wallpin’ shows. To say that they make beautiful music together would indeed be true, if only that phrase wasn’t so loaded. Let’s just say that as a partnership, they are writing and recording songs that you will want to listen to again and again. Beautiful, dark and dreamy. Stream or download by clicking on the link (and if it’s playing silly buggers, click on the bit that says ‘Wallpin.’)

Embed code: Wallpin by straylings

Rather fine, no? Their debut album Entertainment On Foreign Grounds is released on March 5th on Deadpan Records. You can stream a couple of the tracks below:

…and you can get another download when you ‘like’ them at their facebook page.

Not only that, but you can also download their 2009 EP for free, too:

Christmas Posts 2011 #23


On Saturday night, the Manic Street Preachers played what is apparently their last British gig for two years. I wasn’t there in London – but having seen them several times over the years, it is good to see that they are still going. Sure , some albums have been better than others, but anyone who thinks they have just been repeating themselves for twenty years clearly hasn’t been paying attention. They’ve been a more than regular soundtrack in my life over the past twenty years -and I think there’s nop doubt many others who feel the same, too.

This was a free track three years ago:

Manic Street Preachers -‘Christmas Ghost.’ mp3

There have been no shortage of excellent Manic Street Preachers songs over the years – off the top of my head I have heard them tackle songs as di’Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,’ ‘Velocity Girl’ ‘Umbrella’ ‘Take The Skinheads Bowling’ ‘Bright Eyes’…this is why some of us still love the idea of the single as a package, not just as a single download, for these wee gems that might appear.

This is a cover of THAT Christmas song (yes, that one!)

Manic Street Preachers-‘Last Christmas.’ mp3

…and seeing as it’s Christmas:

Manic Street Preachers -‘Umbrella.’ mp3

Presenting…Sweet Jane


Irish act, Sweet Jane, are just about to release are fantastic cover version of the Moody Blues’ legendary ‘Nights In White Satin.’

The band are Danda Paxton (guitar and vocals), vocalist Lydia Des Dolles, Ruairi Paxton on bass, Donogh O’Brien on drums, and now Neil Paxton on keyboards. Having released their debut album, Sugar For My Soul in 2010, the band are now looking to album no. 2. What I’m loving about this band is the indie-rock meets dream-pop/shoegazing sound which should hopefully draw as many people in as possible. See what YOU think, it works its’ magic on me very quickly.


This cover, of the Moody Blues’ ‘Nights In White Satin’ is simply beautiful.

Click here to stream it – and listen to these tracks too:

Something For My Soul – Sweet Jane by Reekus Music Irl Ltd

Bleed – Sweet Jane by Reekus Music Irl Ltd

Christmas Posts 2011 #22


It is a source of disappointment that I never got to see the Cocteau Twins live.

I became a fan in my late teens; and have bought the vast majority of stuff that they have ever put out. They split up in 1998 during the recording of what was to have been their final album; and nearly reformed in 2005. They have of course, been involved in awesome music since calling it quits: Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie continue to run the Bella Union label, as well as both making music, Robin as Violet Indiana. Liz Fraser’s solo album may be yet to appear – but as well as her fine single ‘Moses,’ and two contributions to Lord of the Rings soundtracks, she also sang on tracks by Craig Armstrong -‘This Love’ and most famously, Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop.’

This was a very limited Christmas single in 1993.

Cocteau twins -‘Frosty The Snowman.’

Cocteau Twins -‘Walking In A Winter Wonderland.’ mp3

Christmas Posts 2011 #21


According to their official website, ‘Blur will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the 2012 BRIT Awards on 21st February 2012, 21 years since the release of debut album Leisure.’

Now, whilst it’s easy to go on about how what a load of shite the BRIT awards are, at the same time, it does seem right that they are getting recognition of this level – in terms of: a band who have been responsible for some awesome music over the last twenty years.

It’s all the more ironic, then, that at the end of 1992, music press and their record label alike thought that their career was over.

Today’s Christmas song comes from a special track recorded for a gig at this point – read all about it here

Blur -‘Wassailing Song.’ mp3

Christmas Posts 2011 #20


Christmas is getting ever closer -just nine sleeps to go, in case anyone’s counting (surely not!)

My attempt to bring new Christmas music to you continues apace, with this track which arrived in my inbox yesterday.

I’ve been aware of A Band Called Quinn for a while, but this is the first time I’ve featured them on 17 Seconds. According to their website they are Louise Quinn (songwriting & vocals) & Bal Cooke (production & drums). They add that ‘ Other members are: Robert Henderson, Steven Westwater and Adam Wyroslawski.’ They have a rather fine line in indie-electro-pop and I think I’m becoming rather smitten.

This is their Christmas song ‘Snowblind’ (no, not the Black Sabbath song):

A Band Called Quinn – Snowblind by abandcalledquinn

Get all the tracks here:

ABCQ Christmas by abandcalledquinn

…and you can stream their most recent album A Beggar’s Opera here

Christmas Posts 2011 #19


Following on from last year’s Christmas single, Viv Albertine comes up with another goodie for this Christmas.

Entitled ‘It’s A Christmas, Single’ this is quite possibly NSFW, as they say. It was recorded with US no-wave duo, Talk Normal. They all met whilst being label-mates on Thurston Moore’s (Sonic Youth) label.

Viv Albertine – It’s A Christmas, Single by BAM!

Here is the video:

This was last year’s offering:

Viv Albertine -‘Home, Sweet Home (…At Christmas).’ mp3

Viv is due to release her new album next year. Did I say this last year? No matter, I would never mess with a member of The Slits.

Read my interview with Viv here