20 songsB-list Briefs

NeilBy | posted on 7th August 2014

When I was putting together the 20 songs // Every Second Counts playlist, I ended up with a longlist of 40 tracks. What a coincidence, I thought to myself. It's remarkable that this should give me exactly the right number of tracks for not one, but two playlists…

With the sole exception of Nick Drake, none of the artists on this second playlist featured on "Every Second Counts", and once again all the tracks can be found somewhere in my music library. (Just side-stepping any notion that I would use playlist-enhancing google searches). I've allowed a little more leeway when it comes to length, with three tracks pushing out to a rather excessive and drawn-out two minutes and twenty seconds, so you'll need a full 38 minutes to see this playlist through to the end. Again, it's worth every minute, however, as these highlights can testify:

Teenage Fanclub - Slow Fade

As part of its 25th anniversary shindig, Merge records have been re-releasing some fantastic albums from their catalogue. This month, it's the turn of both the Teenage Fanclub albums Man-Made and Shadows to get a re-release (and you can order both together as a bundle from Merge). Appearing on Man-Made, Slow Fade is the sound of the history of Teenage Fanclub bottled up into 114 seconds of their distinctive harmonies and hooks.

Gingerlys - "Summer Cramps"

I know it's too long, but it's too good to leave out. From the utterly brilliant indie-pop-tastic Jumprope EP, out now on Shelf Life records.

Bob Mould - "Hey Mr. Grey"

One of umpteen standout tracks from Mould's superb 2014 album Beauty & Ruin - an album very much in tune with the ethos of this playlist, rattling through its 12 tracks in little over half an hour - "Hey Mr. Grey" bounces off the walls, richocheting about with a broad grin that you know its protagonist would not approve of:

Hey Mr. Grey, that's what the children say
Life used to be so hard, get off my yard

Butcher Boy - "A Better Ghost"

React or Die is a scandalously underloved album, combining folk sounds with indie-pop and wrapping the whole in beautiful lyrics, tenderly sung.