Singing with his wry eyes glancing off to the right, as though the flippant poetry of his lyrics are just coming to him through a spirit guide, Richard Lomax has the great contradictory combination of puppy-dog innocence in the eyes and old-soak wisdom in the lyrics. It’s a great way to singer-songwrite.
‘Hôtel X’ is lyrical in the grand tradition of that word. World-weary without the aftertaste of bitterness, it’s undercut by what I suspect commercial radio would demand be more obviously blues-tuned guitars. Here those guitars are spiky and dismissive, countering the tone of the song up to the cluttered, tumbledown conclusion. As commentary pieces go, it’s far more enjoyable (and brief) than anything by Owen Jones.
Back in 2013 I had an idea. You can see the Index for that idea here. Very pop-orientated. Very mainstream. I have pop sensibility and like a chorus strong enough to use as ballast, but really, I’m surprised by my choices coming across as more Radio 2 than 6Music. I would not choose the same list, nor put it in the same order now.
One year later is my 2014 Index . It is certainly less mainstream, maybe not organised quite how I would if doing it again (opening with Katy B, now there’s a misunderstanding about drawing in readers).
This year has seen my Spotify, SoundCloud, and ‘tucked in the back of the brain’ longlists growing by the week. Soon I will confirm the results of all that here – and as ever, the chosen 24 songs are presented in no particular order. In so many ways, this ain’t a chart.