Sarah Moore, Head of Marketing
Paramore – “This Is Why”
It's been five years since Paramore took some time away; during that period, the world changed on both a personal and global scale for the band, currently formed of Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Zac Farro. What came from this period of disruption, frustration and self-discovery is an angst-ridden, pounding pop-punk anthem that takes aim at a society pitted against each other, obsessed with toxicity. As an album opener - and comeback single - it's a biting, no-holds-barred return to form and an incredibly exciting tease for what's to come from their sixth record in 2023.
Bethan Boast, Digital Marketing Executive
The Murder Capital – “A Thousand Lives”
The song that immediately comes to mind was “A Thousand Lives” - The Murder Capital.
I'm enjoying that they are exploring outside of the norm of typical post-punk structures. James McGovern's vocals are very easy on the ears and the song never fails to grab my attention when it comes on shuffle or the radio.
Jimi Arundell, Web Content Manager
Manic Street Preachers – “Rosebud”
First revealed to the public in July, “Rosebud” was first recorded by Manic Street Preachers twenty-two years earlier and now sees light as part of the now fully realised re-release of sixth studio album Know Your Enemy.
In striking symmetry with a record that is characterized by squandered potential; “Rosebud” is inspired by the loss and nostalgia experienced by the titular character of Orson Well’s masterpiece Citizen Kane. The second coming of Know Your Enemy allowed the band to undo many of the self-sabotaging production issues and explore their concept of a personal / political double album more fully. And whereas the growling pathos of “Rosebud” had previously been excluded entirely, it now serves as a potent lead single.
YABBA – “Get By”
Sometimes, you just need a song to bludgeon you over the head and debut single “Get By” from Dumfries new noisenik superstars YABBA does exactly that! Newly signed to hip indie label Nice Swan Records (home to Opus Kink and English Teacher and previously Sports Team plus Pip Blom), what this track lacks in subtly it makes up for with sheer ferocity and it’s a great introduction to a Scottish band we’ll hopefully hear a lot more from in 2023.
Chris Reeve, Event Manager
Wet Leg – “Wet Dream”
Sylvan Esso returned in 2022 with “Echo Party”, another slice of their slightly bonkers electro-folk which left a big smile on my face. Also “Turn of the Screw” by Unloved has this amazingly trippy vibe that borders on menacing, like a 60s pop record that took a wrong turn somewhere. But song of the year for me has to be “Wet Dream” by Wet Leg; it’s insanely catchy, lyrically inappropriate and I love every second of it.
Harry Taylor, Business Development Executive
The Northern Boys – “Party Time”
Presented largely without comment. Strongest debut of the year, hottest supergroup of the year, most quotable track of the year, video of the year, best choreography, best performance by a senior citizen (x3) and now - deservedly - best song of the year.
Speaks for itself.
James McBride, Event Manager
Alex G – “Runner”
This is such a hopeful, beautiful song that lends itself to being absolutely belted out. Lyrically, it’s a delectable juxtaposition of courage & confession that allows us the freedom to tease that line between factual & fiction. Eventually it leads up to the characteristically strange “I have done a couple bad things”, which is ultimately screamed – an excruciating endeavour to absolve guilt, which I’m sure most of us can relate to… Musically, it’s simple, emotive & deliciously textured – so much so it just can’t help but raise a smile. Alex G & Jacob Portrait’s collaborative experimental production stamp can be heard on much of the record, but less so here on Runner, wherein the rich, rootsy arrangement nods back to Neil Young’s Harvest & even Wilco for me. It’s an absolute anthem & I am very much here for that!