What is this?

Another year has passed and, as tradition would have it, I’ve collected some tracks for my annual Mixtape.

Significant music from the course of the year is curated into a playlist and shared with friends. Some of it may be new, some old, I might have been to a gig, missed a gig, seen a film, heard something on the radio, or I have a special memory associated with a song. The Mix is almost always eclectic and although not all of it will be to your taste, you might just find something you like.

I design a cover and annotate each choice of track. As with any form of diary, sometimes it only makes sense to me.

My year of 2016

2016 has been extreme. With the deaths of icons, the shock of Brexit, Trump’s victory, a refugee crisis the list of blows goes on. To contrast,  I’ve had a year filled with travel, friends, fun and achievements including snowboarding, NOS Alive in Lisbon, Smithers & Ali’s wedding in Charleston and finally breaking a sub 3 marathon in Chicago. 

Thank you to every person who has shared memorable experiences and in some way contributed to RORY's EXTREME 2016

The mixtape exists as a Spotify playlist, CD, or digital download (only friends with my contact details can request the last two formats).

You can listen to the Mixtape from the button below:

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01. Europe Is Lost

Kate Tempest

This lyrical talent captures the public's confusion and feeling of disenfranchisement. With Brexit and the Trump win, this heavy-hitting song questions politics and people's misdirected anger.

02. Spinning Away

John Cale, Brian Eno

John Cale and Brian Eno team up for this classic of uplifting beauty. It was resurrected by BBC6 Music this year.

03. Fall in Time

The encantation "Can't afford not to fight" gets me every time. 

04. Head Over Heels

J.D. McPherson

This would definitely be the track for the dancing scene in my film. Let the good times roll.

05. Billions of Eyes

Good build up and I love the organ. "It made me forget everything."

06. Chinatown

Girlpool reminds me of the best alternative 90's bands with female vocals like the Breeders. The rest of the album is worth a listen too. 

07. Bless the Telephone

The shortest song on the mixtape, and the sweetest. 

Harking to the best of Brit Pop and reminds me of a teenager who's always in trouble. 

09. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whale

Car Seat Headrest

One of the best bands to emerge of the past couple years. Introduced to me and the live shows enabled by Mr Dunn. 

10. Sister of Pearl

Not a surprise this is catchy - Baio is the bassist from Vampire Weekend. One of the best bands to emerge from the past couple years. Introduced to me and the live shows enabled by Mr. Dunn. 

11. If You Wanna

Sweet Spirit

Let's get that place in Mexico and listen to good old indie rock.

12. Nobody Speak

DJ Shadow, Run the Jewels

One of the songs of the year - full of political protest references. Running power track. The music video is the best.

13. Floridada

Animal Collective

Bouncy, energetic and melodious. 

14. A 1000 Times

Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam

Wonderful vocal collaboration with another Vampire Weekend member, Rostam. This album features on a number of top album lists of 2016.

A brilliant atmospheric build-up to a foot-stomping crescendo. Prefect for road tripping and running.

15. Katie Queen of Tennessee

The Apache Relay

Euphoric tune with a vintage feeling. Sophie’s favourite running song. 

16. Who Are You?

Scroobius Pip and Didier Kisala

This collaboration is part of a Red Cross album highlighting real experiences of asylum seekers. A beautiful contrast between Pip and Kisala’s styles.

17. Nothing but Love

I saw James at The Kentish Town Forum this year and it was as incredible as ever. No wonder they regularly feature on here.

Beck back to his best - eclectic, banging and weird. Giddyup!

19. Youth Without Love

Har Mar Superstar

Written and produced by Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, Har Mar brings the unashamedly 80’s cheese throwback to life.

20. Rinse & Repeat

Riton feat. Kah-Lo

Not my usual tipple but I somehow can’t resist. Does anyone remember Mini Maxi & Efti?

21. Last Words

Isaac Gracie

This 21 year old singer-songwriter put out this song he recorded in his Ealing bedroom and soon after, he was propelled to fame.

22. All the Way

Eddie Vedder

The weekend they played the first games of the 2016 semi final, I ran the Chicago Marathon. I managed to get the elusive sub 3 and the Cubs went on to go All the Way, winning the World Series for the first time since 1908.

23. Dance Yrself Clean

LCD Soundsystem

I only learnt to appreciate LCD Soundsystem after watching the documentary about their break-up. This year I got to see them with Chris Koller. Epic.

24. Orange Juice

Stanley Brinks and the Wave Pictures

I heard this track on the radio and it reminded me of Herman Düne. It turns out it’s the same artist, and I’m a sucker for the jaunty and unpolished. 

25. Never Stop the Rot

Casual piss-take lyrics by this Aussie. Yet still a great song.

26. So Long, Marianne

Leonard Cohen

There was only one CD in the print-making studio at my university. This would play on repeat while I pulled many all-nighters. RIP Leonard.

27. Judas My Heart

This band broke up at the end of my final high school year so I never thought I'd see them play. Until this year that is. Such brilliant matric memories.

28. Might as Well Be Gone

One of the many amazing bands to play at NOS Alive in Lisbon. I La La Loved them.

John Joseph Brill

Dark, brooding and melancholic. Superb.

30. Dancing in the Dark

Hot Chip stamp their mark on this classic. They were playing this very late one night in Lisbon just before Seb lit the spark.

31. Frankie Sinatra

The Avalanches 

One of the most anticipated albums in years, The Avalanches hit back with this ear worm.

32. Mr Mistake

A collaborative trio including frontmen from TV on the Radio & Faith No More make for some interesting tunes. 

33. Silent Movies

Madison Ward and the Mama Bear

You couldn’t tell just from listening that this is a mother and son duo, but it makes a great song better.

Pleasure Beach

This dream pop track belongs on an a California road trip, but it’s actually the debut of a band from Belfast.

35. The Obvious Child

Being one of the best, most uplifting songs ever, this is my must-have on any running playlist. Not only did it carry me across the finish line in Chicago but I got to see Paul Simon play it in the Royal Albert Hall. The stuff of dreams.

Rostam’s solo piece is a beautiful masterpiece of pace and style. Close your eyes and let it carry you away.

37. Space Oddity

A great life regret to never have seen the genius perform. His influence was enormous, this song incredible. Ziggy lives on.