Went lookin' for new New Years tunes and these are the ones I liked.
The Doo Dah Beasties. OK. First of all, how can you not love that band name? Second of all, the band's got a very pretty woman in the mix. Smile, short shorts, skateboard, balloons, and hauling your old Christmas tree away (she was looking for one just like that, I'm sure). And, third, it's an original Indie Pop tune that's kinda sunny and bright. Kinda says, "Forget the mess that was last year. It's a fresh start!" Of course, it never really is a fresh start, but you let that truth lay there until January 2nd, at least. And, last, the one line that's borderline genius (if you ask me, which, of course, you didn't) is "If, last night, you missed me, it's not too late to kiss me". Hope springs eternal. I love it. A little Twee, but I love it. And, hey, pretty woman in short shorts with balloons. Did I mention that already? Amazon's got your Doo Dah Beasties' "New Year's Day" right here.
Rob Clarke & The Wooltones, a British band that's been around a few years, bring us "New Year New Day". This one's got a nice 60s Hollies/Byrds vibe to it. It's a little more somber than the entry from the Doo Dah Beasties, but it kinda makes sense if you're dealing with a New Year's hangover. The B-side is really cool, too. In fact, "Ashton Labor Club Chariy Bingo Interval" may be my favorite of the two sides. It's basically an instrumental version of the A-side, but with a hip organ and the sound of revelers (or Bingo callers and players) thrown in. And that organ makes a world of difference. Plus the weird title is a feature, not a bug. I'm lovin' the B-side more and more. Let's get that video up here. Hey, isn't that Korla Pandit? They apparently did a Christmas single, too, last year. I think I must have missed it. Same basic 60s Byrds/Hollies sound on "Another Wooltones Xmas Record". But, once again, the flip version is what delights as they go all Garage Psych. I'm gonna have to start paying attention to these guys. Get yer Rob Clarke & The Wooltones fix at either Amazon or Bandcamp. The latter offers limited edition CD singles, if you're a hard copy sort of person.
We lost a lot of bright lights this past year, but Dobie Gray is still going strong and sounding good (though I have to admit...the picture kinda creeps me out a bit; I liked him better with the fro). Dobie first hit the charts in 1963, so that's over half a century of soulful sides from the man. The biggies, of course, being "The In Crowd" and "Drift Away". Dobie released a Christmas album in 2001 or thereabouts, "Songs For The Season", but there's no New Year's song on the album. He takes care of that this year with the single "May I Spend Every New Year's With You". It's a very nice and soulful romantic slow dance number. Might even be a waltz. I was never good at picking that up. But, I'll tell you what. I bet the Beach music people here in the Carolinas will be all over this one. Grab it from Amazon.
Of course, somebody's always going to have to do "Auld Lang Syne". Quite a few somenodies, in fact. Looking for a nice Folk version? David C. Clements does it up good (and FREE). Looking for a version done in Electropunk Vaporwave style? Yes, we do have that from Kentucky's N64 (and it's FREE). How bout a Gypsy Jazz version? You'd be hard pressed to come up with better than the version from Lost Fingers (NOT free, alas). Stick with it, they really start to cook about a minute in. How 'bout some Ambient Chill Electro Pop? Rie Sinclair and Lea Cappelli have just what you're looking for (and FREE). It's actually a fairly nice arrangement, though it wouldn't be my first choice. Celtic Folk? Try this one on from Siobhan Owen (NOT free, alas). Shoegaze? Josh O'Hara has just what you need (FREE). Just going through some of the new ones is all. The one I liked was the Indie Pop version from The Daybreaks. For some reason, they're calling theirs "Auld Lang Silent Night", but there ain't no "Silent Night" in there...just "Auld Lang Syne". The Daybreaks single is also at Amazon (look, I know these things are everywhere, but I don't have the energy to go looking everywhere; if you hate Amazon--and there's no reason you shouldn't--I'm sure you'll find these things at iTunes or CDBaby or, hell, CD Universe...throw them a bone).
What's that? A new Rock N Roll "Auld Lang Syne"? You mean I didn't mention one up above? Oh, well, try this one on for size. Not even sure it is "Auld Lang Syne", but that's the title Patent Pending put on it and that's good enough for me. Patent Pending is a Pop Punk band from Brooklyn and "Auld Lang Syne" comes off their 2016 holiday EP "Season's Greetings". You can find this one on Bandcamp (and, yeah, Amazon).
But the best of the 2016 New Year's songs has to be the one from Superchunk front man Mac McCaughan. You've seen it on the other blogs and websites, I'm sure. And it deserves every bit of the attention it's getting because it is the one and only new New Year's tune that's looking for a pony in the crap pile of a year that was 2016. A little silver lining to go with the massive cloud we got stuck with. Just trying to shed a little hopeful light on the year ahead. Mac's song is a free download at Bandcamp and comes in a clean version and a Parental Advisory version. I'm usually touchy about language--trying to run a family blog, here--but only the Parental Advosory version is going to exorcise the demons of 2016. Closing out, this morning, with Mac McCaughan and "Happy New Year (Prince Can't Die Again)".
I love Christmas, music, and cats. What more do you need to know?