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What We Listened To This Year

“…You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?… Anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.” – George Bailey, It’s A Wonderful Life

Each week on the Design Bridge blog, we’ve been exploring all sorts of exciting sounds in our WWLTTW playlists. Last week we brought you our alternative Christmas playlist, so here’s Andy (your WWLTTW curator) to take you through our end of year list. Here’s what we’ve been listening to this year…

_OMR9262_Andy Kirk

2015. Monumental. A great year for lists.

Our little lists even raised some interest on social media things and we hope that they will hang around far, far into the New Year bringing you diversity and challenging soundscapes.

The team would like to share what we thought were the musical highlights from the last 28 (twenty eight) lists.

It’s also an opportunity to refresh your memories about the List’s musical manifesto.

“Dear Listener,
We all need soundtracks to our lives and brands. Music be the food of love, so we’re going to send some soundbites and ear worms to you now and again.
Train whistles, birdsong, babies laughing – brand aural stimulation. And, more importantly, some stuff to go “la-la-la” to while you’re working.
We’ll be taking recommendations from sonic agencies and sources like the NME, Nylon and Oh Comely! and Twitter – so you should get a good mix of noises and something for every taste.
Something to challenge and broaden your tastes, viewpoints, conversations.
A sort of mix tape for you and your brands.”

As Vincent Reinders, founder of 22tracks, said in WWLTTW #24, “I’m addicted to music discovery…to surprise people, to make people fall in love with sounds they’ve never heard before!”

This year, Andy liked these:

From WWLTTW #8
You might not get to catch your breath with this gem, but you better run. Raury – Devil’s Whisper:

From WWLTTW #12
Sometimes you hear something that just knocks your socks off. Trust us, this is one of those amazing things. Moses Sumney lives in LA and says that, “World domination is taking longer than I imagined it would”. Based on this track, it can’t be long now. Moses Sumney – Replacable:

From WWLTTW #13
Chris was shamed into sharing his musical tastes and delivered this marvel. Laura Jane Grace – Thrash Unreal (Acoustic):

From WWLTTW #15
“Be careful when you open up ‘Happy Damage’: the Miami garage-rock trio have concocted the kind of catchy-as-hell earworm anthem that will have you resorting to trepanning to have it surgically removed by witch doctors. It’s a blast.” Like the lady in the video says; “Rock and Roll, yeah!” Jacuzzi Boys – Happy Damage:

From WWLTTW #23
Sometimes less is more. Julien Baker performing something in a deserted car park. Julien Baker – Something:

From WWLTTW #27
Sarah Hayes “takes themes such as love, loss, contentment, hardship, ageing and presents them as individual strands of the human condition woven into a cohesive, single unit; a tapestry of life and humanity”. Just like every WWLTTW, then. Sarah_Hayes – The Fell Line (link to listen).

And two extras, because everyone likes a freebie:

From WWLTTW #22
“Jay Watson is an Australian multi-instrumentalist and psychedelic rock musician, singer, songwriter and member of Tame Impala”. And this is as catchy as hell. GUM – Anesthetised Lesson:

And an unofficial entry that was part of a promotional message to raise List Awareness:

Because you can never have enough Wes Anderson or Roald Dahl. Blackalicious – The Blowup:

Meanwhile, Anna liked these:

From WWLTTW #666 Halloween Special (because we share a first name)
Oh, oh, the devil. Anna Calvi – The Devil:

From WWLTTW #14
Ought – Beautiful Blue Sky:

From WWLTTW #11
Fancy some music influenced heavily by R&B, swing, jump blues, country and western, blues, Hawaiian and rock ‘n’ roll? Look no further. Here are a family trio who perfectly showcase what WWLTTW is all about. “There’s a bit of rockabilly in there, but also funk, boogie-woogie, disco, jazz, blues. People always reference the 50s,” says Daisy, “but there’s no nostalgia there. If we’d been living in the past, we wouldn’t have heard a lot of the music that we like.” Kitty Daisy & Lewis – Going Up The Country:

From WWLTTW#17
Anna got to hear this played live in a friend of a friend’s living room recently. She says, “It’s brilliant and the opening makes me think of the end of summer”. Peter Matthew Bauer – Philadelphia Raga:

From WWLTTW #8
Dig that crazy beat? Do we have the tune for you? Billed as a “swinging mademoiselle” and “obscure French lolita freakbeat psych mod 68”, this may be one for the collectors only. Zoé – Zoé:

From WWLTTW #28 (just because it’s Christmas)
That’s it, kids. You open your presents while the grown ups nod indulgently and do that Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye thing that we do every year. Iggy Pop – White Christmas:

Back to Andy again.

We hope that you love WWLTTW as much as we do, and that the music and associated noises pique your interest and maybe prompt you to try something new.

But it’s fine if you hate most of it too. After all, it would be a terrible thing if we all liked the same things, wouldn’t it? It would certainly take the fun out of almost everything that makes us who we are.

Good fortune in 2016 to you all.

P.S. We found some of these songs and put them in a Spotify playlist, just for you:

P.P.S. a final ‘thank you’ to Charlotte Harrison for the brilliant photo of Jarvis at the top.


Once upon a Christmas Party in Amsterdam


Deck the halls at Design Bridge London