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29 Dec 2016 - The Best Of 2016

2016 was a great year for pop music!

January TUUSC - Headstrong

TUUSC is a small indie band from Bristol, UK, and this song is written, recorded and performed by Matthew Aldus and produced by James Scott. Great song to start 2016 with.

Check out their Bandcamp page and support this band with a purchase of theire latest offering 'Waves EP'.

I wish they were much bigger, they really deserve it.
February Parralox - Always On My Mind / In My House

Parralox seemed to be everywhere in 2016! Lots of releases and mixes and very active on social media.

And while being so busy Parralox, fronted by John von Ahlen, released a very strong version of the song that gave the Pet Shop Boys a number 1 hit in the UK many years ago and it gave Parralox a big dance hit in the US.

Taken from the festive album 'Holiday '15'.
March Parralox - Wildlife

And right on the heels of Always On My Mind / In My House came this floorfiller!
Released with what seemed to be a zillion great mixes making this song even better!
A very nice way to start Spring with all this Wildlife....

Taken from the album 'Aeronaut'.
April Pet Shop Boys - The Pop Kids

It seemed that the Pet Shop Boys released new stuff this year without announcing it. It just was here all of a sudden and they did a great job once again. The first glimpse of the album 'Super' was delivered with the superb 'Inner Sanctum' but weeks later came this... The Pop Kids, pure pop indeed. Welcome back to the Pet Shop Boys!
May Billie Ray Martin - Strongheaded Woman

What a rollercoaster of a year it must have been for Berlin based Billie Ray Martin. Her Pledge campaign went extremely well so she could finally release what she wanted for quite some time. And there she was with power pop&soul anthem 'Strongheaded Woman'. And yes, she is!
June NINA - Beyond Memory

A quote from the internet:
If there's anything more "high-end 80s synthpop" than this offering by NINA, I haven't heard it yet. Very evocative of the compositional sensibilities of the time, with appropriate, well-done vocals to match.

And I fully agree!! This synthpop anthem should have been a major hit all over Europe and should have been used too for a car advertisement. But no.... So it remains a hidden gem? Not if I have any say in it!
July Billie Ray Martin - The Glittering Gutter

I do not think anybody expected this big American release but after storming the club & dance charts there was no other reason to not releasing The Glittering Gutter on CD with so many superb mixes. One of the strongest Billie Ray Martin releases ever!
August Mickey Cupid - Summer

Sun-soaked Euro beats and euphoric lyrics collide in new electro outfit Mickey Cupid.

I still do not know or understand why this wasn't a huge hit all over Europe. Summer finally started for me when this fun and addictive song was released...
September Empathy Test - Demons

UK Electronic Pop duo featuring Isaac Howlett & Adam Relf. As heard on MTV Catfish, XFM, KCRW, BBC Introducing, Clash, Idolator, Earmilk & PopMatters. They toured quite a bit this year and somewhere inbetween they managed to release this dark beauty, Demons.

Losing Touch, Throwing Stones, Throwing Stones Remixed and Demons out now in all digital stores.
Or purchase on CD via Bandcamp. I did too!
October Real Experts - How About No (Parralox Remix)

I still wonder how it has been possible that I had never heard of Real Experts before October 2016? On the Parralox facebook page appeared the remix they had done for 'How About No' and all I could think of was... How About Yes!!! I know, it is tacky but that's how I really felt! The original and remixed version  have been on heavy rotation in my room ever since!

Real Experts is a London-based synthpop electronic project, headed by Andrew Maley. Check them out now!
November Reed & Caroline - Singularity (Bright Light Bright Light Remix)

Reed Hays met Caroline Schutz while they were studying. Hays, a cellist, had arrived at the school under false pretences, switching to their new electronic music programme just to be able to get his hands on the college's Buchla synthesizer. Art major Schutz only discovered that she wanted to be a singer after graduating and schlepping round the States as a graphic designer for the touring Lollapalooza festival, before realising that she could sing better than some of the bands she was supporting.

Vince Clarke (Erasure) gave them the opportunity to release a very catchy album called 'Buchla & Singing' on his own label VeryRecords and Bright Light Bright Light delivered a stunning remix of album highlight 'Singularity (We Bond)'. And November turned out to be just fine...
December Parralox - Last Year At Marienbad

When I first heard this during a radio show on internet I knew that the new Parralox album would be yet another dream for synthpop lovers like me. Louise Love takes this song to new synthpop levels and John von Ahlen does what he knows best with this tune: create a synthpop heaven... Oh yes! And boy does this song makes me think of the Human League!
Taken from the remarkable new album 'Subculture'.
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