Mixtape Mondays | Debut Albums

Monday, November 30, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

There is something pretty special about debut albums which is undeniable. It's not by chance that songs such as Live Forever and All I Want To Do is Rock came out of Oasis' Definitely Maybe and Travis' Good Feeling. To date, these are still two of their most played songs. And what to say of Coldplay's Parachutes? With Shiver, Yellow and Trouble in one single album? *

George Ezra @ V Festival 2015 - Photo by Zaira

I find that some of the most authentic and raw material a band will ever produce is often in these so precious first releases. Perhaps it is because these are the result of many years of hard work or maybe, earlier on in their careers, they're not afraid of exposing themselves? I mean, it doesn't get more personal than Mumford's lyrics' "A white blank page and a swelling rage / You did not think when you sent me to the brink / You desired my attention but denied my affections", does it?

Over the last year and a bit some pretty amazing debut albums came out. Some of them so incredibly well put together that no wonder it's hard to believe a few of these artists haven't always been there - James Bay and Hozier are classics, right? Well, this week's mixtape is a compilation of 20 songs from some of my recent favourite debut albums... In no particular order:

Mixtape Mondays | Debut albums

Nothing But Thieves - Nothing But Thieves
First song of NBT I've ever listened to was Lover, Please Stay. I was so moved by it I went on searching for more and dragged 30 odd friends to their gig at Koko, in Camden, for my birthday last year. I could not wait for this release, so pleased for them and proud to say I am #270 fan (in-joke).

Chaos and the Calm - James Bay
There is nothing I can say about James Bay that haven't been said before, probably a thousand times. Brit Awards Critics' choice winner, sold out tour - jeez I know the pain it was to get tickets for his Brixton gig! - and a debut album which goes straight to number one in the UK charts. But truly what makes C&TC so incredible is his passion which can be felt in each chord throughout every single track.

Hozier - Hozier
After seeing Hozier at V Festival this year I had the impression he is a real perfectionist. How many times can you switch guitars in a festival gig? But when you hear the arrangements and how beautifully he executes them, it all comes together. This album to me is the result of pure craftsmanship and heart.

Dream Your Life Away - Vance Joy
I remember first time I listened to Vance Joy. After coming across Riptide, I went on checking the whole album. Played the first track, Winds of Change, and loved it. Then the second, Mess is Mine, loved it. Then the third, Wasted Time, and you can pretty much guess by now... It was so easy for me to connect with his melodies and lyrics.

Wanted on Voyage - George Ezra
First time I heard a George Ezra song was in a club. In my head, Blame it on Me was one of those summer songs you picture teenagers in Ibiza dancing to (my personal idea of hell, if you're wondering). But thankfully, drawn by the deepness in his voice, I went on checking his album once I found out he was also playing at V. And I am so pleased I did. There are so many layers to this album. I am still discovering it, little by little.

Islands - Bear's Den
I came across these guys fairly recently, despite hearing much about them for a while. This was my last addition to the "debut" list. I fell in love with their version of Sam Smith's Stay With Me - Better than the original I'd say. They are so easy to listen to, it is such a soothing sound, the kind I've been loving to listen to lying in bed with my headphones in, forgetting about the world outside.

Long Way Down - Tom Odell
This is probably the oldest of the releases in this playlist, from 2013! But you know when you rediscover an album? Tom pours his heart and soul on this album, it is deep, it is sad and it is raw. And I love it. His vocals are so intense and pure and the melancholy of his piano notes made me fall in love with his music.

If You Wait - London Grammar
This is another oldie I suppose, also from 2013. London Grammar reminds me a lot of The XX, but I'd dare say I prefer Hannah's vocal. It was only earlier this year when I got into them and I have to say, although this is a pretty good album, out of the 10, it is my least favourite. I am not too keen on the more electronic vibe tracks, but Strong is brilliant and Nightcall so eerie, that is definitely worth a mention.

The Balcony - Catfish and the Bottlemen
I am frustrated I didn't see these guys live last summer. This is such an upbeat album (pretty different from all the above). It reminds me very much of Arctic Monkey's first album (Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not) in the sense it is fresh and cheeky. Combining strong drums, well marked guitar riffs and straight forward lyrics. Love to dance to it I have to say.

Royal Blood - Royal Blood
This is definitely the heaviest of the 10 and not my usual thing, but this album is so so good, that it made impossible not to include it. Royal Blood stands out by its energy, it takes you over, impossible to stand still to Blood Hands or Little Monster. I haven't yet seen them life, but I've no doubt they're awesome.

* Afraid I may make some enemies, but with a handful of exceptions, we may very well forget everything else that came after that.