End of Year Playlist by Tenue de Nîmes
The end of the year is a time to reminisce on memories and events of the past 365 days. It all went by so much faster than we imagined!
What music helped you through tough times and which songs did you sing out loud in the shower this year? I’d like to share my list of my favourites of 2019 with you. It’s been a crazy and inspiring year for Tenue de Nîmes, filled with beautiful collaborations, many trips sourcing new brands, lots of hours on the road and in our shops – accompanied by music to soothe the soul.
Thanks to the ingenuity of the modern age Spotify told me our ‘most played album of 2019’ was Hiss Golden Messenger. In fact, this singer-songwriter is our most played artist of the decade! Hiss Golden Messenger and others are in the ‘Best Albums of 2019’ by Rudy Ross. Check out the Tenue de Fall '19 Playlist here.
Album 1. Charley Crockett - The Valley
It was a rough year for Charley, as it could be his last. He underwent life-saving open-heart surgery in January this year – just one week after he recorded this album – and damn, you can hear this urgency in his latest studio release ‘Valley’. This epic statement of a record is as honest as a record can be. A clear voyage through all ages and genres of Americana folk and country, you can taste the New Orleans’ blues and Texas Honky Tonk. Charley is a true troubadour and a direct descendent of Davy Crockett. Check the interview we did with Charley earlier this year right here.
Album 2. Hiss Golden Messenger - Terms Of Surrender
11 albums and counting, MC Taylor has never known writer's block. After 2017's ‘Hallelujah Anyhow’, he has returned with yet another accomplishment. ‘Terms of Surrender’ doesn't bring the same upbeat and uplifting spirit, and Taylor mentioned he wrote this album in “fog of depression”. The opening track 'I Need A Teacher' shakes the daylight out of you. With this song, Taylor is searching for hope rather than gasping for air in the dark. On ‘Happy Birthday, Baby’, he sings to his daughter and wants her to think of him not as bad as he thinks of himself. Often being on the road and spending much time away from his family, Taylor has difficulties staying away from dark thoughts. Terms of Surrender is perhaps less folky than its predecessors but more gospel, at least in words and thought. I've written him a personal message saying he brought tears to my eyes with his open-hearted songs from the heart, and told him I loved him. He replied with a thumbs up and a 'Thanks Man'. Hiss Good Buddy, you're not alone.
Read the interview we did with Hiss Golden Messenger's MC Taylor soon on our blog.
Album 3. Actual Wolf - Faded Days
Faded Days, Actual Wolf‘s new album, is a collection of 10 tracks that merge classic country rock with today's new American radio rock like 'My Morning Jacket' & 'The War On Drugs'. The opening track ‘Be My Love (American Hips)’ could come right out of Adam Granduciel’s (TWOD) songbook, without it being a rip-off. It’s a different approach to something inspired by the big The E-Street jams. It's being followed by a honeysuckle sweet Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young-like ballad ‘Baby Please’ and this all together sets the spirit for a classic album in the making. This band embarked on a Space Folk Enterprise and will not turn back for a long time.
Album 4. Desure - Desure
California sunrises and wearing sunglasses in the dark. John Desure's EP oozes the LA coolness of classic stadium rock. Cowboy boots and sharp dressed boys that reminisces the folk spirit of the Seventies and the outsized rock & roll indulgence of the Eighties. This California songwriter’s got the push in the back from his brothers in Midland who he was tour managing in the time of their breakthrough. They loved his songs so much they said he wasn't quite cut out for the gig and encouraged him to start writing again. Desure’s style fits perfectly in between the Eagles, The Boss and the ever so chill Laure Canyon sound. His undeniable swagger makes him someone to keep an eye out for.
Album 5. Drugdealer - Raw Honey
After becoming tangled up in the Los Angeles underground scene after the first Drugdealer release in 2013, Raw Honey Michael Collins (mastermind behind DrugDealer) is a sophomore return. He once again leads an ace crew of collaborators to fuel the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern sweet & sultry pop tunes. Sometimes slick and funky but meticulously balanced between soft-rock and psychedelic funk, it can be your musical background music for a night of drug-infused partying or the perfect soundtrack to that road trip into the desert. Raw Honey is released by the Mexican Summer, a Brooklyn label which has been monumental in defining indie artists like Allah-Lahs, Kurt Vile & Ariel Pink.
Album 6. Jonathan Wilson - So Alive
The time capsule which brought us multi-instrumentalist, producer, guitar slinger and singer/songwriter Jonathan Wilson broke down around 1974 in the L.A. psychedelic folk rock scene. So we thought... But this double A-side 2 song EP shuffles Wilson into the Nashville country folk sound. Recording these songs with Nashville hired-gun country veterans in Cowboy Jack Clements basement Studio like the good ol' days. This means without any overdubs, live on tape and it shows he embraces the past with a nod into the future. "Skinny Legs' & "So Alive" are just a little peak into his brilliance and what he has in store for us on his upcoming full length album.
Album 7. Raphael Saadiq - Jimmy Lee
Jimmy Lee is Saadiq’s first solo album since 2011’s Stone Rollin’, but he hasn't been off the radar at all to say the least. His powerful influences are all over Black American cultural releases. He co-wrote the Mudbound film track “Mighty River,” with Mary J. Blige which brought them an Academy Award Best Original Song nomination. But his greatest artistic feature since Stone Rollin’ has been serving as executive producer of Solange’s 2016 album A Seat at the Table with much critical acclaim. Coming from a heavy soul-gospel and R&B back-catalogue, "Jimmy Lee" embraces less structured song compositions and abandons his clean cut soul & doo-wop influences. A very welcome change but you can see the mastermind clearly is in charge of all. This multitalented instrumentalist is strong force in telling the story of Black Americans in the USA. A beautiful musical autobiography which provides mirror to society.
Album 8. Black Bottle Riot - Fire
Dutch own Black Bottle Riot has an immense history that doesn't seem to link to the fact that they're from our own little backyard. Supporting ZZ Top, Black Keys and on tour with USA's Cadillac Three, as well as guest appearances by Crowbar's Kirk Windstein is unlikely for a dutch blues formation but somehow they've made their mark. In 2019 they returned with FIRE. FIRE is the result of two years of intense touring and many hours of songwriting. Their first demo recordings of the songs didn't connect with their on-stage presence and performance. They dropped these recordings and starting touring and played tons of shows to give their songs more mileage and road testing. Songs were broken down and built up again from the start. They stepped away from the southern blues 'shtick' and opened up to a broader inspirational input. Expect Bowie, Herman Brood, The Cult and some Gene Clark. The result is a soulful, toned down but lively album. I'm proud to call them brothers.
Check out the Tenue de Fall '19 Playlist here.