ready for the magic: last year’s festive fifty, 2016;

Have I mentioned that the period between Christmas and New Year is my favourite time of the year?

I’m lucky in that, an emergency period in retail notwithstanding, my last two jobs have been of the sort where there is no need to work. Providers of professional services cannot provide when the professionals are on hols, no? So, as teams and even offices, we’ve saved up our holidays and wound down properly, into a decent-length break. Ready to return, refreshed, in a new year, etc.

But that’s not why I love this time of year so much.

Holidays, weekends: to the semi-professional hustler, they’re all the same. More days to pitch. To scheme. To blog. To write. But in this quiet time, even the most workaholic of us must find it logical to slow down as there’s nobody around to listen.

These lists, they’re different. As much a labour of love for a mind that loves to rank and categorise as “content”, so if I finish them off at 4am after a day of napping and snacks it doesn’t matter.

I’m having the most wonderful festive period: full-on, fun-filled days with family perfectly balanced with serious introverting time. The pressure in my sinuses hasn’t eased, and the Domino’s pizza man took two and a half hours to deliver my food the other night (and it was cold), but those little negativities have barely made a dent in how rested I feel. It’s why, regardless of how well it works in the wider context of 2016, I couldn’t bring myself to call this playlist “It’s All Gone To Fuck”, after the featured Stanley Odd song.

I hope you too are making the most of this fallow time, and I’d love to know your song of 2016?

Against Me!: “Delicate, Petite & Other Things I’ll Never Be”
Alex Dezen: “A Little Less Like Hell”
Andrew Bird: “Capsized”
Ariana Grande: “Into You”
beat radio: “Song for Camden Power”
Bette Akkemaai: “Loud Femininity”
Beyonce: “Formation”
Book Group: “Late Show”
BOY: “New York”
Brian Fallon: “A Wonderful Life”

Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna: “This Is What You Came For”
Drive-By Truckers: “Surrender Under Protest”
Emma Pollock: “Parks and Recreation”
Emmy the Great: “Phoenixes”
Esme Patterson: “Yours and Mine”
Ette: “Heaven Knows”
Fair Mothers: “Disgrace”
Femme: “Fever Boy”
Frankie Cosmos: “On the Lips”
Hannah Georgas: “Crazy Shit”

Hinds: “Chili Town”
Honeyblood: “Ready for the Magic”
Jealous of the Birds: “Russian Doll”
The Jezabels: “Smile”
Jo Mango: “Wisps of Something”
John K Samson: “Fellow Traveler”
The Julie Ruin: “Mr So and So”
Kate Jackson: “Last of the Dreamers”
Kid Canaveral: “First We Take Dumbarton”
King Creosote: “You Just Want”

Laura Gibson: “Empire Builder”
Laurence Made Me Cry: “Mneme”
Lydia Loveless: “Out on Love”
Margaret Glaspy: “Emotions and Math”
The Menzingers: “Lookers”
Mitski: “Your Best American Girl”
The Pictish Trail: “Far Gone (Don’t Leave)”
Pinegrove: “Then Again”
Rachael Yamagata: “Let Me Be Your Girl”
The Regrettes: “A Living Human Girl”

Richmond Fontaine: “Tapped Out in Tulsa”
RM Hubbert with Marnie: “Sweet Dreams”
Sia: “Cheap Thrills”
Shearwater: “A Long Time Away”
Skating Polly: “Pretective Boy”
Sleigh Bells: “Rule Number One”
Stanley Odd: “It’s All Gone to Fuck”
Tacocat: “Dana Katherine Scully”
Tegan and Sara: “Boyfriend”
Viola Beach: “Boys That Sing”