I love 7″s. It’s the definitive statement from a band. Two songs (usually). Side A is the cream of the crop. A song that best defines the band. Side B can be anything. From super cool or ridiculous covers (see Superchunk’s cover of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” from earlier this year) to throw away experiments or even another top notch track destined for the upcoming “album.”
Every week on my show over the past couple years, I’ve tried to highlight one of my favorite 7″s of the week. Sometimes it’s an older 7″, but generally I try to stay current. It’s not every week you get a winner, but more often than not there are always amazing 7″s to be had month to month.
There are many stores in Los Angeles that cater to vinyl fans (in case you’re wondering where to go to get these & singles) and Amoeba, Fingerprints, Origami, Atomic and Vacation are only a few of the many. Do a search on The Google for “los angeles record stores” and you’ll get a great list.
Some of my favorite singles of the year include, but are not limited to…
1) Deap Vally – Kick ass blues duo from LA. They released two 7″s this year. “Gonna Make My Own Money” came out early 2012 (and it smokes), but my favorite just landed here at the end of the year and it’s called “End Of The World” (good timing with the apocalypse at hand).
2) The Bronx “Ribcage” – Finally shedding their Mariachi incarnation, the full on rock returns on this new single which precedes a new full length due in early 2013. All the power and riffage that I loved about this band is back and I’m looking forward to hearing more.
3) Willy Moon “Railroad Track” – One of the many 7″s that Jack White released on his Third Man record label. Most of them are as indispensable as this one, but the production on the a side in particular just curls my toes… in the best way possible. The photography on the cover of each single is as excellent as the music, too.
4) Ty Segall “The Hill” – Starting out with light vocal a cappella the song quickly turns into a snarling riff that you would expect from Mr. Segall. He’s so prolific that I can’t even accurately count how many singles he’s released this year, but this one is a stunner. If you’re a fan, be ready to drop a lot of coin to be a completist with this guy. So worth it tho…
5) HOTT MT “Never Hate Again” – Sure, the story here is great (band from LA show up on Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips doorstep and ask if he wants to be on their record – warning: never do this with Glenn Danzig) but the song is so good that it survives on it’s own merit. Heck, if no one told you, I bet you wouldn’t even know Coyne was on it.
6) Savages “Husbands” – I heard this band was making waves in the UK so I sought them out and wow… all the post punk energy of Bush Tetras and The Slits without sounding like they live in 1981. Both sides of this 7″ single are worthy and I expect some really amazing things from this band in 2013. No pressure!
7) TOY “Motoring” – One of two singles released by the band in 2012 and it’s a burner. Reminds me of the best of 70s German kosmiche music filtered through the lens of another UK group, The Horrors. The full length is quite good as well and was a close contender for my best of 2012 year end list.
Honorable mentions include singles from Zig Zags (full on garage rock mania), The Black Lantern (90s hardcore revivalists) and Ex-Cops (shoe gaze experimentalists). This list goes on and on… but KCRW Blog Overlord Rachel Reynolds will have my head if I prattle on too much… and I don’t blame her!
Have a great holiday season with family and friends!