The year that was 2016 created a void in the pantheon of pop culture, but that does not mean that 2017 is devoid of hope for some fantastic artistic expression.
Last year was a year of transition in my household. The first half of the year was filled with excitement for my family. My only son graduated high school, we traveled the UK and France over the summer, and he settled into college life this autumn. Songs like “Wings” by Birdy, “Make It Happen” by Gareth Emery featuring Lawson, and “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo cycled through my playlists and provided a backdrop for our European travels and my 2016. Now I’m looking for a new year’s soundtrack.
In November, my son voted in his first presidential election. And since November, the politics of our nation has seemed like a really bad dream playing out in slow motion to close out an otherwise fantastic year. While we were overseas this summer, people kept asking us if we thought DJT could really win. We acknowledged that the chance was there, but we hoped (and worked on campaigns throughout the fall) for a different outcome. Since early November, we have felt a little besieged with bad headlines in both the world of politics and pop culture. So the good headlines we’ve grabbed onto with a whole lot of hope for a fantastic 2017 soundtrack. Familiar names like Brian Eno, Dropkick Murphys, The Flaming Lips, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, and many others announced new works to be released in 2017. But two names really stood out to me on the list of upcoming releases.
Today’s jukebox picks reflect those two names and what I consider the good headlines from December: both Noel and Liam Gallagher will have solo projects out in 2017–hopefully by mid-year. Since Oasis is apparently not going to regroup anytime soon, hearing from the feuding brothers separately is still good news. So in honor of their upcoming solo efforts, I’m selecting a solo Noel song and a Liam-penned Oasis song for today’s jukebox duo.
Noel hopes to have his third solo project wrapped by June. He is working with the same producer (David Holmes) that he worked with on his second project, Chasing Yesterday. He claims that he is using a different method than he usually does in writing and completing his songs. I’m excited to hear what this new direction in his creative process brings about. In a recent interview highlighted in NME, he said:
“All the songs that I was writing towards making a record have not been used because when we decided to make a record with David Holmes the way he works is that all the writing gets done in the studio.
“So I started this record at his house in Belfast. The process is the complete opposite to the way that I’ve always worked. With this, you have no idea what you’ve got until it’s there, and the end results are great because they’re constantly evolving.”
“If I Had a Gun…” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds from their eponymous first album. What a great video…
In early December, news regarding Liam Gallagher’s previously announced solo album hit the internet: “His solo album has been described as sounding like The Velvet Underground.” After the demise of Beady Eye, Liam’s post-Oasis band, in October 2014, fans have been waiting patiently to hear more from the frontman.
In a recent Mirror online piece, journalist Claire Rutter wrote, “But while Liam has vented about the past and how he’s been portrayed in the media, he has admitted that he’s reluctantly doing a solo album and is prepared for people to ‘hate it’.
He said: ‘I’m doing a solo record, with gritted teeth because I’d rather be in a band, but I’m doing that and that’s going to be recorded and should be ready for the summer.'”
So in honor of Liam’s upcoming solo effort:
“Born on a Different Cloud” by Oasis (written by Liam Gallagher) from the 2002 album Heathen Chemistry. (This is among my favorite songs written by Liam.)
I hope that songs from these two will make the soundtrack of my 2017!