A regular presence on the local airwaves for over 10 years, Steve Meli is the host of XFM 100.2's The Rock Hour, in which he gets to mix and match tunes from some of the most respected alternative and indie acts as well as up-and-coming local and foreign talent. Here's a taste of the local tunes that stood out for Steve during 2015.
"2015 has been a defining year for local music. From great EP and album releases to amazing festivals (Rock The South, Trackage Scheme and Bewildered spring to my mind right now), it reached its zenith in the form of 2 spectacular concerts by Brikkuni last October which raised the bar significantly. The local scene is bubbling and brimming with great talents and prospects and this year I delved deeper into the scene and came across some real gems. I might have been very late in discovering bands like Brodu, Crux, Plato's Dream Machine & Fastidju but all this and an amazing debut EP by Berne called Conversation & Lucy's Last's Syllabus of Errors did help to make 2015 unforgettable. It was very tough to pick just 5 songs really but here are the ones that I can't get enough of!"
Fuzzhoneys - Chemistry
All of their three singles so far have been stunning but I find this one as the most representative of the band. On Chemistry Fuzzhoneys dabble with the "quiet-loud quiet-loud" song structure to perfection so much so that I cannot stop head-banging to that final stretch of this song! Their most alluring qualities are how raw their vocals and music are and how they capture this on record. It sounds as if they have recorded this while playing inside their garage!
Alex Alden - Ladybird
This young singer-songwriter, now studying music in Holland never fails to captivate me with her delicate voice and enchanting music. Released last January, Ladybird continues where her brilliant debut The Curious Child EP left off. It's an illustration of her blossoming into one of the finest singer-songwriters of our generation.
Dolls For Idols - Berlin
I have always found their electronic sounds inspiring, irresistible and infectious. They released the 1985 EP last September and the results are astounding. This EP has solidified even further all the greatness that we have become accustomed to with every Dolls For Idols release.
Jane Doe - Bury
Jane Doe have come a long way. They have progressed from a basic alternative rock band into one of the most crucial bands around. With the music sounding so fresh and slick, and Marge's vocals so hauntingly beautiful and recognizable, I think it's a matter of days before this band finds itself playing to wider and bigger audiences!
No Snow/No Alps - Kaleidoscopes
I could have easily gone for Fight It but since that's taken from last years' Go Go Go Go EP, I opted for this one. Released a few days ago this is a simple and direct love song that will resonate well with thousands of people. While I really do dig their most exuberant songs I find this song as appealing and I have to admit I never saw this coming!
A final word: An indelible 2015 in music is coming to an end however I'm excited at the prospects of new music from the likes of Fuzzhoneys' CD Tal-Genn within a few days plus more new music from most of the aforementioned artists and many others to come in 2016. And with a brand new record from Brikkuni in the pipeline, 2016 promises to be as intriguing as 2015 was.