The No Badger Required End of Year Countdown – #6

Welcome to the final grouped selection of tracks that have been on regular rotation in my house.  We start this week in Belfast with a very noisy punk rock band who are named after, one assumes, an OMD song.

15. Scrappers – Enola Gay (2022, Enolagay1916 Records, Taken from Gransha EP)

Enola Gay are one of those bands that emerged during the lockdown and fit nicely into the market that has been created by the popularity of bands like Idles and Slaves.  ‘Scrappers’ was the lead track from their ‘Gransha’ EP.  It is a song that is at times intense and polemic.  The focus of its anger is sleazy bouncers who forced their authority on people both inside venues and outside venues.  It has an excellent low slung bass running through it. 

Next up, arty post punk from New York

14. Kids 1995 – Been Stellar (2022, So Young Records, Taken from ‘Been Stellar’)

Been Stellar are one of the finest indie rock bands to have come out of New York since the Strokes, pulled on their skinny jeans.  ‘Kids 1995’ is an excellent single that promises much for next year.  Its full of scratchy guitar riffs and evokes imagery of idling away the hours in a hot 90s summer in New York with its lyrics about lost innocence and the acceptance of the way that life sometimes sucks.  Astonishing stuff and I fully expect 2023 to pretty much belong to them.

Next up, subtle indie rock from Leeds

13. A55 – English Teacher (2022, Nice Swan Recordings, Taken from ‘Polyawkward EP’)

The ‘A55’ for those of you who are not au fait with British A roads, runs from just outside the Roman city of Chester to the end of Wales at Holyhead. It is a fairly unremarkable piece of road.  You will have driven along it if you have ever been to the Butlins at Rhyl.  That is also unremarkable. So why the Leeds band have chosen to record a song about it remains a mystery, but it doesn’t matter because ‘A55’ is so brilliant.  Honestly, this band could write a song about the ring road around Goole and it would still be amazing.

Next up, don’t run away it’s an indie supergroup

12. The Hard Part – Album Club (2022, Last Night From Glasgow Records, Taken from ‘The Album Club’)

The Album Club were always going to be incredible. I mean they feature members of the Delgados for a start and it is illegal for anything connected to them, to not be incredible.  But if that is not enough you can add lyrics written by playwrights, spoken word elements by famed actors and broadcasters.  They originally got together during the pandemic to discuss music and ended up actually making music all of which was nothing short of exceptional.

Finally today, prolific songwriting from Edinburgh

11.  Think of us Kissing – Hamish Hawk (2022, Post Electric Records, Taken from ‘Angel Numbers’)

In 2021, Hamish Hawk was one of a select bunch of artists whose work I only started getting into because of the lockdown.  His nervous, stop start single ‘Caterpillar’ was a firm favourite in my household.  A few weeks back the lead single from his next album ‘Angel Numbers’ was released and it’s another stunning piece of romantic indie pop brilliance. 



  1. therobster71 says:

    Will be listening to most of these later today. Not convinced about Hamish Hawk though. It sounds to me as if he’s just rehasing the Divine Comedy’s well-trodden formula.


  2. Rol says:

    I was going to leave a comment saying how much I love Hamish Hawk, but I worry therobster will think I’m taking the piss. It seems whenever I love something, he hates it. Story of my life, really.

    Beyond that, I was very interested by English Teacher, because I am one, and it’s an awful name for a band just because of that. Good sound though.

    And I was convinced that Been Stellar were singing “what the hell happened to Janice Long?”, and sadly we all know the answer to that.

    I know there’s only two more posts left in this series, but I don’t want it to end.


    1. barrystubbs says:

      Ah Rol…the Top Ten are broken down in ten separate posts. You lucky thing.


  3. JC says:

    Album Club is a wonderful record. The album cover is a photo of one of the best pubs in Glasgow, one that myself and my good friend Aldo frequent on a semi-regular basis.

    Hamish Hawk. Seen him a few times, but it’s always been as a solo performer without any band and he’s struggled to hold my attention.

    Didn’t know any of the other three. Really enjoyed Been Stellar and English Teacher. There’s been a lot to like about this rundown. Hugely appreciated.


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