Playlist | Nick Hemming of the Leisure Society’s picks of 2012

There are end-of-year lists aplenty around, but few from so musical an ear as our guest playlist-maker Nick Hemming of the Leisure Society. The band have spent 2012 holed up writing, rehearsing and recording album number three (due out early next year – we are excite) but Nick’s had a chance to listen to new music too. Here’s his pick of the year:

Listen on Spotify: Nick’s Pick of 2012

The Walkmen – We Can’t Be Beat
Lisbon was always going to be an impossible act to follow, but there are some great moments on the new album. Hamilton Leithauser’s voice is at it’s awe-inducing best on this track, and I love the lyric, ‘Golden dreams all lose their glow, I don’t need perfection I love the whole’.”

The Maccabees – Pelican

“My friend Tim, from the Climbers, mailed me a link to this song and I was immediately hooked. Some great melodies and I love the frantic guitar riff in the section where the drums pick up.”


ody’s Echo Chamber – I Follow You
“Great Kevin Parker production on this track, and a beautiful vocal from Melody Prochet – sung in English but unmistakably French.”

Django Django – Default
“Something rather addictive about this song. Very Beta-band-esque in execution, which is never a bad thing in my book.”

The Magnetic Fields – Andrew In Drag
“Stephin Merritt is one of my favourite songwriters. There are some really great lyrics on this album and this has song has some particularly amusing ones: ‘I’ll never see that girl again, he did it as a gag, I’ll pine away forevermore for Andrew in drag’.”

Sharon Van Etten – Leonard
“Some songs are so beautiful they hit like a punch to the gut. This is definitely one of those. SVE has an incredible, smoky and deeply melodic voice, gentle but devastating and used to perfection on this song.”

The Shins – September
“I really like the more poppy production on the new Shins record, but James Mercer’s uniquely beautiful melodies are never better than when delivered with a pared-back acoustic arrangement.”

Tame Impala – Apocalypse Dreams
“Man of the moment Kevin Parker again. The production on this album is so exciting; crunchy drums, psychedelic synths and intense guitars. But beneath the frenetic sounds are some incredible songs, which is what makes Lonerism such a special record.”

Grizzly Bear – Yet Again
“I’m usually more of a Daniel Rossen kinda guy but Ed Droste’s vocals on this track are wonderful. Great songwriting, and quite poppy for Grizzly Bear!”

Hot Chip – How Do You Do
“Fantastic synth and drum sounds on this track, and a great vocal too. I’m more known for having a love of classic, orchestrated pop music such as the Beach Boys, but I also have a murky past spent in the Hard House and Techno clubs of Birmingham – this track definitely appeals to that part of me.”

Grimes – Oblivion
“Love the fat, glitchy synth sound that opens this song. Such a great tune, probably my favourite of the year, I can even forgive the blatant borrowing of a melody from Del Shannon’s Runaway.”

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Brugada
“We share a publisher so I was lucky enough to get a copy of this before it came out. A beautiful song from a really strong album.”

Efterklang – The Ghost
“I didn’t get into this album straight away, but after seeing them perform it live recently – with the Northern Sinfonia – it really got under my skin. This song in particular stood out on the night.”

Field Music – A New Town
“Field Music have been producing consistently great albums for a while now. It’s great to see them get more widespread recognition thanks to their Mercury nomination.”

Cat Power – Manhattan
“I was a bit late to the party, I only recently ‘discovered’ Cat Power. I became quite obsessed with her The Greatest album; I’ve always loved that Memphis sound she was going for and the song writing is incredible. I like it when artists successfully re-invent their sound, and she certainly did that with Sun. This is probably my favourite track from the new album.”

Passion Pit – Take A Walk
“Passion Pit aren’t the kind of band I’d usually listen to a whole album of, but you can’t beat them for uplifting, hands-in-the-air dance-floor optimism. (although the lyrics to this one are far from optimistic!)”

Perfume Genius – Take Me Home
“It’s hard to pick one song off this album, but this one edges it. Such a beautiful collection of songs, dripping with longing, and what a voice!”