Rodney Cromwell’s Top 10 Tracks of 2016

Cromwell’s Fax Message Breakup EP is out now.

You know, if shimmering synthpop is your thing, you should probably be listening to this man Rodney Cromwell. That’s the pen name of Adam Cresswell, a founding member of indie-folktronica band Saloon and one half of acclaimed electronic two piece Arthur & Martha. His track ‘Fax Message Breakup’, inspired by Phil Collins’ infamous means of splitting up with his second wife, is a lo-fi downtrodden disco track replete with monotone Kraftwerk-esque vocals glistening synths. Check out the video for the track above which was created by the very excellent Dariy Karyakin.

The EP of the same name is also top quality featuring remixes from Hologram Teen (ex-Stereolab synth player Morgane Lhote), Chris Frain, AUW (Dom Cresswell), and The Leaf Library.

He was good enough to let us in on his favourite ten tracks of 2016, and it is quite the gem packed list. Check it out below.

1. La Femme – ‘Sphynx’

A great band from France who play surf-infused electronica with a dash of dark synthpop. I have probably listened to this track more than any other in 2016 so it’s at number one. Not a video I would play to my kids though.

2. Husky Rescue – ‘Tree House’

I saw this band live about six years ago and they played nice-enough indie Americana with too much slide guitar for my liking. I came back to them this year and this track blew me away with its fresh synthy loveliness. Someone really needs to update their Wikipedia page though.

3. Pet Shop Boys – ‘Pop Kids’

Big fan of their latest LP. I think it’s the best they’ve done in years, but they probably get sick of hearing that every time they release a new record. The lyrics bring back memories of my own misspent youth, rolling from one crap indie club to another, desperately pretending to be cool while probably banging on about Flying Saucer Attack or the first Salad album.

4. Camera – ‘Tjamahal’

I saw this band from Berlin by accident earlier this year and I loved every second of it: a wall of blistering ear-shattering krautrock noise. I came away from the gig with all three of their albums. Unfortunately our stereo is in the living room and my wife likes Magic FM and Bruno Mars so I never get a chance to listen to them.

5. Vieon – ‘Fly By Night’

I played a festival in Liverpool earlier this year and somehow we got duped into staying in a pit with a crystal meth addict, who not only ripped me off of £80, but whose promised after-show party consisted of him repeatedly watching Justin Bieber videos on YouTube. Anyway the terrific Vieon were also on the bill and they were without a doubt the highlight of the weekend.

6. Computer Magic – ‘Lonely Like We Are’

Another artist I only discovered this year, this time because of her new EP ‘Obscure But Visible’. I’ve been listening to that EP and the 2015 album ‘Davos’ repeatedly. It’s brilliant stuff that sits somewhere between a J-Pop version of Broadcast and Debbie Gibson doing shoegaze (or something).

7. Vanishing Twin – ‘The Conservation of Energy’

One of those bands that consists of friends of friends of friends on the indie spacerock scene. It’s a great album, lush a mix of 60’s psychedelia and warbling analogue synthesizers. If you want to know more go to their website – just don’t put Vanishing Twin into Google if you are in any way squeamish.

8. Yama Warashi – ‘Moon Egg’

I don’t know much about this band other than they have a lovely chilled album that sounds like a Japanese version of Pram. Normally I hate the word egg in song titles, but I probably need to get over that.

9. Rémi Parson – ‘Basketball’

Gorgeous Factory-esque indie synthpop, and another great act from France. Once again I’m showing my love for our nearest European neighbours (you can probably guess how I voted in the referendum.)

10. Sun Ra Arkestra – ‘Nuclear War’

Obviously this isn’t new, but it’s available on a new 3 LP re-issue of Sun Ra’s singles. Thematically it seems pretty 2016 to me.

You can grab the Fax Message Breakup EP via Bandcamp.

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