You can remember 2007 one of two ways. On the one hand it was the year of new rave, a small London-born scene of day glo hipsters which was quickly picked up by the music press in late 2006 and somewhat prematurely became a national phenomenon. The bouncy, glitter-slathered likes of Klaxons, Late of the Pier and Hadouken! put fun, energy, excitement and experimentation above po-faced musicianship and indie credibility. Ultimately, new rave didn’t last much beyond its initial year as a cause célèbre. While it might have fallen short of being a genuine musical movement and was probably a greater influence on fashion than music, it did at least brighten things up and, boy, did we need that.
Because the other thing 2007 is remembered for is landfill indie. Coined by Andrew Harrison of Word magazine, this wasn’t a genre so much as the burnt out fag-end of the garage rock revival which lit up the first half of the noughties. Dreary ‘indie’ chancers like Razorlight, The Fratellis and The Pigeon Detectives clogged the charts and the airways. Unsurprisingly, none of these chaps (and the bands concerned were exclusively male), have made Soundblab’s ‘best of’ list for 2007. Thankfully, much better was just around the corner, but the stale stench of landfill still hangs around UK guitar music, a dispiriting reminder of how ‘alternative’ music has been co-opted by major labels keen to hammer a demographic of young white males with blandly efficient product.
But there was another 2007: this was the year that LCD Soundsystem released their groundbreaking Sound of Silver and 45:33; that Radiohead made history by releasing In Rainbows as a digital download and letting fans name their price; the year Amy Winehouse went ‘Back to Black’. In short, 2007 was, quietly, a year of classics and innovation. Remember it this way.