David Wrench is one of the most in-demand mix engineers in the business and this year his skills can be heard on Arlo Parks' Collapsed In Sunbeams, Courtney Barnett's Things Take Time, Take Time, Mustafa's When Smoke Rises, and Manic Street Preachers' The Ultra Vivid Lament, just to name four. He's also one half of duo audiobooks, alongside Evangeline Ling, who released their fantastic second album, Astro Tuff, back in October. Like their 2018 debut, it's a near-indescribable mix of prog, synthpop, dub, rock, post-punk, techno and more, with Ling's all-in vocal performance at the heart of it. It's one of this writer's favorite albums of the year (read our review) and you can check it out below.

We've been posting year-end lists from artists and here's audiobooks' "Most Listened-to Tracks of 2021," which includes songs new and old, familiar and obscure. "Here’s a list of the most played tracks in the Audiobooks tour bus this year," says David. "It’s been great to finally get back out and play shows again. Travelling in the van for hours can be tedious, but is livened up by good music and the joy at finding a good motorway service station." David provides commentary for all 10 and you can listen in playlist form below.

Speaking of the tour bus, audiobooks have UK dates in February, March and April. Those are listed below.


1 Ozzy Osbourne : "Mr Crowley"
It may not be obvious, but the two biggest influences on Audiobooks are Aphrodite’s Child and Black Sabbath/Ozzy. Blizzard Of Oz is a perennial tour bus favourite. One day we hope to make a metal album.

2 Suicide : "Frankie Teardrop"
Both our live FOH engineer and tech on one tour were called Frank, so I kept calling them “Frankie, Frankie” in the style of Alan Vega. After a few days Evangeline questioned why on earth I was doing this, and so I introduced her to this incredible track, and it got played a lot from that point on.

3 Cocteau Twins : "When Mama Was Moth"
We were compiling a playlist of artists with unusual lyrics for the BBC and were looking for the right Cocteaus track for it. This isn’t as well known as it should be. It’s wonderful.

4 The Wedding Present : "Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft"
I often listen on headphones to albums I haven’t listened to in many years while touring. Something slightly familiar but not so familiar that I switch off. It’s quite a grounding thing to do while touring. I re-listened to George Best by the Wedding Present, and I was struck by how great lots of David Gedge’s lyrics are. I knew Evangeline would like this track, I thought it shared a similar sense of humour to her lyrics.

5 Rozzma : "Hout"
This is just a banger. The vocal delivery is so good.

6 MALFNKTION : "Bigfoot"
Such an infectious groove. Can’t help but feel energised by this.

7 Low : "White Horses"
The new Low album is a masterpiece. So inventive. They somehow just get better and better

8 FFS : "Johnny Delusional"
The Sparks Brothers film was hugely inspiring. As a result, Sparks (and this project they did with Franz Ferdinand) got a lot of play on tour.

9 St JHN : "Roses (Imanbek Remix)"
I wasn’t aware of this song and its remix by Kazakh musician Imanbek, but everyone else in the van was crazy about it and introduced me to it.

10 Blawan : "Under Belly"
New Blawan EP if brilliant. The rhythm on this track just hits you.

Feb 23 Colours London, UK
Feb 24 Studio Bar, Komedia Brighton, UK
Feb 24 Komedia Brighton, UK
Feb 25 Elsewhere Margate, UK
Feb 26 Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen Leeds, UK
Mar 1 Broadcast Glasgow, UK
Mar 2 The Adelphi / New Adelphi Hull, UK
Mar 3 Bootleg Social Blackpool, UK
Mar 30 O2 Academy Leicester Leicester, UK
Mar 31 Cambridge Junction Cambridge, UK
Apr 2 Boiler Shop Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Apr 23 Unknown venue Camden, UK
Apr 23 Unknown venue London, UK

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