transmission
11Feb/17Off

2016 Albums of the Year

1Wussy
Forever Sounds

2Angel Olsen
MY WOMAN

3Lambchop
FLOTUS

4Lou Rhodes
theyesandeye

5case/lang/veirs
case/lang/veirs

6Leonard Cohen
You Want It Darker

7Hannah Peel
Awake But Always Dreaming

8Drive-By Truckers
American Band

9Heron Oblivion
Heron Oblivion

10Mitski
Puberty 2

2Jan/16Off

2015 Albums of the Year

1Low
Ones And Sixes

LOW_OnesSixes_cover

2Julia Holter
Have You In My Wilderness

Julia_Holter

3Susanne Sundfør
Ten Love Songs

Susanne-Sundfør-Ten-Love-Songs-2015

4Sleater-Kinney
No Cities To Love

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5Drenge
Undertow

Drenge-Undertow-art

6Torres
Sprinter

torres-sprinter-1500x1500

7LoneLady
Hinterland

lonelady_hinterland_new_album_the_405

8Gwenno
Y Dydd Olaf

cover600x600

9My Morning Jacket
The Waterfall

the-waterfall-my-morning-jacket-album-cover-art

10Gaz Coombes
Matador

matador-packshot-share

11Courtney Barnett
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

12The Decemberists
What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

13Farao
Till It's All Forgotten

14Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Multi-Love

15John Grant
Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

16New Order
Music Complete

17Ought
Sun Coming Down

18Wolf Alice
My Love Is Cool

19Patty Griffin
Servant Of Love

20The Unthanks
Mount The Air

This year I found it very hard to choose between the top three choices - they are all SO good. In the end took the easy option I went with the order of most listens on last.fm.
Choosing albums to go on the list beyond the top dozen on so was also quite difficult. I added 1771 tracks to my iTunes library in 2015 and giving all that music the attention it deserved to make album of the year choices was basically impossible. I'm happy with the list as it stands but it took a concerted effort in the last few weeks of the year to be able to make my choices.

I think I only attended a couple of gigs this year. The Ex were great at Summerhall, but I had to leave early due to toothache. Low were similarly great at the Glasgow School of Art but it was spoiled by the guy who talked non-stop through the first half of the gig.

My favourite new-to-me track of the year was Kamikaze by Susanne Sundfør.
My most listened to track was Lies by Low

5Jan/15Off

2014 Albums of the Year

1O'Hooley & Tidow
The Hum

The Hum 150

2St. Vincent
St. Vincent

St_Vincent_artwork 150

3Jenny Lewis
The Voyager

The Voyager 150

4Angel Olsen
Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Burn Your Fire For No Witness 150

5Sharon Van Etten
Are We There

Are We There 150

6Perfume Genius
Too Bright

Perfume-Genius-Too-Bright 150

7Damien Jurado
Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son 150

8Morgan Delt
Morgan Delt

Morgan Delt 150

9Mark Lanegan Band
Phantom Radio

Phantom Radio 150

10King Creosote
From Scotland With Love

17118-from-scotland-with-love 150

11EMA
The Future's Void

12Wye Oak
Shriek

13The New Pornographers
Brill Bruisers

14Elbow
The Take Off and Landing of Everything

15The Afghan Whigs
Do The Beast

16Grouper
Ruins

17Lucius
Wildewoman

18Wild Beasts
Present Tense

19The War On Drugs
Lost In The Dream

20Mirel Wagner
When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day

21Sturgill Simpson
Metamodern Sounds In Country Music

22The Rural Alberta Advantage
Mended With Gold

23J Mascis
Tied To A Star

24Spoon
They Want My Soul

25Honeyblood
Honeyblood

The Hum and St. Vincent were released a week apart in February 2014 and it's a testament to their quality that even with the toll of many months listening that my pick for record of the year was a straight choice between the two.
It was a hard decision but I picked the O'Hooley & Tidow record for my number one. It's a very beautiful record packed with personality and humanity. That sense of personality edged it ahead of St. Vincent's seamless, jeweled, statement of intent.

Gig of the year was Neutral Milk Hotel at the Corn Exchange. A joyous experience from beginning to end despite the slightly rubbish venue.

My favourite new-to-me song of the year was You, Sailor by Erin McKeown.
My most listened to song from a 2014 record was Coil & Spring by O'Hooley & Tidow

31Dec/13Off

2013 Albums of the year

1.Queens of the Stone Age
...like clockwork

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2.Agnes Obel
Aventine

Aventine-cover

3.Retribution Gospel Choir
3

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4.Trentemøller
Lost

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5.The Soft Hills
Chromatisms

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6.Lloyd Cole
Standards

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7.Alela Diane
About Farewell

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8.John Grant
Pale Green Ghosts

Pale Green Ghosts

9.Chvrches
The Bones of What You Believe

Chvrches-The-Bones-Of-What-You-Believe1

10.The Joy Formidable
Wolf's Law

the-joy-formidable-wolfs-law-album-cover-art

11.Woodkid
The Golden Age

12.Laura Stevenson
Wheel

13.Low
The Invisible Way

14.Villagers
{Awayland}

15.Wax Idols
Discipline & Desire

16.Laura Veirs
Warp & Weft

17.David Bowie
The Next Day

18.Mark Mulcahy
Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You

19.Marnie
Crystal World

20.Volcano Choir
Repave

21.Jim James
Regions of Light and Sound of God

22.James Blake
Overgrown

23.Neko Case
The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

24.Goldfrapp
Tales of Us

25.Lorde
Pure Heroine

There was no competition for best album of the year. Nine of the ten tracks on "...like clockwork" are in my top ten most listened to tracks for 2013 (the other one is all the way down at 13th most listened to).

Gig of the year goes to John Grant at the Queen's Hall - which is just one of the most extraordinary gigs I've ever been to.

Track of the year goes to Seven by Retribution Gospel Choir. Over twenty minutes of transcendent beauty to get yourself lost in.

A playlist of all these albums on Spotify

1Jan/13Off

twenty2012?

My Top 20 Albums of 2012

The thinking behind this list is to simply pick my top twenty favourite albums released in 2012. I make no claims of special critical insight.
It was relatively easy to pick a top ten but pulling a further ten records from the sheer number I've listened to over the last twelve months was not easy and changes were made even in the final seconds before posting this!

  1. Maraqopa by Damien Jurado
  2. Blues Funeral by Mark Lanegan Band
  3. Mid Air by Paul Buchanan
  4. Traces by Karine Polwart
  5. Spooky Action At A Distance by Lotus Plaza
  6. Oh Holy Molar by Félix
  7. Animal Joy by Shearwater
  8. Attack On Memory by Cloud Nothings
  9. Tramp by Sharon Van Etten
  10. Yellow and Green by Baroness
  11. Bloom by Beach House
  12. The Marble Downs by Trembling Bells and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
  13. Banga by Patti Smith
  14. Toy by Toy
  15. Devotion by Jessie Ware
  16. Come Home To Mama by Martha Wainwright
  17. The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 by Various Artists
  18. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  19. The Light The Dead See by Soulsavers
  20. The Something Rain by Tindersticks

Spotify playlist of all these albums

Maraqopa went from being in the top ten to the top three after seeing Jurado perform in Glasgow. It guaranteed the album of the year spot with the release of the deluxe edition at the end of the year that includes a song called Let Us All In (a particular highlight of the live show) and a cover of Christmas Time Is Here from the 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' soundtrack that earwormed me for the whole of December. Sadly these extra tracks are missing from the Spotify playlist

2Jan/12Off

twentyone

Albums of the Year 2011

  1. Low C'mon
  2. Abigail Washburn City of Refuge
  3. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins Diamond Mine
  4. Eleanor Friedberger Last Summer
  5. The War on Drugs Slave Ambient
  6. St. Vincent Strange Mercy
  7. Kurt Vile Smoke Ring For my Halo
  8. The Decemberists The King is Dead
  9. Gillian Welch The Harrow and Harvest
  10. Le Butcherettes Sin Sin Sin
  11. The Cowboy Junkies Demons
  12. Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat Everything's Getting Older
  13. The Mountain Goats All Eternals Deck
  14. Elbow Build a Rocket Boys!
  15. Bill Callahan Apocalypse
  16. PJ Harvey Let England Shake
  17. Driftless Pony Club Buckminster
  18. Josh T Pearson Last of the Country Gentlemen
  19. EMA Past Life Martyred Saints
  20. The Antlers Burst Apart
  21. R.E.M.. Collapse Into Now

C'mon is the Duluth band's best since "Things We Lost In The Fire", the album I listened to most in 2012 and a thoroughly deserving record the year. I feel like I should note that the Low album was at number two until I realised that the only reason I had the Abigail Washburn record on top (as good as it is) was due to her relative obscurity.
One other point - the list was going to be a top 20 until I decided that as a loyal R.E.M. fan for twenty years their final release really should be on here somewhere, even if there is only one track on Collapse Into Now that I really like.
You can find 18 of the these on this Spotify playlist unfortunately the Gillian Welch, Mountain Goats and Bill Callahan records aren't available.

1Mar/11Off

2010Fifty?

Albums of the Year
This is hugely late, as I've been distracted with the selling of flats and other real life things, but finally here's my top 50 albums of the year:

  1. Neil Young - Le Noise
  2. Philip Selway - Familial
  3. Broken Bells - Broken Bells
  4. John Grant - Queen Of Denmark
  5. Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
  6. National, The - High Violet
  7. Imagined Village, The - Empire & Love
  8. Spoon - Transference
  9. Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
  10. Burns Unit - Side Show

The others aren't ranked:

  • Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
  • Best Coast - Crazy For You
  • The Black Heart Procession - Six
  • Broken Records - Let Me Come Home
  • The Corin Tucker Band - 1,000 Years
  • Deer Tick - The Black Dirt Sessions
  • Eliza Carthy - Gift
  • Ellie Goulding - Lights
  • Emma Pollock - The Law Of Large Numbers
  • Field Music - Field Music (Measure)
  • Grinderman - Grinderman 2
  • The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever
  • I Am Kloot - Sky At Night
  • Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Hawk
  • Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues
  • Kristin Hersh - Crooked
  • Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell Present KORT - Invariable Heartache
  • Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
  • Laura Veirs - July Flame
  • Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring
  • Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From A Young Man
  • Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry
  • Micah P Hinson - And The Pioneer Saboteurs
  • The New Pornographers - Together
  • New Young Pony Club - The Optimist
  • Phosphorescent - Here's To Taking It Easy
  • Retribution Gospel Choir - 2
  • Richard Thompson - Dream Attic
  • Roky Erickson & Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil
  • Rose Elinor Dougall - Without Why
  • Rumer - Seasons Of My Soul
  • School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire
  • Stornoway - Beachcomber's Windowsill
  • The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt
  • Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
  • The Unwinding Hours - The Unwinding Hours
  • Villagers - Becoming A Jackal
  • Warpaint - The Fool
  • The Watson Twins - Talking To You, Talking To Me
  • Yeasayer - Odd Blood

5Jan/10Off

35?

Albums of 2009
1 The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
2 Alela Diane - To Be Still
3 Saint Jude's Infirmary - This Has Been The Death Of Us
4 Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
5 Wilco - Wilco (the album)
6 The XX - XX
7 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
8 Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
9 Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
10 Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle


The Rest
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
The Big Pink - A Brief History Of Love
Vic Chesnutt - At the Cut
De Rosa - Prevention
Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream
Florence + The Machine - Lungs [Expanded]
James Grant - Strange Flowers
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Charlotte Hatherley - New Worlds
The Horrors - Primary Colours
The Low Anthem - Oh My God - Charlie Darwin
Madness - The Liberty Of Norton Folgate
Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers
Malcolm Middleton - Waxing Gibbous
Monsters Of Folk - Monsters Of Folk
The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Julian Plenti - Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper
Dave Rawlings Machine - Friend Of A Friend
St. Vincent - Actor
Taken By Trees - East Of Eden
Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
James Yorkston & The Big Eyes Family Players - Folk Songs

6Jan/09Off

2008 Albums

These are reviews of the 2008 released records that I bought in 2008.

1. Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree.

Goldfrapp step away from the dancefloor, embrace the pastoral and produce my favourite record of 2008. Shout out to Matthew Perpetua's Fluxblog without which I wouldn't have ended up obsessed with A&E and consequently this fabulous record.

Best thing on it?

A&E.

2. Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid.

Finally the album that pushes them to a public profile that their genius deserves. Not one bad song and several quite brilliant.

Best thing on it?

One Day Like This

3.The Black Keys - Attack and Release.

The pre-emininent blues rock duo of our time record their masterpiece. Every track is outstanding.

Best thing on it?

Currently I'd say All You Ever Wanted.

4.She & Him - Volume One.

The deeply unlikely partnership between Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel somehow produced an album of restrained and timeless beauty. This is something genuinely worth celebrating.

Best thing on it?

This is not a test.

5.R.E.M. - Accelerate.

Almost anything would seem like a return to form after the utterly lifeless Around The Sun. That this is their best album in more than a decade is such a relief. Being a hardcore REM fan had stopped being any fun - but this beast brought the fun back in spades. Short sharp and packed with classic songs that dared to sound a bit like REM!

Best thing on it?

Currently Houston is my go to track, but about half the album is good enough to win this accolade.

6.Portishead - Third.

An astonishing return, making a record that sounds entirely like Portishead without using any of their old sonic footprint. Both scary and tender it's unlike anything else released this year.

Best thing on it?

The nearly heavy metal Threads.

7.Shearwater - Rook.

Utterly gorgeous piano based folk-pop ballads occasionally enlivened with glorious blasts of brass. This is a really beautiful record.

Best thing on it?

The brass flecked title song, Rooks, though The Snow Leopard runs it close.

8.Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes.

Another album that nearly drowned in the flood of praise that has come it's way over the course of the year, but it's sheer beauty is undeniable. Oddly bits of it remind me of David Crosby's fucked up masterpiece If Only I Could Remember My Name - that's a recommendation by the way.

Best thing on it?

Heard Them Stirring

9.TV On The Radio - Dear Science.

This latest release has been wildly praised in critical circles. I don't think it's any better than their last release - which is good thing because Return To Cookie Mountain was great!

Best thing on it?

10.Grace Jones - Hurricane.

The diva's comeback after a decade plus out of the spotlight produces the song of her career in Williams Blood. Nothing on the record is quite that good but it's a strong body of work.

Best thing on it?

The almighty Williams Blood.

11.Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago.

Almost crushed by media hype and praise, the sheer loveliness and claustrophobia of the songs wins through.

Best thing on it?

Skinny Love

12.My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges.

Some found it a disappointment, personally I think it's the best thing that MMJ have ever done. Less earnest and more funky than before this record really gets under your skin.

Best thing on it?

Evil Urges.

13.Dr Dog - Fate.

This psychedelic Philadelphian outfit make music that's modern yet somehow could easily fit in the late 60s output of The Band. A real grower.

Best thing on it?

Army of Ancients

14.Eliza Carthy - Dreams of Breathing Underwater.

The prodigiously talented offspring of the 60s folk revival's pre-eminent couple makes an album that mixes musical styles with a real relish and love for life.

Best thing on it?

Simple Things.

15.Robert Forster - The Evangelist.

Forster's first release since the premature death of his Go-Betweens partner Grant McLennan is still very much haunted by his presence including 3 songs co-written by McLennan.

Best thing on it?

Demon Days is perhaps one of the finest of Forster and MacLennan's collaborations.

16.Vic Chesnutt - Dark Developments.

This collaboration with Elf Power reinvigorated Mr Chesnutt's songwriting to a level rarely seen since his first few albums. In other words -it's bloody good.

Best thing on it?

We Are Mean

17.Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend.

Lovely sunny, African rhythm rich indie pop songs can inspire joy!

Best thing on it?

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa has a delightful guitar hook.

18.The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound.

New Jersey boys make album of sweeping passionate rock that invites rave reviews. There's definitely something there but I'm not sure it's flowered properly yet.

Best thing on it?

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues.

19.The Long Blondes - Couples.

This second album takes a more electronic tack than their debut - to largely winning effect. The lyrics are also much more disappointed and cynical than before - which is actually some feat!

Best thing on it?

Too Clever By Half.

20.The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia.

Lanegan and Dulli finally properly team up and produce one of the best records of both their careers.

Best thing on it?

Who Will Lead Us.


The following are sorted without preference in an alphabetical order

Adele - 19.

Interesting debut by big voiced Londoner, which unfortunately tends towards the bland. The no1 Chasing Pavements and single Hometown Glory are highlights.

Best thing on it?

Her sweet cover of Dylan's To Make You Feel My Love.

American Princes - Other People.

Anglophilic sons of Arkansas produce catchy post-punk indie pop.

Best thing on it?

The very GBV Kid Incinerator

The Baseball Project - Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.

A bunch of great American indie artists get together to make an album of songs about the great and not-so-great of baseball history - surely it's a quirky mess? No in fact it's a lot of fun - especially if you know a bit about the sport.

Best thing on it?

The Yankee Flipper.

Beck - Modern Guilt.

This low key effort is something of a return to form after his recent wayward releases. Expertly juggling musical genres to excellent effect this has deserved more notice than it received..

Best thing on it?

Chemtrails.

Belle & Sebastian - BBC Sessions.

This collection captures the Glasgow masters of twee as they grow from a ramshackle delight into polished purveyors of pop. The extra live disc is non-essential, but still it's a nice addition.

Best thing on it?

Magic of a Kind Word.

Black Mountain - In The Future.

More stoner-rock, sadly just not as memorable as on their eponymous release.

Best thing on it?

Wucan.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Is It The Sea.

Fascinating live performance blending Oldham's heartbroken songs with the scottish folk instrumentation and harmonies of Harem Scarem and Alex Neilson. This BBC release is mostly exquisite.

Best thing on it?

Master and Everyone.

Bowerbirds - Hymns For A Dark Horse.

Lovely acoustic music, with a spare and moving feel.

Best thing on it?

Bur Oak

The Breeders - Mountain Battles.

This album seemed to get lost in the end of year shuffle in the magazines. Sure, it lacks the spark of the band's greatest work but even an average Breeders record is worth listening to.

Best thing on it?

I like the country folk of Here No More.

Cat Power - Jukebox.

Chan returns to the well that brought the career changing Covers Record only to see her produce her least interesting record so far.

Best thing on it?

The odd but gorgeous Song To Bobby

Catnip - Mirror.

Largely forgettable but very pretty Australian post rock with dreamy female vocals.

Best thing on it?

Probably Stay.

Coldplay - Viva La Vida.

One more more than competent set of stadium rock sees the band trying, albeit carefully to expand their sonic palette. I find them hard to hate, but equally hard to love.

Best thing on it?

Probably the first single Viva La Vida, which is really interesting sonically - especially the bells.

Colin Meloy - Sings Live.

The Decemberists frontman delivers an excellent, if typical, solo performance before a besotted audience. The horrendous Dracula's Daughter, which works as a joke the first few times, inevitably ends up ruining the flow of the record.

Best thing on it?

I really like the live version of The Engine Driver.

Damien Jurado - Caught In The Trees.

One of my favourite artists of the past decade or so returns with another album of great songs. It's just not quite up with his very best work.

Best thing on it?

Coats of Ice

Dead Meadow - Old Growth.

Stoner Blues Rock, to be honest I've barely listened to it.

Best thing on it?

From a cursory listen it's Down Here a pretty acoustic tune.

Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs.

I only picked this up the other day and mainly because I saw a segment about them on Current TV. I loved some of the tracks on Transatlanticism and this mines a similar furrow to far less success.

Best thing on it?

The epic

Flight of the Conchords - Flight of the Conchords.

The New Zealand duo totally master the comic song. Much better than the DVD as a reminder of the series.

Best thing on it?

The Pet Shop Boys parody Inner City Pressure.

Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight.

Beloved of the Scottish indie scene, apparently this lot are on the way to great things. In my opinion the album is very patchy.

Best thing on it?

By far the amazing Floating In The Forth.

Hamell On Trial - Rant 'n' Roll.

This recording of his 2007 live show The Terrorism of Everyday Life is ragingly angry, sublimely funny and heartbreaking. I can't wait for the DVD.

Best thing on it?

Father's Advice.

The Hold Steady - Stay Positive.

Another solid release by the likable but over hyped bar band.

Best thing on it?

Lord, I'm Discouraged.

Ida Maria - Fortress Around My Heart.

The album's patchy but the singles Stella and I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked are bloody fab.

Best thing on it?

Stella

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Sunday At Devil Dirt.

The second Lanegan record of the year and the second collaboration between him and Campbell. It's actually a better record than that first release. The so lightweight she'd fly away voice and persona of Campbell gets badly needed gravitas from his voice singing her words. Maybe the next go will see them hit gold consistently.

Best thing on it?

Back Burner really grabs hold and won't let you go.

James Yorkston - When the Haar Rolls In.

Best album title of the year. Brings the Fence collective member interesting new collaborators in the form of the Watersons and yet more beautiful low key music.

Best thing on it?

Tortoise Regrets Hare.

Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue.

Maybe not as consistent as her collaboration with the Watson Twins for her first solo release this still has moments of beauty.

Best thing on it?

The title song, Acid Tongue.

Joan As Policewoman - To Survive.

Sadly a poor shadow of the magnificent Real Life debut album. It's just a bit bland and boring.

Best thing on it?

To Survive

Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim.

Startlingly pretty debut album by the absurdly young Ms Marling. Composed mainly of lovely acoustic pieces I suspect it's a grower - but since I've only had a copy for a few days!

Best thing on it?

At the minute it's Tap At Your Window

Lowgold - Promise Lands.

Dolorous alt rock - nothing remarkable - but kind of comforting and familiar.

Best thing on it?

Flame.

Martha Wainwright - I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too.

Definitely more AOR than her debut this record does have it's moments but they are fewer than before.

Best thing on it?

Jesus and Mary.

Meursault - Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues.

I only got this out of curiosity as I'm friends with someone who knows his ex-girlfriend. Not listened to it yet.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

Oh how I resisted buying this record. I've been burned by Mr Cave a few too many times of late and yet, and yet!
This is a magnificent record. Alive and vital in a way that I suspected he'd lost.

Best thing on it?

The title track, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul.

A surprisingly consistent and enjoyable record from the mega-selling Mancunians who have put out a lot of dross over the last ten years.

Best thing on it?

I'm shocked but it's the Liam penned I'm Outta Time that stands out.

Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping.

More fucked up pop from the Canadians. Both too clever and too catchy - it's a infuriating mix. One day they're going to produce a monster single and conquer the charts.

Best thing on it?

Maybe St. Exquisite's Confessions.

Okkervil River - The Stand-Ins.

As the remainder of the songs from the Stage Names sessions this record never seems to come to a focus or to the heights that I've come to expect from this band.

Best thing on it?

Lost Coastlines.

Oneida - Preteen Weaponry.

A suite consisting of three dense slabs of rock noise, this is not your typical rock record. Surprisingly listenable for a beast of this nature.

Best thing on it?

Preteen Weaponry pt 3

Retribution Gospel Choir - Retribution Gospel Choir.

Low frontman Alan Sparhawk's other band release their first album. Not entirely surprisingly it sounds like Low with the guitars turned up. This is a very good thing!

Best thing on it?

Easy Prey.

Rose Kemp - Unholy Majesty.

The second daughter of folk royalty in this list (her Mum's Maddy Prior and her Dad is Rick Kemp) and this record couldn't be more different from Eliza Carthy's. It's a full blown rock record, heavy on the drama and theatrics. She's also obviously a fan of Kate Bush. Gifted with an incredible voice you get the feeling that she'll make something astonishing once she finds her own voice.

Best thing on it?

Bitter and Sweet.

Santogold - Santogold.

Smart and classy electro-pop incorporating a number of surprising musical elements.

Best thing on it?

L.E.S. Artistes.

Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.

The latest from the Icelandic masters of the epic is entirely forgettable.

Best thing on it?

Nothing sticks in the mind, to be honest. Oh, OK, All alright is actually quite pretty.

Sun Kil Moon - April.

Oh dear. The very blandest thing that Kozelek has ever released.

Best thing on it?

The Watson Twins - Fire Songs.

The twins follow up their record with Jenny Lewis with a consistently listenable album of alt county

Best thing on it?

Lady Love Me

The Week That Was - The Week That Was.

Fascinating and electic mix of pop styles by ex-member of Field Music.

Best thing on it?

Yesterday's papers.

17Jan/08Off

41?

Long List 2007
This is the longlist for my 2007 albums of the year.
I'm going to try and pick a top ten (or so) and do a write up for each album, but in the meantime here's the candidates (in order by album title):

Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
Matthew Dear - Asa Breed
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Ask Forgiveness
The Besnard Lakes - Are The Dark Horse
Black Francis - Bluefinger
King Creosote - Bombshell
The National - Boxer
Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat
Joe Henry - Civilians
Low - Drums and Guns
iLiKETRAiNS - Elegies To Lessons Learnt
Editors - An End Has A Start
Queens Of The Stone Age - Era Vulgaris
Wheat - Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The Octopus Project - Hello Avalanche
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Maria McKee - Late December
Neil Young - Live At Massey Hall
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Elliott Smith - New Moon
Interpol - Our Love To Admire
Efterklang - Parades
Phosphorescent - Pride
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
Laura Veirs - Saltbreakers
Wilco - sky Blue Sky
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Okkervil River - The Stage Names
Grant-Lee Phillips - Strangelet
Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight
Jackie-O Motherfucker - Valley Of Fire
Mark Ronson - Version
Bjork - Volta
Emma Pollock - Watch The Fireworks
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
Trances Arc - XOXOX

Added 6th January 2012
I never did write up a top ten for this year.
So for completeness sake here's a top ten with the benefit of hindsight.

  1. Radiohead - In Rainbows
  2. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
  3. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
  4. Wilco - sky Blue Sky
  5. Emma Pollock - Watch The Fireworks
  6. Low - Drums and Guns
  7. Laura Veirs - Saltbreakers
  8. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Ask Forgiveness
  9. Neil Young - Live At Massey Hall
  10. Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight