Couldn’t be arsed to post over Christmas, I'm afraid – far too many more interesting things to be doing. And I’m sure you all had more interesting things to be doing than grubbing around listening to Myspace bands. Still, I’ve had a lovely lazy Christmas, and I trust that it’s been a good one for all.
But now, it’s time to face up to my responsibilities, and start compiling my list of “must-have” albums that have come out of this year. Actually, the prospect of behaving like a real blogger (the compilation of an end-of-year list is pretty much a given for music blogs, after all) has made me look through this year’s releases and give a few new albums a try. And there have been some really nice finds.
Well here’s my list of my five favourite albums of the years:
Trials of Van Occupanther – Midlake
(Seeing them in Bristol with Martin was a real eye-opener for me. Suddenly, it was “Oh, I get it”, and was no longer worried about Crosby, Still and Nash…)
South East Side Story – Chris Difford
(Inexplicably missed from everyone else’s lists, but a real testament to how cover versions and re-interpretations can be a valuable exercise – it made me get my old records out…)
Uncanny Tales from the Everyday Undergrowth – Soft Hearted Scientists
(Again, almost certainly over-duly influenced by seeing them do a cracking set at Calmer, but there are some wonderfully batty lyrics here)
Gulag Orkestar – Beirut
(Who would have thought that this aging Indie-kid would be crooning along to an album with no guitars on it? Listening to Postcards from Italy, now, it makes me think of our summer trip to Lisbon)
The Letting Go – Bonny “Prince” Billy
(I love that sensation of enjoying an album without feeling you’ve completely “got” it all yet…)
(Honourable mentions to the Euros Childs, Pernice Brothers, Dead Combo, Richard James and Absentee albums…)
But then there’s a list of albums that I’ve really only just wised up to, which if I’d had my ear a little closer to the ground (or at least Pitchfork magazine) would be already in my list:
The Brightblack Morning Light album
Ballad of the Broken Seas – Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Broken Boy Soldiers – Raconteurs
The Broken Social Scene album
Becoming a Cliché – Adrian Sherwood (with the extra dub album also sounding pretty good)
I’m not going to post tracks from these albums (though I’m sure it wouldn’t take long to find a few sites that will), but what I have got for you is a compilation of new(ish) freebies from various of my new favourite bands. There are tracks from Additional Moog, Dead Combo, the Lets Be Honeys, Euros Childs, Flipron, the Pernice Brothers, the Wiyos and the Soft Hearted Scientists.
It’s a pretty good selection (if I say so myself), and if you’re sad enough to be sat at a computer this New Year’s Eve (pause for moment of self-realisation), you could do worse than downloading it.
Happy New Year
There, isn’t that better? Don’t tell me that doesn’t leave you feeling a little brighter…