I hope you all had a great Christmas!
It's that time of the year when we all make lists of our best and worse moments of the past 12 months. An exercise often done in the cultural fields so I'll comply and give you my best albums of 2009. Obviously, nobody else will agree with that choice so we'll have to agree to disagree on that one or start a great banter about music [we all love those]
In no particlar order, and most of my highlights have been present in this blog on way or the other:
**Wild Beast: "Two Dancers"**
Lovely balance between the voices, great songs and generally a very original album with slight touches of camp that make the whole experience not as pretentious as it could easily have been.
There's a chance tat most of you will hate Hayden Thorpe's falsetto, but if you dig it then this album will reveal itself as a very modern and flamboyant indie rock album.
**Soap& Skin: Lovetune For Vacuum**
Oh my, when I first heard 'Spiracle' at the end of last winter I was smitten straight away, the full album didn't disappoint either. It's not for the faint hearted, 19 yr Anja sings about pain like no-one else. Her noire atmosphere and depressing piano haunted by touches of electronica form an exquisite foil for her voice, a voice that betrays a fragile and probably excentric persona.
Again, I think her work is very original and in my opinion she has the talent to become an artist as venerated and personal as PJ harvey in years to come.
**Noah & The Whale: The First Days of Spring**
This one is a late comer on the list. At first listen I thought 'yeah, pretty record' but then it's a grower of an album, after a few listens I became enthralled in its world. The lyrics are touching and the delivery worthy or old alt-country masters like Oldham or Callahan. Charlie Fink is fast becoming a fine singer and the music is dreamier than on its predecessor, on the opening tracks it's nearly Sigur Ros-esque. It's a post break-up album and we all know what it's like, yet they manage to express the whole range of emotion in 11 well crafted songs. It won't change the world, but this ia lovely album, well made, full of sentiments that will stand the test of time.
**Richard Hawley: Truelove Gutter**
I opened this blog with Mr Hawley and yeah I'm a sucker for that type of music so he has to be in my top albums of the year. He doesn't take any risks on this album but he keeps on improving his recipe which is fine by me. I can't even explain the why and how, it speaks to me and it touches me.
the rest tomorrow kids