Yes, so it's the end the year and my eagerly anticipated albums of the year!
No one who knows me will be surprised that top of my list is Serpents by Sharon Van Etten. It's one of those rare albums which doesn't have a duff track on it. Every song has a particular mood and flow with the more rocky numbers like Serpents and reflective soulful songs like Kevins. Better stop now as my Blog is already turning into an Etten fan site, but really really brilliant.
The Tame Impala album 'Lonerisim; is already in a lot of end of year lists. It manages to do what 'Man Alive' by Everything Everything did by being retro and zeiggiesty at the same time (maybe the vogue is being retro, there do seem to be a lot of 80 synths around at the moment). I do have to listen to it a bit more, every time a track pops up on my Spod I'm impressed.
Two albums which seem to have been overlooked by the critics in their round up are The Blood Red Shoes 'In Our Voices' and Michacu and the Shapes 'Never'. I sorta missed both at the time myself. Blood Red Shoes are a couple of Brighton noisenicks, it's amazing the racket they make with just a set of drums and guitar, they delivered another solid album this year with hidden depths. Michacu has recently joined the new BBC Radiophonic Workshop and you can hear the lineage in the album, it's full of thrilling new noises and innovation, love it and they're great live.
Jessica Hoop, The House That Jack Built. One from 6Music. I'm a sucker for quirky female indie-singer/song writers and Hoop's album contains a lot of confessional family song writing, but errr, in a good way!
Also worth a mention is 'Lions Roar' by First Aid Kit, and 'Who Needs Who’ By Dark Dark Dark.
Gig of the year, completely unexpected from Mica P Hinson at the Louisanna in Bristol. Gareth a good friend of mine asked if I wanted a ticket so I thought why the hell not, Hinson hadn't been on my radar for a few years and the gig was a complete joy. Tiny venue and Hinson was intense and funny sometimes both at the same time, and as Gareth was driving back I didn't have to worry about the last train back to Cardiff. Result!
Already bought a ticket for Low at the Trinity next year and heard some tracks from the new Everything Everything album, so here's to 2013!