Lyrical, epic but not pompous, and with a hairy-arsed drummer called Thor.
Almost fell out of love with it when a friend's wife noted the similarity
to Chris de Burgh
, but not quite.
2 Bon Iver
- For Emma, Forever Ago
Came back to this again and again all year. There's just something so
immediate, evocative and a bit fragile about it. Would have been top except
I downloaded the lyrics, which revealed that all the half-heard words you
thought held deep significance are actually ponderous shite. One of those
albums that has more meaning when you don't know what it means.
3 American Music Club
- The Golden Age
Sad to see rhythm section Danny Pearson
and Tim Mooney go but even if this was a more gentle, autumnal AMC, it was full of goosebump moments and Mark Eitzel
4 My Morning Jacket
- Evil Urges
Wilfully stubborn and sounding like twelve different bands, but most of them
are great bands. Song of the year in Librarian
5 Hello Saferide
- More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide
I sometimes think me and Last FM buddies Girvan and DailymountRoar Michael O'Hara might be the only people in the world who like her (and DasilymountRoar's probably gone off her by now cos she looked at him funny at a gig or something) but this is songwriting genius, in her second language by the way. And when words fail her she makes crunchy snow noises (Arjeplog
6 Frida Hyvönen
- Silence Is Wild
Only got this last week but it's so good and might have been higher if I'd
heard it earlier. Sounds like Abba's scary miserable cousin. According to
iTunes I've played London!
forty-eight times since last Friday.
7 Fleet Foxes
- Fleet Foxes
Like clean bedding, felt fresh, warm and lovely when it came out and
stickily familiar nine months later, but you keep leaving it on cos it's
just so comfy. Er, I mean, some people would. My favourite was Blue Ridge Mountains
8 Paul Curreri
- The Velvet Rut
Great playing, darker and grittier than earlier albums but with a streak of
black humour. Highlight is the long, improvised Freestylin' Crost The Pond
, nine minutes of feeling sorry for himself cos his wife's away which manages to be late-night drunken bluesy mope, stand-up comedy and political comment all in one, wrapped around a melody that's always about to collapse but never quite does.
9 Johan Johannsson
Only been out a few weeks but this is insanely moving stuff.
- The Seldom Seen Kid
Has turned them into a stadium band and may consequently turn out to be
goodbye to the intimacy of their best songs like Mirrorball
, but this is great, the musical equivalent of a big drunken Mancunian mate throwing his arm round you and telling you you're his best mate and he bloody loves you, he does.