Okey Pokey lovely ‘Spillers, I’m going to keep this short and sweet, just to fill in a wee gap before the awesome ‘Festive ‘Spill Number Ones appear tomorrow. Music was a funny beast in 2011, what with being kept busy with baby Kit and getting my video production company off the ground there really wasn’t much time to even listen to music, let alone scour the more obscure recesses of the interweb. Consequently I seem to have been listening to:
A – Safe comforting noisy indie that reminds me of being seventeen (4 albums of 11, yes I am taking a lead from Mr Panther on this – 11 for 2011? Okay then!)
B – Cosy alt folk from Scotland (5 albums)
C – Mildly skewed but really quite poppy stuff (2 albums)
D – Laura Marling, of course!!
Here’s my list!
1. “Belong” – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Going from twee indie roots to basically 1992 Smashing Pumpkins in the space of one album was always gonna be music to my ears. I played this to death, had a wee break, then played it to death again. My favourite song on it keeps changing too, which is a sure sign of classic status.
2. “A Creature I Don’t Know” – Laura Marling
This was inevitably also going to rank highly due to the ongoing obsession. This album was harder work than her previous two, but paid off in droves. A modern folk record with guts, depth, beauty, truth, and playfulness too.
3. “Colour Trip” – Ringo Deathstarr
Basically if you took My Bloody Valentine, JAMC, and every other early 1990s shoegaze band, and threw them in a blender – this would be the result. Short record, immensely fun and noisy and melodic. One song sounds like it’s made out of springs. Any record that has the line “Hit me with your tambourine, there’s no such thing as much too loud” has to be ace.
4. “Black Rainbows” – Brett Anderson
This album really has dominated the last month of the year for me – Brett has his mojo back, and it’s passionate and grand and basically a rock record from start to finish. Had Suede released this instead of ‘Head Music’ in 1999, they would have put themselves in an unassailable position forever. Oh, and don’t forget that voice. That voice….man! That voice!
(This album may have been higher up the list, if it had come out earlier in the year, and didn’t rely so much on various fire-based metaphors )
5. “Past Life Martyred Saints” – EMA
Uneasy listening from EMA, raw lyrics match raw sounds, lo-fi grungey cathartic harshness punctuated with moments of beauty. Absorbing.
6. “Yuck” – Yuck
Yep, more grunge-nouveau on my list. Sigh. I bloody love it. Played damn loud. A lot.
7. “Melodies” – Reverieme
Cute, literary Scots pop folk. I can’t listen to EMA all the time…Reverieme did a cool interview for The ‘Spill, and made it into the Festive ‘Spill 3s too.
8. “Master Of None” – Jonnie Common
McBeck. You can’t help but smile to hear this. Plus has “Summer Is For Going Places” on it, which is maybe one of the best songs of the last five years.
9. “Only In Dreams” – Dum Dum Girls
Super catchy sing-a-long surf pop like the best Bangles/Pretenders record you ever heard, but way, way better.
10. “That Might Be It, Darling” – King Creosote
KC’s other release may have got more attention, but I’m an indie snob and you can only get this on vinyl from his gigs. So there!
10a. “Diamond Mine” – King Creosote & John Hopkins
But was an amazing album though…..
11. “Factorycraft” – Found
Weird guitar pop from Edinburgh. “You’re No Vincent Gallo” is a cool song.
I’ve been incredibly lazy and only made a Spotify playlist of ten songs (it’s not all on Spotify y’know) which you can access by clicking here. If anyone doesn’t have Spotify and wants to listen to some music, let me know in the comments. Also, if you have a top 10, a top 5 or a three or even a top 1 and can’t be arsed doing a whole post about it, why not put them in the comments? Cheers, and a merry Christmas to all you lovely, lovely ‘Spillers! X x X