1: The Decembrists – Angel, Won’t You Call Me ~ Amylee
Gorgeously infectious bit of pop folk perfection from their first EP.
2: Alison Moyet – Mary, Don’t Keep Me Waiting ~ Zalamanda
This has always been one of my favourites from Alison’s 2002 comeback album, Hometime. An intriguing narrative of escape combined with a sort of circular sound that I find really appealing.
3: Clannad – Theme From Harry’s Game – GoneForeign
Back in the 80’s I was browsing the albums in that huge record store in Picadilly Circus, I found a group I’d never heard of but they looked interesting, what intrigued me was that most of the group shared my surname and they all came from Sligo and Donegal which is where all my forebears came from. The group was Clannad and the names were Ciarán, Pól, and Máire Uí Bhraonáin (Brennan), an earlier member was Brídín Bhraonáin plus another family member left for a solo career, her name was Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, AKA Enya. So I bought the album and this cut became an instant favorite.
4; Deer Tick – Virginia Gal ~ Tincanman
This is a such a good band but, like Simple Minds, just don’t have the vocals to take them over the edge. There’s Petty, The Band, The Stones, Yardbirds, AC/DC and all sorts of great stuff in this, but in the end, meh.
5: Arthur Verocai – Sylvia ~ AlBahooky
This tune is from his eponymous LP released in the early 70’s to little audience reaction and did not record again until the late noughties, after receiving the respect from the US hip-hop community who sampled his tunes. ‘Sylvia’ is one of those tunes that uses the acoustic guitar to support a beautiful string arrangement … listen.
6: Tori Amos – Jackie’s Strength – bishbosh
I love the little cinematic shards of imagery in this. Really evocative – and just one of her most beautiful tunes. Great, lush orchestration too.