It is grey, damp, melancholy, let’s think of better times ahead

There isn’t really a theme to this particular playlist, except perhaps that all the tracks I’ve chosen have a certain quality that reflects my state of mind at the moment.

There is a kind of otherworldliness about many of these, tinged with maybe a dash of melancholy, distance or maybe detachment from the day-to-day dullness of grey, dismal February.

I’ve tried to make the playlist a kind of voyage, starting out with a dash of experimentation that flows into Jerry Garcia’s achingly beautiful “The Wheel”, via some old and new psychedelia, a dash of a Fripp and Travis soundscape, a leavening of classically lovely female singing and finally coming home again, via post-rock, to a place of aching beauty again.

The photograph that heads up this playlist is one of my own. It is the Ch√Ęteau de Sercy in the southern part of Burgundy, just north of Cluny. I have no particular reason to post it, except that it is a lovely place and the sky is blue in the picture.

We all need a bit of blue in our skies at this time of year. I think that February is the worst month of the year, but hopefully this playlist ends on an fairly uplifting and optimistic note and leads the way to a happy 2011 for all of us ‘Spillers and our loved ones.

Anyway, now for the music;

1. Jerry Garcia – The Wheel
2. Moby Grape – Looper
3. Mazzy Star – Look Down From The Bridge
4. Warpaint – Warpaint
5. Robert Fripp and Theo Travis – Moonchild
6. It’s A Beautiful Day – Bombay Calling
7. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Black Mountain
8. Sandy Denny – I’m A Dreamer
9. Mogwai – Like Herod
10. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun

Carole’s Albums of the Year

I don’t buy a huge amount of new music, which I doubt comes as too much of a surprise to people. However, I think that 2010 has been an excellent year for new music, albeit not always produced by new acts.

This year I have been enjoying a few new things, and one or two by people that I maybe should have picked up on earlier.

So, in no particular order, my favourite albums of the year are

Best Coast and Crazy For You

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan‘s Hawk

apologies for the sound quality on that one, but I wanted a video with some action rather than just a shot of the album cover.

Grinderman‘s second outing

Robert Plant‘s Band Of Joy

Gorillaz‘s Plastic Beach

And Warpaint‘s The Fool

I have also enjoyed Robert Fripp and Theo Travis performing some amazing ambient soundscapes on their Live in Coventry Cathedral album, which was recorded in 2009 but released this year. Unfortunately, I can’t find any clips of this.