I’m never really sure I should do one of these as always you forget about an album and try and muster it within the ten and try not remove one already in place. In other words it’s pretty difficult to decide what to put in the list and of course it depends on what frame of mind you’re in whilst conceiving it. To be honest this year has been a very good year for releases so most of the following albums were straight forward choices, some are exceptional. No doubt after this has been published I’ll find another that may have crept in the bottom of the nominations, but that’s my problem.
1. The Wake – A Light Far Out (LTM Recordings): Simply the best album of the year for me, a return of one of my all time favourite artists that produced a lush album. If I haven’t played it once a week, there must have been something wrong with me or the stereo!
2. Baltic Fleet – Towers (Blow Up Records): Forget about your Kraftwerk’s and the ilk. If you like real music mixed up with synthesisers, Paul’s music will then be right up your street. Just a joy to behold. Even television are starting to pick up on his work of genius.
3. Dead Can Dance – Anastasis (PIAS Recordings): Another artist to re-appear after many years. Again an album that gives me goosebumps with its textures and vocals especially those by Brendan Perry. I do wonder why they stopped working together for so long when they can produce pieces like this.
4. Hey Rube! – Can You Hear Me Mutha (Steel Tiger Records): From just looking at the cover you know that this album is going to be fun to listen to. It’s another which gets regular playing time by moi. Two musicians that just about found the perfect groove.
5. Eva Petersen – Emerald Green Eyes (Porcupine Records): Wonderfully produced by Will Sergeant who manages to push her voice right out to reach you. This woman surely will be soon blasting out of a lot of people’s MP3 players. Hints back to the sixties style of Sandie Shaw but most definitely has a modern feel to it too.
6. Wild Nothing – Nocturne (Bella Union Records): This is their second album and like the first has managed to make my yearly Top 10. This album is so relaxing and great piece of pop music. Some cool guitar sounds with dreamy vocals, perfect for those quiet moments.
7. The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know (Fat Cat Records): With his thick Scottish accent James Graham uses it as an eloquent instrument of its own. Great rhythms throughout and excellent word play makes this a very interesting album on so many levels.
8. Evermore – Follow The Sun (Evermore Records): Australian band’s fifth album and like the rest is a great slice of pop music. Easy on the ears throughout. Can’t work out why this band hasn’t broken into the UK charts, but I thought that after hearing previous releases by them.
9. John Foxx & The Maths – Evidence (Metamatic Records): One of the fore-fathers of UK electronic music recently has become prolific in his output with Benge. But unlike some this hasn’t meant a reduction in quality and relevance either. Where machines have a heart and a smile!
10. Paul Buchanan – Mid Air (Newsroom Records): Any release with Mr. Buchanan’s vocals is an event as Blue Nile are not the most prolific bands for output. But you can be assured when it comes out its refined, polished and above all something that holds your breath. Effortless really.
I could have added many other albums but I must have a limit. Notable other artists that could have made it for 2012 included Muse, Keane, Simple Minds and Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins). But I am sure I will sit down later and think – damn it I forgot …….. oh and I have some albums already for 2013’s list under wraps too!