1. Lisa Gerrard Twilight Kingdom
2. St. Vincent St. Vincent
3. Last Battle Lay Your Burden Down
4. Withered Hand New Gods
5. Mogwai Rave Tapes
6. We Were Promised Jetpacks Unravelling
7. Aphex Twin Syro
8. Twilight Sad Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
9. Scott Walker & Sunn o))) Soused
11.Swans To Be Kind
12.Broken Records Weights and Pulleys
13.Stanley Odd A Thing Brand New
14.Marianne Faithful Give My Love To London
15.FKA Twigs LP1
16.Future Island Singles
17.Beck Morning Phase
18.Sharon van Etten Are We There
19.Flying Lotus You’re Dead!
20. Marissa Nadler July
21. Morrissey World Peace Is None Of Your Business
22. War On Drugs Lost In The Dream
23. Damon Albarn Everyday Robots
24. Leonard Cohen Popular Problems
25. New Pornographers Brill Bruisers
26. Jack White Lazaretto
27. Manic Street Preachers Futurology
28. James La Petit Mort
29. Sia 1000 Forms Of Fear
30. Angel Haze Dirty Gold
31. East India Youth Total Strife Forever
32. Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence
33. Bruce Springsteen High Hopes
34. Richard Thompson Acoustic Classics
35. Kate Tempest Everybody Down
36. Lizzo Lizzobangers
37. Jonnie Common Trapped In Amber
38. Emily Scott Stray Light
39. Warpaint Warpaint
40. Wild Beasts Present Tense
41. Gruff Rhys American Interior
42. Bwani Junction Tongue of Bombi
43. Vashti Bunyan Heartleap
44. Trwbador Several Wolves
45. Pharrell Williams G I R L
46. Young Fathers DEAD
47. New Street Adventure No Hard Feelings
48. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Wigout at Jagbags
49. Pixies Indie Cindy
50. Echo & the Bunnymen Meteorites
Lest we forget
2013 Dead Flowers Midnight At The Wheel Club
2012 Grimes Genesis
2011 PJ Harvey Let England Shake
2010 DeLorean Subiza
2009 Broken Records Until The Earth Begins To Part
2008 Cave Singers Invitation Songs
2007 Burial Untrue
2006 Camera Obscura Let’s Get Out Of This Country
It’s been a busy few days. But I’m back tonight with a free Christmas EP given away a couple of years ago by my friends The Last Battle. I never tire of going on about how great a band they are (and I will continue to do so for as long as they continue to release records, I imagine).
I genuinely hold their album Lay Your Burden Down to be one of the best albums released this year, so if you haven’t heard it, get on it!
Whilst I still think they should be bigger than they are, it is, nevertheless, rather satisfying to see just how the profile of Frightened Rabbit has grown over the years since this blog started. I can’t take any credit for that, obviously, but today’s Christmas post is their Christmas single ‘It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop.’
Originally released in 2007, it got a re-recording a year later and it’s still available on download services. So if you haven’t treated yourself, go and do so!
Thus far, I’ve happily been able to point out on this blog that the songs I have posted are still available to go and buy. Unfortunately, tonight’s offerings from the Cocteau Twins seem to be long out of print, for reasons I’m not sure of, both physically and digitally.
In 1993 the band released a single called Snow which featured two Christmas classics done in their own, unique style. It comprised ‘Frosty The Snowman’ and ‘Walking In A Winter Wonderland.’
So enjoy these, hopefully one day they will be available to buy again…perhaps on a re-issue of Four Calendar Cafe, which was the most recent album the Cocteau Twins had put out, a few months previously.
Supertramp -‘Crime Of the Century’ (UMC)
Crime Of The Century was Supertramp’s third album, and the one that broke them commercially on both sides of the Atlantic. Like their later album Breakfast In America, this is an album that has held up well, and the prog aspects of their earlier records has been reined in a bit, showing a band who could write decent pop songs. The closing, title track is a sign that prog could reign in its excesses (which was what put this humble scribe off it as a genre for so many years).
Though he was somewhat ambivalent towards the album, legendary rock critic Robert Christgau described it as ‘Queen without preening. Yes without pianistics and meter shifts.’ This is true – in a good way, and with no disrespect to either of those bands. This may have been straightahead rock in a pre-punk landscape, but with songs like the hit ‘Dreamer’ and the US hit ‘Bloody Well Right’ this beats today’s indie-by-numbers bands hands down.
Whilst there’s a vague nod towards a theme of loneliness, this is not a concept album per se. And there’s a particularly British sort of angst in the lyrics of ‘Bloody Well Right’ that have probably rung true for so many ‘So you think your schooling is phoney/I guess it’s hard not to agree/You say it all depends on money/and who is in your family tree.’
I’m more familiar with Breakfast, but this album reveals itself more and more with each listen. The bonus album of a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 is a worthy addition to the album. The hipsters will probably never get it -and that’s utterly their loss.
Crime Of The Century is out now on UMC.
As you’ve probably gathered, I do love Christmas music. And that includes Christmas carols as much as indie bands doing one-offs (not that the two are mutually exclusive).
Anyway, today’s post arrived a couple of days ago in my email, Mute labelmates Maps and Polly Scattergood collaborating on the pretty-lovely-even-on-paper ‘In The Bleak Midwinter.’
You can watch the video at the top of the page and stream and download the track just below here. Go on, take the time!
It’s probably what might be seen as a first world problem, but the reality of writing this blog is that I get sent more music than I can possibly listen to, which means that there are artists that slip through the cracks through no fault of their own.
One such band are Champs. Brothers Michael and David Champion released their debut album Down Like Gold earlier this year. They’re now gearing up to release their sophomore album Vamala on February 23, from which the rather lovely ‘Desire’ is taken:
And for a taster of their first album:
I’ve long featured releases from my friend Matthew Young’s Song, By Toad label on this blog, and today’s Christmas posting comes from David Thomas Broughton and Juice. Taken from their album Sliding The Same Way comes the rather fine ‘Unshaven Boozer.’ You can stream AND download for free from the top of the page. You really should.
Song, By Toad managed to show that there were people who COULD turn a blog into a label, and as well as the David Thomas Broughton record, amongst their fine releases this year was the second Jonnie Common album Trapped In Amber, from which the fine ‘ODB’ made this year’s 17 Seconds Festive 50.
I’ve been giving coverage to Broken Records for almost as long as this blog has been going (starting with a review for an early support slot back in August 2007), and it has been absolutely great to see them back with their third album Weights and Pulleys this year. From that album ‘Toska’ made my annual Festive 50, which I published yesterday.
They’ve made a free Christmas single available to download ‘My Beer Drunk Soul Is Sadder Than All The Dead Christmas Trees In The World.’ You can download and stream it at the top of this page. It’s always great to have new additions to the Christmas mixtape…
One of the releases I’m most excited about in early 2015 is Belle & Sebastian’s ninth album Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance. It’s out on January 19, and there are two excellent videos doing the rounds for the songs ‘Nobody’s Empire’ and ‘The Party Line.’ The songs can be bought on iTunes as well.
For more on tracklisting and tour dates, see here