I'm not planning on saying much about each album, just give a link a few snippets. Not a full on review.
10 The Needle Poppets - Fame To The Nation.
Local duo The Needle Poppets, recently released their debut album. I'm loving it. Top people too, hopefully, I'll get to see them more often in 2014!
The album opens slowly in vintage style, before building into a rocky track. There are hints of punk, cabaret and prog in here. Though the tunes are somewhat upbeat, they hide a dark lyrical content.
An interesting debut!
Here is a photo of the lovely duo from this years Farmer Phil's Festival.
9 Atlum Schema - One World Less
Andy from Atlum Schema has been a major influence on my musical tastes over the last twelve months, since he presents two podcasts, that I listen to. Sheep Dressed Like Wolves and the Right Chord Music Lost on Radio podcast. The latter, gets sent to my Ipod weekly, one of the only reasons I still keep my Ipod, is for the podcasts.
Another artist I discovered by accident on Bandcamp, then discovered the podcast. Initially, I didn't like this album as much as the previous self titled album, but has grown on me over the months.
My only real gripe on the album, is the length at 80 minutes, the 16 tracks rarely fall below four minutes. It isn't that the album is full of filler, it is more, finding 80 minutes of uninterrupted listening time rarely happens, so I rarely get to listen to it in it's entirely.
Luckily the album is kind of split into four seasons, so I do tend to listen to it in two halves.
'Moon City' though, is adorable!
He has a new album out in March 2014, so looking forward to that!
8 Goldfrapp - Tales of Us.
Ok, I admit, I discovered Godlfrapp, when they supported Duran Duran many years ago!
After the mixed bag that was Head First, I wasn't expecting much.
This is a beautiful album though. Simple and uncomplicated. Alison has never sounded so vulnerable or beautiful.
Annabel is probably my favourite tune of 2013.
7. Steven Wilson - The Raven that refused to sing.
An album with Nick Beggs on is instantly cool, especially when he is playing a Chapman stick!.
This should probably be higher on the list. I was thinking the other week, I rarely listen to the previous album Grace for Drowning.
The raven that refused to sing, to me is a more coherent album than Grace for Drowning. (it is probably the 23 minute Raider II that puts me off Grace for Drowning. I much prefer the 15 minute version they did on the last tour).
The six songs are more constrained in length, 'Luminol' being the longest at just over twelve minutes. Each song tells a ghost story!.
This is my current album of choice, when no one else is in the house. Put the bluray version on and listen loud in surround sound. Truly stunning. Not sure the neighbours would agree!
I like the fact Steve Wilson releases nice versions of his albums. This album came with a book, CD, bluray and disk of demos. The book gives you something to look at whilst listening to the album.
Something I miss from my days of buying vinyl, when we used to sit down and listen to music, not just have it on in the background.
There isn't enough flute in modern music either, in my opinion.
5 Bruce Soord with Jonas Renkse - Wisdom of crowds
Ok more prog rock. I'm a huge Pineapple Thief fan, having discovered them in 2012. Slowing buying their back catalog.
"All the Wars" is probably my favourite album of 2012, (though it might be The Haunted man by Bat for Lashes).
I can't say I've ever heard Katatonia so, I wasn't that excited by the collaboration. I would have preferred a new Pineapple Thief album, to be honest.
How wrong I was.
From the rumbling bottom end of 'Pleasure', through the commercial edge of 'Wisdom of crowds' to the near industrial closer "Flows through you" there is a wide spectrum of musical lovliness on offer here. This is a fairly eclectic album fusing rock, electronic, ambient and dare I say it pop?
Frozen North is possibly my least favourite track on the album.
Since I didn't do a list in 2012. My two favourite albums of 2012.
Pineapple thief - All the wars
Bat for Lashes - Laura (from The Haunted Man).