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So here’s the first batch of MPT’s favourite albums of the year.

Included below are some very fine records indeed that 5 years ago would have been comfortably in the Top 10. There’s also a number that are probably underappreciated due to a lack of airtime. On with the show …

11. Sophia – As We Make Our Way (Unknown Harbours)

It has its upbeat moments (musically at least) but there’s still a real melancholy running through the sixth Sophia album. A beautiful and haunting record.

12. P.J. Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project

For every P.J. Harvey album there seems to be one I’m not so fond of. So it was with ‘Let England Shake’ but ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ is definitely a good one packed with great songs. This is one:

  1. Dinosaur Jr – Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not

The highest placed record that I don’t own a physical copy of. I’d enjoyed the first two reunion albums but ‘Glimpse’ seems to be a step up from these. Classic Dino Jr which is both its strength and its weakness as it could just as easily have been made in the early 90s as now.

  1. Malcolm Middleton – Summer of ‘13

Surprised that this didn’t garner more attention when it came out. Whilst it’s easily the album on which Malcolm has pushed the pop angle the furthest, it felt to me like a natural extension of what he’d done before. At least four of the tunes are up there with the very best of his solo career and here’s one of them (no visuals and apologies for the ad):

  1. Split Single – Metal Frames

The second album from Jason Narducy under the Split Single banner developed the sound established on debut ‘Fragmented World’. At times ‘Metal Frames’ headed in a more immediate direction than its predecessor and at others dealt with some dark issues indeed. Jason is also very good at Twitter!

  1. Lomond Campbell – Black River Promise

What seemed just a matter of weeks after the second FOUND album on 9 months, Ziggy Campbell re-emerged with his debut solo long player – inevitably with something completely different. It’s a gorgeous record thanks to the impressive strings courtesy of Pete Harvey and the Pumpkinseeds. Well worth seeking out.

  1. Tuff Love – Resort

Would have featured higher up the chart had it not been a compilation of the band’s first three E.P.s  but it’s impossible to ignore Tuff Love. They’ve been quite quiet in the second half of the year which hopefully means that there’s a debut album proper in the works. Here’s a song which I first heard as an encore at a poorly attended Dundee show:

  1. Tanya Donelly – Swan Song Series

Like Tuff Love this one loses a few places as it’s a compilation of largely pre-2016 material. There’s no fewer than THREE CDs in this collection which span a huge variety of styles as Tanya worked on each song with different songwriters. A very welcome release in its own right but also because the Belly reunion followed.

  1. The Early Years – II

I can’t say I was holding my breath waiting to ever hear from the Early Years again. But more than 10 years after their debut they re-emerged with a belated follow-up which is rather good. For album 2 they incorporated electronics into the sound of the debut to produe a record which both linked to their past but charted new territory.

  1. Whyte Horses – Pop Or Not

A totally spec purchase based on the record’s apparent influences and its position at the top of the Piccadily Records 6 monthly review, it turns out that Whyte Horses are a Manchester supergroup of sorts. Psychedelic pop par excellence.

Here’s the next 20 LPs:

21 FOUND Terra Nova
22 The Eastern Swell One Day A Flood
23 Warhaus We Fucked a Flame Into Being
24 Wussy Forever Sounds
25 K-X-P III, Pt. 2
26 Plastic Animals Pictures from the Blackout
27 The Grand Gestures Remixed
28 Shearwater Jet Plane and Oxbow
29 The Besnard Lakes A Coliseum Complex Museum
30 Randolph’s Leap Cowardly Deeds
31 Angel Olsen My Woman
32 Garbage Strange Little Birds
33 TOY Clear Shot
34 Minor Victories Minor Victories
35 Big Deal Say Yes
36 Nap Eyes Thought Fish Rock Scale
37 September Girls Age of Indignation
38 Rick Redbeard Awake Unto
39 Agnes Obel Citizen of Glass
40 Bettie Serveert Damaged Good

The Top 10 tomorrow with a couple of notable reissues. None of which are going to come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s followed the blog.

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