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:
- 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.
- 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):
- 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!
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
|22||The Eastern Swell||One Day A Flood|
|23||Warhaus||We Fucked a Flame Into Being|
|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|
|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.