My Top 10 music albums of the year:
1. The Tallest Man On Earth: The Wild Hunt
A great new discovery for me. How this guy from Sweden can sound so much like Bob Dylan – I don’t know, but I like it a lot! I’m not sure this would have topped my list if I had previously heard his 2008 album ‘Shallow Grave’ which is similar. His recently released EP ‘Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird’ has also enjoyed many a listen.
2. Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
Arcade Fire deliver once again. I had hugely anticipated this new offering. On first listen I was slightly underwhelmed, perhaps because it is a different sound from their previous material, but this has generally really grown on me with repeated listens.
3. The National: High Violet
The National, one of my favourite bands, I don’t think this album is as good as Boxer, but it’s still amazing. Is it just me or does anyone else think that this is music for (and by) middle-aged men!?
4. Vampire Weekend: Contra
Another fun catchy album from Vampire Weekend. I sense that this one wasn’t liked as much as their debut, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
5. Gil Scott-Heron: I’m New Here
Poetry to a Dubstep soundscape! An underestimated album in my opinion, released way back in January it seems to have been forgotten (or missed) by many.
6. Beach House: Teen Dream
This seems to have been Beach House’s break through year. I was a fan of their previous album Devotion and am glad this band has reached a wider audience. The melodic loops can get a bit sickly if you listen to the whole album over and over.
7. Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest
“A mix of crunchy psych-rock, spaced-out ambience, indie rock and pop” (NPR).
8. Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz
This is probably my present listening favourite.
9. Caribou: Swim
With a PhD in Mathematics this guy understands the beauty of sound patterns.
10. Sleigh Bells: Treats
Riotous; crazy, just crazy – you’ve never heard anything like this before.
Because it is so tough to keep a selection to 10, here are some other favourites that came close:
Astro Coast: Surfer Blood
West coast surf grooves.
The Radio Dept.: Clinging to a Scheme
Like ‘I’m New Here’ has a smoker on the front sleeve and like ‘The Tallest Man on Earth’ ‘The Radio Dept.’ is Swedish.
Tame Impala: InnerSpeaker
Psychedelic pop from the land down under.
Laura Marling: I Speak Because I Can
Folk music – a British Joni Mitchell!
The New Pornographers: Together
The Vancouver bands best album to date (in my opinion)
Fool’s Gold: Fool’s Gold
More African rhythms than ‘Vampire Weekend’. The opening track ‘Surprise Hotel’ is an absolute cracker.
And some others that get an honourable mention:
The Walkman: Lisbon
Yeasayer: ODD BLOOD
Broken Social Scene: The Forgiveness Rock Record
If your want to know the music critic lists check out this compendium with a complete list of lists!