Friday, 21 December 2012

Best Albums Of 2012 - 20 - 11

On the day of the impending Mayan apocalypse, let's all take a few moments to celebrate and reflect on just how bloody good a year it has been for Scottish music.  Last year when compiling this same 'Best Of...' list there was always a clear winner in my mind, Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat's 'Everything's Getting Older'.  That was vindicated by the same album taking the BAMS 2011 title, and more importantly the inagural SAY Award back in June.

This year however, I've chewed this list over and over.  I've mulled on my favourite, re-jigged the order, and cried at the albums I had to leave out.  It was a difficult list, but I've finally settled on this, the Scottish Fiction Best Of 2012.  So enjoy, listen, disagree, engage however you please.

Presented in this post is numbers 20 to 11 in our countdown.

20. French Wives - Dream Of The Inbetween

The Glasgow quintet released their much anticipated début album back on 7th May via Stow College label Electric Honey.  It's a romp of an indie-pop effort, which holds real emotion beneath the catchy melodies, and features a number of their singles released already such as 'Younger' and 'Numbers'.  The band were also rather kind to come and play the first Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs. Peenko gig back in October, which was lovely! 

(Buy the album here

19. Cancel The Astronauts - Animal Love Match

The first of four, yes count them four, albums released on 17th September to feature in our top 20.  The Edinburgh band put out this very accomplished album which is full of well written love songs that actually convey real emotions, landscape sounds at times rivalling those of more establish indie acts, and full of awkward dance moves as those oh-so-cool indie kids try not to dance.  Another charming band who came and playing for us in October.  Cheers!

(Buy the album here)

18. Lightships - Electric Cables

Teenage Fanclub are an institution that can do no wrong.  Luckily that also extents to their constituent parts, including bassist Gerard Love who, with the help of some other Glasgow musicians, released his début solo album under the guise of Lightships.  The influence of the Fannies is clear, as is another Glasgow institution The Pastels, under whose label the album was released, yet there's plenty of originality and a breezy summer day feel throughout.

(Buy the album here)

17. Olympic Swimmers - No Flags Will Fly

Back in 2011 I had the pleasure of seeing Olympic Swimmers support Admiral Fallow at The Arches, and shortly after 'Apples And Pears' became one of my favourite tracks.  I'd kind off forgotten about the band until... BAM 'No Flags Will Fly' dropped on 4th June and propelled the band to greater things.   The first four tracks contribute one of the strongest starts to an album all year, especially my favourite 'Knots'. 

(Buy the album here)

16. Gav Prentice - The Invisible Hand

Over The Wall frontman Gav Prentice chose this year to 'go solo', something which he'd been toying with for a while and was encouraged to go for during a lull in OTW activities.  And just as bloody well, because début 'The Invisible Hand' genuinely does stand alone from Prentice's previous band and serves as a vehicle for the him musician to say something he couldn't have got across as a collective.  Full of small town angst, frustration and threats of violence, it's a stonker of an album well worth checking out.  Peenko, Aye Tunes and I had the pleasure of 'launching' the album at our gig in November.  Jolly good so it was.

(Buy the album here)

15. The Unwinding Hours - Afterlives

After 2010's self titled album from former Aerogramme lad's Craig B and Ian Cooke, a follow up was always expected.  Thankfully it was delivered via Chemikal Underground in August, and it firmly delivered surpassing the standards the duo had set with their début.  Ian Cooke has been a busy bee this year as well, popping up as part of CHVRCHES, who may, arguably, surpass TUH popularity.  Time will tell.  In the meantime enjoy 'Afterlives'.

(Buy the album here)

14. Meursault - Something For The Weakened

Time for my favourite named album of the year, the wonderfully titled 'Something For The Weakened' from Meursault.  Led by Neil Pennycook, Meursault returned with their third offer, displaying progression in their songwriting and a more 'human' and acoustic sound.  Featuring tracks such as 'Flittin', 'Dull Spark' and personal favourite 'Lament For A Teenage Millionaire', this is a fine fine album worthy of your time.

(Buy the album here)

13. Jo Mango - Murmuration

The first of two appearances for DIY Glasgow label Olive Grove Records.  Jo Mango's second album 'Murmuration' was a labour of love, taking six years to write and record.  It's certainly worth the wait though as there's such beauty, craft, intricacy and emotion weaved throughout.  Each track is a real labour of love, and for true, original songwriting you can't look further than 'Murmuration'. 

(Buy the album here)

12. The State Broadcasters - Ghosts We Must Carry

And here's numero two for Olive Grove, which has nothing to do with our recent gig foray with Lloyd, and everything to do with the extraordinary collective feeling they have developed and used to entice The State Broadcasters to release their second album 'Ghosts We Must Carry' with them.  The second album on the list to have been released on the magical date, 17th September, The State Broadcasters have crafted an album full of folk/American/traditional musical influences which broads with real human emotion.

(Buy the album here)

11. Human Don't Be Angry - Human Don't Be Angry

Human Don't Be Angry, named after the literal translation of the German name for the board game Frustration, is of course Malcolm Middleton, who turns his hand to electronica and '80's influenced music on this album.  Released via Chemikal Underground on 23rd April, it's an album that has intriuged me and stuck with me all year round.  Sound truly landscaped sounds, tapping into the electro sound which is prevalent at the moment.  Wonderful live as well.  Chill out and have a listen.

(Buy the album here)

No comments:

Post a Comment