TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2012
Aside from the towering masterpiece that was my debut EP here are ten records that came out this year well worthy of your time….
10. THE GASLAMP KILLER – BREAKTHROUGH
This rather brilliant album comes out on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. His 2012 release pales in comparison by the way.
BREAKTHROUGH is almost impossible to pigeonhole and that makes it good. Shifting between the tensely abrasive to the wonky and fucked up, at times this record sounds like haunted hip-hop, really I’m lost for words- go and listen to it.
09. RICHARD HAWLEY – STANDING AT THE SKYS EDGE
This is the solo album Noel Gallagher wanted to make. It really is a joy to listen to and must have been even more fun to make. I can hear influences from Scott Walker to Catherine Wheel, there’s kitchen sink production, choirs, psychedelia, huge variation and most importantly LOTS OF GUITARS. A true rock album. I love it.
08. DIRTY THREE – TOWARD THE LOW SUN
Pastoral floaty, folky, jazzy improvised musical balm. I love Warren Ellis- he is fantastic with Nick Cave and fantastic doing his own thing. There is nobody out there who can match his sound on the violin.
I love zoning out to this record- it also translates brilliantly live.
07. LEONARD COHEN – OLD IDEAS
Leonard still has it, this is a much stronger record than Dear Heather from a few years back, The Darkness is a particularly excellent number. A true poet and living legend. It seems like this year has been a case of the older guys showing everybody how it is done.
06. OLD APPARATUS – DERREN/REALISE/ALFUR/HAREM
I love Old Apparatus, the 5 EPs they have released in 2012 create such an individual sound. Deep dubstep perhaps, I don’t know… Its full of ghostly creaking noises- you absolutely must check them out- their artwork is totally peerless also.
05. GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR – ‘ALLELUJAH! DON’T BEND! ASCEND!
This is a brilliant record that totally stands up against their back catalog. It sounds exactly as you would expect it to without appearing derivative in any way. Massive orchestrated post rock with the impending doom and anti establishment messages all present and correct. Wonderful.
04. SWANS – THE SEER
This is a monster of a record. Totally punishing and uncompromising, something of a magnum opus perhaps. I was lucky enough to catch them at Koko recently. There are no words.
03. BOB DYLAN – TEMPEST
Tempest was the final play Shakespeare wrote; hopefully this won’t be the final Dylan album. Even if that is the case this is a wonderful of collection of songs, sitting high in his canon. Stronger than Together Through Life and more refined than Modern Times or Love & Theft, this is something you need to listen to a few times to get….
02. KILLING JOKE – MMXII
Stronger and more focused than 2010s brilliant Absolute Dissent, this album features the original lineup producing a dark and dense sound together with some brilliant songs. I was lucky enough to meet Jaz Coleman a couple of years ago, unfortunately I was so drunk and forgot everything I wanted to say to him. This man is a true genius.
01. SHARON VAN ETTEN – TRAMP
Sharon Van Etten was the definite high point of this years ATP. She is quite simply brilliant and her latest album Tramp is a faultless collection of heartfelt songs that are emotionally hard hitting and beautiful to hear. Produced by Aaron Dessner of The National, it fits together perfectly- that is ALL there is to it.
Provided the planet doesn’t explode like a sledgehammered watermelon before the year ends, I have a couple of live dates booked in for 2013. First off I will be playing at The Portobello Acoustic Sessions at The Metropolitan in Notting Hill (Thursday 10th January). I will also be playing at Rattlesnake in Islington (11th February). For this date I will be cooking up something a bit different to the usual set. It is also my birthday, so please come down and celebrate the inevitable passing of time with me. It will be good. I promise.
The Metropolitan – Notting Hill 10/01/13
Rattlesnake – Islington 11/02/13
I’m very pleased to announce I will be playing at The Troubadour on Wednesday 14th November. I will be the opening act at The Troubadour sessions- this should be a good evening with some interesting people playing.
Thanks to all of those who came along to The Slaughtered Lamb last night, I had a great time and will be back in town soon- next month as it happens! I will be playing at The Wheelbarrow in Camden. Tuesday 21st August- do come along if you are around that evening…
As previously mentioned, I am seperating the music from the illustration. GO HERE for more information. Thanks.
I have spent the last few nights going to bed at the time normal people get up. Why you ask? Burning/ labelling/ printing/ cutting/ sticking/ folding/ gluing/ trimming ETC ETC ETC. I have made a super duper handmade, limited run of CD copies of my new E.P. Dreaming Down The Moon. Of course you could download it right now, but if you come and see me play my songs live you may want something a little more tangible.
(Apologies for not using an app to make this look like a 30 year old polaroid)
There are only 99 in the world and rest assured- they look lovely…
Anybody used to the illustrations and pretty pictures I post up here from time to time may be interested to know that I will be seperating it from my music very shortly. In an effort to bee less confusing i will be posting all of that stuff up to a different place. There will be links though…