Tagged: beach house

My Top 5 Albums of 2012 (and joint 6th's)

We usually do an Elba Annual in December where we ask people their ‘best of’s’ from throughout the year but seeing as we’ve had a particularly quiet year on here, we decided it probably was best to give it a miss and hopefully get it going again next year.

I did however, want to share my Top 5 albums of the year with you. I am asked each year by Peenko to submit my albums of the year for inclusion in the yearly BAMS (Blogs and Music Sites) list and this year when Lloyd from Peenko realised he’d run out of fingers to count up the albums, he called on me for my ninja spreadsheet skills. That list is still to be announced however, so I thought I’d get my list up before A) I forget and B) The BAMS list spoils my thunder.

Limiting albums to a Top ‘whatever’ is always quite hard I think. It depends on mood or the time of year, so in my Top 5, I could probably interchange about 3 of the 5 that are included below. In fact, in the three weeks since i sent over my albums of the year, I’ve changed the order in my head several times. However, I’ve gone with my original list but a few albums which on any other day would have made my Top 5 were;

6= Yusuf Azak – Go Native
6= The Pure Conjecture – Courgettes
6= Laurence & The Slab Boys – Lo-Fi Disgrace
6= Beach House – Bloom
6= RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
6= Stars – The North
6= Randolph’s Leap – …and the Curse of the Haunted Headphones

But anyway, to the Top 5…

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5. Best Coast – The Other Place

“Summertime in 11 tracks”

 

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4. Francois & The Atlas Mountains – E Volo Love

“I find it hard not to love this album as it is but having seen them play live, it takes them to another level altogether. A highlight of 2012”

 

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3. Chris Devotion and The Expectations – Amalgamation and Capital

“heard it prior to 2012 (just) and it still gets frequently aired in my house. There’s no messing about here. Catchy, two minute rock n roll tunes.”

 

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2. Meursault – Something for the Weakened

“I loved Meursault’s first album. I love Meursault’s second album. ‘Settling’ = shivers”

 

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1. Django Django – Django Django

“Another that I can’t seem to put down. Just a really great listen that I never seem to tire of. Again, have seen them a couple of times over the last year and a bit and they are always excellent.”

Love Streams 1.1

You may have noticed that we’ve had a couple of blogs from Chris about books recently. We’re not going for a change of tack, it’s just that we’ve got through that difficult adolescent phase (for the most part) and are finding that we don’t particularly have to please anyone or conform to a certain type of

writing, we can just be who we want to be.

I’m quite enjoying putting the mixtapes together and hopefully a couple of people will give them a listen at some point, we’ve even installed a wee link at the top of the page where all the mixtapes are stored.

The mixtapes were originally going to be weekly but I sometimes find it quite a task to put together each week depending on what I’ve got on and at the end of the day there’s no point in putting undue stress on yourself, something I’m trying to manage both personally, and on the blog.

In which long winded way takes us back to the point of this post. I’ve been really enjoying some albums recently and find myself on NPR quite a lot streaming forthcoming releases so I guess this post is another one of those semi-regular posts that we have which will appear when we deem there to be enough information to post!

First up is the album which along with Lightships has the potential to my album of the summer, who knows, maybe even year. ‘The Only Place’ by Best Coast follows the same patterns and themes of the first album but there’s just something a bit more shiny and polished about it. That’s not to say that because the lo-fi scuzzy-ness has gone that this album is any less charming.

Best Coast – The Only Place – stream on NPR

Next up, also on NPR, is the band I used to frequently mix up with Best Coast, Beach House. Coast-Beach-Best…you get the idea. We featured the track ‘Myth’ on our most recent mixtape. You can stream the full album, ‘Bloom’ from the link below.

Beach House – Bloom – stream on NPR

The aforementioned Lightships’ album ‘Electric Cables’ can still be streamed over at the Guardian, and like I said, this is up there with one of my favourite albums this year.

Lightships – Electric Cables – stream on the Guardian

And finally, a little closer to home, you can hear Glasgow-based French Wives debut album ‘Dream of the Inbetween’ streaming on The 405. This is a really enjoyable album and got my feet tapping under a pile of spreadsheets in the office the other day.

French Wives – Dream of the Inbetween – stream on The 405

I Made You A Mixtape…Seven

Father Sculptor – Ember

I was sent this a while back and as seems to be the way with me sometimes, i promised it a listen and then it got lost somewhere along the way. I’m glad i found it again though because there’s a lot to like here. Ember and it’s also excellent b-side ‘Blue’ was released on Monday and is available as a free digital download.

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bubble

Trust me, the theme this week is not forgetting to listen to stuff but I have to offer up a similar comment for this track as to the last. I got this album around the time it came out however, that portion of last year was pretty much made up of worry and daily hospital visits, so remembering to listen to new music was a bit further down on the priority list than usual. As a result my itunes bulges with tracks that haven’t had a single play and my shelves have an odd selection of cd’s pushed into any available nook and cranny just waiting for the cellophane to be ripped off.

This is yet another album I forgot about. I did listen to this once or twice at the time though but I’ll admit, i don’t always get on with KC’s music. However, I cracked it out the other week again and i must say, if i’d remembered it more last year, this album may have been in contention in some of the end of year lists. I like this track ‘Bubble’ a lot. When the banjo kicks in mid-way through, I really like this track.

Yann Tiersen – Summer 78 (Instrumental)

I think Yann Tiersen is one of my favourite film composers and this is i guess one of the ‘theme’s’ from the brilliant film ‘Good bye Lenin!

Yusuf Azak – Swim

Did i mention i was looking forward to Yusuf releasing his new album this year? Probably. This is from his free to download Prizefighter EP released last year. He’s playing at Edinburgh’s Ide’s of Toad Night this evening alongside RM Hubbert and Rory Sutherland.

Beach House – Myth

It’s becoming apparent from these mixtapes that ‘dream pop’ is my thing.

This is the opening track from Beach House’s forthcoming album ‘Bloom’ which is released next month.

NO – Stay With Me

I think there’s some pretty strong comparisons to be made with The National on this track by LA based NO. The vocals and track brood away and build up as the track goes on. This track is on a limited run released by the turntable kitchen blog in San Francisco.

Bam Bam – Hipnodromo

I’ve not featured much any Mexican music on the blog before but when i heard this on an Arts & Crafts sampler, there was no way that it was not going on a mixtape. I have no idea what they are singing about either!

Thirty Pounds of Bone – Uyeasound

This weeks final track is from Thirty Pounds of Bone and is from his first album, ‘The Homesick Children of Migrant Mothers’. I just really like this one and don’t really need to elaborate much further only that I listened to the album this week because of the maritime themes on some of the tracks on the King Creosote & Jon Hopkins album. I like when one persons music brings you onto someone else’s.