Tagged: stars

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…


5. Best Coast – The Other Place

“Summertime in 11 tracks”



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”



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.”



2. Meursault – Something for the Weakened

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



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.”


Honestly, I’m not just cashing in on the snow buzzword. Whether it’s all you can talk about or it’s the last thing you want to hear about, the fact is that snow is the thing that is making me write this post. Well, and a couple of songs.

I go to lots of gigs, not enough in my opinion, plenty in my better half’s opinion. I’d say that I enjoy 90% of them. I mean, sometimes you just can’t help pulling a dud out of the bag.

I’m never sure if I have the same relationship with music as others. You see, I take some music really personal. Sometimes the lyrics will mean something to me, sometimes I just like the music and other times it’s to do with a time and

place. However, there are times when elements just click and I can’t fail to be affected by what I am seeing and hearing. A couple of years ago, myself and Chris (sometimes of this blog) saw The National at the Carling Academy in Glasgow. Yeah, I know, you were all there, it’s a badge of honour saying you were there, right? Anyway, it was incredible, from start to finish. The memorable parts though were towards the end of the gig. Whether it was the rip roaring rendition of Mr November which nearly blew the house down to the ‘unplugged’ version of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks which tore the roof off the venue, this gig was incredible, and I had ‘a moment’. It’s not easy to describe but if you’re reading this, I guess you have some sort of indescribable relationship with music and you too have had that moment that you can’t wipe the grin from your face because everything just seems so perfect in that moment. Sure it’s maybe not the most in tune version of the song you’ve ever heard or the most groundbreaking, but there’s nowhere you’d rather be.

And looking back on that night two years ago now, when we eventually left the venue, after a few post gig tipples in the bar, it was snowing. And something about the memory of The National’s final song of the night, and stepping out to a silent and white night, made that gig one of the most memorable gig-going nights that I’ve had.

Of course, fast forward to now, and you’ll question the connection. Why dredge up The National after a couple of years? It’s because I went to a gig last night, had one of these moments and when we exited the venue, the snow was falling.

I first heard Stars about 8 years ago when they released their ‘Set Yourself On Fire’ album and since then have counted the track ‘Your Ex Lover is Dead’ as one of my most favourite songs. I’ll not delve into why but when Stars played it last night, it sounded perfect. The band seemed to think it sounded perfect and so did everyone around me. I’m still smiling now. And then, to top it off, I exit venue, the snow is falling…