Whilst writing my Albums of the Year Parts One and Two I sent out plaintiff messages to my friends to help me out and do the same. They, being the awesome people that they are, responded in the positive… forcing me to then spend weeks chasing them to come through with the goods. But come through they did.
Let’s kick off with Leon Carter—former primary school teacher with a thousand yard stare and part-time hand model—because he sent me words and everything:
5. Jamie XX – In Colour
“If the broad genre of ‘dance music’ was made into a sort of musical jigsaw puzzle, this would be it. Have a listen and you’ll see what I mean.”
Listen to: Hold Tight
4. Kagoule – Urth
“Wirey guitars weave this brilliantly grungey debut album together.”
Listen to: Centralwing
3. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
“Just when I thought Sufjan would build on the grandiose electronica of The Age of Adz, he goes back to basics. The song writing is flawless, as always, and the production meticulous.”
Listen to: No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross.
2. Bill Ryder Jones – West Kirby County Primary
“One of those albums where it doesn’t quite get you on first or second listen but there is something about it which makes you want to keep going back and listening to it and, before you know it, you’re completely hooked.”
Listen to: Catharine & Huskisson
1. Gaz Coombes – Matador
“I sat for ages trying to figure out what to write about this album. There’s nothing particularly innovative or ground breaking but it’s just an example of the most solid songwriting and endless melodies, something which Gaz Coombes has been doing for 20 years now.”
Listen to: Detroit
Honourable mentions – Jeffrey Lewis, Darren Hanlon, Ghostface (Sour Soul), Kurt Vile & Matthew E White.