A Festive Fifty - My Favourite Albums of 2012


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Music isn’t a competition... we all know that! But we love a list don’t we, especially at the end of the year? So here I am, putting my oar in and contributing to the online morass of opinion, gossip, banter and badinage.

Yet again I’ve chosen 50 albums that have spent the most time on my turntable, CD player, car stereo or MP3 player over the last 12 months... It’s been a tough call, as so much good stuff has been released in 2012. Thankfully.

Scanning my list, I see half of the albums come from Scottish artists and often from those I’ve had LIVE in session each week on my BBC Radio Scotland show. This was not planned, but just worked out that way. And although electronic music and ‘big’ production is the current flavour of the month, I’m amazed to see how little of that is in this list too. Again, it wasn’t planned. Maybe I’m just contrary.

Anyway, I hope you agree with some of them... If not, have your say!

Album of the year:
1.  Django Django - Django Django (Because Music)

Then in alphabetical order:                                                                                                 2. Admiral Fallow – Tree Bursts in Snow (Nettwerk)
  3. Amadou & Mariam – Folila (Because Music)
  4. Calexico – Algiers (City Slang)
  5. Chris Devotion & The Expectations – Amalgamation and Capital (Armellodie)
  6. Crybaby – Crybaby (Helium)
  7. Dan Deacon – America (Domino)
  8. Die Hard – Die Hard (Halleluwah Hits)
  9. Errors – Have Some Faith in Magic (Rock Action)
10. Eugene Twist – The Boy Who Had Everything (Self Released)
11. Euros Childs – Summer Special (National Elf)
12. Field Music – Plumb (Memphis Industries)
13. Finn Le Marinel – Violence (Ubisano)
14. Friends – Manifest! (Lucky Number)
15. Gigantes – Death to the Beast (Lancashire and Somerset)
16. Grimes – Visions (4AD)
17. Grizzly Bear – Shields (Warp)
18. Hidden Orchestra – Archipelago (Tru Thoughts)
19. Holy Mountain – Earth Measures (Chemikal Underground)
20. Hooded Fang – Tosta Mista (Fulltime Hobby)
21. Human Don’t Be Angry – Human Don’t Be Angry (Chemikal underground)
22. Jack White – Blunderbuss (XL)
23. James Yorkston – I was a Cat from a Book (Domino)
24. Japandroids – Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
25. JD McPherson – Signs & Signifiers (Rounder)
26. Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth (Trojan/Universal)
27. King Tuff – King Tuff (Sub Pop)
28. Lightships – Electric Cables (Geographic)
29. Meursault – Something for the Weakened (Song By Toad)
30. Miaoux Miaoux – Light of the North (Chemikal Underground)
31. Moon Duo – Circles (Souterrain Transmissions)
32. North Atlantic Oscillation – Fog Electric (Kscope)
33. Oi Polloi – Duisg! (Active Rebellion)
34. Olympic Swimmers – No Flags Will Fly (Greenwhiteviolet)
35. Opossom – Electric Hawaii (Fire)
36. PAWS – Cokefloat! (Fatcat)
37. Prince Fatty  - Versus the Drunken Gambler (Mr Bongo)
38. Purity Ring – Shrines (4AD)
39. RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found (Chemikal Underground)
40. Seamus Fogarty – God Damn You Mountain (Fence)
41. Snowgoose – Harmony Springs (Open Hearth)
42. Stanley – Animals with Amazing Disguises (Self Released)
43. Syd Arthur – On an On (Dawn Chorus)
44. Tame Impala – Lonerism (Modular)
45. The Grand Gestures – The Grand Gestures (Chute)
46. The Jim Jones Review – The Savage Heart (PIAS)
47. The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know (Fatcat)
48. The Unwinding Hours – Afterlives (Chemikal Underground)
49. Ty Segall – Twins (Drag City)
50. We Are The Physics – Your Friend, The Atom (We Are Fake DIY)

As ever, there were many more that couldn’t quite fit into my festive fifty – my short-list was actually massive! Honourable mentions go to this lot...  Ariels Pink’s Haunted Grafitti, Bad Brains, Beak >, Bear in Heaven, Be Like Pablo, Bob Mould, Bobby Womack, Butch Cassidy Sound System, Cat Power, Cate Le Bon, Dexys, First Aid Kit, Frogpocket, Hot Chip, Jason Lytle, Linden, Nathan Fake, Pond, Rozi Plain, Sleep Party People, Suzi Chunk, Tango in the Attic, The Hives, The Magnetic North, The Shins, Thee Satisfaction, Whatever Gets You Through The Night and Yellow Ostrich.

Anyone who doubts the quality of new music across genres right now needs to listen more closely to what’s actually happening and avoid the homogenised mainstream... There may be a few names you’ve not come across in this list, so please investigate and enjoy!

If I have to choose a single track of the year, it would go this absolute barnstormer:
Japandroids – The House that Heaven built

Merry Christmas, Happy Hogmanay and all the best for 2013!

Vic xxx



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