It's the time of year when everyone is trotting out their lists of their favourite albums and songs from the previous year. Well, I'm going to be different mainly because I can't do the new album thing convincingly and because my favourite music from this year isn't necessarily from this year e.g. Lida Husik, Aroah, Mirah, and even Bat for Lashes. So this is a list of the albums and songs that I have listed to the most in 2007.
Albums I have enjoyed include:
- Now It's Time by Paula Frazer & Tarnation
- Marry Me by St Vincent (who was extraordinary live)
- Fur and Gold by Bat for Lashes (from 2006 but she came to my attention while watching Glastonbury on tv)
- Share This Place: Stories and Observations by Mirah and Spectratone International (it's about insects - how awesomely geeky is that?)
- You Follow Me by Nina Nastasia & Jim White (the album that made me realise I was too mean about On Leaving last year)
- Star Lit Sunken Ship by Lovers (from 2002)
- The Last Laugh by Aroah (from 2004)
The songs I have listened to an awful lot this year include:
- "Another Day" and "Bitter Rose" by Paula Frazer & Tarnation - the former has a simple piano based refrain which I find utterly endearing while in the latter Paula manages to make the line "my love is deeper than the deep blue sea" sound like the most profound statement ever
- "Ginger" by Lovers which is one of those songs that instantly hook you in with a splendid strings arrangement followed by Carolyn Berk's fragile and tremendously sad voice
- any version of "La Familia" by Mirah with its catchy chorus and a line like "makes me want a little sugar in my bowl" is irresistible
- "Now, Now" by St Vincent is inventively orchestrated and shows off Annie Clark's charismatic vocals, the line "you don't mean that, say you're sorry" is hypnotic and it builds up to a bonkers finish
- "Long Shot" by Aimee Mann is rock pure and simple with Aimee's weary vocals summed up in the word "whatever"
- "Easy to be Around" by Diane Cluck has (I assume) sumptuously double tracked vocals by a woman I know nothing about except her voice is stunning on this track
- "Horse and I" and "What's a Girl to Do" by Bat for Lashes - I have not been this excited about a middle class posh woman from the south east of England since Kate Bush - her work is full of interesting sounds and arrangements particularly the percussion and her voice is indeed lovely
- "Mother Richard" by Lida Husik is an odd thing because her voice is almost flat but it flows over the bass like chocolate
- "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" by The Smiths - I wasn't a fan when I was a younger - however, I love them now and I adore this song with its hilarious lyrics and delightful guitar sound
- the first time I heard "Captain of Your Ship" by Reparata & the Delrons I loved it - from the ship's horn to the twangy thingy to the falsetto "you're going to lose a good thing" it is huge fun
- "I Insist" by Barbara Manning & the Go-Luckys is yet another classy song by a little known songwriter - her vocals are sombre but arresting and the guitar is rich
- the start of "Mansfield and Cyclops" by Espers is so utterly gorgeous that it usually stops me in my tracks and that's before Meg Baird's vocals even begin - if you don't adore this song by 1.45 then psychedelic folk isn't for you!
- "An Orchid is a Flower That Thrives on Neglect" by Aroah - guitar, drums and a humming thing and Aroah's understated vocals make this a perfect opening track
There are a handful of tracks that I never skip when I'm listening to music randomly (which I do a lot) which include "Red Vines" and "Ghost World" by Aimee Mann, "Little Black Egg", "There's Someone" and "The Well" by Tarnation (Paula Frazer) and "Almost" by Sarah Harmer.