Friday, 30 December 2011

Lovesong: Tracks of the Year

OK folks, you might remember this from last year; you show me yours and...
Simply post me a CD of your favourite songs of 2011 and I'll reciprocate by return of post.
I've discovered quite a few new gems from your past generosity.
CDs to:
18 The Green
Wooburn Green
Bucks HP10 OEF
Please remember to include your postal address.
Here's what you'll be getting from me:
It's a mixture of old and new talent. I'm glad to say that there are more songs from these shores than usual; it's nice to hear a few regional accents poking through the sheen of Americana...
It took me a while to whittle things down to these choices.
I love them all; you might not be familiar with a couple that are freshly minted: Admiral Fallow (Scotland) and Lanterns on the Lake (Newcastle), but they hold heir own in lofty company.
I've included Gabriel's 'Mercy Street' because it's a new version and is just beautiful.
Things do get a bit sonorous towards the end but stick with it; lights off, single malt and you'll be fine....
 If I had to pick just one track it would be Kate Bush duetting with her 13 year old son (in the guise of a snowflake); it kind of sums Kate up; bonkers but beautiful and brilliant.
I should mention the one that didn't quite make it: 'I Should Not Dare' by David Sylvian which is lovely but, to quote my mate Dennis, "you can't put 20lbs of sh*t in a 10lb bag".

1. Bats in the Attic (King Creosote & Jon Hopkins)
2. Although We All Are Lost (The Leisure Society)
3. If I Had a Boat (James Vincent McMorrow)
4. Sophia (Laura Marling)
5. For a Nightingale (Fionn Regan)
6. C'est La Mort (The Civil Wars)
7. Helplessness Blues (Fleet Foxes)
8. Bittersweet Melodies (Feist)
9. El Camino (Amos Lee)
10. Calgari (Bon Iver)
11. Subbuteo (Admiral Fallow)
12. Starless (The Unthanks)
13. Keep on Trying (Lanterns on the Lake)
14. Lippy Kids (Elbow)
15 Mercy Street (Peter Gabriel)
16. Snowflake (Kate Bush)


  1. I'vegot an overlap of 4 plus the Elbow and Bon Iver nearly made my top 10. I'm going to give lanterns on the lake a proper listen because a few people have recommended it. Agree the snowflake track is the best thing on the kate bush lp

    happy new year

  2. I didn't think that I was going to like 'Lanterns on the Lake' when I first heard it; I initially felt that it wore its influences too boldly. The Mazzy Star/Cocteau Twins veneer is soon forgotten. Rather than covering up for the lack of something, the reverb actually adds to the woozy atmosphere and highlights the dry beauty of the strings when they come into focus. It's not really an album of songs; more a group of youngsters trying to make the most beautiful sounds possible and (by heck) they nail it!

  3. Right I have done one Trev, going to send as soon as possible.

    All the best for the New Year

    Your Northern Friend.

  4. I said I wouldn't do a Best of 2011 list of CDs, and I won't. Frankly, I have a hard time saying that there is a CD in 2011 that has a solid elpee's worth of good tunes... the bars been set too high by MM! But I couldn't resist attempting a list of cherry-picked individual songs that I've liked so far. This is last minute... CD's strewn all over the place. No rank, and some date errors for sure. I guess I'm going to have to start arranging my CD's in chronological order! Let's have a crack...

    - Civil Wars - Poison & Wine
    - Glen Campbell - Ghost On The Canvas
    - Antlers - Putting The Dog To Sleep
    - Bon Iver - Holocene
    - Noel Gallagher - Let The Lord Shine... (B-side)
    - Noah And The Whale - Old Joy
    - Over The Rhine - All My Favorite People
    - REM - We All Go Back To Where We Belong
    - Joe Henry - Eyes Out For You
    - Elbow - Dear Friends
    - Stars - Fixed
    - Joy Williams - If You Wanna Go, Then Go
    - Ryan Adams - Come Home
    - Jens Lekman - Waiting For Kirsten
    - Snow Patrol - Lifening

    Toronto Tim

    PS: I just noticed an unusual Yankee bias here... still catching up!

  5. Some interesting stuff there Tim: also much that I've not yet heard (Antlers/Joy Williams/Over the Rhine).
    I must look into the Glen Campbell album (just watched True Grit again and, bugger me, he was awful) as I love his voice, even in sad decline.
    Have always loved Stars so look forward to that. I put the Noah and the Whale album again and loved it; a great car stereo album. Underwhelmed by Joe Henry, he is one of my all time favourites as writer/singer/producer, but the songs seem to be secondary to sound at the moment... same with Ryan Adams album, I loved the sound of it but couldn't find the songs... maybe need to re-address.

  6. My selection is late, but better late than never. Not all new, but ones I heard in 2011 that really impressed me. Of course, I will spare your blushes by excluding many of yours that would grace my list, so here are my other fifteen in no particular order:-

    No More Excuses The Bees
    J'en Connais Carli Bruni
    What You Say Carly Bryant
    Rainbowarriors CocoRosie
    Birds Emiliana Torrini
    Changelings Gazelle Twind
    You Belongs To Me Greymatter
    Loving Strangers Russian Red
    Pass This On The Knife
    Ready To Tell Leah Zicari
    Like 1000 Violins One Thousand Violins
    White Are the Waves Papercuts
    Una Noche Mas Yasmin Levy
    Secrets OneRepublic
    Sol Ja Camba Fantcha

    Hope there are a few in there that whet your appetite,

  7. Oh! No....I missed one that just must tag on the end. One of my son's University friends is in Tom Williams & the Boat, so I have come to enjoy some of their tracks. The one I tag on to the end is 'Concentrate'. It is on Youtube.

    Indulge me this one,

    PS Changelings in my list above is by Gazelle Twins, not Twind as my frantic typing suggests!