Well, it’s that time of year isn’t it? Where we crap our collective pants about what the hell we are going to buy our mum, try to avoid tv adverts at all costs and list the things that made our year beautiful and bearable. Here’s mine-
LP’s of the year-
Tender Trap-Ten songs about girls (Fortuna POP!)
I’ve already waxed lyrical about this LP here- http://www.brilldream.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/a-coming-of-ageten-songs-about-girls-by.html where I wrote ‘When it comes to writing about an album by such a personal legend and all round Indie hero Amelia Fletcher, it seems churlish to right the words ‘coming of age’. But this is exactly what the LP is. It’s the album Katrina, Amelia, Emily, John, and Rob having been threatening to make for years. It’s everything you want a Tender Trap album to be and so, so much more.’ It’s a classic. The best kind of records, I think, are the ones that contain songs that stick in your head and heart, only later (after repeated listens) let the lyrics reveal their depth and unique story telling. Ten songs…does exactly what it says on the tin, ten tiny individual snap shots into lives dealt with sympathy, warmth and grace. I often day dream about writing a book of short stories
In the same metre, dealing with Polaroid short snaps of ordinary people (the girl on the bus, the boy reading the book spines in Oxfam). This would be its soundtrack.
Saint Etienne-Words and Music (Heavenly)
I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people to hear this record. It was at the Hangover Lounge at the Lexington after what can be best described as a heavy weekend. We were all (about 50 of us) ushered into the upstairs room to sit in silence to the record. Have you ever sat in room FULL of people just sat silently listening to a record? It’s weird. Anyway, as the first song reached its chorus, there was a very serious danger I would burst into tears. ‘Over the Border’ has took everything I have tried to write about music in the past two years (Its connection to our beliefs, the way it holds us against the bosom of the past, the way it shapes our loves and our lives, its fizzy, dizzying, intoxicating way of making the whole world seem a better place) and slid it into under 4 minutes of music. It’s beautiful and has the rare gift of making whoever listens to it think it’s abut them.
It also manages (In ‘Tonight’) to encapsulate the excitement and rush of getting ready to go out to a gig and trap it onto vinyl. Genius. Polished disco pop is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are fan of music, you will love this album.
Evans the Death-Evans the Death (Fortuna POP!)
One of the most annoying thing about music is there are STILL people who have no conception of how fucking wonderful this band are. Waaaay back in June 2010, I was sent dizzy by the demos of ‘Catch your Cold’, ‘Morning Voice’ and (especially) ‘I’m so unclean’. I was bewitched and genuinely excited, so much in fact that I gave them (what I think was) one of their first ever interviews the next day. www.brilldream.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/interview-with-evans-death.html When I heard they has signed to Fortuna POP! I was more excited than when Camera Obscura signed to 4AD. I was hoping for an album that made my bedroom a better place or would rock my bus trip to work. What I got was an LP that I clutched to my heart and am yet to let go.
The pop-punk songs combined with the wonderfully unique voice of Katherine Whitaker were enough to make daydream my days, weeks away. What I had no notion of, however, was that they has songs of such delicate, aching beauty of ‘Letter of complaint’ and ‘you’re Joking’. I was left awed.
Singles of the year
Fountains-Easily Led (Beautiful Strange)
Peru-Archie’s Lucks In (Archdeacon of pop)
The Proctors "Fun Sunday"/Apple Orchard "Not This Time"(Duffle Coat/Luxury)
Sleeve of the year-Saint Etienne-Words and Music
This genius yet simple concept is the work of Manchester design collective Dorothy. What the have done it taken a map and replced the street names with song titles.
Well, that’s it from me for this year. Thank you for anyone who has sent me music, inspired me, or bought me beer. I’ll be back next year leading off with my interview with Kip from TPOPAH. Have a safe, peaceful, and stress free xmas and an ace new year.
Shaun Brilldream X