Simon Waldram

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My favourite records of 2012

Posted by SimonWaldram on December 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I hope you've had a good year. Here are some of my favourite records of 2012 in no particular order.

Alberteen - Metal Book
Spearheaded by the brilliant single A Girl and a Gun, Metal Book is a brilliant showcase for Alberteen's patented "ryhthm and noir", from the dark rush of the title track and Tamogotchi Landfill to Phil Shaw's arch, literary lyrics. Also, All You Can Eat makes me think of the Clientele covering early Pink Floyd. You can't go wrong with that.

Kevin Hewick - All Was Numbered
All Was Numbered is Kevin's paen to Factory Records, which he was a part of from 1980-82. I get the feeling that in the past Kevin hasn't talked about these days as much as some people would have liked. However here it all pours out in a maelstrom of bittersweet memories and regrets, paying tribute to Ian Curtis, Tony Wilson and Larry Cassidy along the way, with lucidly set scenes worthy of any of the Factory related films and books released over the past few years. I really do feel that Kevin is one our best and important songwriters. He is a big inspiration to me.

Felicia Atkinson - The Owls
The Owls is a digital and limited edition tape release by one of the most talented and interesting experimental musicians around today. Constructed solely on a Microkorg, it is a tapestry of sounds that evokes nostalgic and melancholic yet hopeful emotions. Felicia releases a lot of stuff, but it's all worthwhile. Please take the time to check out her music if it sounds like your kind of thing.

Candidate - Psychic Dissonance From the Unself
Candidate are from Brooklyn, New York. Their songs have big, lovely melodies combined with dreamy, noisy guitars. You know what? Most online music reviewers are pretty terrible writers. I'm sorry if I come across in any kind of similar way either on here or on ObscureAlbums. I've been looking at reviews by others of some of these albums and the writing is just so forced and cliched. If there's any difference it would be I just write about music I love (which is never that difficult), compared to people who write for online sites who have to review whatever they are told to. I would probably find that difficult too. Anyway, my favourite songs here are One Day Even You Will Be Old Fashioned (great chorus and lead guitar), the beautiful Low Life and the terrific singles April Again and City of Hate (please check out City of Hate - it's absolutely brilliant!).

Elizabeth Bryson - Reflections In My Tea
Hailing from Maryland in the States, Elizabeth is a terrific songwriter with a wonderful voice. Her piano based songs sometimes evoke the Beatles, Elton John or Fleetwood Mac, but she definately has her own thing going on. Just listen to the anti-war Until the Whirlpool Stops or the beautiful In It's Own Time. This album has great production and extra instrumention to augment the songs too. I'm looking forward to seeing how far Elizabeth can go as she really deserves a lot of success.

Lisa de'Ville - Fables From the Spinning Wheel EP
Speaking of people who should be very successful, I fully expect Nottingham's Lisa de'Ville to be very big indeed in the not-too-distant future. Her terrific guitar playing and beautiful, crystal clear voice here showcase her wonderful, captivating songs. Folded Wing is especially great. See her live if you can - and buy this EP!

Rosie Abbott - s/t
Another Nottingham talent (the local scene here is amazing at the moment). From lovely Kinks and Beatles-esque numbers to the dark, skewed rock of Victim of My Imagination, this is a really excellent debut album.

Danny Short - Sunset Kicks In

Okay, so I said "no particular order", but this is definately my favourite album of the year, as Danny spikes his lovely melodic songs with huge masses of psychedelic noise and beauty. Just listen to Tell Me You Want Me, New Gardens and the storming, brilliant Aftershave and Perfume. I've loved Danny's music for many years now (and he's made a lot of music), but this has to be the best thing he's ever done. Terrific stuff!

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
I'm still getting into this record, but I'm very impressed. As some artists get older they get less adventurous and take fewer risks. However Scott Walker is the opposite of this and, despite being almost 70, with nothing he needs to prove at this point, he gets more way out and daring with every record. I find this incredibly inspiring and I hope he continue to do it for a good while yet.

Categories: Random

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