Best of 2013, Favourite Tracks

Albums are all well and good, but what of the individual songs contained within?  A silly question to be sure, but it’s a bit more complicated than merely going “well that was the best record, so it had the best songs on it” – that works sometimes, but not always.  Sometimes, a song in its right place in the context of its album home is a euphoric, emotional high; but.. Read More

Best of 2013, That Top 50 List in Full

Before I start this bit, something of an apology is due for a bit of an error while doing what little I do to publicise anything on here.  When tweeting each page as I’d finished them, I got my numbers wrong in haste, and pegged Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood’s wonderful Black Pudding album as Number 5, when it was actually Number 6.  Whoops.  And before I had any chance.. Read More

Best of 2013, No.1: Bill Callahan – Dream River

It’s been a strange old year.  Within this little self-contained universe, this Top Fifty has been the most difficult to put together since I started doing the blog, but has felt to be the most rewarding – not just because after getting to the end of it still feels “right” after ridiculous amounts of deliberation (none of which was spent picking this top one, as it was pretty much always.. Read More

Best of 2013, No.2: Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest

One thing that 2013 will certainly be remembered for is the amount of Event Releases – those records that arrived with masses of fanfare, or even none at all.  I remember reading a tweet or two along the lines of “has anyone heard that David Bowie might be releasing a single tomorrow?” followed by “nah”, same with My Bloody Valentine.  I suppose the trouble that comes with such events is.. Read More

Best of 2013, No.3: Wolf People – Fain

A rather pleasing trend that seems to be emerging in these format-conscious times is that, while rifling through the vinyl parts of this Top Fifty (and the multitude beyond that) is that much of said parts are made up by a much larger proportion of black wax than I realised.  This isn’t a Luddite “hooray for the old ways for the sake of them!” statement as I love coloured vinyl.. Read More

Best of 2013, No.4: HBS – In Deep Owl

This is where I get to the really fun part, as all of these remaining records have been my top choice at least once during the course of the year, and when knocking this together it’s been tricky keeping a sane order when every time I play one of them the order shuffles about again.  Until I play the next one, and then it all starts again… Another thing, and.. Read More

Best of 2013, No.6: Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – Black Pudding

As an aside before I even start (is that even possible?), a plea to EP manufacturers worldwide: label your speeds!  The Record Store Day EP that preceded this album back in April features a couple of fascinating reworkings of Cold Molly, not least the one appearing courtesy of the Soulsavers.  As the needle hit the groove (as is the parlance of the young folk these days), I sat there thinking.. Read More

Best of 2013, No.7: Richard Warren – Rich Black Earth

I guess it’s a good sign of the increasing popularity of vinyl that bonus digital copies are more conspicuous by their absence than welcomed for merely being there.  Indeed, for the format to flourish properly as a format for all and not just collectors (so at least then we might stop paying collector’s prices for the bloody things), it needs to get with the program a bit and make it.. Read More

Best of 2013, No.8: Chantal Acda – Let Your Hands Be My Guide

I have to admit that I’m not overly fond of fan-funded projects.  Not that I’m averse to chucking a few quid at something worthwhile, it’s just that the whole nature of it has been absorbed into the machinations of the recording industry (as any good idea does eventually, I guess) and it gets tricky to decide who gets an amount of my money to complete a project I hope I’ll.. Read More