Friday, 11 January 2013

Top 5 Songs of 2012

After my random trawl through the tuneage of last year (here if you've not been keeping up) it seemed the best place to begin regular top fives again was with my favourite songs of the year. I realise (having read EVERYBODY else's before Christmas) I'm in a minority doing my end of year lists in January rather than December but I really hadn't nailed down any of my choices until very late in December.

1. "Sunshine Hotel" David Tattersall - David Tattersall is vocalist and guitarist in The Wave Pictures, a band I quite like but not one I'd previously gone overboard for. This track is from a limited edition solo album he released on vinyl only. As with most new music I first heard it on Marc Riley's 6music show when it made me stop in my tracks and just listen. A simply stunning piece of guitar playing which echoes John Fahey and a glorious tune that I suspect I've played more than any other tune this year. It has also made me consider revisiting Mr Fahey. At time of writing you can still buy & stream the album at the following link -

2. "Hey Jane" Spiritualized - Continuing on a theme Spiritualized's 2012 album "Huh" was another close contender for my best of the year. I've had an up and down love affair with Jason Pierce's band but after seeing the band play a storming show at the Hackney Empire in March I was convinced to get the new album and reckon it's easily their best since "Ladies & Gentlemen ..." -

Err, the video is almost certainly NOT SAFE FOR WORK but it is a fine piece of film so I've kept it in place, best not hit play if you're easily offended

3. "The Gravedigger's Song" Mark Lanegan - First track off the excellent "Blues Funeral" another record that just missed my top five album cut. It starts with a booming bass line, which is always going to win my favour, and features Lanegan's familiar vocal style, though perhaps with some of the rough edges smoothed out -

4. "Serpents" Sharon Van Etten - "Tramp" was a massive contender for my top five albums but, after some agonising over the final choices, didn't make my final cut. It's an album packed full of sublime songwriting. I don't think there's a weak track on there which makes it difficult to pick a favourite. "Serpents" was the tune I think I heard first and it still brings a smile to my lips when I hear it -

5. "Husbands" Savages - Another full on bass line that rumbles along throughout the song. Jehnny Beth's vocals are a little reminiscent of early Siouxsie Sioux, which is no bad thing, and, whilst there's the whiff of industry hype behind them, there's no doubt they're a pretty exciting prospect for 2013. I'm off to check them out live in February -


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