Breaking with my tradition I thought I'd get this in before the end of the year. Seems I'm still almost a month behind most of the music press but it'll be one less 2013 post for me to bore you with in January.
1. Low "The Invisible Way" - This album came out in January, I think, which might explain why it's not featured that high on many of the media lists. I've loved it all year and that's not been diminished by the passage of time. I missed their London gig in April so had to travel to Cambridge in November to finally catch them live. They were stunning that night and made every minute of the three hours it took me to get there worthwhile. I think 2014 will see me try to fill in the gaps in my Low collection.
2. Eleanor Friedberger "Personal Record" - I've known a lot of these songs from early in the year thanks to frequent plays by Marc Riley. She followed this with a fantastic session in August and that was the final push I needed to get the album. Despite the name the album was co-written with alt-folk singer/novelist John Wesley Harding. It's full of catchy songs with intriguing lyrics. I regret not getting to the show she played at Bush Hall but with a UK based band put together by David Brewis of Field Music I hope she'll be back over soon.
3. Bill Callahan "Dream River" - A late purchase but one that zoomed to the top of my favourites. I thought his 2009 album, Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle, was as good as he could get but Dream River runs that very close indeed.
4. Euros Childs "Situation Comedy" - I've picked up a few Euros Childs' albums over the last year or two but this is the best thing I've heard by him yet. Again Marc Riley played a big part in this thanks to frequent plays. Laura J Martin also features on several tracks on flute. The album is packed with perfect pop tunes that have genuinely funny, and at times quite poignant, lyrics. I saw him play the Boston music room in October and don't think I've ever laughed so much at a music gig.
5. Ezra Furman "Day Of The Dog" - The first time I heard the track Tell 'Em All To Go To Hell I assumed it was by some 70s Glam band I'd not heard before. Then My Zero came along and took the sound in a more Indie direction. The rest of the album flits from genre to genre whilst retaining a consistent sound thanks to Ezra's voice and the copious amounts of saxophone (unusually this is a good thing).