It’s that time of year again to try and break down this years favourites into some kind of order, truth be told the #1 choice was the easiest I’ve had to make in recent years, separating #2 through #5 was a little more difficult – they are all great albums, stylistically very different but all have outstanding songs, from #6 onwards the degree of separation reduces and to be honest if I sat down with the final list next week the order could shift significantly, in the tradition of never doing it exactly the same way year-on-year this time around I’ve gone for a more straight forward chart and the number 33 seemed an appropriate choice given the top ten all found their way into my collection on vinyl (no doubt this influenced the final choices). Having already seen a number of fellow bloggers best of’s it evident there are some big name Americana acts missing from the Beat Surrender run down, as ever too much music and not enough time.
1. Jason Isbell – Southeastern
2. Camera Obscura – Desire Lines
3. Danny & The Champions of the World – Stay True
4. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
5. Caitlin Rose – The Stand In
6. Lindi Ortega – Tin Star
7. Holly Williams – The Highway
8. Sturgill Simpson = High Top Mountain
9. My Darling Clementine – The Reconciliation
10. Austin Lucas – Stay Reckless
11. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart
12. Chris T-T & The Hoodrats – The Bear
13. Phosphorescent – Muchacho
14. John Moreland – In the Throes
15. Frankie & The Heartstrings – The Days Run Away
16. Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – Dear River
17. Star Anna – Go To Hell
18. Thee Spivs – The Crowds & The Sounds
19. Doc Feldman & the LD50 – Sundowning At The Station
20. Israel Nash Gripka – Rain Plans
21. Shona Tucker – A Tell All
22. The Lucky Strikes – The Exile & The Sea
23. Laura Cantrell – No Way Here From There
24. Possessed by Paul James -There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely
25. Amanda Shires – Down Fell The Doves
26. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
27. MG Boulter – The Water Or The Wave
28 Annie Keating – For Keeps
29. The Handsome Family – Wilderness
30. Paper Aeroplanes – Little Letters
31. Wynntown Marshalls – The Long Haul
32. Slaid Cleaves – Still Fighting The War
33. Lloyd Cole – Standards
Here’s a selection of my favourite video performances from the last 12 months, in no particular order.
Camera Obscura – Fifth In Line To The Throne
Frightened Rabbit – Holy
London Grammar – Wicked Game (Live at WFUV)
Frank Turner – Losing Days
KT Tunstall – “The Boys of Summer” (Live – WFUV)
Girl Called Johnny – Heaven Knows
Lindi Ortega – Tin Star Orange Lounge Session
The Fauns – Lights
Lloyd Cole – Period Piece
The Dirty Beggars – Codeine (Jason Isbell Cover)
I’ve not brought a Lloyd Cole album since…………………..well his first originally released in 1984 – no particular reason just one of those artists that passed me by, despite the fact his début Rattlesnakes is a classic of it’s time and was bestowed with a number of irresistible tunes including Perfect Skin and Forest Fire, then I read a recent review in Uncut and was intrigued that the album review led with “Cole Countries it up” and followed with a favourable write-up, so I thought I’d chance it and get a copy.
Right decision? Absolutely. Straight from the first listen I was hooked with the album and had it on the deck and following me around all week, I picked up a vinyl copy and the single from Tapete Records and both arrived in a couple days costing less including the post and packing than Amazon wanted for the album only. Less expensive is going to be the quest to catch up with Cole’s career between Rattlesnakes and Broken Record, family and friends if your watching……………..
This is not a country record in the classic sense, far from it but the elements are there in some of the instrumentation and arrangements, and it has a certain country pathos – as a the man himself writes in track three The Flipside it possesses a “Gentle Melancholy Feeling”, Cole is joined on the album by Joan Wasser (Joan As Police Woman) and ex-Commotion Blair Cowan, not going to say much more the Uncut review gets it for me but if anyone had told me at the beginning of the year a Lloyd Cole album was going be one of my favourites of the year then I’d have reacted with more than a hint of scepticism – how wrong I would have being – so if like me you lost touch with Mr Cole back in the day then there’s an extensive bio here.
UK / Europe tour dates.
Got to pick one favourite track from the album which appears with Mr Cole’s approval.
And just because I love geometric cheekbones.