Filed under: 2012 Albums Of The Year | Tags: Bridie Jackson, Cheek Mountain Thief, First Aid Kit, The Cherry Thing, UFOMammut
15. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar (Wichita)
If this First Aid Kit album consisted of the single Emmylou and 10 more tracks of farting noises, it would STILL have made my end of year chart because Emmylou is just impossibly lovely. Twee, certainly, mawkish even, but lovely nonetheless. So what if the video is the two sisters twatting around with scarves and incense at Gram’s grave? It’s the kind of pitch perfect love song that comes along all too rarely. As it is, The Lion’s Roar has lots of other great tracks too. A gorgeous warm bath of an album.
14. Neneh Cherry & The Thing – The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Supersound)
Those waiting for a Neneh Cherry comeback probably weren’t expecting this – a proper jazz album, albeit jazz twisted and bent and applied to all manner of cover versions (and a brace of original tunes) – the lush, passionate Dream Baby Dream, the bonkers, stomping Loose, the hypnotic Accordion. Of course, Cherry is steeped in this stuff (her dad was Don Cherry, The Thing take their name from a Don Cherry track and they cover his Golden Heart here. This is a fantastic album, which isn’t too say I wouldn’t be keen on a Cherry pop album sometime soon too…
13. Cheek Mountain Thief – Cheek Mountain Thief (Full Time Hobby)
Same old story – boy moves to Iceland, boy meets girl, boy has heart broken and writes an album, boy and girl sort it out, local musicians lend a hand and you end up with a stunning wyrd folk pop confection that’s a bit Tunng (the boy’s other band), a bit Wicker Man, a bit Kate Bush circa Hounds Of Love. Ambitious and rambling and unusual and odd in all the right ways.
12. Bridie Jackson & The Arbour – Bitter Lullabies (http://bridiejackson.bandcamp.com/)
Bridie won’t mind me admitting that the first time I saw her with the Arbour I loathed it – something just irked, it seemed precious and forced and I was VERY drunk. The second time was a fucking revelation, and she definitely won’t mind me admitting that. And the album is unique. Bridie is a proper musician who can play in lots of styles – all loosely folk, I guess, but with elements of mariachi and classical guitar and blues and jazz. Her voice is a thing of wonder too – ‘rich and clear and powerful’, as I said in Narc after the gig. Her band (in whatever configuration) do wonderful things too. Buy their album so they can buy their own bell plates.
11. UFOMammut – Oro – Opus Primum / Alter (Neurot)
While we threw some claws at Supersonic watching the two-thirds hairy Italian doom monsters UFOMammut, I realised that, on a spectrum that has Monster Magnet at one end and Metallica at the other, UFOMammut were probably nearer the latter than the former. Their mythology and imagery isn’t after all a grand bombastic giggle: they mean it, man. But fuck it, the music still rules: across these two themed albums (see?) the band hit you again and again with unbelievable riffs (doubtless hewn from the rocks of Atlantis or somesuch) and build up to those riffs in such hypnotic, tense ways that they become the metal band I always wanted. Grandiose and huge and flat out daft.
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