Review: Our Postmortem By And The Professors

Holy Cow!  I love this album so much I just don’t know where to start.

Firstly you need to go and listen to it over at Bandcamp. Just come back here when you’re done. Take your time. I’m happy to wait.

(waits)

It’s great, right? What did I tell you. Well it’s a collaborative effort with (amongst others) members of The Honeydogs of whom i’m a big fan. I guess if you really insist of categorising music you’d put it in the Baroque Pop / Chamber Pop hole, but lets not do that. I’m struggling to think of a similar band but the best I can do at the time of writing is The Leisure Society.

Knowing that a mere review can never do justice to this album i’m going to sign off and just spend the afternoon listening to it on loop.

I’d be pretty surprised if this didn’t end up as my #1 number for the Audities Best of 2013 list.

Listen. Enjoy. Buy.

Review: Lightning Through My Soul (ep) by Brian Howell

Brian HowellThe first release (I think) from New Yorker Brian Howell.  An EP full of original compositions.  Citing influences such as “’50s rock, ’60s garage, ’70s power-pop/New Wave, classic rock and modern indie rock influences” i’m hearing, and certainly on the vocal for the first track, Buddy Holly.

On the whole it’s old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll like your mom would have made if she’d been hanging around in garages in the fifties.

Track Listing

1. Why oh why
2. Dry my tears
3. East Coast girls
4. Cold little heartbreaker

Hear the album over at Bandcamp

Review: Problems by Hector and The Leaves

I got an email from Tom Hector of Hector and The Leaves saying he’d written an EP over the Summer and amongst this influences was Elliot Smith. Now, i’m a big Elliott Smith fan and those are some mighty big feet to fill. There are many artists that people cite as influences and you can only assume they’re referencing a style of working, work ethic, or somesuch because musically they’re not really hitting it but with Tom he’s bang on the money.

Fans of Elliott (especially his later work) should absolutely seek this out and take a listen. I’m really excited to see what Hector does next.

Find him on Facebook or go and listen at Soundcloud or Bandcamp.

A heads up… Thomas McConnell

Thomas McConnell came across my radar with his YouTube cover of McCartney’s new song “New”.

Off the back of that I ordered his EP which i’ve been enjoying in addition to this rather good ditty over at his SoundCloud page.

I’m expecting good things from McConnell. Definitely one to watch out for.

The Disbandables

Self promotion alert.

I’ve created a new site called http://www.disbandables.com where I interview great bands. The sites been up a few weeks with a new bunch of bands at the beginning of each month.

If you wondered what happened to

Brown Eyed Susans
Jackdaw4
Klaatu
Love Nut
The MerryMakers
Ooberman
The Pursuit Of Happiness
Second Saturday
Sugarbomb
Tiny Volcano

then http://www.disbandables.com is worth a visit.

Aaron from the great Powerpopaholic was kind enough to post a short interview with me about the site.

http://www.powerpopaholic.com/artist-interviews/matt-whitby-disbandablescom

Review: 1-2-3-4-5 (ep) by The Real Numbers

Can it really be 2010 since I last heard an album from San Francisco’s The Real Numbers? Yes, yes it can. See the (short) review here.

I loved the happy, sunny pop of their debut and their follow-up EP “1-2-3-4-5″ could very well be songs from the same album (not that I expected them to move over to a heady mix of grunge and metalcore). I’m happy to say they’re as joyful and buoyant as ever.

Songs about the mile-long, zig-zagging bicycle route from Market Street to Golden Gate Park, Internet Fame and pouring your heart out to a now gone Daphne.

Listen to recommendations; Look there’s just the five tracks. Listen to them all.

Find them at;

Web –
Listen – http://realnumbers.bandcamp.com/

Album Review: Introducing Ruby Free by Ruby Free

Ruby Free - Introducing Ruby FreeI’ve built myself a time machine and you can too. Tuck yourself under your bed sheets and put on the debut from Rick Hromadka (Double Naught Spies, Maple Mars) and Lisa Cavaliere. The dappled light now leaking through the covers is no longer from your normal surroundings but from Laurel Canyon in its sixties heyday.

Laid back, melodic tunes to while away your time to. With Ruby Free every day is a warm, sunny, carefree Saturday.

Plug in. Switch on. Chill out.

Links;

https://www.facebook.com/rubyfreeband

Band — The Penelopes

I got a handmade compilation CD of songs by The Penelopes from Japan (not to be confused with the Paris based dance rock band of the same name). Having never heard of The Penelopes I tried to do some digging to find out more but there appears to be precious little information. From the All Music Guide; “The Japanese twee-pop outfit the Penelopes was essentially the work of singer/songwriter Tatsuhiko Watanabe; the group debuted in 1992 with the album In a Big Golden Cage, followed a year later by Touch the Ground. Although by this time the band was primarily a Watanabe solo project, he maintained the Penelopes’ name for 1997’s Kiss of Life; A Place in the Sun, issued that same year, was the first LP issued on Watanabe’s own Vaudeville Park label.” [1] which is pretty much what the bio on the send press-release says.

Facebook tells me I have twenty mutual friends of the Tatsuhiko Watanabe so my ignorance of his music is down to me, rather than them.

Twee pop certainly describes some of the bands output which puts it firmly into the Belle & Sebastian category (great purveyors of said genre that they are). Twee Pop is a sensibility rather than being as dismissive as it may sound.

Splitting their output between 60′s and 80′d influences over their substantial output there’s a lot to work through. Often synth based with a love of what I would presume is a glockenspiel there’s often an understated feel to the songs. Melodic, calming and some are almost anthemic if the anthem was designed to get you to sit down and drink a nice cup of tea.

Site details;

You can hear some samples over at http://www.newusb.co.uk

You can pick up three of their albums on iTunes

Reference: [1] Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

Review: The Kimballs by The Kimballs

Album Cover2013 brings us The Kimballs third album. I confess to not having heard their first two, though having thoroughly enjoyed their eponymous third i’ll be seeking them out.

Citing influences such as Lou Reed, Warren Zevon, Nick Lowe and Television when listening to tracks such as ‘Agnes’ you should add some Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson.

On a hot day as the asphalt cracks beneath your feet a band is crashing away in their garage and the upbeat strains waft pleasingly down the street. Upbeat, melodic songs wend their guitar sounds earwards. A fun, Summer record. Crack open the beer, light the barbecue and put on some Kimballs.

Tracks to try; “Fact or Fiction”, “Agnes”.

More information:

http://www.thekimballsrock.net
http://thekimballs.bandcamp.com
http://cdbaby.com/all/thekimballs
http://www.twitter.com/thekimballsrock

Album Review: To Hell with you by Bleu

Bleu - To Hell with youA PledgeMusic funded album. A nice way to support an artist but then you do end up paying $25 for an album. Better than the album not getting made of course.

An overture is a musical contract between the artist and the listener saying; “This is what you’re going to get.” The wonderfully orchestral opening promised much.

The following track, the titular ‘To Hell with you’ was therefore unexpected. Hints of Jean-Michelle Jarre, or perhaps more Vangelis it’s quite a departure from Bleu’s earlier work. It did worry me – as I’m always wary of change. I know that Bleu’s dabbled in Electronica before, but it’s not what I expected on this record (i’d made sure i’d not listened to any samples before the CD arrived).

Track three, “All downhill from here” – ironically – brought back a more traditional Bleu.

Tracks nine through eleven feature rapping which I find dreary and whilst who am I to tell anyone what direction they can explore musically, just don’t fit on a Bleu record for me.

The final melancholic, wonderfully melodic closer (bonus track aside) of ‘Won’t Make It Out Alive’ almost make me able to to forget the rapping.

It’s still undoubtedly Bleu, and his knack for a good melody remains undiminished. I do hanker for the tunes of the older records though. *

Tracks to listen to; “All Downhill From Here.”, “Won’t Make It Out Alive”.

* Or, i’d settle for a new Major Labels record.

Tops in 2012

Live from the Church of St James, a sublime performance from the master.
00:02:33
Added on 12/04/12
3,994 views

Due to time slipping away, I had given up on this yearly exercise. Then Roger Ebert died, and I was inspired . I work for no one, with no deadline. But my love for this music, and belief I have something to contribute compels me to at least give it a whirl. After all it was a very good year, filled with musical dreamers. If I can turn someone somewhere onto  something new, it is worth the effort. Roger shared many thoughts on cinema with me, so in dedication to his craft, permit me to do this. I’ll do my best to edit myself and keep it brief.  So here I go.

1] Paul Buchanan – “Mid Air”
A sustained melancholy set of songs that never stray from the mood it creates. With minimal backing of just piano and synths,the accent is on Paul’s emotional vocals. And what a voice it is.Full of longing and regret, so touching. Songs like “I remember you”, and “Two Children” remind me of Sondheim.The trumpet  on “After Dark” adds to the loneliness.
Not for everyone, but a must for Blue Nile fans. If you play this in the wee small hours of the morning, it will get to you. I think it’s a masterpiece.
Just watch him perform the title track.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE70AgkeTZc&list=FLOQ7WhfobMIekBnIRwJrLbA

2]Clare and the Reasons -”KR-51″
“I’ve got words in my mouth to make you stay
I’ve got hands in my pockets to put on yours….’
Thus begins the opening song from this remarkable album. It is a song that has had me in tears many times. Clare and the Reasons can do no musical wrong. All three of their albums have been treasures.  Clare’s vocals and the orchestrations conducted by Oliver Manchon are so wonderful, i can hardly express in words what this music does to me. “The Mauerpark” is another song that sends me,with a strong emotional pull. The album leads up to a trio of songs that leave me breathless. I simply can not recommend this lovely orchestral pop music higher. These are voices that deserve to be heard.
Check out their classical  take on “Everybody wants to rule the world” -Awsome!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NL8VZmFaQc&list=FLOQ7WhfobMIekBnIRwJrLbA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFUOfB3wDl0

3]Sylvie Lewis – “It’s all true”
“There was a song I sang before I met you…”
My love affair with Sylvie’s music continues. Ever since I connected with her debut, “Tangos and Tantrums” , I have been  in awe of her talent. She can make you laugh and just around the corner she’ll bring you to tears. She sings softly and sweetly, without a false musical note. I love it all but songs like “Kindness”, “Dylan’s Arms”, “The fish and the Bird” are quite special. A real highlight is “The doorman”, short but so meaningful. The album ends with “Give me the roses now” , based on a traditional folk song, but with a tweak it is total Sylvie, and quite whimsical.She lives in Italy , where she is musically active and speaks ,as well as sings Italian well. And just this week I discovered she is in a group there , A. K. Ellis. I’m  so excited to find some new Sylvie music to listen to. Anyone out there with other tips on other music by her, please let me know. I’m all ears.
Sylvie, I love your music!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQjNIKR2Fqw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwkfxUPlOx4

4] Kelly Hogan- “I Like to keep myself in Pain”
So nice to see a new one from this amazing singer. It’s been a while. Recorded in the same studio as “Pet Sounds” ,with a great band [Booker T.,James Gadson, her buddy Scott Ligon etc.]. The songs were given to her by esteemed artists like Vic Chestnut, Robin Hitchcock, Andrew Bird, and M. Ward. But is Kelly’s voice that shines the brightest here. She is comfortable in folk, country, jazz, gospel- just name it. This lady can sing. With all those great songwriters, it is her own composition that stands out. “Golden” was written for her friend Neko  Case, but as quoted from her live shows “You go y’all”, she took it on herself. And it is a sensational performance, showcasing some gospel and grit. My very favorite song is M. Ward’s “Daddy’s little girl”. “My name is Frank Sinatra’, the song begins, and continues to invoke that artist. But this song takes a left turn at about 2 min.54 seconds , where she sings
“would I change anything for a minute
well of course I would now, who wouldn’t…”  just elevates this song to something special.
Just hope we don’t have to wait too long for more music from this great artist.
“Someday you and all you put your hand to will turn Golden…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTH-k40Rf2s

5] Tame Impala-”Lonerism”-
Headphone album of the year. Todd Rundgren + Beatles= pure bliss. So much going on with this wildly inventive psychedelic band. Drums roll, synths swirl, guitars twist and bend, and those sweet Lennon like vocals just delight the senses. “Apocalypse Dreams’ is epic. The sonic thump of “Elephant” just kills. Heck there is a remix of this song by Mr. Rundgren. My favorite is “Feels like we only go backwards” with it’s oh so sweet vocals. The album ends with the total Lennon sounding “Sun’s coming up” that has a mind bending noise coda.Blast this at home. Play it in the car. Thrill to this trippy dream music. Can’t wait to see where these guys are going. They are wizards. True stars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A084zz6zKiQ

6] Eleni Mandell- “I can see the future”
Eleni continues her current direction of laid back ballads- some torch, a bit of twang and a lot of girl group vocals.  She’s still a clever composer with lots of humor in the mix  like  “Bun in the oven”.  “Magic Summertime” and “I’m lucky” illustrate what a marvelous singer she is.
“I wonder when, will they declare me the winner
and with whom will I share my tomorrow…”
She always surrounds herself with great musicians, and her partners in the Living Sisters do some background vocals. I do so look forward to her albums, and this one is a gem.
Pop Matters asked her in their “20 questions”  what she wanted to be remembered for. She answered  with writing good songs, and being funny. Both of these are well covered on this collection. I can see the future. More swell Eleni Mandell music.
Check out her live take on “I’m Lucky’ in the second clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cH_ELG2Obw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZVTJFNud3M

7] The DB’s =”Falling off the sky”

I do enjoy seeing some of my favorite bands reforming and playing again. But I don’t expect the results to be as great as this album. The albums kicks off With a kick, and how ironic after all this time that the song is called “That time is gone”. And the cool songs keep coming along with great pop hooks and vocals.These guys sound great. Thrill to those harmonies and moments like the twin lead guitar solo on ‘Before we were born”. “Wright Back” .a Will Rigby tune is so catchy it played in my head for  a week. I’ve seen criticism of the strings on “Far away and Long ago”  as syrupy. I love them and Chris Stamey’s  moving vocals.”Send me something real” and ‘World to cry” are simply top notch pop tunes. All in all, a terrific pop album that is a pleasure to listen to. This far exceeded my expectations. Hope there is more to come.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9CwLD1Yrvo

8] Jens Lekman-” I know what love isn’t”
Latest from the Swedish Bacharach continues his catalog of songs dealing with the ups and downs of romance. His warm conversational voice mixes with piano, Spanish guitar, sax,and strings to paint pop portraits of mostly break ups. And really no one quite does this like him, with his melodies and word play.In “Become someone else’s ”  he sings,
“That lonesome feeling and what it tells us,
Sleeping on my arm til it becomes someone else’s…”
On the aptly titled “The World Moves on”
“You don’t get over a broken heart
you just learn to carry it gracefully …”
And on the title song when he sings ” So let’s get married” a girl breaks out laughing.
There is much to admire here for the true pop fan. Well arranged chamber pop wrapping around many observations about a breaking heart. While his last album, “Night falls over Kortedala” was his masterpiece, this is still a compelling collection. As David Bloom writes in his Popmatters  review, “a breakup album for the well adjusted “.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQErekXV9Qc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoWHNDgGtbg

9] Allo Darlin -”Europe”
How I long for the days of listening to Heavenly, The Darling Buds, and Sarah Records. I used to go the Vintage Vinyl in  Evanston ,Illinois and buy all these groups, then play them constantly. Allo Darlin takes me right back there. It is difficult to put in words what this album does to me. The band jangles, and there is a youthful invigorating quality to these songs. There is heartbreak for sure, but also optimism creeps in. Elizabeth Morris is the main focus with her timeless voice that move effortlessly through these songs with the greatest of ease.
On “Some people say” she sings:
“I have a feeling that this day will be amazing…”
From the terrific title song:
This is life this is living…”
Pop songs are mentioned throughout , in fact they are almost like characters in the songs. In the emotional “Tallulah”, Tallulah  Gosh and the Maytals are  name dropped. Also this stunning statement:
“I’m wondering if I’ve already heard all the songs that will mean something…”
Current groups Camera Obscura and The Tender Trap come to mind. In fact at one time Elizabeth played with Amelia in the Tender Trap. But Allo Darlin is a special band, that stands alone in their pop status. A remarkable band well worth seeking out.
Watch Elizabeth and her ukulele play “Tallulah” in the second clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcfaCxjR2t4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbOCAIYqyZ4

10]Graham Parker and the Rumour- “Three Chords Good”
What a rush to have these guys back.Like the DB’s reunion, it was a great year to see the return of Graham Parker and the Rumour. They made one of the greatest all time albums. “Squeezing out Sparks”, and really good do no wrong. Graham sang with a passion, and the band just rocked. I was hesitant at first listen, but as all good music it wasn’t long before I realized how great this album is. Songs like “Long emotional ride ” and the protest rock of “Arlington’s busy” ,and the cool vibes of the title song make it seem like they never left us.
“whatever it is that girl put a spell on me…”
The band is as solid as ever, but it is Graham’s vocals that rule. He sounds amazing. No one can quite spit out those words like he can. Two other songs stand out for me. In the cool jazzy “Old Soul” , Graham sings at his best, and the band concocts a magical spell with a nifty organ solo.But the real killer comes with cut #11-”Coathangers” . This songs stand up to their best, with a killer melody , a perfect guitar solo, and lyrics like :
“In the world of the blind, the one eyed man can see…”
There is no concession to it being 2012 here. Just a classic rock album by a band that knows how to do this well. More please!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtVKd7wz0Uk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REs2zxgGaoY

11] Glen Hansard-”Rhythm and Repose” -an emotional beauty.

12] Kathleen Edwards” “Voyageur’- “For the record, I only wanted to sing songs…”

13]Dirty Projectors- ‘Swing lo magellan’ – Amber Coffman rules-what a voice

14]Rufus Wainwright- “Out of the game”- Rufus pop album

15] The Shins – “Port of Morrow”  Pure pop for now people

16] Avett Brothers- “The Carpenter”-Best Americans album of the year

17] Sondre Lerche- “Bootlegs” -The great pop stylist with a cool rockin’ band- makes me want to see him so bad.
18] Beach Boys- “That’s why God made the radio” – well crafted title song- album concludes with a trio of Brian songs that are right up there with his best

19] Martha Wainwright- ‘Come home to Mama”- Her best vocals to date

20] Donald Fagen “Sunken Condos”- Should i be surprised at just how good this is?

Bubbling Under

21] Beach House- ‘Bloom” -”Myth” is a song of the year candidate
22] State of the Union -The great Boo Hewerdine and Brooks Williams
23]Grizzly Bear -”Shields”  Awesome vocals
24 Norah Jones- “Little broken hearts”  Seductive
25 Lori Carson – “Another year” A real find  thank you Spotify. So good!
26 Lambchop- “Mr. M “- Lush .
27Loudon Wainwright iii- “Older than my old man now” The third album on this list from this talented family. And a new Lucy Wainwright Roche coming.
28 Bob Dylan “Tempest” -took  me a while to adjust to his voice. Some very good songs here.A couple long ones. I’d have to say a real return to form.
29 NRBQ-” We travel the spaceways”-A nice live set by a still great band. Nice to hear them play Sun Ra.
30 Michael Smith- “Old Man Dancing” The superb Chicago folk artist with a fine set of new tunes. I can’t begin to count the number of times this artist has brought me to tears at a live gig.

Songs of the year:
Beach House “Myth”- Breathtaking.
Clare and the Reasons -”The Lake” So beautiful.
Beach Boys- ‘That’s why God made the radio” Such vocals
Dirty Projectors- “Gun has no triggers”- Dear Amber just kills in the chorus
The Shins “It’s only life”- James Mercer at his pop finest.
Kelly Hogan “Daddy’s little girl” M. Ward’s weird take on Sinatra.
Allo Darlin “Europe” Never fails to excite me.
Flaming Lips- “God only Knows ” From the Mojo tribute cd.
Bill DeMain- “In your letter”
Special mention-
Bill Demain “Extended  Stay” 6 song EP from the wonderful pop guru. Can we have 12 more like these please?

Recordings  of special merit ;

Paul McCartney- ‘Kisses on the bottom’
So much better than other rock stars trying out their stab at the Great American songbook. This elegant , laid back collection is well designed. Terrific arrangements by Diana Krall which leads to sensitive backing  by her group. Also some lovely orchestrations by masters like Alan Broadbent and Johnny Mandel.  Sir Paul is in excellent voice ,and his song selection is right on.  An obscure  one .”My very good friend the Milkman ” is refreshing .I love the fact that he does “The Inch Worm”, always a fave of mine. ‘My Valentine ‘, one of two originals is Paul at his best. This is well worth checking out.

Meredeth  d’Ambrosio- ‘By myself”
For her 17th release, Meredeth devotes the entire set to songs written by Arthur Schwartz. The music is just her on vocals and piano. and it is a quiet revelation. Songs like ” Is there someone lovelier than you ” ,” I guess I’ll have to change  my plan” ,and “Something to remember you by ” are as beautiful as anything I have heard all year.  No, this is not some indie rock artist , but a seasoned pro spinning indelible melodies, and pop songs that have stood the test of time. She ends the set with “Haunted Heart ” ,a fitting close to a remarkable album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtGrYYTRcAg

I need to check out :
Hiss Golden Messenger , Allah -Las,  Parquet Courts, Kurt Vile, Haiku Salut, Phosphorescent,
Matthew E. White, Mikal Cronin, Youth Lagoon,  The Fresh and Onlys, Foxygen ,Solange ,Bill
Fay, Ducktails, Caitlin Rose,  Wild Nothing, Savages, Django Django, William Tyler, Mac Demarco , Melody’s Echo Chamber, Elle Macho

Looking forward to :
Christopher Owens [Girls] , Yo La Tengo, Jim James, Flaming Lips, Edwyn Collins, Low, Josh Rouse, John Grant, Living Sisters, Tristen, Camera Obscura , Attic Lights, Club 8 ,Nicole Atkins,
Iron and Wine, Ron Sexsmith

I can dream can’t I :
Prefab Sprout [there actually has been some talk of one], Roddy Frame [I read he was recording], Gary Clark [Danny Wilson], Swan Dive [or more solo Bill DeMain], Pearlfishers

Shout out – Mojo magazine -Consistently great. Well worth the subscription charge.

The Roots- For their late night musical contribution to Jimmy Fallon.Look forward to what they are up to every show.

Hope musical lovers may find something new as a result of my list. If so, please let me know.
Thanks to my wife for allowing me to keep up with all these musical dreamers.
Add some music to your day and enjoy.

God save the Kinks!

Gene Good

Not a review: Laurie Bennett and the Models

Like everyone who reads this blog i’m guessing you buy a lot of music.  Probably, if it could possibly be so, too much music.  I have a pretty good memory for roughly when and where I picked up most records from (or at least I can narrow it down to a country).  I have this album though.  “Dream Ferret” by Laurie Bennett and the Models.  It’s odd, but odd in a wonderfully British way.  It sounds like it was recorded in someone’s front room and has the feel of Martin Newell album.  I’m very keen on the opening track; “Swarm”.  I’m simply putting this post out there on the off-chance anyone has any information on them.

Review: Celluloid by Bevel Emboss

I tend to get sent power pop albums because that’s what I like and the genre that I most connect with. The downside (and I use that term loosely because it’s not REALLY much of a downside is it) is that I have an inkling of how it’s going to sound before I put it on. Not so with this new album from Bevel Emboss. I’m thinking; why does this sound like something from a Tarantino Soundtrack? Then it clicked. A few months ago i’d been getting into Surfer Rock, or more specifically the sounds of Dick Dale who, as i’m sure you know, had his cover of the folk song ‘Misirlou’ as the opening to Pulp Fiction.

Let me lay my cards on the table here. This isnt’ a genre that i’m overly familiar with but I know for sure that when I put this record on it gets my blood pumping (and what more can you ask of any record?) In a few weeks i’m off to California and I can promise you that this album is getting played on the drive down to the beach. The sun will be shining, and every track will blast out as the perfect soundtrack to that day.

A happy, melodic, fist pumping start to a day. I thoroughly recommend it.

Official Website: http://www.bevelemboss.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BevelEmboss

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BevelEmbossNL

Audities: Best of 2012

1 Redd Kross // Researching The Blues
2 The Db’s // Falling Off The Sky
3 Cliff Hillis // Dream Good
4 David Myhr // Soundshine
5 Nada Surf // The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
6 The Explorer’s Club // Grand Hotel
7 Shoes // Ignition
8 Chuck Prophet // Temple Beautiful
9 Brendan Benson // What Kind Of World
10 Aimee Mann // Charmer
11 Lightships // Electric Cable
11 The Shins // Port Of Morrow
13 A.C. Newman // Shut Down The Streets
14 The Beach Boys // That’s Why God Made The Radio
15 Rick Springfield // Songs For The End Of The World
16 Field Music // Plumb
17 Kurt Baker // Brand New Beat
18 Nelson Bragg // We Get What We Want
19 Wanderlust // Record Time
20 Father John Misty // Fear Fun
20 Gentleman Jesse // Leaving Atlanta
20 Willie Wisely Trio // True
23 Bob Mould // Silver Age
23 Hidden Pictures // Rainbow Records
23 The Corner Laughers // Poppy Seeds
26 Dwight Yoakam // 3 Pears
27 Ben Kweller // Go Fly A Kite
27 Throwback Suburbia // Shot Glass Souvenir
29 Michael Kiwanuka // Home Again
30 Soundtrack Of Our Lives // Throw It To The Universe
31 Beachwood Sparks // The Tarnished Gold
31 Susanna Hoffs // Someday
33 Sweet Diss And The Comebacks // Emerald City Love Song
34 Gold Motel // Gold Motel
35 Chris Richards And The Subtractions // Get Your La La’s Out
35 Mike Viola // Acousto De Perfecto
37 Ben Folds Five // The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
37 Bryan Scary // Daffy’s Elixir
37 Van Halen // A Different Kind Of Truth
40 Butterfly Boucher // Butterfly Boucher
41 Bill Fay // Life Is People
41 Leonard Cohen // Old Ideas
41 Ruby Free // Introducing Ruby Free
44 Kelly Hogan // I Like To Keep Myself In Pain
44 The Avett Brothers // The Carpenter
46 Alabama Shakes // Boys & Girls
46 Ian Hunter // When I’m President
46 Secret Powers // More Songs About Her
49 Lannie Flowers // New Songs Old Stories
50 Jeff Lynne // Long Wave
50 Rufus Wainwright // Out Of The Game
50 The Wedding Present // Valentina
53 Candle Thieves // Balloons
54 Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale // Buddy And Jim
54 Dr. John // Locked Down
54 Tame Impala // Lonerism
57 Bruce Springsteen // Wrecking Ball
57 Union Starr // Falling Apart Together
59 The Kik // Springlevend
60 First Aid Kit // The Lion’s Roar
60 Graham Parker // Three Chords Good
60 Sala & The Strange Sounds // It’s Alive
60 The World Record // Freeway Special
64 Missy Higgins // The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle
64 Passion Pit // Gossamer
66 I Was A King // You Love It Here
66 Of Monsters And Men // My Head Is An Animal
66 The Darkness // Hot Cakes
69 Django Django // Django Django
69 Neil Young // Psychedelic Pill
71 Flying Colors // Flying Colors
71 Gavin Guss // On High
71 Of Montreal // Paralytic Stalks
71 Rival Sons // Head Down
71 The Well Wishers // Dreaming Of The West Coast
76 Air Traffic Controller // Nordo
76 Band Of Horses // Mirage Rock
76 Beach House // Bloom
76 Green Day // Uno Dos Tre
76 The Murphy Brothers // Thick As Thieves
81 Alejandro Escovedo // Big Station
81 Eytan Mirsky // Year Of The Mouse
81 Ken Stringfellow // Danzig In The Moonlight
84 Allah-Las // Allah-Las
84 Rush // Clockwork Angels
84 Sunday Sun // I, Ii, Iii
84 The Wallflowers // Glad All Over
88 Dion // Tank Full Of Blues
88 Sunday Sun // I, Ii, Iiii
88 The Moons // Fables Of History
91 Allo Darlin’ // Europe
91 Ball Park Music // Museum
91 Benjamin Gibbard // Former Lives
91 Big Big Train // English Electric Vol 1
91 Fun. // Some Nights
91 Gaslight Anthem // Handwritten
91 Johnny Stanec // The Past Echoes
91 Jonny Polonsky // Intergalactic Messenger Of Divine Light & Love
91 Maximo Park // The National Health
91 Morning Parade // Morning Parade
91 Ryan Monroe // A Painting Of A Painting On Fire
91 The Junipers // Paint The Ground
91 The Primitives // Echoes And Rhymes
104 Bill Lloyd // Boy King Of Tokyo
104 Blonds // The Bad Ones
104 Bob Dylan // Tempest
104 Frank Ocean // Channel Orange
104 Grizzly Bear // Shields
104 Jay Gonzalez // Mess Of Happiness
104 Jessica Pratt // Jessica Pratt
104 Marillion // Sounds That Can’t Be Made
104 Michael Monroe // Sensory Overdrive
104 Paws // Cokefloat!
104 Rosie Abbott // Rosie Abbott
104 Sleigh Bells // Reign Of Terror
104 Tennis // Young & Old
104 The Honey Wilders // Singles For Singles
104 The Nomads // Solna
104 The Stars Explode // Between The Lines
104 Zeus // Busting Visions
121 Be Like Pablo // The New Adventures
121 Black Keys // El Camino
121 Colin Blunstone // On The Air Tonight
121 Dan Vapid And The Cheats // Dan Vapid And The Cheats
121 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals // The Lion, The Beast, The Beat
121 Jens Lekman // I Know What Love Isn’t
121 John & Brittany // Start Sinning
121 Lewis Wilson & The Beat Makers // On Sunshine Avenue
121 Pete Donnelly // When You Come Home
121 Pours Like Rain // Rewind The Sky
121 Producers (Lol Creme, Trevor Horn, Steve Lipson & Ash Soan) // Made In Basing St.Reet
132 Anethema // Weather Systems
132 Bend Sinister // Small Fame
132 Brian Whelan // Decider
132 Cookie Duster // When Flying Was Easy
132 Death By Unga Bunga // The Kids Are Up To No Good
132 Foxy Shazam // The Church Of Rock And Roll
132 Harper Blynn // Busy Hands
132 Japandroids // Celebration Rock
132 Kent // Jag Är Inte Rädd För Mörkret
132 Parasites // Non Stop Power Pop Vol 1
132 Saint Etienne // Words And Music
132 Something For Kate // Leave Your Soul To Science
132 The Breakups // Running Jumping Falling Shouting
145 Admiral Fallow // Tree Bursts In Snow
145 Andy Davis // Heartbreak Yellow
145 Angel Kaplan // Pictures From The Past
145 Best Coast // The Only Place
145 Chromatics // Kill For Love
145 Gemma Ray // Island Fire
145 Keane // Strangeland
145 Killer Mike // R.A.P. Music
145 Los Straitjackets // Jet Set
145 Marvin Etzioni // Marvin Country
145 Nik Kershaw // Ei8ht
145 Richard Hawley // Standing At The Sky’s Edge
145 Rpwl // Beyond Man And Time
145 Ryan Lerman // Pinstripes, The Sky
145 The Blurries // Paper Cuts
145 The Luxury // Why Don’t You Cry Anymore Ep
145 The Pharmacy // Stoned & Alone
145 The Proclaimers // Like Comedy
145 The Shoes // Ignition
145 Tim Myers // Technicolor
145 World Famous Headliners // World Famous Headliners
166 A Silent Film // Sand & Snow
166 Brad Brooks // Harmony Of Passing Light
166 Brandi Carlile // Bear Creek
166 Dirty Three // Toward The Low Sun
166 Disappears // Pre Language
166 Dodgy // Stand Up In A Cool Place
166 Foo Fighers // Wasting Light
166 Graham Coxon // A To E
166 Michael Des Barres // Carnaby Street
166 Texture Like Sun // Texture Like Sun
166 The Breakdowns // The Kids Don’t Wanna Bop Anymore
166 The Helio Sequence // Negotiations
166 The Lumineers // The Lumineers
166 The Mojomatics // You Are The Reason For My Trouble
166 The Verlaines // Untimely Meditations
166 Wes Hollywood // Fantasy Arcade
166 William Seen’s Transport Music // Can I Sit Here And Absorb
183 Alison Faith Levy // World Of Wonder
183 Cloud Nothings // Attack On Memory
183 Dirty Projectors // Swing Lo Magellan
183 Garbage // Not Your Kind Of People
183 Guided By Voices // Class Clown Spots A Ufo
183 Jack And The // Vacation (A Pop Manifesto)
183 Jackdaw4 // Dissecticide
183 Lit // The View From The Bottom
183 Mark Eitzel // Don’t Be A Stranger
183 Neil Halstead // Palindrome Hunches
183 Nine Times Blue // Falling Slowly
183 Nude Beach // Ii
183 The Honeydogs // What Comes After
183 The Jac // Faux Pas
183 The Ripe // Into Your Ears
198 Arto Järvelä // Plays Fiddle Vol 3 – On The Coast
198 Fun Of The Pier // Traffic Street
198 Jake Bugg // Jake Bugg
198 Marty Stuart // Nashville, Vol. 1: Tear The Woodpile Down
198 Mike O’neill // Wild Lines
198 Nick Waterhouse // Time’s All Gone
198 Scouting For Girls // The Light Between Us
198 Spiritualized // Sweet Heart Sweet Light
198 Sugar Stems // Can’t Wait
198 Syd Arthur // On An On
198 The Cairos // Colours Like Features
198 The Flower Kings // Banks Of Eden
198 The Gilligans // As Seen On Tv
198 The What Gives // The What Gives [Digital Only]
198 Wanderlust // Record Time
198 Young Fresh Fellows // Tiempo De Lujo
214 Alberta Cross // Songs Of Patience
214 Archie Powell & The Exports // Great Ideas In Action
214 Beki Hemingway // I Have Big Plans For The World
214 Bill Fox // One Thought Revealed
214 Buffalo Killers // Dig Sow Love Grow
214 Certain Stars // The Great Destroyer
214 Erik Voeks // Free Range Ep
214 Fay Hallam & The Bongolian // Lost In Sound
214 Folks // I See Cathedrals
214 Graham Gouldman // Love And Work
214 Jeremy // Love Explosion
214 Linden // Bleached Highlights
214 Peelgreems // Big Adventure
214 Regina Spektor // What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
214 Release The Sunbird // Release The Sunbird
214 The Sunchymes // Let Your Free Flag Fly
214 Tommy Womack // Now What!
214 Walter Trout // Blues For The Modern Daze
232 Dropkick // Paper Trails
232 Easy // Popcorn Grafitti
232 Godfrey Townsend // Easy Journey To Other Planets
232 Jimmy Cliff // Rebirth
232 John Mark Nelson // Waiting And Waiting
232 Juliana Hatfield // Juliana Hatfield
232 Lucero // Women And Work
232 Mark Lanegan Band // Blues Funeral
232 Masked Intruder // Masked Intruder
232 Motorpsycho // The Death Defying Unicorn
232 Nil By Mouth // More To Say
232 Oddfellow’s Casino // The Raven’s Empire
232 Snow Patrol // Fallen Empires
232 The Cleaners From Venus // The Late District
232 The Condors // 3 Item Combo
232 The Laurels // Plains
232 The Raveonettes // Into The Night Ep
232 Train // California 37
232 Trapper Schoepp & The Shades // Run, Engine, Run
232 Ultravox // Brilliant
232 Zz Top // La Futura
253 Big Dipper // Crashes On The Platinum Planet
253 Bill Nelson // Joy Through Amplification
253 Hot Freak Nation // Lifetime To Lifetime
253 King Washington // The Gears
253 Major Powers And The Lo Fi Symphony // We Became Monsters
253 P. Hux // Tracks And Treasures Vol. I
253 Paul Buchanan // Mid Air
253 Sitcom Neighbor // Charm
253 Spinto Band // Shy Pursuit
253 Teenage Bottlerocket // Freak Out!
253 The Salim Nourallah Treefort 5 // Hit Parade
253 The Tough Shits // The Tough Shits
253 Two Wounded Birds // Two Wounded Birds
266 Bill Nelson // The Dreamshire Chronicles
266 Carolina Chocolate Drops // Leaving Eden
266 Cate Le Bon // Cyrk
266 Guided By Voices // Let’s Go Eat The Factory
266 Joe Algeri // Faux Pas
266 Lianne La Havas // Is Your Love Big Enough
266 Micachu And The Shapes // Never
266 The Aristocrats // Boing, We’ll Do It Live!
266 The Cry! // The Cry!
266 Wintersun // Time 1
276 Asia // Xxx
276 Blak And Blu // Gary Clark, Jr.
276 Breaking Laces // Come Get Some
276 Caroline & The Treats // Saturday Night, Rock & Roll
276 Charlotte Church // One
276 Dexys // One Day I’m Going To Soar
276 Joe Walsh // Analog Man
276 Matt & Kim // Lightning
276 Men Without // Hats // Love In The Age Of War
276 Menahan Street Band // The Crossing
276 Off! // Off!
276 Paul Weller // Sonik Kicks
276 Polysics // Weeeeeeeeee!!!
276 Ruth // Payola
276 Tender Trap // Ten Songs About Girls
276 The Mayflowers // Plymouth Rock
292 Biters // It’s All Chewed Up Ok?
292 Chris Cohen // Overgrown Path
292 Dan Bern // Doubleheader
292 Dan Miraldi // Sugar & Adrenaline
292 Gregg Laswell // Landline
292 Guilletmots // Hello Land!
292 Hi Electric // Hi Electric
292 John Hiatt // Mystic Pinball
292 Lorelei // Enterprising Sidewalks
292 Micky Dolenz // Remember
292 Punch Brothers // Who’s Feeling Young Now?
292 The Albion Band // Vice Of The People
292 The School // Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything
305 Delta Spirit // Delta Spirit
305 Jason Karaban // Shift
305 Mike Keneally // Wing Beat Fantastic
305 Oberon Rose // Wunjo
305 Sunstorm // Emotional Fire
305 The Connection // New England’s Newest Hit Makers
305 The Maccabees // Given To The Wild
305 The Wandering // Go On Now,You Can’t Stay Here
305 Tin Spirits // Wired To Earth
314 Be The Void // Dr. Dog
314 Deep Sea Arcade // Outlands
314 La Habitacion Roja // Fue Eléctrico
314 Michael Andrews // Spilling A Rainbow
314 Ringo Deathstarr // Mauve
314 Shearwater // Animal Joy
314 Sylvie Lewis // It’s All True
314 The Fixx // Beautiful Friction
314 The Hi-Risers // Hang Around With You
314 The Hollyhocks // Understories
324 Bap Kennedy // The Sailor’s Revenge
324 Cher Uk // Little Blue Soldier Ep
324 Donald Fagen // Sunken Condos
324 Jack Blades // Rock & Roll Ride
324 People On Vacation // The Summer And The Fall
324 Sonny Landreth // Elemental Journey
324 Suzi Chunk // Girl From The Neck Down
324 The Absence – Melody Gardot
324 The Coup // Sorry To Bother
324 The Imagined Village // Bending The Dark
334 Anne Soldaat // Anne Soldaat
334 Bat For Lashes // The Haunted Man
334 Chris Knight // Little Victories
334 Dinosaur Jr. // I Bet On Sky
334 Eytan And The Embassy // Everything Changes
334 Imperial State Electric // Pop War
334 Magnetic Fields // Love At The Bottom Of The Sea
334 Scott Walker // Bish Bosch
334 Stew & The Negro Problem // Making It
334 The Great Foat Group // Girl And Robot With Flowers
334 The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do // Fiona Apple
345 Bettye Lavette // Thankful ‘N Thoughtful
345 Casablanca // Apocolyptic Youth
345 Grahame Steinberg // Graham Steinberg
345 Marty Graveyard // Summer Holidays
345 Mission Of Burma // Unsound
345 Neneh Cherry & The Thing // A Cherry Thing
345 On-The-Go // November
345 Ray Wylie Hubbard // The Grifter’s Hymnal
345 Rebecca Gates & The Consortium // The Float
345 Sydney Wayser // Bell Choir Coast
345 The Jim Jones Revue // The Savage Heart
345 Torche // Harmonicraft
357 Alec Berlin // Innocent Explanations
357 Belaire // Resonating Symphony
357 Christian Scott // Christian Atunde Adjuah
357 Curious Quail // Instant Gratification
357 Divine Fits // A Thing Called Divine Fits
357 Georgia Anne // Muldrow Seeds
357 Hawkwind // Onward
357 Holograms // Holograms
357 Homeboy Sandman // First Of A Living Breed
357 Ian Anderson // Thick As A Brick 2
357 Lee Fields // Faithful Man
357 Mokoomba // Rising Tide
357 Neon Trees // Picture Show
357 Peachfuzz // Fall Down Dreaming
357 Poor Luther’s Bones // Jukes And Junk
357 Prince Fatty // Prince Fatty Versus The Drunken Gambler
357 Sharks // No Gods
357 Strawberry Whiplash // Hits In The Car
357 Summer // Girlfriends Shockwaves
357 The Hollows // Vulture
357 Tim Adams And Mike Viola’s Harem // Songs From The Movie “That’s What She Said”
357 Tribes // Baby

NOTES:

Guided By Voices released THREE albums in 2012, two of which appear in the list hence they appear more than once.

Bill Nelson released TWO albums in 2912, two of which appear in the list hence he appears more than once.

Huge thanks to Khoi Huynh for spotting all the errors that I missed (and to be fair I did miss quite a few). I’m sure with the volume of data involved some may remain. Do feel free to tell me over at matt.whitby@gmail.com if you find any.

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