Well it is that time of year again and this is probably the hardest task of them all. The albums of the year has caused a couple of sleepless nights, however<strong>, Glasgow Podcart</strong> have picked 13. Why 13? Well, there were 1 or 2 that we couldn’t miss out. It is as simple as that.<!–more–>
These are in NO particular order and there is no ranking as we just wanted to show you what we deemed the best of our picks over a year of listening. Other notables can be found underneath!
We will keep it short and sweet and here they are.
<strong>Adam Stafford – Build a Harbour Immediately </strong>
One of the most intriguing and gifted artists we have encountered. This album is an ode to anyone that has belief in what they do. Not only was this a triumph through headphones, but live was captivating when performed. One of the highlight musical gifts of 2011.
<strong>Martin John Henry – The Other Half of Everything </strong>
When De Rosa ended we were genuinely gutted. Then the light at the end of the tunnel that is Martin John Henry appeared and it promised to be just as inspirational as his former guise. This is an album with strength, texture and extraordinary melodies. Henry is a melancholy wonder.
<strong>United Fruit – Fault Lines </strong>
Since we first discovered United Fruit in early 2009, they have just gone from strength to strength. Having gained a wealth of publicity around this 2011 debut release album, it has become one of the most addictive albums of the year. ‘Red Letter’ is devastatingly good; it is one of the highlights of the album along with BBC Introducing favourite ‘Go Away, Don’t Leave Me Alone’. Fault Lines is a marvellous album that shows the incredible potential that this band have only touched upon.
<strong>And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs </strong>
It is no secret we adore this band. This album is a definite progression from their debut and tracks such as ‘Homes – Samara to Belfast’ are simply breathtaking. Each song is as soul punching as the next and ASIWYFA have continued their promise of approaching world domination with ‘Gangs’.
<strong>Vessels – Helioscope </strong>
Vessels are one of the best bands of my generation. They are consistently pushing their own technical boundaries and have the astounding ability to make everything sound simple. ‘Helioscope’ is an album that everyone should own; if this is what they are producing now then I am actually overwhelmed by what is to come.
<strong>Dad Rocks – Mount Modern </strong>
Dad Rocks seems to have come out of nowhere. ‘Mount Modern’ is an honest and genuine piece of art. Its instrumentation, production and lyrics are almost perfect and as a debut this will bowl you over with its fragility.
<strong>Conquering Animal Sound – Kammerspiel </strong>
It seems like an eternity since ‘Kammerspiel’ was released. One of our most anticipated debuts of 2011 and it didn’t disappoint. It is an album that marries tranquillity with complex electronica. An angel and a handsome geek are the perfect combination.
<strong>Jonnie Common – Master of None </strong>
Common like a handful of other Scottish musicians (Miaoux Miaoux being another) we have stalked is one of the most underrated musicians this country has produced. Like the Beta Band, Common is likely to have a cult audience within no time. Tracks such as ‘Photosynth’ are Godly; this album is an entire headphones moment.
<strong>Beerjacket – The White Feather Trail </strong>
Oh Jesus, how this album made me weep so much. Peter Kelly is a songwriter in its truest form. ‘The White Feather Trail’ places him in a category along some of my most respected songwriters. I am not the biggest acoustic fan, but Beerjacket tapped into my thought processes and listening with tracks such as ‘Blood Roses’ on an astonishing level. ‘The White Feather Trail’ is a highlight of Kelly’s career.
<strong>Remember Remember – The Quickening </strong>
‘The Quickening’ is triumphant record that does not eclipse the self titled debut by the band, but is more of an evolution. Layer upon layer of majestic, poignant and seraphic sounds are brought together to create spellbinding works. <em>‘The Quickening’</em> is deeply felt, uncommonly rich and one of the finest albums I have heard to date.
<strong>Song of Return – Limits </strong>
One of the albums of the year that I played from start to finish and by the end wondered how it had gone so quickly. ‘Limits’ is an album that has an overwhelming of invincibility about it. Electronically potent and its unsettling darkness is what sets it apart from the rest.
<strong>The Moth & the Mirror – Honestly, This World
</strong>An album very close to my heart and one I genuinely feel is one of the best releases of the year. If everyone knew how many times I have listened to the first track ‘Everyone I Know’ I would be mocked. Stacey and the gang have produced an album that is gigantic in sound. Its mixture of folk and rock is done with such ingenuity that it is spellbinding.
<strong>Happy Particles – Under Sleeping Waves </strong>
Dreamy, exquisite and hypnotising. This is yet to be released and will be on Christmas Day. Mark our words that you are in for a treat. It is like Low and the Beach Boys sat down, got stoned and had a jam. This is a stunning album.
Other notable releases this year come from <strong>Found, Mogwai, Pensioner, I Build Collapsible Mountains, Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins </strong>and <strong>Dead Boy Robotics</strong>.
<strong>Halina Rifai </strong>