Well it's been a crazy year! Apologies for not updating this blog more, but i've lacked the time, life just kinda took over. As Lennon didn't say, "
So to my fave records and gigs of this year then, in no particular order..
You can listen to some of the music here in this playlist too
Emma Tricca- Relic Straddling a line somewhere between folk, soundtrack and indie, Tricca’s softly spoken east-end melancholy create a perfect soundtrack on which to pause to and consider, or to happily idle away an hour in the afternoon. A beautifully written second album from Hackney's ‘Giallo Princess'.
Honeyblood- Honeyblood Stina Tweeddale and drummer Shona McVicar are two lasses from Glasgow making some pretty catchy and addictive indie music. Tracks like Fall Forever, Killer Bangs and Anywhere But Here lead the way.
Shabazz Palaces- Lese Majesty Not the easiest of hip hop albums but like Egyptian Jazz legend Pharoah Sanders, you can't just stick this on and let it slip into the background. As the Seattle duo of Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire put it themselves the album is "a series of astral suites, recorded happenings". This 18 track odyssey more than stakes a claim as the 8th wonder of hip hop
Orlando Julius & The Heliocentrics- Jaiyede Afro The Heliocentrics have been busy this year, and this album recorded with afro-jazz legend and pioneer Orlando Julius has only enhanced his reputation. Another high calibre release on Strut who had a great 201.
Damien Jurado- Brothers & Sisters of the Eternal Son A real renaissance album from Jurado, with my personal highlight Silver Timothy.
Jennifer Castle- Pink City Her sweet pitch is steeped in the spiritual folk of Carol Kleyn and akin; the Toronto singers heartfelt album will have you yearning for the simple life. Highlights include Down River and Sailing Away.
Space Daze- Follow My Light Back Home Delightful, sweet and this years perfect summer record from Seapony's Danny Rowland. A super little album of dreampop - watch out for remixes next year..
Jane Weaver- The Silver Globe Picadilly records described this in their end of year list asn " analogue synth-laden pop-krautrock-folk epic." and i don't think i can better that description!
Taylor McFerrin- Early Riser Emotive basslines, zappy moog play and good toplines make this album work to a deeper level, whilst Decisions with Emily King has been on repeat.
Matthew Halsall- When The World Was One “Grooving through time on the spiritual sunship.” (Mojo), this album of modal, spiritual jazz echoes of Coltrane and the greats that have gone before. A real highlight from A Love Supreme Jazz festival too.
Just missed the list: SZA, Mr Twin Sister, Sharon Van Etten, Merchandise, Alvvays
Eddy Giles- Southern Soul Brother (Kent) 2014 saw a bit of a renaissance and focus on Northern Soul, and when i heard Roger at my local record store play this, I had to buy it- super super soul from the singer who is became a preacher man. There's a nice video of the CD here .
Brothers & Sisters- Dylans Gospel (Light In The Attic) Alongside Strut, Light In The Attic had a good year with this the highlight for me, the 1969 recording by Sam Cooke's longstanding producer Lou Rawls and featured Mary Clayton, Glora Jones and others all taking on Bob Dylan's most stirring songs.
Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra Have you heard the latest news from Neptune, Neptune, Neptune? Marshall Allen has and put together this excellent double comp of highlights from the Jazz legends extensive catalogue. Also my favourite artwork of the year.
V/A Too Slow To Disco As purchased from Rise in Bristol this is a fine selection of AOR/Yacht Rock.
LIVE HIGHLIGHTS- Top 6 Gigs
Daptone Soul Revue- Academy Shepherds Bush
Beck- iTunes Festival
Courtney Barnett- Islington Assembly Hall
Sharon Van Etten- Koko
Matthew Halsall Band- Love Supreme Festival
Smashing Pumpkins - Lauren Laverne 6Music Session (Bonus)