Yes, it’s nearly that time again. Christmas tree’s are being dusted off and taken out of cupboards, the wrapping papers is being spread out and the coca cola lorries have turned on their engines. Musically, it’s been a busy year. But what albums are the ones that we’ll still be playing in 2012?
Wu Lyf – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain: Mancunian jungle pop draped over a foundation of indie-rock. Under their hyper-anonymous complexities, the foursome have thrown a solemn war cry of depthless harmonies and textures forward in their debut album. Hiding under sparkling melodies and corse vocals, much more will be expected of Wu Lyf as 2012 dawns ever closer.
For Fans Of: Local Natives, Little Comets.
Wild Beats – Smother: Mastering the difficult third album, the tenor and soprano parallel of Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming jostled the bands eloquent and gentle album to number 17 in the UK charts. Ignorant of their chart success, the concentrated and delicate piano and guitar harmonies bleed the groups true intentions, as well as re-writing their whole dissipation, from indie-pop dancer, to grown harmonious composers.
For Fans Of: The Antlers, Tom Vek.
Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting: Soulful and self-produced brilliance from post-dubstep’s latest think tank. Soft and timbre house beats cutting through sharp R&B vocals, ranging pitches and exploring all levels of chill out music, Woon swooned his way into LP production this year. With tight, creative production practices, majestic vocal ability and reaching number 15 in the charts with his debut album, Woon is the perfected remedy for mainstream R&B.
For Fans Of: James Blake, Burial.
Chapel Club – Palace: New wave, Smith-style indie rock, piling on arrogance and ear rings, the London five-piece have lullabyed a succinct and bi-polar album in the shape of Palace. Cathedral reverb, coherent bass playing that brings Joy Division-esque nostalgia, Lewis Bowman and co have brought much more than just the Morrisey quiff back to music.
For Fans Of: The Smiths, Echo And The Bunnymen.
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake: Winning her third Mercury prize didn’t do Polly Jean Harvey’s 8th studio album justice, as she was quoted by NME to have conquered in creating “the war album” in relation to Earnest Hemmingway’s war novel, and Coppola’s war film. Albeit, Harvey creates no conflict in one of the undisputed albums of 2011, emulating alternative folk rock back into the spectrum.
For Fans Of: Anna Calvi, Kate Bush.
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo: Precious, emotive and plucked heartland alternative rock from one of musics more acquired artists. Blending folk rock with grunge influences of Sonic Youth, Vile co-ordinated a vast minimal attack on all things undesirable with his basic but beautiful effort. Singing about love, growing your hair lower than your knees and wearing t-shirts too small for you has never been cooler.
For Fans Of: Atlas Sound, Deerhunter.
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost: Inspired by Christopher Owen’s addiction to “serious and very heavy opiates”, Father, Son, Holy Ghost files down to roots surf rock core. Twined with hard post-punk connotations, the Pink Floyd meets Beach Boys record places blames on serious issues to narrower forms, and sings out Owens’ own self loathing. A darkly brilliant album, that will still be needing psychotherapy well into 2012.
For Fans Of: Yuck, Smith Westerns.
Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blue & Melancholy Jam: Mumbling over experimental hip hop and post grime beats has never sounded so interesting. Following support slots for Metronomy and Jamie Woon, Ghostpoet has blended his way into the electronic scene, dexterously pasting manic mood swings and melodic twists during the process. He wins best album name for 2011 if nothing else.
For Fans Of: Mos Def, Jamie XX.
Metronomy – The English Riviera: Arguably the best album of the year, the electro-pop quartet have captured the true essence and extract of British culture, and turned it into curly haired indie experimentation. Joe Mount, the mad scientists behind this venture, kept his buttons done up as Metronomy’s third studio production set fire to the alternative music charts, and kept it’s modest talents riding on the waves and dampening the sand on the British seaside.
For Fans Of: Late Of The Pier, Is Tropical.
The Horrors – Skying: Faris and co decided they were grown up enough to self produce their follow up to NME’s album of the year for 2009 Primary Colours. A brave move considering the predecessor to Skying, but the band kept all credibility in making an incredible album. With a vast new wave preponderance, conventional Horrors synthesizers and a fancy new red lather jacket, Faris and his fellow musicians cut close to the seems in delivering a worthy opponent to Primary Colours.
For Fans Of: S.C.U.M, Cats Eyes.