BEST OF 2012: Another Twenty

The process of putting together the end of year list is long and drawn out. Albums move up and down a large document until the final thirty reveal themselves. But what of the late bloomers, forgotten charmers or even albums released in December? Well, they miss out. Simple as that and, as I said back at the start of the month, a year from now I’ll be looking back and wanting to move a few around. In an attempt to stave off some of that geek disillusionment, here are another twenty albums which for one reason or another were not in that main list to help you while away the hours betwixt Christmas and New Year. Enjoy!

Andy Burrows – Company

If albums could make the main list on one song, this would have. ‘Maybe You’ is one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard all year.

Calexico – Algiers

Meatier, smoother and no less melodic. Calexico in fighting form.

Chromatics – Kill For Love

Shimmering Eighties-inflected Italian disco for the ‘Drive’ soundtrack fan in your life.

Colorama – Good Music

Welsh guitar pop which starts slinky and gradually unfurls into an array of gorgeous melodies

Dark Dark Dark – Who Needs Who

Following up ‘Wild Go’, this continues the sparse, piano-led arrangements circling Nona Marie Invie’s naggingly familiar voice.

Ellen And The Escapades – All The Crooked Scenes

Has to be heard for Ellen’s voice. Country tinged indie rock. Beautiful.

Father John Misty – Fear Fun

So close to the original list, a Bella Union delight. J Tillman’s new moniker with fleshed out sounds but the same devastating voice.

Bill Fay – Life Is People

Even closer to the original list. I may have done Mr Fay a disservice. A folk legend based on two albums from forty years ago, this is him now. Luscious production, a lived-in voice and a little help from his friends. Wonderful stuff.

Grizzly Bear – Shields

I really like this lot and the album is perhaps their most measured, crafted outing to date. Still have capacity to surprise and enthrall.

Julia Holter – Ekstasis

Twinkly, squelchy electronica below floaty vocals. A bewitching album.

Jesca Hoop – The House That Jack Built

After the true quirkiness of her earlier releases, this seemed relatively reserved, with some purposeful power pop chops on show. The quieter tracks truly shine however.

La Sera – Sees The Light

Gently jangling, girl group indie pop with a ferocious underbelly. All about the classic melodies.

Lambchop – Mr M

A little like Calexico, some bands reach a point where their majesty is taken for granted. This is a luscious, beautifully recorded record with Kurt Wagner in fine form vocally and lyrically. His best in some time.

Cate Le Bon – Cyrk

A little ragged around edges and blessed with a unique voice, this Seventies rock jangle is endorsed by Gruff Rhys and a very infectious brew.

Moon Duo – Circles

Plain bloody noisy. Buy it on vinyl. Turn it up loud. Leap around the room.

Race Horses – Furniture

Quirky indie pop with hints of Pulp, Dogs Die In Hot Cars and an alternative Morrissey who liked to go to discos. Great fun.

Max Richter – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Recomposed

I know the original, but this meticulously crafted reworking is right up there with his usual work

Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light

The formula went unmessed with and there was much to love. The songwriting was back up to scratch after several middling efforts.

Wild Nothing – Nocturne

Swoonsome indie jangle for fans of Real Estate via the Bella Union stable. Delightful packaging too.

Rachel Zeffira – The Deserters

Released far too late to make the end of year lists, this is a majestic and stirring record. Glacial, orchestral, beautiful.

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