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!
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.
Meatier, smoother and no less melodic. Calexico in fighting form.
Shimmering Eighties-inflected Italian disco for the ‘Drive’ soundtrack fan in your life.
Welsh guitar pop which starts slinky and gradually unfurls into an array of gorgeous melodies
Following up ‘Wild Go’, this continues the sparse, piano-led arrangements circling Nona Marie Invie’s naggingly familiar voice.
Has to be heard for Ellen’s voice. Country tinged indie rock. Beautiful.
So close to the original list, a Bella Union delight. J Tillman’s new moniker with fleshed out sounds but the same devastating voice.
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.
I really like this lot and the album is perhaps their most measured, crafted outing to date. Still have capacity to surprise and enthrall.
Twinkly, squelchy electronica below floaty vocals. A bewitching album.
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.
Gently jangling, girl group indie pop with a ferocious underbelly. All about the classic melodies.
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.
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.
Plain bloody noisy. Buy it on vinyl. Turn it up loud. Leap around the room.
Quirky indie pop with hints of Pulp, Dogs Die In Hot Cars and an alternative Morrissey who liked to go to discos. Great fun.
I know the original, but this meticulously crafted reworking is right up there with his usual work
The formula went unmessed with and there was much to love. The songwriting was back up to scratch after several middling efforts.
Swoonsome indie jangle for fans of Real Estate via the Bella Union stable. Delightful packaging too.
Released far too late to make the end of year lists, this is a majestic and stirring record. Glacial, orchestral, beautiful.