Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Very belated post - songs of 2006

Hello everyone,

Huge apologies for the prolonged absence. Life at the Northern HQ of Lonesome has been somewhat all-encompassing of late and I've had technical (read: Blogger) issues. So, nearly three months late, here are my favourite tunes of 2006. I've decided not to call it a 'best of' because I don't think that's an accurate title; instead these are songs that have stayed with me over the course of 2006's ups and downs. Moreover, I don’t think I’m qualified to write about albums of the year – after all, I struggle to buy an album that was released more recently than, say, 1972. Besides, I would probably only replicate a lot of Howard's list a few posts back. This is probably the first year that I’ve been fully immersed in downloading from other blogs and it’s interesting to see the influence that that has had on my choices. So - here they are.

The Lonesome Sisters – It’s Better to be Alone. Now you know how I feel about this lot. In fact, they were one of the very first bands that we posted about way back in August 2004. This is more oldey-timey bluegrass with a tinge of gospel about the vocals – I can’t recommend the album Follow Me Down highly enough. (buy it)

Glen Phillips – Released. This creeps up on you, pretending to tread the all too familiar male singer/songwriter path, before changing into something that is really quite lovely by the time the chorus, steel guitar and military drums kick in. (ouchio on amazon)

Cat Power - The Greatest. Okay, so I know that this song has more media coverage than is probably decent, although interestingly not much airtime, but it is still a great song. I swooned when I first heard it last year and I still do. The indie ‘Moon River’. (buy it)

Micah P Hinson – Jackeyed. This is woozy and off kilter, with a disarming charm to it. It reminds me a little bit of Palace Music (Christmas Time in the Mountains-era) but don’t let that put you off. It’s a bit sing-song, the dual vocals mess with your mind through headphones and the instrumentation is never less than surprising (check out the brass section).(buy it)

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – The False Husband. I bought this album on impulse to take with me on the Lonesome jaunt to Barcelona . Tiger Bay-St Etienne meets the Tindersticks. In Twin Peaks.(buy it)

Sarah Harmer - I am Aglow. I saw Sarah Harmer support Kelly Joe Phelps last autumn and this was the stand out track for me – cute girly folky americana to dance around the kitchen to. (Warning: Sarah also played a song that sounded like a Simpson’s spoof on saving the planet. Leeds laughed out loud, but she was serious. Try to avoid it. Unless you want a laugh).(buy it)

The Twilight Singers – Sublime. No-one is more surprised than me that I like this. Honestly, just listen to it. As components, it just shouldn’t work. The cheesy guitar is vile . The 80s drums are awful. It brings up memories of Afghan Whigs, for God’s sake. But still, but still. The sheer swagger of this song made me stop and take note whenever it came on. Heart over head maybe? Moving swiftly on… (buy it)

Peter, Bjorn and John - Young Folks. Best whistling I’ve heard for ages. Fantastic percussion and clever boy/girl lyrics about aging indie kids finding each other on a night out (well, in my mind, or am I just projecting?). Best song on the album by a mile.(buy it)

The Mountain Goats – Woke Up New. This whole album (Get Lonely) is a heartbreaker and this song in particular. The honesty of the lyrics is unflinching and brutal – it tells the tale of the first morning after a break up, waking up alone for the first time, making two cups of coffee out of habit. Then masochistically drinking them both “because you hate it when I let things go to waste.” How’s that for lonesome? (buy it)

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