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top 5 so far

it's almost the middle of the year - maybe this'll help me think things through a bit more when the end of the year arrives...

top 5 albums released this year :

  1. Lambchop - is a woman : lush, slow and beautiful. turn it up [listen to them at epitonic].

  2. Neil Halstead - Sleeping on Roads : Great travelling music. Vocally he sounds more like Nick Drake than ever, but he carves out his own territory, especially on, say, driving with Bert and see you on rooftops [listen to him at epitonic].

  3. Grand Salvo - River Road : No difficult second album for Paddy Mann, this ambles along like a dream. Simple rhyming couplets maketh beautiful tales of loneliness and longing. I also have to mention the album launch gig, which may well have been the best gig I've seen this year, minus the middle support act (as much as I hate to say it, I've seen better. but as my mother or grandmother would say, "i'm sure they meant well...").

  4. The Church - after everything now this : A spectacular return to form - the previous album (hologram of baal) seems somewhat muddy and inconsistent (though I'll always love louisiana) compared to this well-polished piece of work, full of steve kilbey's usual dreamy imagery. Best track has to be the awful ache.

  5. Golden Rough - Provenance : I was worried they might not be able to follow up This Sad Paradise - a hard act to follow - but it seems I needn't have worried. More great storytelling, and the vocal influence of Joe Pernice seems undeniable. Great gig at the Empress, too. I just wish I could've stayed to see all of Matt Walker.

  6. Songs: Ohia - Didn't it Rain : I was only going to mention 5 albums, but it didn't seem fair to leave this one out. A wonderful progression on previous efforts, and the perfect introduction to Jason Molina's work if you haven't heard it before. [listen to him at epitonic]

Honourable mention goes to Giant Sand's Cover Magazine, and the Willard Grant Conspiracy + Telefunk in the fishtank release [epitonic].

Top 5 2002 purchases not released this year :

  1. American Music Club - Mercury : Perhaps the zenith of Mark Eitzel's fabulously sad songwriting - not that more recent efforts are anything to sniff at, but this album's truly legendary, with tracks like Johnny Mathis' Feet, Apology For An Accident and I've Been A Mess (I'd keep going, but...).

  2. Slowdive - Souvlaki : Alison has to be one of the best-sounding songs I've ever heard.

  3. Ladytron - 604 : late 70's / early 80's synth retro done just right. Whether it's a lack of originality, or a desire to accurately reflect their influences, I really don't care [listen to them at epitonic].

  4. Pete Yorn - musicforthemorningafter : it's catchy as hell and I just can't help it.

  5. Willard Grant Conspiracy - Everything's Fine : a nice deepish voice (not quite Johnny Cash kinda deep) with more good stories and a certain depth of atmosphere provided by an array of willing helpers.[listen to them at epitonic].

Honourable mentions to The Handsome Family's Twilight [epitonic] and Josh Rouse's Under Cold Blue Stars [epitonic].

* 17:44 * music