Melodicablog 19.12.11

More stuff about the music and stories on this week’s Melodica.

All the shows are archived on the Chris Coco page at Mixcloud.

There’s a new Melodica chart on Juno Download: here.

Follow Chris Coco on Mixcloud

Long Players of the Year

1 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

I was late on this one. After seeing her perform at Bestival I couldn’t stop playing it. The album is a masterpiece, it sums up the grit and the glory of England’s long faded light. I love to think of David Cameron travelling back from his EU meetings singing “God damn Europeans, take me back to beautiful England…” without the required sense of irony.

2 Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise

Jaar was a pivotal artist for Melodica, he bridged the gap between the electronic club music and the experimental downtempo stuff. His music is at home at a sunset session as it as at an urban basement comedown.

3Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts

Sonic Youth’s main man with a beautiful, mostly acoustic, rather hippy album, and it’s produced by Beck. The first three tracks are as close to perfection as a human can get.

4 Metronomy – The English Riviera

Metronomy, self-concious, mildly hedonistic, thoughtful, beautiful in a strange way, they are so English it hurts, in a good way.

5 James Blake – James Blake

James Blake shifted the sound of the mainstream several degrees to the left with his fine debut LP and the hit, Limit To Your Love, written by Feist of course. He’s annoyingly preppy and has already become part of the major machine but his live show, which I saw at Glastonbury, is amazingly strong and emotional.

6 Radiohead – King Of Limbs

Yes, they are in a league of their own, beyond comparison or criticism. Codex is one of the greatest musical moments ever. I got stuck in the Coop with a shopping bag in one hand and an ipod in the other, listening to it on repeat, marvelling at the beauty of it all.

7 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes live was another magic moment from this year’s Glastonbury Festival. The album is wonderful, strong, powerful, coherent and beautiful.

8 Jonathon Wilson – Gentle Spirit

Retro 70s style LA muso meandering it may be but there is such a, um, spirit and atmosphere in this album I just keep coming back to it.

9 Gil Scott Heron & Jamie XX – We’re New Here

Old soul meets new soul for this wonderful collaboration album, made more poignant by the death of Gil, of course. This album sort of sums up the year, the gritty soul voice manipulated by the cheeky young turk. There are no more boundaries, all music is happening all at once.

10 Sepalcure – Sepalcure

Post dubstep space and vibes from the New York area, again lots of atmosphere in emotion wrung out of the ones and zeroes.

11 Feist – Metals

This is just a really good old school album, great songs, proper production, excellent playing, one to listen to again and again.

12 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Mirror Traffic

Beck produces and reins in the worst guitar muso excesses of the eloquent Malkmus, includes the lyric that says so much about our society – “We know what the senator wants, what the senator wants is a blow job”.

13 Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Layers and layers of sound, acoustic and electronic mashed into a strange new palette, this is not always an easy listen but it is rewarding and some kind of beautiful.

14 Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine

Jazzy chillwave with great melodies and songs, so hooky you have to keep going back for more.

15 Lanterns On The Lake – Gracious Tide Take Me Home

This one mixes electronica with more traditional slo mo band sounds to create something really lovely and atmospheric.

16 Samantha Whates – Dark Nights Make For Brighter Days

My favourite singer with her debut, proper folk album, great songs and a pure voice.

17 Tycho – Dive

Spacy electronica at it’s best.

18 Ducktails – III Arcade Dynamics

Small sounds, found sounds, deep in the woods somebody is playing the guitar and it sounds fantastic, soundtrack music for outdoor living, includes the excellent Killing The Vibe featuring Panda Bear.

19 Seahawks – Invisible Sunrise

This is the sound of psychedelic Balearic music, get lost in it.

20 Robag Ruhme – Thora Vukk

Clicky, crackly, house music filtered through from the 80s to 2011.