2005 was a pretty good year for music, but you had to dig for it. My maximal list, in alphabetical order:
- A Hawk And A Hacksaw — Darkness At Noon
- Animal Collective — Feels
- Beck — Guero/Guerolito
- Bright Eyes — Digital Ash In a Digital Urn/I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
- Caribou — Marino Audio: yes, it’s a promo. A combination of the audio tracks from the Marino DVD release and the 2005 tour CD, I much prefer it to The Milk of Human Kindness.
- The Decemberists — Picaresque: I know all the hip kids had it as MP3s last year.
- Dressy Bessy — Electrified
- The Fruit Bats — Spelled in Bones: folk, with just the right tinge of bubblegum
- Malcolm Middleton — Into The Woods: anyone who can sing about the existential possibilities of Falkirk High station, and also about love & chips, is deep into the Scottish psyche.
- Of Montreal — The Sunlandic Twins
- Kate Rusby — The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly
- Sigur Rós — Takk …: and yet I still don’t know what they’re singing about.
- Sufjan Stevens — Illinois
- Teenage Fanclub — ManMade
- Vashti Bunyan — Lookaftering: don’t dismiss this as merely fey hippy nonsense; it’s beautiful fey hippy nonsense.
We like them, they like us:
- Dan Jones — Get Sounds Now: Catherine’s elementary school friend rocks out
- Lazerlove5 — Flicker Mask: fine funkiness from a fellow feg.
Excellent compilations from 2005:
- Ivor Cutler — An Elpee and Two Epees
- Charlie Poole & The Roots of Country Music — You Ain’t Talking to Me
Some excellent tracks, but not entirely memorable as albums:
- Devendra Banhart — Cripple Crow: I’m a Child is crazed genius, but lose the Spanish lounge music, eh?
- Eels — Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
- Jennifer Gentle — Valende: I Do Dream You is the perfect garage punk song.
- John Parish — Once Upon a Little Time
- Sleater-Kinney — The Woods
- Wolf Parade — Apologies to the Queen Mary: what was with the lumpen first few tracks?
Next year, look out for The Lollipop People’s We Need a New F-Word. I like their offensive avant-cabaret noise more than I should.