Its been a good year for both new music and reissues, and these are my highlights of the year.
King Creosote – From Scotland With Love
His soundtrack to archive film of scottish life was probably my favourite album of the year. You can find out more about the film on the official website “From Scotland with Love.”
Fife-based King Creosote wrote this record to accompany a documentary of archive footage released to coincide with Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games, but more concerned with providing an unsentimentalised vision of Scottish history. These songs respond beautifully to the pathos and drama of their subject, summoning a mood with subtle musical shifts but knowing when to deploy the grand gesture. Miserable Strangers builds from lilting sadness to flickering hope as it imagines an emigrant’s uncertain future; Pauper’s Dough celebrates working class protest with a glorious choir-backed chorus.
Closely followed by his fellow scot… James Yorkston. I think I have just about everything he has released and he keeps putting out original, compelling modern folk music.
James Yorkston – The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society
Staying in Scotland we also have Mogwai. Brooding, ominous, threatening.
Mogwai – The Rave Tapes
Elbow – The Take Off and Landing of Everything
I was late to discovering Elbow and worked backwards from the latest album finding a lot of great music on the way.
Real Estate – Atlas
Jangling guitars and great tunes? Don’t mind if I do!
The two best re-issues for me have come from The Velvet Underground and The Clientele.
The Velvet Underground’s eponymous third album has always been a favourite of mine. The re-issue gives you new mixes, but more importantly, sessions that would have been the fourth album and extended 1969 live tracks.
The Velvet Underground
The Clientele – Suburban Light
The Clientele re released their first album Suburban Light, its all breathy vocals and reverb, conjuring up damp autumnal days. They are a criminally overlooked band in the UK.
2014 complete listings (new and re-issues)