Picking my favourite five Scottish albums of the year is usually a straightforward affair, but this was a particularly top 12 months for Scottish music and there this has been a difficult selection to make. So apologies to Burnt Island, Lloyd Cole, Meursault, The Scottish Enlightenment, Belle and Sebastian and Mitchell Museum all of whom were close to inclusion. Here are those who made it:
1) Teenage Fanclub’s Shadows is their best since 1997’s Songs From Northern Britain. It doesn’t break any new ground, and nor would we want it to. Nobody is as good as being Teenage Fanclub as Teenage Fanclub, despite the best efforts of others. For the full review click here Out of the Shadows… This is one of the tracks of the year, it’s Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything:
2)Steve Mason: Boy’s Outside. When fellow blogger and music industry tycoon Peenko asked me to vote for my top 5 albums of the year for the 2010 BAMS (the link to which you can find in the far column), this is the one that I forgot about, and I can’t believe that was the case. I’ve probably played it more than any other album this year bar John Grant’s Queen of Denmark. For all those who miss the Beta Band, Boy’s Outside will help, and the full review can be found here; Outside Now… Here he is with an acoustic version of the beautiful All Come Down:
3) I Build Collapsible Mountains: A Month of Lost Memories. From the stable of the aforementioned Peenko came Luke Joyce’s solo project. I loved it from first listen and I think you might as well. To read a longer review go to I Build Collapsible Mountains… This is a live version of Rails:
4)Admiral Fallow: Boots Met My Face. This was a late entry as I didn’t get my copy until just before Christmas, but it’s what I’ve been mostly listening to since. There were lots of fantastic, melodic, music made this year which featured harmonies and the unexpected return of the flute, but Admiral Fallow just saw off the other contenders. This is from their performance at T in the Park, and it’s Subbuteo:
5)Edwyn Collins: Losing Sleep. You can’t listen to Edwyn Collins’ latest album without your mind going to the struggles he has been through recently, but after a while you simply concentrate on the music and this is a terrific record, one of his very best. You can read the full review here Back to the Old School… and watch the video for the nostalgic You’ll Never Know below:
So that’s it for another year.
Just in case any one’s wondering, my top five non-Scots albums were:
1)John Grant: The Queen of Denmark
2)Elvis Costello: National Ransom
3)Kisses: The Heart of the Nightlife
4)Eels: End Times
5)Avi Buffalo: Avi Buffalo
Every one a peach. Have a great Hogmanay and I’ll see you on the other side.