Welsh is always wonderful sounding to sing in, even though I do admit the language barrier could mean that Lisa Jen Brown could actually be singing beautifully sounding missives complaining about the influx of immigrants on the country and how she now feels like a foreigner in her own country wot wiv all dese darkies about and I’d be none the wiser. With her fantastic voice acting as further and extremely potent musical instrument ‘Tincian’ is essentially a collection of exquisite sounding mood pieces. Extraordinarily listenable
54 Say Anything: Hebrews
Well any album that starts with a song called John McClane is never going to be that bad is it? Brilliant and catchy pop punk that doesn’t mind being a little unusual, so unconcerned in fact that the album’s sound can occasionally verge off into the extremely irritating but no way near often enough to really hurt the record. The way that guitars have been generally thrown out shows how confident the band are that the song’s sheer quality is good enough to work without most standard rock tricks, a belief that’s almost always proved to be correct. Perhaps I only like it so much because the lyrics to 666 speak to me somehow (‘I lost my virginity to myself/I’m just sparks and meat/I believe in love but I’m gassy, dark and hollow/I’d rather drink, smoke, die young, be reborn and repeat’)
Demarco’s third album may be the most difficult record of 2014 to truly dislike, even if the title track’s ruminations on the difficulties of aging (‘As I’m getting older, chip upon my shoulder/Rolling through life, to roll over and die’) can be slightly annoying coming from the mouth of a 23 year old. Dude, let’s all just chill out, yeah? Too much effort can be, like, totally offensive bro. It can be difficult to truly love an album quite so weightless, even though it must take a shitload of work to sound this effortless.
I know, I really thought this would be much higher too, this list is full of twists and turns and it’s me writing the fucking thing. Asgeir’s wonderful second has already sold about a million copies in his native Iceland, which when you consider the population means about 242% of all Icelanders own a copy. Professional polymath John Grant translated the lyrics into English for Ásgeir Trausti’s attemp at the Western markets, so are we to blame Grant for lyrics that occasionally sound far too World-weary and downbeaten for a 19 year old? The one real complaint about ‘In the Silence’ is that it can very occasionally be weighed down by it’s overwhelming ‘niceness’ but it is nonetheless an absolute delight.
My goodness, just listening to this album now has increased my general mood 564%, I love everybody and every thing, there really isn’t enough people in the World to hug is there? Admittedly that could be the MDMA I’ve just taken, but I only did that because I knew I was going to be listening to the wonderful ‘Heart Murmours’ so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. A wonderful collection of well- crafted pop songs that really deserve to become new standards- I for one would love to see Fleur East singing the equally wonderfully named I Want to Be Yout One Night Stand on next week’s X Factor, though I accept that may be more for personal reasons. Sure, nothing here is going to shake the World’s very core, but it’s still an absolutely spellbinding collection.