Monday, November 14, 2016

4 Reasons Why I Haven't Made My End-of-Year List Yet

Now that we're approaching the middle of November and Halloween, Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day are all in the rear view mirror, it's apparently now acceptable to start showing Christmas movies on TV and talking about end-of-year lists. Twitter account @TheFestive50 yesterday posted a tweet suggesting that they'll be taking nominations from Friday onwards, and when I went into Spillers last week to pick up the new Conor Oberst album, owner Ashli asked me if I wanted to email them my top 10 albums so that they can put my list up on the wall with everyone else's in a few weeks' time. (Incidentally, that new Oberst album is great and will most likely be somewhere on my top 10 list when I do eventually make it.)

I'm as thrilled as the next man that Christmas is on the horizon once again, and I'm very much looking forward to revisiting all the great music I've listened to in 2016 and deciding which songs and albums are worthy of the all-important year-end list this time around. However, I haven't given any serious thought to the contents of that list yet, because there are a few albums I still want to spend some time with before I make my mind up. I don't intend to commit to any final decisions on what constitutes the 'Best of 2016' until I've got my hands on the following LPs:

N.B. All of these albums are out now - I just haven't got around to them yet.

Home on Native Land by The Hidden Cameras

The Hidden Cameras are one of my favourite bands, so it wouldn't do to compile my 'Favourite Albums of 2016' list when they've a brand new album out that I haven't yet heard. It especially wouldn't do to thus discount an album that apparently features guest turns from the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Feist, Neil Tennant, and Mary Margaraet O'Hara (I've been revisiting Falling Down a Mountain by Tindersticks recently and she's amazing on Peanuts). Rest assured I'll be stuffing this one into my earholes just as soon as I feel I can afford to buy it.

Requiem by Goat

I nearly bought Requiem, the third album from tribal-themed psych/dance outfit Goat, during a recent trip to Bristol (Fopp were giving away a free tote bag with every copy), but my local loyalties overcame my fondness for marketing giveaways and I decided to wait until I was back in Cardiff and could purchase it from Spillers. Of course, when I next made it to Spillers, some other album caught my eye and I bought that instead. But I'm still very curious to hear what the follow-up to the fantastic Commune sounds like.

Cryptoseismology by Almanac Mountain

I'd never heard of Almanc Mountain until a few months ago, when their new song Harborside premiered on Gold Flake Paint. I liked it a lot, and made a mental note to buy the album when it came out in October. I still fully intend to honour that mental note, even if I am running a bit late on it.

Fist & Palm by Bellows

Just before Fist & Palm came out, I read an interview with Bellows - another artist I was unfamiliar with until quite recently - on The Grey Estates. To be honest, I haven't even listened to any of Bellows's music yet, but I was so intrigued by the new album's concept and by the way Oliver Kalb spoke about his music that I'd like very much to hear Fist & Palm a few times before I commit to a top 10 this year.

What albums are you waiting to hear before you start putting together your year-end lists? Let me know on Twitter.

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