#11 The Standard Lamps – Sell Everything You Own
This guitar-led pop record is a real gem. Main ‘Lamp’, Mike Wilton, knows his pop history and is happy to share. This album channels great british bands from The Kinks, The Beatles and Free through to Blur. Retro leaning it may be, but is not to be underestimated as it is choc full of great songs, hooks and fun. An excellent debut
#12 The Dreaming Spires – Brothers in Brooklyn
Another album not afraid to offer a generous nod to it’s inspirations. Joe & Robin Bennett put their own spin on Country-Folk and Cosmic American Music. You can hear the Byrds, Big Star and their ilk but it is all done with both reverance and originality, making the songs seem fresh and dynamic. For anyone who likes chiming guitars and an irresistible melody you’ll do well not to fall in love with this record!
#13 Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
The third album from Bat For Lashes is another extraordinary piece of work. Perhaps not as immediate as its predecessors however, we have found ourselves coming back to it time and again. A fascinating artist, a beautiful singer and brilliant record.
#14 Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
One of the many fun things about the blog is asking musicians to recommend their favourite albums – this has led us to some amazing music and this being one example. David from Red River Dialect rated this record so we went out and bought it. We still know nothing about Damien the person/artist, what we do know is this record is both instantly engaging and also stands up to numerous repeat listens!
#14 The Staves – Dead & Born & Grown
We’ve been following the progress of The Staves due to @JVictorsson’s minor obsession. We reckon this album justifies the hype. The vocals are lush, the songs go places you weren’t expecting and they like dressing up as cowboys!
Bubbling under – music from in and around Brighton: some local artists have made it into our Top20, others may have missed out this time, but only because of the strength of the competition. We wanted to recognise a few of the Brighton based musicians who made albums we really liked,
Donna Fullman – Inner World: Donna’s debut is a lush, laid-back affair giving the richness of her vocals centre stage. Oh yeah, ‘Restlessness’ has one of the best opening lines we’ve heard this year!
Hatful Of Rain – Way On Up The Hill: Another debut album and one that brings you bluegrass via Portslade (you’ll have to look it up). The sound of four talented musicians & songwriters having a grand time whilst playing music they love. Main singer/songwriter Chloe Overton hits a notable high on ‘The Exit Song’.
Small Shipwrecks – Eucatastrophe: Intense, dramatic stuff from this Lewes based band. Part Alt-Country part Mike Leigh gritty realism. May be not the easiest to get into but well worth your time.