Albums of 2011- part two (40-31)



40: Damon and Naomi, False Beats and True Hearts

On which the pair update their post-Galaxie 500 dream pop template to incorporate more classic rock moves, fuzz and grind, with occasionally sublime results.

39: Low, C’Mon

Low do Low. C’mon.

38. Dark Captain, Dead Legs and Alibis

Dropping the ‘/Light Captain’ half of their name, Dark Captain more than hold their own next to the aforementioned indie legends. Harmony-laden folk-rock narcotics with a motorik pulse.

37. North Sea Radio Orchestra, I, A Moon

The North Sea Radio Orchestra’s strongest album to date, with acoustic krautrock segments added to their usual beguiling chamber orchestrals. This is also Craig Fortnam’s most personal release under the NSRO banner- search for my interview with the NSRO leader on the subject of this album and its inspiration.

36. Julia Kent, The Green and Grey

Simple, classical cello instrumentals from a member of Antony’s Johnsons. Subtle and understated, you feel their absence acutely when the CD ends.

35. Baby Dee, Regifted Light

Another largely instrumental album in the classical tradition; another former associate of Antony and the Johnsons, for that matter. But Dee edges it on the strength of her songwriting and personality. “I want that pie…!”

34. Liz Green, O Devotion!

Manchester’s oddly old-fashioned folk chanteuse delivers her long-awaited debut album; spare, sweet, affecting and out of time.

33. The Coathangers, Larceny and Old Lace

All-girl lo-fi punk band from the states, whose sense of melody and sparsely experimental arrangements lift them above the pack. Like if the Lunachicks had gone in more of a Swell Maps / Subway Sect direction…

32. Maria and the Gay, Greatest Hits Volume One

More lo-fi punk rock, this time from Manchester’s answer to the Moldy Peaches. A pop sensibility worthy of the B-52s or the Go-Go’s underlies these scurvy council flat rants, the fanzine loneliness and the pritt-stick production values, and there’s an ace cover of Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ to boot. Sent to me by Robert Lloyd of The Nightingales, which is nice.

31. Magazine, No Thyself

An ultimately disappointing comeback from one of all-time favourite bands still manages to be my 31st favourite of the year, and maybe not as bad as my Stool Pigeon review made it out to be. Worth it for the comedy-porno second track alone, this often descends into knowing self-parody and often sounds weirdly like the great lost Brighton band of the last decade, Celebricide. Still not a patch on Real Life, mind.

More to follow!


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