So, it’s over – the year and the list. Time to start making resolutions or plans for 2012? Well, yes, maybe, but we can get to that later. For now there are a few extra miscellaneous bits to tidy up.
First it’s time for a minor awards ceremony. Since the list has been relentlessly positive these are going to be mainly negative.
The “I Don’t Get It” award – PJ Harvey ‘Let England Shake’
I tried to get into this, I really did, but it just seems to be one of her weaker albums. The praise it got from all quarters just baffles me. Also I agree with Duncan that it’s not the time to be celebrating England right now.
The “I Might Like This If You Quit It With The Silly Growly Voice” award – Fucked Up ‘David Comes To Life’
The “Nope, I Still Don’t Like Adele” award – Adele ‘Rolling In The Deep’ / ‘Someone Like You’
Nothing against her personally. Well, except that time she complained about having to pay tax.
Disappointment Of The Year – Twin Sister ‘In Heaven’
I was probably expecting too much from Twin Sister, who are after all just a new band full of fairly inexperienced musicians, but just three fairly good tracks, a lot of filler and one of the worst songs of the year (“Saturday Sunday”) was not what I was expecting from their debut album. I’m starting to think “All Around And Away We Go” was a fluke. But I’ll keep listening
Best Thing That It Turned Out Wasn’t From 2011 – James Blackshaw – Transient Life In Twilight
A near-ten minute experimental acoustic guitar piece. I wish I could’ve found something like this from 2011, but it wasn’t to be. The full version doesn’t seem to be on youtube, so here’s an mp3 instead.
Certain blogs, podcasts and websites were indispensable in making this list. If anyone wants to have a go in 2012 you’ll need these.
20jazzfunkgreats – a place where you can be sure that the music will be great every time, not many of those
BBC Podcasts – The top 40 countdown, the Asian chart, Steve Lamacq’s Round Table, Dubstep Download, The Joy Of 6… there’s even one track sourced from Stewart Maconie’s Freakzone.
Drowned In Sound singles reviews – Very useful for getting a list of the new releases for each week. The focus is a bit too indie for my tastes though.
Earmilk – The best source for new dubstep and electro.
Guardian Music Weekly – their “Singles club” feature was sometimes helpful.
Hospital Records Podcast – This is why there’s so much drum & bass in the list.
The Hype Machine – mp3 blog aggregator. The list of most liked tracks of the last week was particularly helpful.
Large Hearted Boy – This guy compiles lists of ‘best of’ lists every year. I spent much of December going through these.
Not For Resale – New music from Brighton. Very useful for finding obscure witch house, noise and black metal.
Pitchfork – The Playlist – Five or six new songs every weekday. Plenty are nothing special, but the sheer scale of the thing meant that nearly half the tracks on the list were sourced here.
The Singles Jukebox – very handy for keeping up with popular music around the world.
If anyone feels like doing this in 2012 then firstly please reconsider, and then if you really feel like doing it I’d be happy to put the list up for you at the end of the year. I don’t think I’ll personally be doing it again.
Finally I’d like to thank everyone who helped me in compiling this – Ed Lee, Ed Warren, George Cee and Sam Crowfoot in particular.