on Saturday, 30 December 2006
Hi, This is best viewed either here or here, subscribe to the myspace link for regular updates, full archive available at both sites too, for now here's our top ten albums of the year...hope you find something you like...x
Wed, Dec. 27th, 2006, 02:10 pm 2006 - In Review
2006 - In ReviewSo here we are a year older, a little more experienced, a little fatter, a little more confused. It's hard to say now whether it has been a good or bad year for music, in every year equal parts good and bad will be released, sometimes you've just got to a look a little harder. The true music fan has long since given up on the main stream and with the help of myspace it isn't hard to stumble over some great music, take for instance Long Distance Calling, Ilona or Miaou as a few examples. Also sites like The Hype Machine and 8Bit Peoples allow you to try before you buy giving you a chance to discover bands you may well never have. The contrversial world of downloading has in my eyes continued to help underground music, those with negative feelings toward it should really face the reality that making a fortune from your music is a highly unlikely eventuality and really you should be grateful for the opportunity to receive some free promotion...i could go on.I've listed my ten favourite records of the year below, as ever i don't get to hear every album released so there may well be some glaring omissions but after all isn't that the point of posting end of year polls to discover what you've missed?Eternal thanks to all those that have sent promos and demos (email for our address rthblackbitsinbananasbabyspiders AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk) we couldn't do it without you. Next year is looking very special, the Dirty Three ATP line up is keeping me going through these dark winter days, also i can reveal that the Butterflies of Love will be back in February with their new near perfect album...till next year x(ps, if you want to add us as a friend on myspace or subscribe to the blog, go here, now!)

The Blow – Paper Television (K)
Each songs a glowing synth pop jewel, unlike Freezepop who, though they have their time and place, as I get older tend to grate occasionally, maybe a little too twee, instead the Blow give us perfect songs, songs that emit feeling and warmth “when your holding me/ we make a pair of parenthesis/ there’s plenty of space to encase whatever …”songs that’ll make you want to dance but will also carry feeling, subjects you can relate to instead of clever puns about gameboys.

Joanna Newsom – Y’s (Drag City)
I feel there’s not a lot more I can say that hasn’t already been said, I hate it when things get so hyped up, it normally ends in disappointment, however I can say that this is a truly great album, like nothing you will have heard before, it’s a musical vision of immense beauty and scope, go buy it, hire a boat and lose yourself gently drifting downstream as the autumn leaves reflect so perfectly in the still still water.
Johann Johannsson – IBM 1401 – A Users Manual (4ad)
At its most obvious on the fifth and final track Sun’s Gone Dim and the Sky’s Turned Black you may hear Sigur Ros, elsewhere you hear nothing but beauty and gratitude, the slow burning soundscapes sweeping along like on the documentaries you used to watch at school, the clouds whizzing across the sky as it turns from blue to red to black. A flower growing from seed, speeded up, taking in every moment as it sprouts and blooms. Whales swimming in the vast open oceans.

Math & Physics Club – Math & Physics Club (Matinee)
In the world of Indie Pop there is an elite, bands that are capable of writing classic albums that will get ignored by the vast majority yet will bring great joy to floppy fringed boys and flowery dressed hair clip bearing girls, songs they will dance their pants off to in the corner of some grotty indie bar on Friday night, as the “cool” kids walk by not getting it at all, we’re talking bands like All Girl Summer Fun Band, The Aislers Set, Of Montreal, Hefner, Heavenly…if you’d be kind enough please add to these Math and Physics Club.

The Organ – Grab That Gun (Too Pure)
To me this album is closest in sound to the wonderful “On Parade” album by Electrelane, nothing special yet somehow more special than you could ever hope for, in that the songs are not as original as say Bearsuit or maybe Deerhoof instead they are just incredibly well written, beautiful clean guitars, notes picked out rather than chords strummed.

Nathan Fake – Drowning in a Sea of Love (Border Community)
Magical, playful, affectionate and adorable, four words to describe Nathan Fakes fantastic debut on Border Community. Not since Fortdax’s Folly has an album been released that can seriously contend for Boards of Canada’s place on the electronica throne. Here is an album that peaks within 5 seconds and never gets any worse from the breathy intro of Stops right through to the closer Fell.
The Research - Breaking Up (At Large)
Argos catalogue synths battle away with finger melodies and cheap chords, occasionally the kind that would have the 8 bit peoples foaming at the mouth, or conjuring images up of Mates of State should they have secured a sponsorship deal with Fisher Price.
Tarantula AD – Book of Sand (Kemado)
The only way I can describe it is Poodle Rock for the Dirty Three generation, and while that sounds awful I can guarantee you its is everything but. Imagine the scores from the old films, The Vikings and the like, films with Gladiators, red robes and boats rowed by a thousand men, let them paint a pretty yet slightly haunting background, a settled sea stretching as far as the eye can see, the sky blue but with the threat of grey clouds, all cellos and violins, soaring voices like in Paranoid Android before the “kicking squealing Gucci little piggy” riff kicks in, then add the heaviest guitars you can find, sweeping in from afar like a storm of Godspeed or Explosions in the Sky intensity and power, the rain crashing down, physically causing you pain as it makes contact with your skin, then when you think that maybe the quiet loud formula I’ve described is predictable enough the lightning strikes! and here enters the most overblown guitar solo you can find from a man in tight leather jeans but…but played on the Cello!!
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad of the Broken Seas (v2)
Who would have thought that Mark Lanegans rusty voice would compliment Isobels quiet whisper quite so well, a modern day Lee and Nancy.
The Long Blondes - Someone To Drive You Home (rough trade)
Only heard this in the last couple of weeks but that's enough to get it a top ten place, all the best bits of britpop given a 2006 makeover. Songs to make you dance and sing like there's no tommorrow.
Honourable Mentions
Nina Nastasia - On Leaving (fatcat)
Venetian Snares - Cavalcade of Glee and Daddist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms (Planet Mu)Josephine Foster - A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing (Locust)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones (Polydor)
Danielson - Ships (Secretly Canadian)