…And the winner is – Clean George IV cleans up

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AFTER a record number of votes being cast this year – 115 in total – the winner of this year’s Albums of the Year poll is…
(drum roll)
…God Save The Clean, by Clean George IV.
The album pipped frontrunners Fiona Apple, Alt-J, and Grizzly Bear to the gong – no doubt helped by the vote being publicised on Clean George IV’s official Facebook and Twitter!
Also a good sign was the fact the each entry received at least one vote this year.
So congratulations to Clean George IV on a great LP, and thanks to everyone who voted. I’m already looking forward to seeing what 2013 has in store.

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Albums of the Year: Wave Picture perfect

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WYMESWOLD band The Wave Pictures’ album Long Black Cars is the last LP to park itself in the Albums of the Year 2012 lot.
The group sees a slightlier rockier sound driving the ramshackle indie pop which fans of the band know and love.
And atop this, as always, sits David Tattershall’s trademark vocals and perceptive, poetic, bathetic wordplay.
It’s the sound of a band deciding not to reinvent it’s wheel, just to run it that little bit faster and smoother than ever before.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Albums of the Year: Taxidermist a cut above

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NOSTALGIA 77 normally brews up a heady mixture of hip hop breaks and funk, but alongside pianist Matthew Bourne – who I assume is The Monster – The Taxidermist sees the collective led by Ben Lamdin stitching together an altogether jazzier creation.
In addition, there’s his usual fare here too, plus sultry sax, a bit of Latin and Afrobeat tacked on, all sorts of strange influences, to create an odd animal.
It’s eclectic, and an exploration every time you listen.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Albums of the Year: I like I Like Trains

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2012 was the year that wallowing miseries I Like Trains embraced the digital age, and to stunning effect.
The Leeds group and their trademark plodding depressed post-rock was transposed from guitars to synth and computers on The Shallows, as was the subject matter, moving from the likes of doomed historical figures (Elegies To Lessons Learnt) and impending apocalypse (He Who Saw The Deep) to the effect the computer age is having on human culture.
As you can imagine, it’s not been great.
But the great news is, as our society increasingly breaks down into some dystopian matrix, we do now have an LP which is in equal parts cerebral and evocative to soundtrack it.
Hooray.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Albums of the Year: Grizz me slow

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YOU could have penciled in indie rockers Grizzly Bear’s Shields album as an Album of the Year for 2012 then and there back in June 2011, when the group first started working on it.
This is the main is due to my deep, deep love for their previous release Veckatimest, a meticulously crafted, timeless classic of an album – if Shields only turned out a fraction as good as Veckatimest, it would be straight in.
Luckily, it’s more than a bit good.
Although the songs’ brilliance still shines as bright it’s a slow-burner of an album, with tracks less immediate as before – this is because Shields works better as an album as a whole.
It’s just the nuances of the work’s emotion have to be eeked out of this intricate musical construction by the listener over repeated listens – something, I’m sure you’ll agree, listeners will be more than happy to do.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Albums of the Year: Phwoar Tet

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FROM the five potential Albums of the Year I highlighted halfway through 2012, Four Tet’s Pink was the one that came up with the goods.
Not an album as such, the LP is a compilation of recent EPs plus two unreleased tracks – but as a collection it still works.
Pink is a rose-tinted, rich and warm take on the world of dance music and electronica.
Although it’s informed by dancefloor roots, it’s still more of a headphone masterpiece, and throughout Four Tet keeps it simple yet at all times breathtakingly beautiful.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Albums of the Year: Cor blimey it’s Fiona Apple

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THESE days the once-heralded Fiona Apple’s career is almost entirely under the radar – in fact she’d been writing and recording this, her fourth LP, in secret since 2008.
And the hard work – and deliberately obtuse approach – shows on the meticulously crafted The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do (or TIWIWTTDOTSAWCWSYMTRWED for short).
This is a beguiling, beautiful collection of alt-pop, conveyed simply with her unique voice and a sparsely ornamented piano basis, combining elements of experimental vocal jazz.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012