…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.

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

Soundcast: Albums of the Year 2012

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EARLIER today, Sound Advice revealed the Albums of the Year for 2012.
As you might expect, it’s a mixed bag – with award winning efforts such as Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave rubbing shoulders with the lesser-known likes of Clean George IV.
So to make sure you’re all fully versed in this year’s selection, here’s a playlist below to listen to before you place your vote even further below.

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Sound Advice Albums of the Year 2012

IN THE festive run-up to the end of the year, it’s a time for tradition – and it’s traditional for me to sit down with some headphones and a pad of paper and beat myself up royally about which 10 albums from the year I like best.
Here’s this year’s selection – if you don’t know them, I strongly suggest you get acquainted, I’ll be posting up a playlist later today, and please take a second to vote for your favourite below.
I’ll be explaining a bit more about each selection individually over the coming weeks, and I’d love to hear any suggestions of albums I’ve overlooked in the comments section.

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Soundcast: Offtober

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THE more observant of Sound Advice readers will have noticed that the sum total of two sentences were posted on the blog during October.
Now, I reckon the best way to get back in to the swing of it is to let you know exactly what you’ve been missing while I’ve been away, in the form of an October listening habits playlist so you can all ape me.
First up I’ve been listening a lot to classics both modern and not-so-modern in the form of Alt-J’s all conquering An Awesome Wave, and the entire Beatles back catalogue. So I’d probably have mentioned those.
More recent records in rotation have included Shields by Grizzly Bear – which grows on me more on every listen, like a welcome fungus – and British folk heroes Lau’s Race The Loser, as well as acoustic bass-tastic Reside Away from Kalabi and Remulak, off The Wheel album, which is well worth a spin.
And even more immediate than them there humdingers are Thavius Beck’s The Most Beautiful Ugly and Cody Chesnutt’s Landing On A Hundred – both of which came out this week of all weeks.
Looking forward, I’m also salivating excessively over the prospect of imminent albums from The Sword and Deftones.
And lastly, as October was a month capped with the year’s biggest celebration of PUREST EVIL, I listened a lot to the villainous vocals of Rose Kemp.
Normal service will be resumed this month, I promise.