I'm also missing some albums that I suspect would be strong contenders for favourites - the new Elliott Brood, the new Dan Mangan, and the new Rural Alberta Advantage spring to mind - as it's becoming increasingly difficult to find music in stores around here. So while I sit by the mailbox, waiting for my orders to arrive allow me to tell you about my choices for:
Favourite 11 of 11
1. The Decemberists - The King is Dead
- I never get tired of this album. Listen after repeat listen, I become completely engrossed in the achingly lovely ballads and the insanely catchy guitar-driven rock.
2. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
- I waffled for a long time before finally deciding that this would be my second choice. A very close second it is. This album is a rollicking, passionate feel-good blast of singalong goodness.
3. The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart
- boy-girl harmonies, exuberance, sweet melodies, all good.
4. Radical Face - The Family Tree: the Roots
- Even those songs that start out restrained end up in handclaps eventually. Awesome.
5. Beirut - the Rip Tide
- The gorgeous sweeping drama that you expect from Beirut, with accessible and catchy melodies.
6. Whitehorse - Whitehorse
- The husband and wife team of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland have gone in a surprisingly inventive direction, with lots of traditional touches.
7. Wilco - The Whole Love
- Classic Wilco, nuff said.
8. Wild Flag - Wild Flag
- The girls can rock, and I love the touches of rockabilly that keep this album surprising.
9. Radiohead - King of Limbs
- Not the best Radiohead album by any stretch of the imagination, but it has some touches of brilliance that save it from obscurity.
10. Austra - Feel It Break
- Wonderfully inventive looping sonic invasion.
11. Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi
- Calvi's big voice, paired with cinematically retro arrangements, make this album feel like living inside a James Bond movie. Dramatic stuff.
Let's see what musical goodness 2012 holds, shall we?