Between looking for a job, jabbing people with needles in Ghana, popping in and out of Canada pretending that I live there and befriending the post man I also heard some great tunes. Just in case anyone is interested I’ve gathered them all together . It’s like a box of Quality Street, surely there’ll be at least one or two that you like!
15. Safari Disco Club – Yello
Just great pop music that makes me wish I was in Paris swinging my bits to the hits.
14. Velcro – BellX1
Doing what BellX1 do best – making catchy, listener-friendly nuggets of fun
13. Sweet Dancer – The Waterboys
One of a number of standout tracks from the album An Appointment with Mr Yeats. The words are by WB Yeats and the music by Mike Scott, a match made made in heaven it would seem.
12. Oh Sleep – Lisa Hannigan & Ray Lamontagne
A wonderful duet by two singers I’ve always loved. A sweet lullaby that was the golden moment of Lisa’s album for me.
11. Written on the forehead – PJ Harvey
It’s kind of ridiculous choosing just one song from this incredible album – my favourites change constantly and the whole is far greater than the sum of their parts. But this was the first song I heard from the album and instantly loved its bizarre reggae and the image of people throwing dinars at the bellydancers.
10. Ü Berlin – R.E.M.
A classic R.E.M. song from a pretty great final album. I for one will definitely miss them.
9. Ah! – Linnea Olsson
A great song to jump right into the world of Linnea Olsson and see if, like me, it makes you say Ah!
8.Train – Younger Brother
A wonderfully atmospheric song that grooves along like a train bringing you to a place you’ve always wanted to go to.
7. January Hymn – The Decemberists
An exquisite tune about a separation in the depths of winter when shoveling the snow brings the green ground below. What were the words I meant to say before you left, when I could see your breath lead where you were going to. Stunning!
6. The Stand – Mother Mother
How I absolutely love Mother Mother, the combination and harmonies of their voices with that special pop sprinkled rock is just something I need more of in my life. This was the lead single of their great new album.
5. Shattering Sea – Tori Amos
Just Like with PJ it’s close to impossible to pick just one song from this collection but as the first on the album it’s a great representation of what you might expect. Just like the rest of this album, Shattering Sea is remarkable in its music and scope. It is not necessarily accessible on the first listen but it didn’t take me too long to fall in love.
4. Bad as Me – Tom Waits
Waits returned this year with a guttural roar. This track makes me want to pick up a megaphone and shout to passerbys how utterly fabulous this man is. No good you say, well that’s good enough for me. It’s classic Waits’ twisted lyrics, dirty beats and it even has a mid point countdown in Spanish. Crank it up loud, the world needs this!
3. Lose it – Austra
Just a delicious song from a totally new name for me. Austra is clearly ridiculously talented and I look forward to where she goes from here seeing as this is the standard of her debut! So good that you have two versions, stripped down or 80′s-tastic – take your pick.
2. Somebody that I used to know – Gotye
Pop songs don’t often come as well rounded as this. He may not be the most consistent artist but when he gets it right he really excels. Everything about this song is perfect.
1. Do you remember – Ane Brun
I think I knew I wouldn’t hear anything finer all year when those first drums beats announced the return of the incredible Ane Brun. I love the rhythms, the melody, the excitement, the vocals, and of course the extraordinary video. Superb! My very favourite of 2011.