Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Off The Record Top 15: Part 2 (Sandra's Picks)

What I love about doing this part, is taking the time to recognise amazing records that have in some way made my year. I had no trouble compiling my list together but I did have trouble placing them in positions; which I still don't agree with because I'd like to think each of them are in top position in their own different ways. It's the time where I can give considerable mentions to new discoveries I've found but never found the time to make a post about because I was either too late or something. I should remind you there are few days left to vote for album of the year. Votes are still being counted and there is still time. The links are situated on the side menu. I'll announce the list some time in the next few days. For now I'll leave you with my list for Top 15 albums. Downloads are for limited time, after that do your self a favour and purchase these lovely albums.

01. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
Tracyanne Campbell is certainly a lyrical genius. This is their third album release and the best yet. This is album is more of a diary set to music; every song on this record evokes a 60's feel to it; catchy and upbeat. This music is perfectly its own; bright, nostalgic, melancholic dream pop with wistful female vocals.

Camera Obscura Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken

02. Peter Bjorn And John - Writer's Block
These guys drove Swedish pop into a new direction. Sensitive but intense; capturing the brilliance each song. Whistling and great beats grabbed my attention and straight into my head with Young Folks and Amsterdam. Yeah, so much I made it into the layout of this site. But I must say it fits well to the purpose of Writer's Block.

Peter Bjorn And John Paris 2004

03. The Mint Chicks - Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!
My favourite band and probably my most anticipated album of the year and I wasn't at all disappointed but rather surprised of the new sound. More pop than punk driven which gave more success to this hardworking New Zealand group. Seeing them live for the first time a few weeks ago really made it more worthy of placing them in this position. Crazy? Yes indeed. The Mint Chicks are amazingly dangerous performers.

The Mint Chicks This Is Your Last Chance To Be Famous My Love

04. Julian Nation - We Are All Writers
I do believe this lo-fi record had been one of my picks for the longest of time and well deserved it is to be on my list. Julian has come a long way of creating perfect simple pure pop tunes and this record is a sure achievement of that. His song writing is
nostalgic, open, honest and sincere, quite like a life time scrapbook with personal entries and photographs.

Julian Nation Appetite For Destruction

05. be your own PET - be your own PET
What a year for be your own PET, being signed to Thurston Moore's label Ecstatic Peace and sadly the departure of drummer Jamin Orrall. This album was definetly a one that made my year with Jemima bringing riot grrl back. Fast paced, trashy, heart pumping, sweaty and certainly not for the old or faint hearted. be your own PET just want to throw a party because us kids want to have Fuuuuun.

Be Your Own Pet Bog

06. The Grates - Gravity Won't Get You High
Alana, John and Patience...a world without them would seem uninteresting and boring. If you've listened to them, seen them live you would understand the fun The Grates deliver. Trampoline jumping, ribbon twirls, head bangs and hyperactive kids. We all need a little bit of The Grates.

The Grates Little People

07. Belle And Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Three years for the long await for The Life Pursuit and what a record it turned out to be. Different set up to the previous Dear Catastrophe Waitress, but nonetheless another classic Belle And Sebastian record to add to the collection. I was lucky to catch them in June on their tour and amazing they were. Their live performance would among my favourite of this year also.

Belle And Sebastian Funny Little Frog

08. Dappled Cities Fly - Granndance
This is a mature sophomore record for Dappled Cities Fly, within the first few weeks of its release had receive large amounts of praise by the media being voted as Australia's #1 band. They are one my most seen live and enjoyable bands of 2006. The signature falsettos and chaotic pop have some what developed in this record, sounding less like the A Smile days and created the remarkable Granddance.

Dappled Cities Fly Vision Bell

09. Lily Allen - Alright, Still
You have to give it to Lily Allen and the crap NME gave to her. This debut record is a very personal; ranging from bad relationships to a song about her brother being a bum. The songs achieve a great rhythmic sound while the actual lyrics involve laughing at the expense of others. Reggae, soul, pop or ska. I think this is listenable to all.

Lilly Allen Everything's Just Wonderful

10. The Rapture - Pieces Of The People We Love
We all need a dance record and this is certainly my one this year. The Rapture showing us just how they do and how to move our feet once again. This record is aimed specifically at the kids who just don’t dance anymore which lyrics in Whoo! Alright-Yeah...Uh Huh suggests; ("People don’t dance no more / They just stand there like this / They cross their arms and stare you down / and drink and moan and piss.")

The Rapture Don Gon Do It

11. The Long Blondes - Someone To Drive You Home
From the early stages of countless chart topping singles in 2005; The Long Blondes finally set foot and created brilliant full length album. 50’s influence is as apparent on their music and it is in their style. English accents as they get, this album beats fellow Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys by far.

The Long Blondes Swallow Tattoo

12. Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson In Crime
One of my favourite discoveries this year. They've just signed onto Australian label Dew Process Records; home of Sarah Blasko, The Grates and Expatriate. The album is due in Australia in March next year, it's already been released in the UK, US and their home country Canada. You can't deny the hype, this stuff is actually good.

Tokyo Police Club Cheer It On

13. Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That
The ever so catchy smooth sounds of a suave French band never seem to fail me. Though they sing in English, musically they make excellent use of missed beats and pauses in this album; pure brillance. Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on some tickets soon to the V Festival to see them.

Phoenix Lost And Found

14. The Crayon Fields - Animal Bells
Another Melbourne lo-fi artist in this list. Imagine twee going into the depths of darkness. One of the fantastic bands to emerge back into 2006 with a new album. Best record of theirs!

The Crayon Fields Lovely Time

15. The Lovely Feathers - Hind Hind Legs
Quirky and eccentric is described for these insane & disorientated experimental Canadians on their second record. The lyrics are absurd ("Oh! Let’s go outside / Put the car in drive / To the cornfield side / There, / We’ll take off our pants / Kiss the corn and dance / Kiss the corn and romance"), the videos are weird (see Frantic) and well, they're plain fabulously fun. This album's hypnotic and exhilarating to listen to.

The Lovely Feathers In The Valley


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