Sunday, 29 November 2015

The best music of the year - a Quiet Revolution perspective

It seems almost impossible that it's come to that time of the year again where I'm reflecting on my favourite musical releases of the last 12 months.

I will begin by saying two things.Firstly, this list is in no particular order. That would be pretty impossible as 2015 has been another fantastic year for music. 

There will of course be some omissions, merely because there are albums I don’t have a copy of yet but would have ended up on this list if I had. Additionally, there may well be an absolute killer of an album that is released several days after I've posted this but that's always going to be a possibilty. This is after all the art of the possible, I work with what I have in the here and now.

One confession, I’ve also broken the rules slightly and added one album, that is not officially released until 2016 but I have a copy now so it felt OK to include it. It is also available to order direct from the artist as I write as part of a special 'early adopter' deal so that makes it feel yet more admissible.  And whilst on the topic of, er, bending the rules,one of my selections isn’t an album or even an EP, it’s a single but there will be an album to come most probably next year so feel I can perhaps get away with that one. 

I haven’t made comments about each selection as it would take me forever and what I suggest though is you seek out the artists music, check out their website, buy an album and go and see them at a gig. I've helpfully added a direct weblink to the artist or band's website and in a separate post created a playlist of YouTube videos of songs from most of the albums I've listed here.

As I write this the music press are putting out their best of releases of the year features and in a few areas I agree, but generally find even my two favourite music magazines, Uncut and Mojo, since you ask,veer towards the mainstream a bit too much for my tastes. On the best releases within the americana and folk genres I find myself more in a position to concur with them in their selections. But that's part of the fun of year end reviews, lists and the fact we all enjoy different things.Which is a way of my saying please let me know through making comments here or via my Twitter account @awquietrevhfm what your thoughts are, who you’ve enjoyed and what your favourites of the year are.  A bit of interaction is always welcome and also serves to point me in the direction of albums that have escaped my radar through the year. It has the added advantage of convincing me that I’m not sitting in a radio studio in front of a microphone and playing music just for myself each fortnight. Reassurance is very important in this game! 

Thanks to all the artists for making such beautiful music through the year and for sending me copies of their albums themselves or through their promoters.

Also I would like to give particular thanks to two great supporters of the show who always go above and beyond to spread the word. So thank you Nick Baker (AKA Macwood Fleet); check out his superb music blog here and Rob Hurley  who also has a strongly recommended blog here

OK so lets away….

Jess Morgan “The Bournemouth EP” (2015, digital DL, Amateur Boxer)

Chip Taylor “The Little Prayers Trilogy” (2015, Train Wreck Recordings)

Gretchen Peters “Blackbirds” (2015, Scarlet Letter Records)

Corinne West “Starlight Highway” (2015, Make Records)

Jones “Happy Blue” (2015, Meme Records)

Paul McClure “Songs for Anyone” (2015, Clubhouse Records)

The Mike & Ruthy Band “Bright as you can” (2015, Humble Abode Music)

Old Man Luedecke “Domestic Eccentric” (2015, True North Records)

Joe Pugg “Windfall” (2015, Loose Music)

Robert Chaney “Cracked Picture Frame” (2015, Jagged Lines)

Dawes “All your favourite bands” (2015, Hub Records)

Gill Landry “Take this body” from “Gill Landry” (2015, Ato Records)

Laura Marling “Short Movie” (2015, Virgin Records)

Don Gallardo “Hickory” (2015, Clubhouse Records)

Josh Rouse “The embers of time” (2015, Yep Roc Records)

Iron and Wine & Ben Bridwell “Sing into my mouth” (2015, Black Cricket Recording Co)

Iron and Wine “Archive series volume number 1” (2015, Black Cricket Recording Co)

Jason Isbell “Something more than free” (2015, South eastern Records)

Sons of Bill “Love and logic” (2015, Thirty Tigers)

Annie Keating “Make believing” (2015, Annie Keating)

Kimmie Rhodes “Cowgirl Boudoir” (2015, Sunbird)

Barna Howard “Quite a feelin’” (2015, Lose Music)

The Staves “If I Was” (2015, Atlantic Records)

Dark Green Tree “Secret Lives” (2015, Haven Records)

Miriam Jones “Between green and gone” (2015, Miriam Jones Music)

James Edwyn and the Borrowed Band “The Tower” (2015, Dead Collective Records)

Vanessa Peters “With the Sentimentals” (2015, Self-released)

Jonathan Byrd and the Sentimentals “Mother Tongue” (2015, Sentimental Music)

James McMurtry “Complicated Game” (2015, Blue Rose Records)

Suzanne Jarvie “Spiral Road” (2015, Continental Song City)

David Corley “Available Light” (2015, Joygernaut Music)

Zervas and Pepper “Abstract Heart” (2015, Zerodeo Records)

The Honeycutters “Me Oh My” (2015, Organic Records)

Danny & the Champions of the World “What Kind of Love” (2015, Loose Music)

The Lone Bellow “Then came the morning” (2015, Decadent Records)

The Tallest Man on Earth “Dark bird is home” (2015, Dead Oceans)

The Barr Brothers “Alta Falls EP” (2015, digital download, Secret City Records)

Anna Coogan and JD Foster “The Birth of the stars” (2015, Anna Coogan)

Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou “Expatriot” (2015, The Anglophone Recording Company)

Gabriel Sullivan “Jupiter” (2015, Fell City Records)

Dean Owens “Into the sea” (2015, Drumfire Records)


Lewis and Leigh “Missing Years EP” (2015, Al Lewis Music)

Pharis and Jason Romero “A Wanderer I’ll stay” (2015, Lula Records)

Danny Schmidt “Owls” (2015, Live Once Records)

Awna Teixeira “Wild One” (2015, Hazy Tales Music)

The Dreaming Spires “Searching for the supertruth” (2015, Clubhouse Records)

Session Americana “Pack up the circus” (2015, Continental Song City)

Andrew Coombs “All These Dreams” (2015, Loose Music)

The Crooked  Brothers “Thank you I’m sorry” (2015, Crooked Brothers)

The Rosellys  “The Granary Sessions” (2015, Clubhouse Records)

Danni Nicols “Mockingbird Lane” (2015, Self-released)

Josh Ritter “Sermon on the rocks” (2015, Pytheas/Thirty Tigers)

Chantal Acda  “The sparkle in our flaws” (2015, Glitterhouse Records)

Samantha Crain “Under branch and thorn and tree” (2015, Full Time Hobby Records)

Alela Diane and Ryan Francesconi “Cold Moon” (2015, Believe Records)

Applewood Road (Emily Barker,Amy Speace and Amber Rubarth) “Applewood Road” digital download single (2015)

Israel Nash “Israel Nash’s Silver Season” (2015, Loose Music)

Elvis Perkins “I Aubade” (2015, MIR)

Co-Pilgrim “Slows to go” (2015, Battle Music)

Rod Picott “Fortune” (2015, Welding Road Records)

Joan Shelley “Over and even” (2015, No Quarter)

Dave Rawlings Machine “Nashville Obsolete” (2015, Acony Records)

Case Hardin “Colours Simple” (2015, Clubhouse Records)

Patty Griffin “Servant of love” (2015, Patty Griffin Music)

Robby Hecht “Evergreen EP” (2015, digital download)

Ana Ege “Bright Shadow” (2015, Grace/Parkinsong)

Kenneth J Nash & Fran Taylor “Live at the Old Hotel EP” (2015, Old Hotel Records)

Glen Hansard “Didn’t he ramble” (2015, Anti Records)

The Self Help Group “Dead Stars” (2015, Union Music Store)

Gilmore & Roberts “Conflict Tourism” (2015, Navigator Records)

Lucy Ward  “I Dreamt I Was A Bird” (2015, Betty Beetroot Records)

O’Hooley and  Tidow “Summat’s Brewin’” (2015, Hum Records)

Sarah McQuaid “Walking into white” (2015, Waterbug)

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin “Watershed” (2015, Dragonfly Roots)

Krista Detor “Barely” (2015, Tightrope Records)

Ange Hardy “Esteesee” (2015, Story Records)

Jonathan Day “Atlantic Drifter” (2015, Niimiikra Records)

Richard Thompson “Still” (2015, Proper Records)

Hungrytown “Further West” (2015, Listen Here Records)

Various Artists “Land of Hope and Fury”  (2015, Union Music Store)

Olivia Chaney “The Longest River” (2015, Nonesuch Records)

Rachel Taylor-Beales  “Stone’s throw,Lament of the selkie” (2015, Hushland)

Steve Tilston “Truth to tell” (2015, Hubris Records)

The Milk Carton Kids “Monterey” (2015, Anti Records)

The Unthanks “Mount the air” (2015, Rabble Rouser)

Gill Sandell & Chris T-T “Walk away, walk away” (2015, Rowan Tree Records)

Bella Hardy “With the dawn” (2015, Noe Records)

Boo Hewerdine “Open” (2015, Reveal Records)

The Weather Station “Loyalty” (2015, Paradise of Bachelors)

Kris Drever & Boo Hewerdine “Last man standing EP” (2015, Reveal Records)

Emily Barker “The Toerag Sessions” (2015, Everyone Sang)

Lau “The bell that never rang” (2015, Reveal Records)

Rhiannon Giddens “Tomorrow is my turn” (2015, Nonesuch Records)

Jenny Ritter “Raised by wolves” (2015, Fiddle Head Records)

John Jones “Never stop moving” (2015, Westpark Music)

Anthony Toner “Miles & Weather” (2015, Dozens of Cousins)

Jess Vincent “Shine” (2015, Hat Records)

Martyn Joseph “Sanctuary” (2015, Pipe Records)

Sean Taylor “The only good addiction is love” (2015, Sean Taylor)

Kathryn Williams “Hypoxia” (2015, Caw Records/One Little Indian)

Tom Robinson “Only the Now” (2015, Castaway Northwest Recordings)

Sadie Jemmett “London Love Songs” (2015, Sadie Jemmett Music)

Brian Lopez “Static Noise” (2015, India Records)

Dar Williams “Emerald” (2015, Bread and Butter Music)

Peter Broderick “Colours of the night” (2015, Bella Union)