Sunday, November 30, 2014

My 2014 in Music - Albums - Part 1

With December, traditionally the start of the pre-Christmas hiatus in meaningful musical releases, just hours away it is time to start mentioning those releases of 2014 that have for whatever reason been highlights for me.
One change is that while the acts are grouped in alphabetical order the number of entries has been reduced to ten in this list. This is not due to a shortage of possibilities, far from it indeed, but rather to make compiling and writing each post more manageable.

One thing that changed not a jot is the influence that music I have seen live during 2014 has had on the outcome - eight of the ten above fall into that category and of those eight I have seen four live on at least two distinct occasions. Of the ten, five are LPs that I own on vinyl.

I just felt the need to get the ball rolling on this late autumn afternoon. It is easy to keep putting the start of such things off for another day for while it is certainly not a chore, a certain activation barrier has to be overcome nevertheless. Links - some might be my own and others to the artist or label - and probably some relevant photos will follow shortly.
I am happy if people would like to make comments and suggestions. I will be equally so if this leads anyone to find music of which they were previously either unaware of had forgotten about. If it tempts you to head out and see some live music then that is a real bonus. It is also, truth be told, quite simply the music that I really liked.

The alphabet is as it is; it starts this list with an artist that was a complete surprise, and a revelation, to me. I had heard it said that, as a performer, she is at best diffident and at worst obtuse. Be that as it may I can now go only with what I heard and observed myself. Those descriptions are quite harsh I believe; reserved and self-absorbed maybe, which means it admirably mirrors the album title 'Burn Your Fire For No Witness'. 

Angel Olsen - Green Man Festival 2014.

A bonus that accrued from starting a blog is that I really had to go out to see live music and soon armed with a camera. I often don't go far at all...

Ward Thomas, Cheese & Grain, Frome, 2 August 2014.  The opening date of their d├ębut headline tour.

The Moulettes are currently supporting Bellowhead on tour, but often playing as a four-piece and good though this is (dubbed the Moulllites by Hannah Miller) when I saw them thus live at Reading Hexagon just a couple of weeks ago you really do need to see them live as a six-piece playing a full set because that is in another league entirely. This was fresh on my mind as I had seen them thus just ten days previously at Marnhull Acoustic SessionsYou can do exactly that at Behind The Castle Festival on 13 June 2015.

One of the Reading absentees: Ruth Skipper, Marnhull Acoustic Session, 9 November 2014.

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