Monday, September 22, 2008

Some favourite records

Met somebody at a party at the weekend who asked me what music was worth listening to. Recommendation is a hazardous business. Sharing a taste is one thing. Being on the same wavelength is another thing entirely. Anyway, these are some of the records that have given me the most pleasure in the last few months:
Loudon Wainwright: Recovery
Redoing a lot of his best early songs with Joe Henry, the producer of the moment. Speaking of whom...
Joe Henry: Civilians
Love that dry, basement sound and the string bass
Various Artists: Take Me To The River
Three CDs of classics of Southern Soul - arguably the greatest compilation ever compiled.
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
Makes me wish I was a sensitive 19-year-old.
Mulatu Astatke: Ethiopiques Vol 4
Gorgeous Ethiopian jazz.
Burial: Untrue
The sound the Victoria Line makes after everyone's gone home.
Lykke Li: Youth Novels
The Swedish Kate Bush.
Sir Victor Uwaifo: Guitar Boy Superstar
Brilliantly lo-fi music from 70s Nigeria.
She & Him: Volume One
Actress Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward make the record Cass Elliott never got round to.
Mary Gauthier: Genesis (The Early Years)
The female John Prine.


  1. You said "arguably", so let's argue.

    You're wrong. The best Southern Soul compilation ever compiled is, in objective fact, Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures (Taken From The Vaults), vols. 1-4.

  2. you don't want any of that fancy dan southern soul you want proper no nonsense Northern soul.....

  3. Thanks, Archie. I'm hunting that down straight away. As well as Take Me To The River, of course...

  4. I envy you for having so much to recommend - mind you, you work in a music magazine office where new stuff is on and off the stereo the whole of the live long day. You're far better placed than most to winkle out the good, offbeat stuff.

    I've been distinctly underwhelmed by most of what I've heard this year. I hope it's not just me! Mind you, that which stands out for me stand out a mile: Elbow, Black Kids, TV On The Radio, Adele, Ladyhawke, Santogold, Sigur Ros, the Kills, Fleet Foxes. Nothing as esoteric as your list, but I am not an esoteric guy. I like big beats and big emotions.

    I still love Burial's Untrue after getting on for a year now.

  5. So pleased to see Joe Henry on your list - I've become a Joe Henry evangelist since getting that album!