amongst books

amongst books

Monday, December 03, 2012

2012 Bests: Noteworthy songs & a few albums too

I will Never Fall In Love with You - Sam Pinkerton,'s - 2012 Holiday Road Trip Mixtape: the whole damn album is fabulous. upbeat for these cold winter nights. Charlie Mars lovely dark voice on How I Roll, Guster's upbeat song Do You Love Me? Green River Ordinance's banjo on Where the West Wind Blows. LastFm says it's "acoustic driven power-rock." k. …oh & the sweet voiced Mark Christopher Donovan on Send Me Out A Line; the boy's got some witty lyrics.  it's free. pick it up. it's a mix tape. great way to make new musical discoveries. I haven't been this happy about a freebie since Okkervill River's Golden Opportunities 1 & 2.

Show Me The Place, Come HealingLeonard Cohen, Old Ideas--again, the whole album is splendid. poetic lyrics, that rough winter voice that just keeps on going. this song in particular moves me. it is humbling.

Got You Covered w. Roseanne Cash; I'm Still Lovin' You w. Amy Helm, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, King & Queens Deluxe Edition. I love harmonies, so this album pleases me. came out in 2011, but the deluxe was released in 2012 with 2 bonus songs. these songs are all really great, a kind of country soul folk mishmosh. I love mishmoshes. blur boundaries please.
I am sorry & Everything Wrong, the two least noisy tracks on the album, Martha Wainwright, Come Home to Mama. I love this woman's voice & spirit. she's got some great chops. sometimes I find her albums just a wee bit overproduced. this one was produced by Ciba Matto's Yuka Honda & that band's pretty eclectic in style, too much funk for my liking. just give me Martha's voice alone, get rid of all the glips & gloughs.  [I dance in secret to Ms. Martha's music…ssssh]

Scarlet Town & Roll On John, [the tribute to John Lennon], Bob Dylan, Tempest: I'm not a hardcore fan but I have 18 of his albums, so that makes me pretty keen. this newest addition to his oeuvre is good. I'm partial to the ballads & histories, don't like the cheesy Duquesne Whistle, just not my style. otherwise, I love the whole album, the lyrics & the melodies, the blues, the country…I just want to sit in a pub with a dear friend & drink Guinness & listen to Bob.
Cold Specks - I Predict A Graceful Explosion. I love her voice. she's just in her early 20s & she has a powerhouse of a voice. she's from my old stomping grounds, Etobicoke in Toronto. I love this whole album. soft, wintry, purr. gospel folk pop.

Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur -a nice album, the gem is House Full of Empty Rooms. Edwards has a beautiful voice. & she's from Ottawa. bonus!
Still Hanging On, Wish You Were Here, Moonlight Mile… whole album…Lee Fields and the Expressions - Faithful Man. passionate voice, blues/soul evocative of all the old greats. he's got such a great range.  probably would make good music to groove to for that seduction mix tape you want to make.

Marathon & Low, Low, Low, Heartless Bastards - Arrow: I've been a fan of this band since 2009 with the album Mountain, especially the song Could Be So Happy, which is my anthem, encouraging people to go "out in the sweet unknown." the sweet unknown is my territory. I love Erika Wennerstrom's voice. it is low, sultry, confident & clear. Arrow is another fabulous album. they're described as a garage rock band, but I don't even know what that means. it's just good music.
Tender is the Night, Can't Count Tears, Old Man Luedecke - Tender is the Night, hey, more Canadian content! Chris Luedecke is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. he's got such a friendly, easy-going voice with fun, witty lyrics & a fine banjo. it's a bit more folky than my normal taste.

To Just Grow Away, Bright Lanterns, the Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leaving Now; heck, I love the whole album. Kristian Mattson's voice is gorgeous, richly textured. I don't care if he's tall or short, just as long as he sings. beautiful. joy of life affirming. such a range. I admit I only discovered him this year. I think I might have a thing for Scandinavian & Danish musicians, such as Mattson, Ane Brune, Agnes Obel, Sondre Lerche.
We Can't Be Beat, Love is Luck… the whole album! the Walkmen - Heaven: Lead singer Hamilton Leithauser is another one with a great voice. good melodies & singers are the most important thing to me in a song. his range is gorgeous. & the other band members do a fine job singing along. there is something that evokes an earlier era in their sound. apparently they like vintage instruments like the upright piano. I'd love to hear them an album with my fav singer, Ron Sexsmith. they remind me a bit of Moxy Fruvous. &  hey, is that a surf guitar? this band's been around for ten years. I hope we're all around ten years from now.

Think That You Might Be Wrong, the  New Wild Everywhere (Acoustic Bonus) Great Lake Swimmers, the New Wild Everywhere, Deluxe Edition. folk band from Wainfleet, Ontario, now Toronto based. their vibe just feels like up north campfires, plaid flannel shirts that smell like smoke, a good mug a coffee with some hooch in it. it's summer nights music. Tony Dekker has a sexy mellow voice with back up vocals by Miranda Mulholland. I like their lyrics too.  love all the instruments, the violin, the harmonium. just lovely. this is another gem of an album.

albums from 2012 I shoulda bought & will eventually
Rae Spoon - I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets; The Cranberries - Roses; Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself;The Magnetic Fields - Love at the Bottom of the Sea;;Great Lake Swimmers - New Wild Everywhere; Regina Spektor - What We Saw From the Cheap Seats; Fiona Apple - the Idler Wheel; Mumford & Sons - Babel.

now who wants to come over & listen to great music & drink wine & hang out? :)



Alena Moran said...

So glad you love Sam Pinkerton's song on the Noisetrade Sampler! You can download her entire sampler at She'll also be releasing a full length album summer of 2013. Happy Holidays!
Alena Moran (Sam Pinkerton's Manager)

Amanda Earl said...

that's fabulous, Alena. i shall definitely download the sampler & look forward to her album.