Pondering what to write about this morning, it occurred to me that there were more things to say about my favourite albums of 2012 so far, following up from this Top 40 that I posted last week. For a start, a bunch of records that I forgot to include:
A serene beginning this morning, with a new Terry Riley album, “Aleph”. Over on my 40 Favourites Of 2012 Thus Far blog, however, things became a little less genteel yesterday, as you can see in the comments thread at the bottom of the chart.
I missed Mikal Cronin’s UK debut by a few hours, having to leave the excellent No Direction Home festival before he played. From a muddy field in North Nottinghamshire, though, to a hipster pub in Dalston, and the first London show for this Californian early-20something and his terrific band.
Beneath Welbeck Abbey, an expansive estate in North Nottinghamshire thus far untouched by any sort of National Trust daytripping, there is a vast network of underground tunnels, wide and stretching for miles around the roots of Sherwood Forest. Somewhere down there, according to my mother, there’s even a ballroom that she visited for a dance the best part of 60 years ago.
I first came across the English folk singer Sam Lee just over a year ago, when I wrote about a tribute album to Peter Bellamy. Alongside more familiar names like The Unthanks and Trembling Bells, it was Lee’s version of “Puck’s Song” that stood out, as he cut a fine path through an artful mix of old folk recordings and incantatory drones.
A day or two before Julia Holter’s show at Café Oto, I tweeted something fairly dumb about not understanding why she hadn’t received anything like the same amount of hype as Grimes this year, based on my admittedly rather idiosyncratic idea that, amidst the reveries and abstractions, Holter has a knack for subtly accessible pop music.