January 2013

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This is the last Uncut of 2012, rather unbelievably. It barely seems 12 months since I sat down to write the column that introduced our final issue of 2011. How much faster can time go by?

Lots, probably, so it’s perhaps best not to ask, even as things go by in an increasing blur, weeks accelerating into months and the brakes not working. Anyway, we’ve had a lot to pack into this month’s magazine, starting with the results of the 2012 Uncut Music Award. As usual, we compiled a longlist of 25 albums that we then circulated to our judges, along with the nominated albums, and asked them to individually nominate their five favourites. Back came their votes, after due consideration. I have no gift that I am aware of for clairvoyance, but even if I’d have been blessed with foresight and able to predict the future and what might take shape in it, I think I would nevertheless have been hard put to anticipate the outcome of the judges’ deliberations, their capacity to surprise one of the most exciting aspects of the Uncut Music Award, foregone conclusions being quite alien to the entire process. The winner and runners-up of this year’s UMA are announced on page 6. For their time and dedication, a big thank you from Uncut to our panel of judges, who included Phil Manzanera, Mark Cooper, Linda Thompson, Bob Harris, Nick Stewart and Tony Wadsworth.

As part of our farewell to 2011, we also present our annual review of the past 12 months, which as ever includes our Albums Of The Year – a Top 75 this year – as well as the best reissues, films, DVDs and books, as voted for by over 40 Uncut contributors. My own Top 20 albums, in case you were wondering, were: Bob Dylan’s Tempest, John Murry’s The Graceless Age, Japandroids’ Celebration Rock, Neil Young’s Psychedelic Pill, Pond’s Beard, Wives, Denim, Beachwood Sparks’ The Tarnished Gold, Jack White’s Blunderbuss, Allah-Las’ Allah-Las, Anaïs Mitchell’s Young Man In America, Alabama Shakes’ Boys And Girls, Neil Young’s Americana, Slow Down, Molasses’ Walk Into The Sea, Sharon Van Etten’s Tramp, Elephant Mica’s Louder Than Thou, Tame Impala’s Lonerism, Calexico’s Algiers, Dr John’s Locked Down, Dexys’ One Day I’m Going To Soar, Simone Felice’s Simone Felice and Dan Deacon’s America. Honourable mentions should go out, also, to albums by Springsteen, Ty Segall, Grizzly Bear, Father John Misty, Bill Fay, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, The Deep Dark Woods, Cold Specks and Mark Eitzel.

As ever, let me know at the usual address what you make of our Top 75 and what your own favourite albums of the year were. And finally, thanks to all our readers for your support and encouragement in 2012. We hope when it arrives you have a great seasonal holiday, and enjoy it and whoever you spend it with. I’d recommend not overdoing the celebrations to the point where you might need medical assistance, but coming from me that might sound a bit fucking rich, moderation not something I have perhaps regrettably been overly familiar with.

Anyway, see you on the other side. The February 2013 issue of Uncut will be on sale from January 3.


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