A Best of 2012 from the Moon

It has been quite a disastrous year for the economy, politically and for sport at least until the recent events at Twickenham and in Mumbai and beyond rather turned things round a bit. However for music it has been fantastic and hopefully the playlist below is a testament to that. The Spotify list is the most complete, though there are a few first choices only available via Grooveshark. There is no Deezer version as it can not be publicly available. However it is how the Moon has been listening to the vast majority of the albums featured. It does work well and is excellent to have if you can get it along with your mobile contract. Spotify does have a couple of artists that Deezer does not but thankfully Grooveshark has so far filled in the gaps. Groovesshark is also excellent for the rarer material that you might not find on either Spotify or Deezer and also officially unreleased material. Below the playlist below is a list of all the songs with more details on their availability, other musings and info.

1 Hallo - DRC Music.

Released back in October 2011 and is one of 5 tracks on this playlist to feature the talents of Mr Damon Albarn. The rest of the the album Kinshasa One Two is pretty interesting stuff much like the Mali Music album produced a few moons ago by Mr Albarn in Mali with some great musicians.

2 Wor - Django Django

Debut of the Year? Very accomplished stuff from Edinburgh, great for the imaginary dance floor.

3 Carmen – Lana Del Rey

One she chose to do her own cut and paste video for. A great track that you would think Neil Hannon of Divine Comedy fame would be proud of. More like this please Miss Grant less of the likes of Dark Paradise. The Paradise edition of Born to Die did however improve things though Blue Velvet would have been best kept in it's advertisement. You could improve things more by having he original versions of Lolita and Diet Mountain Dew and the demos of National Anthem, Lucky Ones and Without You which are all available via Ubend.

4 R U Mine – Arctic Monkeys

Just this single with a great B side with Richard Hawley this year but that is good enough from the band of the noughties and maybe the teenies.

5 Fly High – Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Yim Yames

A song from New Multitudes the album of the year if you go on the number of great songs. However the songs were written 40-60 years ago by Woody Guthrie but never recorded and have been put to music brilliantly by Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker and Yim Yames. Sadly the double album has not been released in the UK for some reason and so is not on Deezer or Spotify but is thankfully available re-ordered on the Moon via Grooveshark.

6 Liliput – Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny

A song originally released by Beth Jeans Houghton without her hooves back in 2009 on the excellent Hot toast EP, then as a single in 2011 and is also on the excellent 2012 debut Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose Both the LP and EP are available via Spotify and Deezer whilst some earlier recordings without the Hooves are also available via Grooveshark.

7 Bugye Jim or Ought to be Satisfied Now - Billy Bragg & Wilco

Recorded a few years back but released this year to coincide with 100 years since the birth of Woody Guthrie. As with Mr Bragg many of his best songs are bitter love songs and Ought to be Satisfied Now is a great example. Sadly it not available via Grooveshark but Bugye Jim is as it had been previously released in some way and is another great interpretation from Mr Bragg. It is a political track but it sounds very personal.

8 Kling I Klang - Paul Weller

The Modfathers late flowering continues . Whilst always having respect for Mr Weller's achievements with all of his incarnations, Wake up the Nation was the first of his albums that the Moon got into. His latest is just as good. This track is the most Jam like much of the rest of the album is more Style Council like but in a very good way.

9 Phantasmagoria Blues - Mark Lanegan

"I thought I'd rule like Charlemagne but I've become corrupt".
The album of the year? Sonically brilliant with very good songs and just the best voice in rock. Sadly the album for some reason is not available, via Orange in the UK at least, on Deezer. It was available on Grooveshark then wasn't but now is again.

10 7 Naked Valleys - Graham Coxen

A great track from his second best album, not as consistently great as A Spinning Top but it all sounds great and is very different from its predecessor.

11 Monologue: River or The Missing Plutonium - Human Don't be Angry

Sadly the album is no longer available on Grooveshark. So above is the instrumental single The Missing Plutonium which is lovely enough but on Spotify it is Monologue: River which does include Mr Middleton's dulcet tones. Both the album and the Weird Noodles EP are available via Spotify and Deezer.

12 Seek it - Richard Hawley

A track most like his previous albums but it is brilliant. The rest of the album is great psychedelic rock; what you might hope a Noel Gallagher solo record would sound like. The lyrics might be a bit clichéd but they are Gods own cliché’s.

13 The Marvelous Dream - Damon Albarn 

Perfection apart from it's length. From an English Opera about Dr John Dee a 16th century, “astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I.” Which works as album surprisingly well. Mr Paul Weller's album of the year no less.

14 Lolo (feat. Fatoumata Diawara & M.anifest)  - Rocket Juice & The Moon

Now for something completely different from Mr Albarn but with many other co-conspirators. From all three of his African adventures you could make an excellent playlist.

15 No Room for Doubt - Lianne La Haves

Another great debut and a track that is a duet with none other than Willy Mason. The rest is just as divine if not as unexpected.

16 Dayglow Reflection - Bobby Womack

An album produced by none other than Mr Albarn and a track featuring a brilliant vocal from Miss Grant, a great track from a great album. Though sadly not available to Orange Deezer subscribers in the UK. Why there is difference between those that pay via their phone contract and those that pay direct is a mystery. There is also a live version available on Ubend on which Mr Albarn sings a line and Miss Grants performance is better than many of her more recent TV appearance. This is probably down to the fact the gallant Mr Womack holds her hand for much of it...

17 Up on the Ride - Guillemots

From what should have been the first of four mini albums in 2012. If they had managed that and they had been as good as Hello Land! then we would be talking artist of the year. Sadly only Hello Land! was released but 2013 might well be a very good year for the Guillomots.

18 Old Fools - Admiral Fallow

From their second LP, more polished production wise but not quite as brilliant as their debut. This track is great though, on their debut they sounded like Malcolm Middleton fronting Peloton era Delgados this is more like Mr Middleton fronting later Delgados.

19 Under the Westway - Blur

Another great London song from Mr Albarn and his old muckers. Just hopefully not the last...

20 2012 (You Must be Upgraded) - The Flaming Lips featuring Ke$ha

From the excellent Heady Fwends LP in which every track is a collaboration with another artist, many do rather sound like Mr Coyne so they do just sound like very good Flaming Lips tracks. This track is one that does stand out along with the ones with Nick Cave and Erykah Badu but it is Ke$ha who gives the vocal performance of the year.

21 Revolutionary Man or These Things I Know - Julian Cope

The Archdrude has entered another productive era it seems. Sadly his latest LP, Psychedelic Revolution is not yet on Grooveshark so instead we have the brilliant These Things I know from the half brilliant Black Sheep LP from 2009ce. Sadly only half of it is on Grooveshark though also from 2009ce is the whole of The Unruly Imagination and it has a brilliant first half....

22 Sun in your Eyes - Grizzly Bear

An epic from an epic album, though one of only a couple of tracks with a discernible chorus. As an album it is very much a grower.

23 King of the World - First Aid Kit
From A Lion's Roar a great album, not really standout track but it is distinguished by the vocals of Conor Oberst

24 Cosmic Concerto - Bill Fay

From a gorgeous album brought to the attention of the Moon by a Mr Scott. It features a duet with none other than than Jeff Tweedy of Wilco fame. Also Mr Fay does the honour of covering Mr Tweedy's Jesus etc.

25 Two Fingers - Jake Bugg

A very talented young man and the Moon has always loved the Liverpudlian twang and melodies of the likes of the La's, the Real People and the Coral. Mr Bugg has added in more blues and country. He has been given a young Dylan tag but it is more like he has the same influences, especially Woody Guthrie.

26 Oliver or Ruin - Gemma Hayes

Both tracks are on the extended version of her latest album Let it Break but Oliver is the title track from an EP released in 2009 and is the nearest she has come to matching the brilliant Gotta Low. On Spotify is Ruin which does showcase best the "artful electronics" from the album as a whole. Sadly only two of the tracks on the original album are currently on Grooveshark but most of the Oliver EP is.

27 For Those Below or Hopeless Wanderer - Mumford & Sons

Babel the album is a bit of a disappointment compared to their debut and would have been better as an EP. For Those Below is a highlight but is only available on the extended version of the LP which is only available on Spotify to paying subscribers. So instead we have Hopeless Wanderer which the Moon would make the lead track from the imaginary EP and request more tracks to match both with less attempts to redo Little Lion Man, less of the banjo plucking that sounds a bit similar on a number of tracks and a bit less production on the likes of Lover of the Light.

28 Wisely & Stow or Winter Trees - The Staves

On Spotify we have Wisely & Stow is the outstanding opening track from the excellent debut LP from three ladies from Watford who manage to sound rather like  Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch from the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. On Grooveshark only their EPs are currently available plus this live version of Winter Trees. The Moon only realised it was live when the clapping started at the end...

29 Forever Cemetery Sings - Father John Misty

Joshua Tillman leaves behind the rather too cool for school style of his solo material to let it all hang out gloriously as Father John Misty. This track is not typical of the album but is rather like a brilliant recent example of Teenage Fanclub doing their Big Star thing.

30 Everybody's Brother  -Cody ChesnuTT -

No obvious standout from this album as it is all outstanding but this track just fits the playlist well. The coolest and most morally upstanding album of the year.

31 Weight in Gold - Finlay Quaye or Pass it on - Tape Loops featuring Finlay Quaye

An artist who is hard to compartmentalise which to the Moon is great. What is consistent is the ability to come up with a great tune whatever the style. Sadly 28th of February is not yet on Grooveshark. The album is great, though the second half could do with being a bit more lively. This can be done by inserting his three recent collaborations with Tape Loops which are also available on Spotify and Deezer and thankfully also on Grooveshark and so the brilliant Pass it on is featured.

32 Carry On - Willy Mason

Carry On the album is not yet available on Grooveshark but it does look as though everything else he might have ever released is. This track was first released back in 2010 on the So Long Baby Shoes EP, which you won't find on Spotify or Deezer. The album has been a long time in coming but it is worth the wait. He has also featured on the Lianne La Haves LP and on the last Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan LP. Miss Campbell was quoted as saying she would “ like to work more with Willy” let us hope she does. Note: on So Long Baby Shoes EP on Grooveshark the song and song titlles are muddled up so Looking for the Door is in fact Carry On

33 Would You Be My Love or Imaginary Person -Ty Segall

Sadly of the three albums he has released this year only Slaughterhouse by the Ty Segall Band is available on both Spotify and Deezer and as recently posted on the Moon Slaugherthouse is as good as its cover art suggests. Therefore on Spotify we have a track from Melted his pretty good solo record from 2010. Thankfully Twins and Hair are on Grooveshark and are mostly great.

34 Birds of a Feather - May Jailer or Bel Air Lana Del Ray

Both tracks by the very generous Miss Grant. The May Jailer record was recorded a few year back but only leaked onto the interweb this year and so is obviously not on Spotify etc. The lovely Bel Air is the nearest thing to it she has officially released and is from the Paradise Edition of her Born to die album.


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