A Best of 13 on the Moon

For a groovtastic festive period check out A Best of 13 on the Moon a gift that gives 49 times. A Best of 12 was on Grooveshark but this year it simply does not have enough of the latest music. It is still very useful for a lot of the harder to find material and there is some links to it in the bit of guff for each artist beneath each version of the playlist. It has Rock n' Roll, Folk, Country, Top Pop and quite a lot of Psychedelia along with a bit of Soul. I thought last year was good but this year there is 49 artists which is the longest one yet and this is due to the impact of streaming as well as following some great music blogs. No doubt there is a load more great stuff out there that I have not stumbled across. The Spotify version below is of course now listenable in shuffle mode and online on all Android and iDevices. The Deezer version can be found here. Enjoy!

Moon Advert -  A Best of 2014 Part 1 on the Moon is now out! Also on Deezer and Spotify.

1. Christoper Owens - Lysandres Dream/Here we go

The opening song plus to start with the first bit of a theme that is repeated throughout a great little album. A kind of mixture of the Divine Comedy and Belle and Sebastian but with added sax.

2. Melodies Echo Chamber - Crystallized

Actually from late 2012 but I did not get round to checking it out until early this year. Initially you might think they are a bit style over substance but generally there are some great songs beneath all the stylings. Sounds rather like Jane Birkin doing Boo Radley/Brave Captain Martin Carr compositions which is obviously great.

3. Eugene Kelly - Chips and Cheese

From the Whatever Gets You Through the Night compilation album but could also sit easily on the best of the Vasalines which also features three tracks Nirvana fans should recognise. This track also very much brings to my mind distant student daze...

4. Rick Redbeard - Anyway I Can or The Phantom Band - Come Away in the Dark

From the lead singer of the Phantom Band and one of the albums of the year. Sadly not on Spotify for why see this post and also check out the album via Deezer if you can. For the playlist we have Come Away in the Dark from the Phantom Bands The Wants Album form 2010 which is a track most like the solo record.

5. Laura Mvula - That's Alright

Great track from a great debut album that is generally quieter than this track. Check it out via Deezer on the Moon.

6. Linda Ortega - Lead Me On

A slight change from the previous track though later on in the album she is begging God for forgiveness as her man is "buried in the back by the track in the field of Crows" A brilliant second album from late 2012 that is a big step forward from her first. Check it out via Deezer on the Moon. She has also just released a new album Tin Star which is very good but a bit of a step back. It sounds like it should have been the album in-between the last two. That said she has booked her place on A best of 14.

7. Caitlin Rose - Only a Clown

A great track from an album that was a little disappointing.Check out an improved version on the Moon and her brilliant previous album via Spotify.

8. Jim James - All is forgiven

I have never got round to checking out My Morning Jacket but I have been impressed by his contributions to Monsters of Folk and to last years New Multitudes album in which he helped to write music to lyrics left by the great Woody Guthrie. A very good album and this is a highlight as well as one of the songs of the year.

9. Low - Just Make it Stop

Utter gorgeousnous from this brilliant album brilliantly produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. This track is its cheeriest moment but the album is a grower- though skipping track 2 does help.

10. Ian Skelly - Caterpillar

A scouse psychedelic masterpiece and the first of three tracks from members of the Coral. This is a highlight of a very fine album from late in 2013. Check it out here along with more from his brother James.

11. Laish - Warm the Wind

"I read to you from Sophie's choice, I read to you from f*cking Joyce". A cleaned up version of this track should have been on heavy rotation on BBC Radio 2 and 6 and spent months in the chart. It is the kind of album I and I suspect many would hope Noah and the Whale would be making.

12. The Leisure Society - All I Have Seen

A solid third album let down by a very poor first single. It must have been seen as the kind of track the majors marketing types would want to plug on the radio. Thankfully this highlight was the next single and would not be out of place on a great Sufjan Stevens record. We could however do with another cracking EP as was the case with the first two albums.

13. Billy Bragg - Do Unto Others

In which Mr Bragg very simply spells the connection between true faith and "socialism of the heart" - genius. From a very good album. Check out A Best of Billy Bragg on the Moon.

14. Kate Nash - All Talk

Her new incarnation came to me via a live review in the God is in the TV blog. I always thought thought she had a classic English rock n' roll voice and now she has matched her voice to her music although on this track she does her best Courtney Love impression which does not always work but this is case where I think it does very well. The album can be improved by including tracks from the singles and it also worth checking out her last album which is generally bonkers but has its moments.

15. Misty Miller - Little Drummer

Another one who has undergone a transformation this time from an 15 year old folkie singer songwriter into a 17 year old Patti Smith/PJ Harvey. Easy to be cynical and her a sides are a bit XFM friendly but the other tracks on her EPs such as this one are really quite impressive.

16. Mikal Cronin - Am I Wrong

A cracking track from a cracking album from long time Ty Segall collaborator. The kind of album I would hope Mr Segall would produce but sadly he did not.

17. Valerie June - Pushin' Against a Stone

One of the albums of the year and this is one of many highlights. Check it out slightly edited via Deezer on the Moon.

18. KT Tunstall - No Better Shoulder

A surprise entry but the album did get very good reviews and I was also impressed by two performances I caught on TV. It turns out has always been another more interesting side to Ms Tunstall and on this album, especially in the second part, she has been allowed to show it. This should not be too surprising to fans of her first recordings or of her more recent The Scarlet Tulip EP and the Acoustic Extravaganza LP from 2006 with its lyrically brilliant opening track Ashes.

19. Steve Mason - Lonely

The general consensus is that this album is where the former Beta Band singer manages to match the brilliance his former bands first three EPs and I would agree. One of many great tracks which is interspersed with a lot of noodling which makes for a great listen as well as hopefully helping those streaming revenues...

20. Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - Pentecostal

Marvelous stuff as usual from Mr Lanegan with some fine guitar work from Mr Garwood. A record that sounds great but not as strong a set of songs as his recent solo albums but a great side project.

21. Beady Eye - Flick of the Finger

A great track from a half great album, especially the spoken contribution at the end of this track from none other than Kayvan Novak quoting from a Tariq Ali book. The revisionist history is that the first album was not much good but I think it was half great as well and Bring the Light is still there best track. In fact if you took the best of both and added in The Death of You and Me as the token one sung by Noel Gallagher then you would have a fantastic Oasis album.

22. Primal Scream - River of Pain

Another great track from a mostly great album. When they are great they are great but as always with the Scream it is not consistent and the odd track does sound like INXS gone wrong or like a Charlatans outtake. That said a best of the Scream would be a match for any band.

23. Deep Vally - Baby I Call Hell

Well that is enough progressive politicized Dad rock - here is the White Stripes but with balls. It has been pointed out that the guitar lick on this track is very similar to the one on Worm Mountain by The Flaming Lips. But to me it shows the the Vally have impressive influences and they may have been inspired by a Lips oddity to come up with a stone cold rock classic. The rest of the album is great bar the last two track and you can always add in the brilliant Hobo Player from the End of the World single.

24. Findlay - Off and On

Another great rock song from Natalie Findlay who was brought to my attention by the God In the TV blog. Yet to make album and this is her best A side her two others are ok but obviously aimed at the XFM playlist. Thankfully all the other tracks she has released are very very good to brilliant and quite diverse and I hope next years album will be more of the same. A great track from her latest the Greasy Love EP features none other than the very talented Mr...

25. Bill Ryder-Jones - A Bad Wind Blows through my Heart Part 2

The former Coral guitarist here manages to match the greatness of Martin Carr in his Boo Radley pomp. A very fine album that is a grower but I do wonder what greatness the Coral could have achieved with him still on board.

26. James Skelly - You've Got it All

The third track from a current or former Coral member. This Paul Weller assisted track would make a great Coral single but sadly the album would have been better as an EP. The best tracks can be found on the Moon interspersed with tracks from his brothers LP.

27. Ricky Ross - Now I Smoke, Like I Used to Pray

A labour of love from the Deacon Blue man who has always been able to come up with the tunes and has not shied away from social commentary but on this album it is just him and his guitar with a voice that has aged very well and it is great. Check it out on the Moon.

28. Nadine Shah - Aching Bones

The first track from a great debut album, on which she is at her most PJ Harvey like. Not necessarily a standout track but one that fits well into this playlist. The rest of the album is generally quieter, a bit folky as well as a bit a Dame Shirley Bassey ish. Check it out on the Moon along with some cracking B sides.

29. Camera Obscura -Third in line to the Throne or Eighties Fan

Oddly this bands last two albums are not on Deezer but they are on Spotify and even more oddly they are both on Grooveshark and no doubt they are all over Ubend as well. Anyway on Spotify we have Third in line to the Throne from their mostly good last album; a great playlist could be now be constructed from their last two LPs. On Deezer we have Eighties Fan from their delightful and amazingly Belle & Sebastian like debut from 2001. It is from the single as sadly on Deezer the album is yet to be encoded...but again you can find it on Spotify and Grooveshark.

30. Julian Cope - Paradise Mislaid

Well the Copian revival continues though the first three tracks are quite a challenge initially but then later on it becomes the Archdrude at his most poptastic for decades. I could not agree more with the Rocksucker review and that the chorus of Why did the Chicken Cross my Mind is the chorus of the year. St Julian has come out of the stone age and into 20th century history with great effect. I have Paradise Mislaid number two on my Revolutionary Suicide playlist and moved the opus that is the Armenian Genocide to the end as well as missing out the not very good Mexican Revolution Blues. This is heresy I know but it makes for a great listen and the nine tracks still cover eighty minutes....

31. The Duckworth Lewis Method - Judd's Paradox

Well Sticky Wickets was the soundtrack of the summer but this track is far more suitable this winter. One that would not be out of place on an early Divine Comedy LP with a fantastic contribution from non other than Mr Stephen Fry. Check out the album on the Moon

32. Franz Ferdinand - Right Action

A band that has produced cracking singles and this is up there with their best. I had never listened to one of their albums before but the new one is pretty good. Right Action is the first track and the best. Many of the rest are similar but not quite as good. It could do with more diversity and more tracks like Goodbye Lovers and Friends.

33. Myron & E - If I Gave You My Love

Simply a soul classic from a class album you should check out on the Moon. The most unexpected pleasure of the year thanks to A Finest Kiss blog.

34. Crocodiles - I Like it in the Dark
A cracking opening track though rather like Franz Ferdinand ad the rest of the album is very similar but not quite as good. Also the vocals do not need to quite so distorted a bit too much too cool cool for school.

35. Janelle Monae - Look Into My Eyes/Suite V Electric Overture

Two tracks but as with the Christopher Owens album they are very much connected and part of an brilliant song cycle. Exceedingly talented stuff with the best thing I have heard Prince do for decades.

36. Arctic Monkeys - Snap Out of It

When I first heard this track I did think wtf? But then I soon realised that if it were on the Duckworth Lewis Method  record I would love it and it would be a highlight except it is not about cricket though in a way it could well be sung to England this winter...It was also a great marketing campaign and a fine album. The album is not perfect as normal but as usual they make up for it with great B sides. Check out A Best of the Rest of the Arctic Monkeys on the Moon. I do think one false move was the latest single One for the Road which is my least favourite track; if only it had been Snap Out of It and they had played it on Strictly Come Dancing as that would have been a great way to end a great year. Band of the year, band of the noughties and still the band to beat in the teenies.

37. Lanterns on the Lake - Green and Gold

A great album you can check out on the Moon and you might well recognise a tune thanks to the BBC. Some might say that this track is rather like Tori Amos in that it is a woman with an amazing voice accompanied by just a piano but it is also divine. The rest of the album is quite different and is more like what I would hope the Delgados would sound like if they reformed. Check it out on the Moon

38. Cian Ciaran - Sewn Up

A brilliant track from a very good album. I do suspect that Mr Ciaran is responsible for many of my favourite Super Furry Animals tracks.

39. Fat White Family - Garden of the Numb

A track that sound rather like Damon Album and Graham Coxen of Blur fame covering a lost Ray Davies of the Kinks classic in the most messed up way possible and it is of course utterly brilliant. The rest of the album is more like a Julian Cope and Mr Coxon collaboration in which they try to be bit too cool for school. It Interesting stuff though and I am looking forward to what they come up with next.

40. Anna Calvi - Love of my Life

On her new album some of the lyrical shortcomings from her first are addressed though hollering a name does still not make a great chorus. What was brilliant was her guitar work on her debut but there is less of that on her new one. This track does have fantastic guitar however it is just quite different from any of her other tracks and actually sounds very Graham Coxen like. From both her albums you can now construct a brilliant playlist.

41. The Wave Pictures - The Woods

Great track and another great album as featured on the Moon. According to Wikipedia the Guardian have described them as "charming, witty pop songs shot through with Jonathan Richman's gawky glee and Suede's doomed provincial romanticism... They owe a certain debt to The Smiths, and Tattersall has Morrissey's knack of marrying the ridiculous and the sublime"

42. Lilly & Madeleine - Back to the River

A standout track actually from their EP from earlier in the year though the album was very impressive. Check them both out on the Moon.

43. Men Among Animals - Kathy

A great album brought to my attention by the Rocksucker Blog. It is very diverse with this track reminding me of REM at their most poptastic best. On the rest of the album I am reminded of Noah and the WhaleFleet FoxesAnimal CollectiveMumford & SonsDaft Punk and Rilo Kiley. But all at their best.

44. Cate Le Bon feat Perfume Genius - I Think I Knew

An artist I have checked out before but never quite got into but this album is for me a step up. Sounds like the best bits of the Super Furry Animals and Nico. This track is a gorgeous duet with Perfume Genius.

45. Temples - Mesmerise

The start of a psychedelic Moon trip for which no drugs are required. A most exiting new band yet to release an LP but all seven tracks available to stream are either very good or brilliant.

46. The Flaming Lips - Peace Sword (Open Your Heart)

The trip goes into overdrive with this great opener from their recent EP. The Terror LP was a bit much for a fairweather fan like me but this EP very much picks up from the brilliant Heady Fwends collection from 2012. A band that was a major inspiration to Giant Steps by the Boo Radleys back in 92 still going strong.

47. Cloud Control - Moon Rabbit

And the trip continues with Cloud Control from down under but we ought not hold that against them. The LP is almost as diverse as Men Among Animals and most of the tracks have quite different vocals with a lead singer who can sound quite Jim Morrison/Michael Hutchence like. With tracks like Island Living they sound like what Arcade Fire were trying to achieve but only far more successfully.

48. Asaf Avidan - Different Pulses

Come Down with Mr Avidan from an album that was a most unexpected pleasure via the Rocksucker blog. Another opening track but I can very much recommend the rest of the album.Check it out on the Moon.

49. Jake Bugg - There's A Beast and We All Feed It

Another opening track but from a pretty impressive album though I think he might have taken a bit more time as it does not quite match his debut. Still many of the tracks would not be out of place on the classic LA's album and he does an even better Lee Mavers impersonation. Messed Up Kids was obviously inspired by his hanging out with Cara Delevingne though A Song About Love is like one of the worst tracks from a not very good Oasis album. Billy Bragg was and is a pioneer of bringing together Britpop and Americana and Mr Bugg is a child of both. It is said Britpop did not happen in the US but it did it was called Americana and Americana also happened in the UK it was just called Britpop.


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