1. Errors – Have Some Faith in Magic
It’s hard to pin down an album as the best of the year but the easiest way is just to think about the one you keep going back to, the one you don’t get bored of and that album which constantly surprises you. Errors blew away the competition this year and this album can be summed up with one word – essential.
2. Godspeed! You Black Emperor – 'Allejujah! Don’t Bend, Ascend!
Hey, it’s fucking Godspeed! They’re back! Wooo! Yes! And it sounds amazing! Mladic is awesome! Then there’s some drone goodies! Then more awesome! God I love this band.
3. RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost and Found
It’s been a big year for RM Hubbert. Not content with releasing a unique and powerful album showcasing his sheer virtuosity and songwriting skill, he’s been all over the country touring with Emma Pollock and supporting Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells. This album cemented his reputation as a serious talent in Scottish music, one which will be thrilling us for many years to come.
4. Rachel Sermanni – Under Mountains
It feels like Rachel’s been around for ages, so it’s worth remembering that the Carrbridge girl is still in her very early 20s. Under Mountains is the sound of someone wise well beyond their years though. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful, full of inventive melody and a serious set of lungs; a thoroughly accomplished debut album.
Katerwaul have been carving out some serious post-rock chops for a few years now but this, their second album, shows a more developed sound. Almost a year in the making, it was well worth the wait. They should be huge, and if you all go out and buy this album, they just might get there.
6. Meursault – Something for the Weakened
Something for the Weakened is Meursault’s third album and see’s Neil Pennycook refining the sound and rejigging the line-up a bit. There’s less electronics but still plenty of his soaring vocals, not to mention some cracking songs.
7. Drexciya – Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller: Vol 1+ 2
This one was a surprise for me; I don’t even know how I came across it, but it re-introduced me to electronica and is about as fine a way to do that as you can find. Drexciya have spent the year re-releasing their material in 3 compilations and it’s well worth discovering them for yourself.
8. VCMG – SSSS
What happens when two elder synth-statesmen come together? Why, they make some mighty fine techno that’s what. Vince Clark of Erasure and Martin Gore from Depeche Mode surprised many by pulling this monster out of the bag, but it’s found its way on many an end of year list and deservedly so.
9. Adrian Crowley – I See Three Birds Flying
Dubliner Adrian has been about for a bit, but I only started listening to him recently. His latest album on Chemikal Underground is a lesson in heartache: the soundtrack to late nights and too much liquor.
Aberdeen shouters Carson Wells smashed it this year with Wonderkid: an album full of enthusiasm and emo righteousness. They’re blistering live and managed to harness that into a beast of vinyl.