Merry Christmas and Yuletunes

It’s the 20th anniversary of the best Christmas compilation Yuletunes. The album contains a huge amount of fantastic holiday songs. One of them is my all-time favourite Christmas song, Big People’s Piece For Christmas (a classic among Räkärodeo listeners). Lulu is probably wondering why I’m posting her home video every year. This is Big People and Piece For Christmas.

Herb Eimerman recently made a video for his great contribution on this compilation. The song is entitled You Gave Me.

And last but not least. Here’s Material Issue’s fabulous Yuletunes song Merry Christmas Will Do.

And why not a couple of newer ones as well. The Swedish power pop heroes The Genuine Fakes made a version of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas couple years back and it’s included on Thistime Records’ new Christmas compilation.

And a repost of the new Joe Algeri & The Sugarbrits tune is also a must. This one has a Finnish connection as well, because The Sugarrush guys are playing on this one. And Joe Algeri is obviously massive in Finland.

This was the last post before the new year, so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. See you in 2012. I try to get EPs of the year and the reissues of the year lists done right after the holidays. I was just too lazy to finish the EP year list before Christmas, but I want to do it because there were some really great ones like The Genuine Fakes, Marmalakes, Hurricane Fighter Plane, The Wonderminers, Burning Hearts… And well I couldn’t make the reissue of the list yet because I always buy some of those as a Christmas present to myself. This year I have the Mickey Newbury set and The Poets anthology waiting for me under the Christmas tree. But I try to get those lists done in early january. Take care folks.

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The Milk Carton Kids (stunning albums for free!)

First. Big thank you to Norwegian No Deal Music for introducing this to me. I found the The Milk Carton Kids from No Deal Music’s year-end list a few days before finishing mine. I liked them so much I was on the verge of putting the album to my list as well (and on a fairly high place as well). In the end, I decided not to, because I wasn’t sure is it my year end list, if I include a record that I just found from another blog a minute ago and have not even heard about beforehand. However, this is so fantastic stuff, that I need to make this small post to tell you that I love The Milk Carton Kids. Two guys (Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan) playing guitars and singing their hearts out. Folk songs with lovely harmonies. Simple formula, but works perfectly. You can download their two albums for free on their website!

As It Must Be from Retrospect

I Still Want a Little More from Prologue

The Milk Carton Kids Website

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Cats on Fire – My Sense Of Pride

Because I’ve selected the album of the year 2011, I can focus on selecting the album of the year 2012. Cats on Fire’s upcoming third album will be a major contender in that contest. The first outtake from the upcoming album was released today by Soliti Music. My Sense of Pride is again a wonderful song and the finest indie pop band in the world is still on top form. Album will be released by Soliti in the spring of 2012.

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Esa Linna featuring Roger Joseph Manning Jr.

Esa Linna’s debut single She’s Not A Human Being is now out and available (at least on iTunes, other digital stores should follow soon). It’s a great power pop song, Roger Joseph Manning Jr. sings backing vocals and plays keyboards, Ty Tabor mastered it and it’s about a cat. I love power pop, I love Jellyfish and I really love cats. So what could be better than this?

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Songs of the Year 2011

My song favourites were already covered in those round-up posts and therefore this list might be a little useless. I still decided to make some kind of list of my biggest love affairs. Because I’m extremely logical person, this time I just put Finland and rest of the world into the same basket and started picking up my favourite songs. Top 10 is a small amount and it could be a lot longer without any drop in the quality. But I don’t want bother with you another long list. And in case you are wondering why there are no songs from my albums of the year, Mummypowder and The Deep Dark Woods, the fact is that I just love those albums in their entirety and it would be difficult to pick just one song (+ my biggest favourites from those records are not on soundcloud or bandcamp). So they are not included, but here are ten songs that I really love.

10. Carmen & The Devil: Love Drove My Baby Away
– Wonderful song. Ok, it is a little bit too much to call this “demo” 10th best song in the world, but I can’t leave it out. This is my year-end list and this is a song that I love. Why should I pick some “better” song that I’ve listened to ten times instead of this beauty which I have listened to a hundred times.

9. Pickering Pick – Like A River
Pickering Pick’s Tiger Palm was one of the last albums I had to leave out of the albums of the year list. Mostly because Pickering Pick is quite a heavy thing to digest on an album length for me. Works better in small doses and Like A River and Ballad For Leaving are both among the most beautiful songs of the year.

8. Marmalakes – Balmorhea
– The second Marmalakes EP Even Clothed was one of the late addictions. This young band from Austin is pretty fantastic and I have high hopes for them. Especially this last song of the EP, Balmorhea, is something truly wonderful.

7. Dolorean – Country Clutter
– Beautiful in a fucked up kind of way. Country Clutter is the the highlight of Dolorean’s wonderful fourth album The Unfazed.

6. Mirel Wagner – No Death
– This young Finnish folk/blues singer-songwriter released a stunning debut album and this song is out of this world.

5. Chris Bathgate – Salt Year
Chris Bathgate’s album Salt Year is a beauty. It has several magical folk songs. Choosing between Poor Eliza and the title track Salt Year is difficult, but at the moment Salt Year is my favourite.

4. Samae Koskinen – Hän, jolla on kaikki
– The best Finnish song of the year. Beautiful, genuine and heartfelt. A perfect song.

3. Hezekiah Jones – Lift the Shadow from This Heart
– Hard to choose between this one and Borrowed Heart that was not on the album. Lift the Shadow from This Heart takes a light edge, because it’s the song that started my love affair with Hezekiah Jones.

2. Dawes – If I Wanted Someone
– 70’s influenced folk rock with harmonies. My kind of music. If I had the ability to write music, it would either be power pop or something like this. One amazing song.

1. Small Houses – Late July
– And the song of the year award goes to Small Houses aka Jeremy Quentin. Late July might not be anything earth-shattering and it might not be the most amazing composition of the year. But for me this is a unique and magical folk song and I love it as much as its possible to love a song.

Small Houses – “Late July” from Spencer Wells on Vimeo.

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Video of the Day #81 – Hurricane Fighter Plane

Australian Hurricane Fighter Plane is one of my new favourite bands. I really enjoyed their self-titled EP few months ago and I’ve been a dedicated follower of Hurricane Fighter Plane ever since. New vinyl single I Can’t Win / Leaving Town is coming out soon. Launch gig for the single is on friday 16th of december. You probably don’t need further details about the concert, because it’s pretty far away from Finland. However, you really should check out this cool video Alistair Walsh directed for the a-side I Can’t Win. That’s one amazing song and a late candidate for the top 10 songs of the year list. If you are into this, check out the excellent b-side Leaving Town on their facebook.

Hurricane Fighter Plane Website
Hurricane Fighter Plane at Facebook

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