Albums of the Year 2012: The International Edition Part One 20-11

This time I forced myself to choose only top 20. Heartbreaking stuff and extremely difficult, because I had to leave out so many great albums.

20. Bahamas: Barchords

Starting out with Afie Jurvanen aka Bahamas from Toronto. I’ve really liked this guy from the start and he is just getting better all the time. A few songs might still slip into the “only nice” category, but even those sound charming. I’m especially fond of the beautiful ballad Time and Time Again. In case you haven’t already seen it, I wholeheartedly recommend this Sunday Dinner short-film where Bahamas also shows his finnish language skills. It fits well into the holiday season as well. Someone should organize a Finland tour. This is Time and Time Again.

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19. The Mastersons: Birds Fly South

The Mastersons is a great country duo and their debut album Birds Fly South contains several brilliant country songs like Crash Test, The Other Shoe and One Word More. Reminds me of The Jayhawks, but that’s never a bad thing. Hit this next youtube link for One Word More.

18. Gentleman Jesse: Leaving Atlanta

This list needs some power pop and who would be better to provide it than Gentleman Jesse. The debut was gorgeous and this follow-up Leaving Atlanta is just as great. If you are into that late 70s/early 80s rockin’ power pop, you can’t go wrong with Gentleman Jesse. Hit the next youtube link for my favourite song Careful What You Wish For.

17. Neil Halstead: Palindrome Hunches

And the something completely different. Mojave 3 is an all-time favourite here at the headquarters. Neil Halstead’s solo material haven’t completely reached the same level, but it comes rather close and the new solo album Palindrome Hunches is once again amazingly beautiful. This is one of the many highlights, Full Moon Rising.

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16. Denver: Denver

And we do need some traditional country music as well. Denver from Portland, Oregon, released an album full of marvellous country tunes. The band shares some members with Blitzen Trapper, but this is even better than the great Blitzen Trapper. Here’s one great example titled Reno.

15. Lightships: Electric Cables

Lightships is Gerald Love from Teenage Fanclub. Lightships isn’t as good as TFC, but nothing is as good as TFC. And then there’s no reason to compare. Astoundingly beautiful album from Gerald Love. This one below is Sweetness In Her Spark.

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14. American Aquarium: Burn, Flicker, Die

Again we have something very different than the previous choice. Southern rock’n’roll,, indie rock from Raleigh’s American Aquarium. Their new Jason Isbell produced album Burn, Flicker, Die is very convincing effort. You can stream the whole thing on their website.

13. BMX Bandits: BMX Bandits in Space

The last addition to the list. I’ve only had this for a week, so it’s pretty hard to decide where to put it. But it’s certain that Duglas and co have again created a mighty fine album that is one of the highlights of the year. I especially love the song Fireworks. Perfect song and perfect last line. Hit the youtube link to find the video for a song titled Listen to Some Music.

12. Pickering Pick: Prayer Flag

Pickering Pick has been extremely important this year. I’ve been listening to his whole back catalogue throughout the year. His 2012 release Prayer Flag is again beautiful and poetic folk album. The last song Seasons On The Run is one of the most captivating moments of the year. You can listen to it below. He also has a new single, which you can find by following this link. More about that after I’m done with these pointless lists.

11. The District Attorneys: Slowburner

It’s rather hard to rank this one, because on the other hand it contains some songs that are only good, but then there’s the mid-part of the album that is absolutely magnificent. Especially from the 5th song Cherry Glow to the 9th song The End this album is perfect and I can never get tired of those songs. Believe me, I’ve tried really hard. Listen to Cherry Glow and The End below.

Top 10 to follow sometime soon. Hopefully tomorrow, but might go until next weekend.

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