As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year posts over the past five days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Next for your listening pleasure is Mrs Mackerel…
25. Tom Williams & the Boat – My Bones
24. Richard Hawley – The Wood Collier’s Grave
23. Boombox Hearts – 100 (The Latest Flame)
Download The Boombox Hearts – 100 (The Latest Flame) mp3
22. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Child
21. The Lost Brothers – Now That The Night Has Come
20. Mark Lanegan Band – Gray Goes Black
19. Quickbeam – Seven Hundred Birds
18. Beth Orton – Call Me The Breeze
17. Hurray For The Riff Raff – Ode to John and Yoko
16. Keston Cobblers’ Club – One, For Words
15. Ben Howard – Esmerelda
14. JBM – Crooked Branches
13. Calexico – Fortune Teller
12. The Walkmen – Heartbreaker
11. Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes
10. The Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental
School run anthem 2012: a fine country drawl, a fine country band. Learn the words, sing it loud; altogether now: I been missing you so listen/I liked to ask you can we drive through town.
9. Kyle Adem – Brother Follow
It’s a grower, this one. The momentum builds gradually, together with the tension, as it heads towards a passionate finale where the female vocal answers the male. A little bit of flute, banjo, bass drum – it’s quite a complex musical arrangement, while the lyrics hint at feudal times. Phew. It packs a punch.
8. The Lumineers – Flapper Girl
Piano-led tune that is rather understated yet really gets under your skin, particularly when the guitar comes in to answer the piano. Lovely, undulating melody, the power of this song lies in its simplicity as lead singer and guitarist, Wesley Schultz, lays his heart on his sleeve. Ho Hey, their star is deservedly in the ascendant.
7. The Band in Heaven – Sleazy Dreams
I am a 50p head when it comes to musical tastes: I like to mix it up big time. Heavy, bassy, pounding rhythm, wall of guitar noise, this is my (kitchen) dance floor number of 2012. Rock on.
6. Lord Huron – Time to Run
An epic Western of a tune: a story song with a foot-tapping rhythm that mimics the flight of yer man and a great mid point when the bells of doom literally ring for our outlaw friend on the run. He did it all for love, silly boy, ‘cause when they catch him, he’s toast.
5. Richard Buckner – Willow
This is a lying-in-a-daisy-meadow-looking-at-the-scudding-clouds sort of song. A gentle guitar arrangement coupled with some tender lyrics and softly sung vocals, all of which appeals to the latent hippy in me. Clippety clop: do you know Mr Buckner, I always remember.
4. We Are Augustines – The Ballad of a Patient Man
This song was my live gig moment of the year, amongst many great gigs. Fantastic guitar wig out and drummy bit in the middle, sung with the emotional intensity that’s trademark Billy McCarthy. Awesome song, bloody awesome band.
3. Delta Spirit – California
How do you write such heartbroken lyrics and marry them to such upbeat music? You move to California, buy a drum machine a keyboard and off you jolly well go. Big emotion, high impact, fantastic tune.
2. Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny – Liliput
A storming phantasmagoria of a song, guided by the soaring vocals of BJH, a sweeping string arrangement and a drumming tattoo of percussion. When I grow up I want to be just like Beth Jeans Houghton. Lili put your hands in mine and let’s dance: hoof power rules.
1. Willy Mason – Carry On
When I was much younger my dear old Pa used to say of classical music that it was music that spoke to him: this is a song that speaks to me. The poetic lyricism is felt; the metaphor carried is subtle and reflective; and the guitar, the guitar plays softly to my heart. A song of such fragile beauty for 2012: this is a song that speaks to me.