40. Roddy Woomble – My Secret Is My Silence: Idlewild have been one of my favourite acts for a long time. As their albums progressed the heavy punk/rock that they became known for started to dilute and things became less edgy and more folky. Still, when this album dropped it was a bit of a surprise to hear a fully traditional Scottish folk album with some full on Ceilidh music midway through. For what it’s worth, it’s a fantastic album. “I Came In From The Mountain” is a stunning start to the record. A regular on the stereo in this house.
39. Olafur Arnalds – Eulogies for Evolution: Iceland. Where do you find all these amazing musicians? Mum, Sigur Ros, Sea Bear. There are lots more. Olafur Arnalds is simply special. A young man at 22, he has already supported Sigur Ros on tour. This is classical music, but it does bridge the divide between classical and mainstream in a really positive way. There are lots of artists doing this, but Sigur Ros having this lad support them is a fabulous way to encourage more cross over. This album is stunningly beautiful. Minimalist for sure, but it’s the simplicity of it that makes it so beautiful.
38. Evan Dando – Baby I’m Bored: I loved the Lemonheads. I wasn’t sure that a solo album comeback was going to be the best approach. How wrong I was. I think this album is as good as anything that he released with his band and having seen him play the songs live about 5 times they sound as good live as they do on record. Compiling this list reminded me of this record and how overplayed it was on my stereo when it first dropped. I never really got into the last Lemonheads album, maybe when he comes back next it should be a solo album once again. If it’s as good as this it will be a winner for sure.
37. Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning: This is actually the first album I stumbled upon by Conor Oberst. It remains my favourite. Having read that he was the new “Dylan” I had to find out what the fuss was about. I have to be honest and say that everything else I’ve heard by him since I’ve been a bit luke warm towards but this record is fantastic and has some incredlibly poignant moments on it for me. ‘First Day Of My Life’ is simply wonderful song writing, as is this record as an overall piece. Hopefully he can rediscover this on future releases.
36. Doves – The Last Broadcast: I do love a bit of Doves. And this album for me is something pretty special. My friends Dad could and would wax lyrical about this record for hours. At the time it came out he had 2 obsessions. 1. This record. 2. The Shawshank Redemption. I can’t argue on either front. A great album and a great film. Not the best things I’ve ever heard or seen, but real quality. If he read this post, he’d probably call me to tell me again how good this record actually is!
35. Vetiver – To Find Me Gone: Vetiver, and this record in particular, are my honeymoon band. They remind me of the time we spent in San Francisco because it was there that I bought this record and their first record also. This is the one for me though. Absolutely great album and wonderful memories associated with it. I bought it in Ameoba music in San Francisco, which is undoubtedly the coolest, cheapest and best music shop I’ve ever visited. I could have spent days and days in there. Anyways, I first saw them support Adem at the ABC in Glasgow and was blown away. So glad I got involved in this record. Their best to date in my opinion.
34. Nick Cave – Abbitoir Blues/Lyre Of Orpheus: I am a late starter when it comes to Nick Cave. Like the Vetiver’s ‘To Find Me Gone’, this was my first real experience of listening to him. My friend at work had given me this record telling me that if I loved Tom Waits I would love Nick Cave also. She was not wrong. Filled with agression and drive but also with some of the most beautiful piano songs I’ve ever heard, this double album was something of a revelation in my life and created a Nick Cave obesession for me. I finally got to see him live last year and it was just magical. This is the record I go back to again and again though. It might not be every diehard Cave fan’s favourite, but it’s the one I heard first, so I’m sticking with it.
33. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago: I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t like this record. There’s something very accessible about it. Something rather sparse and beautiful. It feels like it was made with a lot of time and love. It’s a great record. ‘Blindsided’ was definitely one of my favourite tracks last year and as an overall piece of work I just think this is great.
32. Damien Jurado – On My Way To Absence: The only difficulty I had with selecting a Damien Jurado record was which one to select. I have so many and they are all wonderful. ‘And Now That I’m In Your Shadow’ was a fabulous record, and last years ‘Caught In The Trees’ was equally good. However, this is the one I love the most. It’s his 7th studio album, which for somebody who is a teacher by trade is pretty good going. He’s another one I had the pleasure of finally seeing live last year and he did not disappoint. Wonderful artist, wonderful album.
31. Mull Historical Society – Loss: What can I say about this record other than it came along at the beginning of the decade and was an immediate hit with me. One of my favourite Scottish records of all time for sure. Whilst the follow up albums have been a real mixed bag, there is no doubt about the quality of this record. Wonderful songwriting from start to finish. I was torn actually. Perhaps this should be higher up in the list? I dunno. I just know that this is just great. ‘Animal Cannibus’ = TUNE.