Album of the Month
Kristin Hersh, Possible Dust Clouds (2018)
Hersh’s latest has a rough-edged, vigorous and gritty sound. It’s more percussive and textured than some of her other solo work. I’ve got my tickets booked for her UK tour.
Top tracks: No Shade in Shadow and Tulum
Tori Amos, From the Choir Girl Hotel (1998) and The Beekeeper (2005)
My partner is a big Tori Amos fan. Choirgirl is one of my own favourites. It marked a shift for her musically and I remember how startled we all were back in 1998. I loved it, though. I like The Beekeeper, but I think it’s one of her least innovative works and is more of a background album for me.
I love pretty much everything on Choirgirl, but I’ll go with Spark because it just blows the album open and Playboy Mommy for its grappling with the experience of miscarriage. My favourite track on The Beekeeper is Sweet the Sting.
Patti Smith, Trampin’ (2004)
Not one my top Patti Smith albums, but still a good listen.
Top track: In my Blakean Year
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Greatest Palace Music (2004)
An album of Will Oldham covering himself! These are all versions of songs originally released under his various Palace incarnations. He basically turns them into (slightly) more upbeat country songs.
Top track: Riding (this one’s still creepy)
Neko Case, Furnace Room Lullaby (2000)
This was my first encounter with Neko Case. It’s not her best and is much more of a straightforward country album than her later work, but it has some great songs and foregrounds her amazing voice.
Top tracks: Set out Running and Twist the Knife
Cat Power, The Greatest (2006)
This is a beautiful, warm soulful album.
Top track: Love & Communication
Leonard Cohen, Field Commander Cohen, Tour of 1979
Cohen at the height of his live performance powers here, with bonus jazz band.
Top track: Lover, Lover, Lover
Joseph Arthur, The Graduation Ceremony (2011)
I don’t know much about Joseph Arthur, but I like this album. It’s a gentle collection of quality songs.
Top track: Out on a Limb