Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Nocturama (2003)
While this may be Nick Cave’s happiest, soppiest album, I think it’s far from his best and don’t listen to it very often. But I do like a few of the songs.
Tanya Donelly, Swan Song Series (2016)
This three-CD set brings together all the Swan Song series releases. In style, I’d say the music is a combination of the more poppy Lovesongs for Underdogs and the melodic, country-inflected This Hungry Life. It’s a wealth of gorgeous songs.
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.
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.
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
I somehow managed to publish this post yesterday before it was ready. I must have hit ‘publish’ instead of ‘update’. Anyway, properly updated now.
Kristin Hersh, Wyatt at the Coyote Palace (2016)
I love everything Kristin Hersh has ever done. This is a beautiful, spiky, life-affirming album.
Top track: Bright
My two favourite albums from Will Oldham. Both winter listens for me.
Sleater Kinney, No Cities to Love (2015)
Always enjoy listening to Sleater Kinney. I cleaned the kitchen to this last night.
Top track: Surface
We spent last week in rural Mid Wales. There was a crispness on the air and the scent of wood smoke as the local pubs started lighting up their fires. You could feel winter moving in.
Time to break out the folk and Americana.
The Butchies, Make Your Life (2004)
This album is SO much fun. It’s just catchy, dumb, lesbian pop/rock tunes from beginning to end.
Tanya Donelly, This Hungry Life (2006)
I love everything Tanya Donelly’s done. This album feels less innovative than most of her other work, but it’s lovely. Top tracks: “Kundalini Slide” and the title track, which makes me think of my grandmother for some reason.
This hungry life won’t let you out whole
But you can change a thing or two
Before you go
This hungry life
Might not leave you with much
But you can change your story
And throw a hand up from the mud