Greetings, music lovers. Another year, another Top 50, and a pretty decent one too, we hope – it’s certainly been a good year for Scottish albums.
As we always say, the top 20 (or thereabouts) have been pretty much constants on the Jockrock office stereo, while the rest are ones which piqued the ear over the past 12 months, and could, to be honest, interchange positions pretty much. Numbers are futile, as someone once said (see below).
So without further ado, the staff writer (ha) choices from jockrock.org for 2015…
1. A Mote of Dust – A Mote of Dust (Babi Yaga )
We may not have the unashamed full-on metal noise of Craig B’s previous acts, but anyone who recalls those Aereogramme acoustic sets and Unwinding Hours tour EPs will forgive him that for this brilliant debut, stripped back to guitar and piano and dripping in emotion.
2. Stoor– Stoor (Nimble Trout)
Sci-fi guitar rock and intriguingly obtuse lyrics make for a toe-tapping delve into an 80s-influenced eclectic fun-fest.
3. Belle and Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance (Matador)
Like M&S, B&S are always distinctively and comfortingly reliable with trademark vocals and hooks, but unlike the struggling High Street shop they move with the times effortlessly, this hotchpotch of ideas making for their best work since ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’.
4. FFS – FFS (Domino)
A surefire winning combination of 70s pop icons and Scotland’s finest – Franz have been a bit quiet of late but as ever use their success to do whatever the flip they like. On this occasion, persuading 70s oddball popstars the Mael Brothers to join them in writing hook-ridden instant classics with them, with, let’s face it, predictably brilliant results.
5. Poison Sisters – Keelhauling With… (Radium Dial)
The follow-up to 2000’s ‘Tarantula Rising’ is a pleasingly gruff collection of energetically grungy tunes which flash back to those halcyon days and beyond. Well worth the wait.
6. Numbers Are Futile – Be Embraced, You Millions! (Song, By Toad)
7. C Duncan – C Duncan (Domino)
8. The Phantom Band – Fears Trending (Chemikal Underground)
9. A New International – -Come To The Fabulon (POUM)
10. Sacred Paws – – 6 Songs (Rock Action)
11. Trapped Mice – – Sacred To The Shades (Armellodie)
12. Reverse Cowgirls– Outskirts (Northern Cowboy)
13. Paul Vickers & the Leg – – The Greengrocer (Alter Ego Trading Company)
14. Kasule /strong> – Vhor (kasule.bandcamp.com)
15. The Grand Gestures – – Happy Holidays (Chute)
16. Dominic Waxing Lyrical – Woodland Casual (Tenement)
17. Batteries – Batteries (Do Yourself In)
18. Fram – – Against Nature (Strength in Numbers)
19. Wells / Moffat – – The Most Important Place In The World (Chemikal Underground)
20. Andrew Howie – The Great Divide (Autoclave)
21. Errors – – Lease Of Life (Rock Action)
22. Lyle Christine – The Landed Gentry (lylechristine.com)
23. Supermoon – Oh Supermoon (Song, by Toad)
24. Garden of Elks – – A Distorted Sigh (Song, by Toad)
25. Carbs – Joyous Material Failure (Save As)
26. Washington Irving – – Palomides Volume 2 (Instinctive Raccoon)
27. Shilohzen – Savage and the Zen) (Savage)
28. Roy’s Iron DNA – Exposure (Travelled)
29. Girobabes – Who Took Utopia? (Traffic Cone)
30. Iglomat III (KFM)
31. Pinact – Stand Still and Rot (Kanine)
32. Vasa – Colours (Black Sheep)
33. CasioMTB – The Devil Take Your Stereo (Floppy)
34. Perman / Kirby / St. John – Concrete Antenna (Random Spectacular)
35. Dr Cosmo’s Tape Lab – Beyond The Silver Sea (self-released)
36. Thee Alex – Lazy Reappropriations of Previous ‘Hits’ (bandcamp)
27. Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men (Big Dada)
38. Lloyd Cole – 1D (Bureau B)
39. Woodenbox – Foreign Organ (Olive Grove)
40. Thirty Pounds of Bone– The Taxidermist (Armellodie)
41. Django, Django – Born Under Saturn (Because)
42. Admiral Fallow – Tiny Rewards (Nettwerk)
43. Found – Cloning (Chemikal Underground)
44. Rozi Plain – Lost Songs of the Confederacy (Lost Map)
45. Kung Fu Jesus – Celestial Gold (Rubber Taxi)
46. Ela Orleans – Upper Hell (HB Recordings)
47. Kathryn Joseph – – Bones You Have Thrown Me, And Blood I’ve Spilled (Hits The Fan)
48. Miaoux Miaoux – School Of Velocity (Chemikal Underground)
49. Southern Tenant Folk Union versus The Chuck Norris Project (Johnny Rock)
50. The Cathode Ray versus Infinite Variety (Stereogram)
What it says. The trial of getting all the links etc above has probably meant that some details are incorrect. More importantly, I’m bound to have forgotten some album or other, so if your favourite is missing then best just assume that rather than it being (IMO) rubbish, it simply got overlooked, perhaps by just being so good everyone was dazzled by its brilliance or it had become so much a part of our lives that it was hiding in plain sight.
Roll on 2016!