Ah, and now it's time for the top 5. Hold on to your pants...
#5 Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop/ Bella Union)
I suppose the big success story of the year. A bunch of long haired hippies really with harmonies a go-go, the prolific so-and-sos even managed to get a pretty deadly EP out this year, in the shape of Sun Giant.
#4 Department Of Eagles: In Ear Park (4AD)
A couple of years ago, Grizzly Bear wowed us. This time around, Team GB (Olympics flashback) give us Daniel Rossen's "other project" with college mate Fred Nicolaus. Onto the same lineage as Grizzly Bear, but perhaps less experimental, "In Ear Park" is still an artefact of beauty.
#3 Throw Me The Statue: Moonbeams (Secretly Canadian)
This one came out of nowhere for me, and bypassed a heck of a lot of people. In fact, if it were not for my friend Ronan recommending it, it probably would have bypassed me. Some of the reviews weren't so great, but to use that old adage, it really is a grower. Over the course of the past year, this was a record that I repeatedly dug out, with something new popping out each time allowing it to sparkle in a wave of lo-fi indie records.
#2 Why?: Alopecia (Anticon)
Yoni Wolf and co do it again. Some people find the whole Anticon-thing a bit grating but not me, and this sounds far removed from the early days of Anticon. What can I say about this record? Every track is a winner, it's probably their best yet, it feels more like a band record, the lyrics go from cheesey to humorous or both simultaneously, you are worried that the lad isn't completely right, and you take a vested interest in the album, replaying it to discover various trinkets each time. Superb.
#1 Deerhunter: Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. (4AD/Kranky)
If I had done this list last year, there was a very good chance that Deerhunter would have been very near the top, but these days, to pull that off two years running (and also fit in an EP and the Atlas Sound album - #16) is some accomplishment. I fell in love with Cryptograms last year, and didn't expect them to top it. I was actually sort of worried. Microcastle (and it's companion CD Weird Era Cont.) are surprisingly a little less complex than previous Deerhunter records, but that's no bad thing. Actually, it's a fucking great thing.
The playlist – the sounds of the week at OTR HQ
9 hours ago