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This week’s show celebrates our top 20 albums of 2018. And becauase that’s not quite enough music to fill 2 hours, we looked back on a few of our favourite albums from 2017 too.
Our top 20 were, in reverse order:
20. Miles Kane – Coup de Grace
Third solo offering from the Last Shadow Puppet, which reached the top ten back in August.
19. Manic Street Preachers – Resistance Is Futile
More of the same from the Welsh veterans, and the fifth of their 13 studio albums to peak at number 2. As with Miles Kane, great performance from them at this year’s RiZE Festival in Chelmsford too.
18. Lost Remnants – Talking To Myself Again
Another Welsh band in our list who include ex-Sing Sing singer Lisa Wrake on vocals. This beautiful country-tinged album was released in November.
17. The Screens – Wakes, Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs
A great album from Brentwood(ish) duo The Screens, holding up a mirror to the best in 60s pop.
16. Liines – Stop-Start
Harsh and spiky debut offering from the post-punk Manchester trio – great live draw too.
15. High/Low – Skeletons
The grungy and almost-veteran Essex trio returned with this 8 track mini-album in the summer.
14. Belly – Dove
Another great 90s guitar band making a triumphant comeback in 2018 with their first new album for 23 years.
13. Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John
It’s good to have an album title that delivers exactly what it promises – and reveals my soft spot for both singers too.
12. Shame – Songs Of Praise
Evoking the music and passion of early Jam and Clash records, the band’s debut album came out in January.
11. Estrons – You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough
I expected great things from this Cardiff four-piece when I interviewed them back in 2016, and their debut album, released in October, didn’t disappoint.
10. Y Niwl – 5
My 4th and final Welsh band in this year’s list and another solid offering from Gwynedd’s kings of surf-rock.
9. Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People
Brisbane electro-pop four-piece who put on a mesmerising live show at Standon Calling this year.
8. Idles – Joy As An Act Of Resistance
Continuing the power and passion from debut album Brutalism with a number of new crowd-pleasers including Danny Nedelko and the usual advice in Never Fight A Man With A Perm.
7. Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
A fifth top 10 album from the Scottish band who continue to make indie disco music like no one else.
6. Gaz Coombes – World’s Strongest Man
Since leaving Sueprgrass his solo albums have been getting better and better – and as we saw at Standon Calling, his live performances are on a par with this too.
5. Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
I always find one album in my end of year list from someone who I really didn’t expect to be there, especially since I keep telling everyone how I was never a fan of the Smiths, but Johnny’s solo offerings have always appealed to me and these dozen songs are his best ones yet.
4. Salad Undressed – Good Love Bad Love
A semi-acoustic offering from reformed 90s outfit Salad which shows that the strength of their songwriting and performance hasn’t waned in the 22 years since their last album.
3. Art Brut – Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out!
Despite a seven year gap, line-up changes and Eddie Argos’s relocation to Berlin, Art Brut have returned with an album as good as any of their earlier ones, with a great title track and a brilliant break-up song in I Hope You’re Very Happy Together.
2. The Good, The Bad and The Queen – Merrie Land
Despite being a Clash fan in my teenage years and a Blur fan for most of my adult ones, the first GBQ album didn’t do much for my ears when it came out 11 years ago. This one hasn’t left my various music players since it came out nearly two months ago. A wonderful mix of Damon Albarn’s lyrics, Paul Simonon’s bass and creepy fairground music.
1. Dream Wife – Dream Wife
An almost-perfect collection of punk songs with pop music sensibilities – and even better when performed live, when you get to realise how underrated the music actually is. Not a dud song or even an average one on the whole album.
And here’s the playlist for tonight’s show:
Dream Wife – Fire
The Good The Bad and The Queen – Nineteen Seventeen
Art Brut – I Hope You’re Very Happy Together
Salad Undressed – Being Human
Johnny Marr – Hi Hello
Gaz Coombes – Walk The Walk
Franz Ferdinand – Feel The Love Go
Idles – Samaritans
Confidence Man – Don’t You Know I’m In A Band
Y Niwl – Tridegpump
Estrons – Strangers
Shame – One Rizla (radio edit)
Juliana Hatfield – A Little More Love
Belly – Army Of Clay
High/Low – Far Away
Liines – Never There
Screens – Mirrorball
Lost Remnants – Awkward Boy (Radio Mix)
Manic Street Preachers – Distant Colours
Miles Kane – Cry On My Guitar
Shed Seven – Room In My House
Thousand Yard Stare – Black & Blue Sky Thinking
British Sea Power – The Voice Of Ivy Lee
Ride – Charm Assault
Jane Weaver – The Architect
Echobelly – Anarchy And Alchemy
Big Moon – Cupid
Public Service Broadcasting – Progress
Charlatans – Plastic Machinery
Sparks – Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)
Darling Buds – Evergreen