Regular visitors to this site will know that I have a weakness for psych-tinged, country-flecked, resolutely indie, rootsy Americana, preferably with a lap steel thrown in somewhere along the way. It was a good year for this particular genre. Here are my five favourites.
Israel Nash – Israel Nash’s Silver Season
With or without his Gripka, Israel Nash is the current king country psych. He’s willing to give time to let themes develop, but never gives in to longueur or excess. That’s a winning formula.
Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands
“And may all your favorite bands stay together”. A lovely sentiment to match a fine album. And with it, Dawes consolidated their place as one of the bands that I’d like to see staying together for a very long time.
American Aquarium – Wolves
Wolves was a little less frenetic than some of American Aquarium’s previous releases and it was no worse for that. This was a masterclass in mature songwriting and playing. And with a certain southern sadness thrown in as well. What could be better?
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
Even Deerhunter’s most restrained offering of recent times still left them slightly out there. But that’s what was so good about Fading Frontier. Think of it as Radiohead’s Americana album.
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
Jason Isbell is pretty much East Nashville-tinged musical royalty by now. Something More Than Free cemented his reputation as one of the best songwriter’s around. And ‘Children Of Children’ was one of the great songs of the year.