Best Thing I Heard All Year (Part Three)

After two year end lists from the grumpy members of the Round And Round family, it’s time for everybody’s favourite staffer to cough up her top picks of the year just gone. having just turned eight months old, Siggy has had quite the musical upbringing, rivalling Ernie Wybrow in the ‘Christ, I’m not even one yet but I know my musical onions’ stakes.
So, without further ado, here’s Siggy’s top picks for 2011…
Pussy – Pussy Plays

Not that she’s at all biased towards felines, but Siggs was completely mesmerised by this sweet piece of psychedelic pop from 1969 as soon as she heard the opening meow. It’s all about the mellotrons…

Peaking Lights – 936

Our feline pal soon succumbed to the sweet sun-kissed sounds of this Wisconsin dub-pop duo’s second album. Just beautiful, luminescent pop music. And what kind of cloth-eared churl doesn’t enjoy that?

Talk Talk / Mark Hollis reissues

Sigourney damn near filled her litter tray when she discovered two of her favourite albums of all time were getting a vinyl reissue. Talk Talk’s second last album from 1988 is a thing of rare, delicate beauty that simply has to be heard to be believed. Lead singer Mark Hollis’ self titled set from 1998 feels like a lost companion piece to that amazing album. It’s possibly the quietest record ever released.

Roll The Dice – In Dust

Siggy just can’t get enough analog synth instrumentals and her ear-twitching favourite from last year was this Swedish duo’s second album of cyclical, contemplative Krauty electronica.

Electric Frankenstein – What, Me Worry?

It may look like a punk record and it sounds all rather Krautrock, but this 1975 album was the work of Italian prog guitarist Paolo Tofani, axe man for the wonderful R.P.I group, Area. Siggs fell head over tails for his acid-psych guitar extravaganza that’s packed to the brim with spacey guitar work and earlier tracks recorded in London in 1971.

Jim Ford – Harlan County

Harlan County, which featured backing from drummer Jim Keltner, guitarist James Burton, and piano from Dr John originally appeared in 1969. It’s a great collection of R&B-styled Americana, with strong originals alongside Willie Dixon, Delaney & Bonnie and Stevie Wonder covers. Siggy regularly plays it back to back with her next pick.

Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit

Nobody came closer last year in capturing the bucolic sound and sun-baked rustic feel of Laurel Canyon in 1971 than Jonathan Wilson. His stunning debut album was full of immaculately played timeless gems that rewarded repeat listening. Still on regular rotation at kitty H.Q!

Motion Sickness Of Time Travel – Seeping Through The Veil Of The Unconcious

Siggy was mesmerised by Rachel Evans’ sublime and fragile drone-pop. Languid synth work and wordless vocals shimmer and twinkle like space dust. Or was that the cat-nip talking?

Chris Forsyth – Paranoid Cat

After all the cat nip, Siggy was feeling a wee bit paranoid herself, so she easily related to Chris Forsyth’s riff-tastic kaleidoscopic American Primitive set. Surely one of America’s finest masters of instrumental country/blues guitar music.

And that’s it! Had a sudden desire for kippers not got in the way, Sigs would have loved to tell you about other modern faves, like The Caretaker and Umberto. Plus other great reissues from the likes of Jurgen Muller and The Ghost. But that’ll have to wait for another time…

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