Guest Lists: Pat Barrett’s Top 10 Albums 2014

In the first of series of end of year round-ups from some of my favourite musicians, Pat Barrett, singer with the Hedge Schools presents his Top Ten albums of 2014. Pat is a man who knows his music, and his list includes a number of albums well worth checking out.  The Hedge Schools are about to release their eagerly anticipated new album AT THE END OF A WINDING DAY on the 23 January.

 

1.  Paul T Saunders – Beautiful Desolation

This one was one of the mysteries of the year how it’s didn’t cross over into mainstream radio. Shimmering electric guitars sweeping melodies reminiscent of Suede’s Dog man Star era it should have been fodder for radio throughout the summer , with one or two notable exceptions most missed it.

 

 

2.  Ryley Walker – All kinds of you

Chicago songwriter in the vein of Nick Drake ,Tim Hardin , Bert Jansch with glorious tunes and arrangements. He played to a small, but enthralled crowd, upstairs in a Whelans earlier in the year. Well worth a punt.

 

 

3. My Sad Captains – Best of Times

From the forever finger on the pulse label that is Bella Union, this was on constant loop for me throughout the summer.

 

 

4. Remember Remember -Forgetting the Present

Third album from the 6 piece Scottish Instrumentalists who are signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action label. Glorious ambient grooves. Love this record.

 

 

5. Luluc- Passerby

Wonderful hushed tones of Cowboy Junkies Margo Timmons from this record. It’s produced by Aaron Dessner of The National. Subtle songwriting and arrangements.

 

 

6. Harnes Kretzer -Petrichor

Harnes Kretzer first came to my attention in 2013 with his Refugium album which I only actually listened to in January this year, he released Petrichor in March 2014 and the ambient Fender Rhodes based tunes are just glorious.

 

 

7. Steve Gunn – Way out Weather

Following a brief stint playing guitar in Kurt Vile’s touring in October he settled back to the solo side of his career. Soaring lap steel guitars, lonesome aching tunes and the compliment of a 6 piece band , the man has released his opus.

 

 

8. The Rails – Fair warning

With Linda and Richard Thompson as parents the apple was never going to fall far from the tree and it’s evident in Kami Thompson’s vocal performance on this record. Complimented beautifully by folk arrangements to die for and featuring the playing and singing and songwriting of James Walbourne. Songwriting masterclass.

 

 

9. The Delines – Colfax

It’s a side project from Willy Vlautin from Richmond Fontaine featuring the bands drummer and guest vocals from Amy Boone. They played to a hushed house in a Whelans earlier in the year, glorious country teardrop balladry.

 

 

10. A Lazarus Soul – Last of the analogue age

5 albums in and finally the voice, the words, the social observations of Brian Brannigan are being listened to. The band, firing on all cylinders, the lyrics, stark and real and true to life. The spitting venom of Matt Johnson mixed with the glorious Johnny Marr esque guitars from Joe Chester it’s no wonder this record has appeared in so many end of year polls.