RICHARD DAWSON – Peasant (Domino). A departure from his previous work, in that he’s accompanied by a band, but Dawson’s ramshackle weirdness and Beefheartian tendencies are intact. ‘Soldier’ is my favourite song of the year, and includes my favourite lyric too: ‘Let’s betroth without delay / Pack the horse and ride away / Find some better place / Where we might raise a family / My heart is full of hope / I am tired, I am afraid / My heart is full of hope’.
BILL ORCUTT – Bill Orcutt (Palillia). Orcutt goes electric! Shimmering and abstract covers album with melodies I can never quite fathom. ‘Christmas on Earth’ is my favourite.
ROB NOYES – The Feudal Spirit (Poon Village). A traditional Fahey-style fingerpicking counterpart to Orcutt’s out-there album.
DEAN HURLEY – Anthology Resource Vol. 1 (Sacred Bones). Not only do they recall the happy, woozy weeks of David Lynch’s mind trip masterpiece, these soundscapes from Twin Peaks: The Return are incredible in their own right.
DEDEKIND CUT – American Zen (Ninja Tune). Wonderful washes of noise and hints of techno.
F INGERS – Awkwardly Blissing Out (Blackest Ever Black). Barely-there dark dreams.
BLUE IVERSON – Hotep (World Music). Twenty minutes of Dean Blunt’s soul and R&B doodlings. Far more compelling than that might sound.
HANNAH PEEL – Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia (self-published). Is it my imagination, or has there been a glut of albums featuring synths and colliery brass bands this year? This was the best.
VESSEL – Nyt Alfabet (DME). Shakily soporific in the best possible way. And that voice! I’m melting.
ALDOUS HARDING – Party (4AD). Speaking of voices… I predict that next year Aldous Harding will conquer the world.