Christmas Comes But Once A Year, And When It Does It Brings... Lists. Lots of lists. Here's another.
A quick glance at this particular list makes it clear that this has been, for me, a singers' year. Let me make it clear from the offthis isn't my list of the best vocal
albums I've heard this year, it's my list of the best
albums. Half of these recordings have a singer's name on the cover, most of the rest feature vocalists on the majority of their trackseven the mainly instrumental album by The Puppeteers includes a bit of vocalising. Yes, there are great instrumental performances on these recordings toobut it's the human voice that rings out loud and clear, that makes the connection with me.
Standards get stylishly re-appraised by Georgia Mancio
and Nigel Price
and by Fini Bearman
. Christine Tobin
puts her own spin on the work of Leonard Cohen
. Sarah Marie Young
, from Chicago and Tammy Payne
from Bristol both create strikingly personal and intimate recordings of original material. The Basin Street Brawlers get down with the Old School. The riotous Melt Yourself Down and the gorgeous Majamisty Trio create their own New Schools. Melphi builds beautifully soulful songs, centred on Lotte van Drunen's expressive voice.
Last year, I had a clear favorite. This year, three albums tied for first place in my affections. Which three? I'll take Iris DeMent's adviceand let the mystery be. Sarah Marie Young Little Candy Heart
(Snip Records) Christine Tobin A Thousand Kisses Deep
(Trail Belle) Georgia Mancio
& Nigel Price Come Rain Or Come Shine
(Roomspin Records) Tammy Payne Viva Outsider
(Ninety and Nine Records) Majamisty TriO Love
(Cosmic Sounds) Melt Yourself Down Melt Yourself Down
(The Leaf Label) Fini Bearman Porgy And Bess
(F-IRE Records) The Basin Street Brawlers It's Tight Like That
(JohnJohn Records) Melphi Through The Looking Glass
(Snip Records) The Puppeteers The Puppeteers