PlaylistApril 2014: Not actually my top 30 albums

NeilBy | posted on 1st April 2014

I could probably drive myself mad trying to decide on a definitive top 30, top 40, top 100 albums list, but here's the next best thing. And if not the next best, then at least the next that came into my head. 30 songs, each from an album by one of the 30 artists that I have listened to the most since joining last.fm (or audioscrobbler as it was called when I signed up back in 2004).

I realise, of course, that this massively skews the list in favour of albums released since 2004, or artists active since then. Worse than that, though, there's some skewing residue left over from my very early days of "scrobbling": I was listening to music everywhere and anywhere I could, but the only listens that were tracked to last.fm were those from my work laptop, which contained only a skeleton selection of music from which I could choose. As a result, there are one or two artists still hanging around in my Top 30 who I haven't listened to very much recently, and one or two artists I've listened to quite a lot recently who didn't quite make it into the list.

But never mind that; the quality is as high as ever. Even higher than ever! Let the countdown begin...

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Track of the Day Ambulance Ltd - Primitive Share Tagsconfidentcoollaid backrockThe Strokestracks from top 30 albumsNot a great name for a band; rubbish album title. Oh, and their label went bankrupt while they were working on a second … >>
Track of the Day Death Cab For Cutie - The New Year Share Tagsindie rocktracks from top 30 albumsHarmless indie rock for the quiet kids. Occasionally they go big ("The New Year", "Tiny Vessels"), but mostly keep a light touch, gently unfolding … >>
Track of the Day Moose - Soon is Never Soon Enough Share TagsCranberriesindieshoegazingtracks from top 30 albumsTime for this playlist to show its early 90s Indie roots. For a day, at least. Moose were lumped in with the shoegazing crowd at … >>
Track of the Day I am Kloot - From Your Favourite Sky Share Tagsbitterindietracks from top 30 albumsI don’t like to use the "under-rated" tag if I can help it, but when a début album as good as Natural History misses the … >>
Track of the Day Arcade Fire - The Suburbs Share Tagsfuture classictracks from top 30 albumsAfter an initial burst of excitement and enormous piles of hype and all the pre-release publicity, Reflektor turned out to be a sporadically brilliant, … >>
Track of the Day Teenage Fanclub - The Concept Share TagsBig Stargrungeindietracks from top 30 albumsFinally, an album that would be a shoe-in if I actually sat down and attempted a truly definitive list. Released at the tail end … >>
Track of the Day Eels - Trouble With Dreams Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsThis is a tough one. As much as I love Eels / E / Mark Everett, there’s no single album that I would say sits … >>
Track of the Day The Auteurs - How Could I Be Wrong Share Tagsbitterbritpopindieindie rocktracks from top 30 albumsOf all the artists included in Select magazine’s November ‘93 "Yanks go home" piece, The Auteurs’ Luke Haines was always the least likely to … >>
Track of the Day Club 8 - A Small Piece of Heaven Share TagsManifestnomineepopsummerSwedishNot to be confused with anyone else with a vaguely similar name, Club 8 are just one of many casually brilliant Swedish pop groups (quite a few of whom … >>
Track of the Day Sufjan Stevens - Come on! Feel the Illinoise! When Sufjan Stevens told everyone he was going to write an album for every US state, it seemed like a tall order, but not necessarily an impossible quest for such a prolific artist. First came Michigan in 2003; Illinois followed in 2005. At this point his attention seems to have strayed. >>
Track of the Day Aimee Mann - Red Vines Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsTalk about kicking someone when they’re down: not only did Aimee Mann lose out on a "Best Original Song" Oscar to Phil Collins - her … >>
Track of the Day Joan as Police Woman - The Ride Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsIt seems strange that such a distinctly beautiful vocalist was once too terrified to sing, using her violin almost as a surrogate voice. But that’s … >>
Track of the Day Brendan Benson - Tiny Spark Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsRecently Jack White’s companion in The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson has had a solo career that goes back to a few years before the start of … >>
Track of the Day Elliott Smith - Son of Sam Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsWhat is there to feel, listening to Elliott Smith now, other than sadness at the tragedy of a life cut short? From his early scratchy … >>
Track of the Day Delays - Valentine Share Tagsindieindie discoindie-popSouthamptontracks from top 30 albumsSouthampton’s finest; extremely under-rated. "Nearer Than Heaven" from their début album Faded Seaside Glamour is as good as it gets, but their second album … >>
Track of the Day The Dears - Lost in the Plot Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsI listened to this and its follow-up, Gang of Losers, extensively for a couple of years. Since then... not so much, but dusting it off … >>
Track of the Day Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken Share Tagsindie-popLloyd Coletracks from top 30 albumstweeWall of SoundI will always have time for a particular brand of fun, bouncy, inoffensive, twee, light and breezy indie pop, especially when female … >>
Track of the Day Wilco - Ashes of American Flags Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsThere’s something almost impossibly melancholy at the heart of Wilco at their best that makes me go all nostalgic and misty-eyed. It happens whether they’re … >>
Track of the Day Public Service Broadcasting - Spitfire Share TagsBFIpropagandatracks from top 30 albumsTwo guys with charmingly English and idiosyncratic names (J Willgoose, Esq and Wrigglesworth), who sample archive footage and chuck electronica, banjos and krautrock over the … >>
Track of the Day Morrissey - The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsWhat’s to hate about Morrissey, really? He’s puckish and mischievous, but he’s pretty harmless. When he pops out from his LA home now, it’s usually … >>
Track of the Day Nada Surf - Blonde on Blonde Share Tagsindie rockindie-poptracks from top 30 albumsThe Eels dilemma rears its head once more... I could have equally chosen Lucky, The Proximity Effect, or The Weight is a Gift - … >>
Track of the Day Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap Share TagsBRIT awardsBRITscardigan-wearingfeylivetweeI don’t normally pay much attention to the Brit awards, but in 1999 I was delighted to imagine the look on Pete Waterman’s face when he found out … >>
Track of the Day Doves - Pounding Share Tagsanthemtracks from top 30 albumsIt’s possible that we’ve heard the last of Doves. No formal announcement of any forever split has been made, just that the band is currently … >>
Track of the Day The Leisure Society - We Were Wasted Share TagsacousticdebutfolkNick DrakeListen - forget your Sons of Lumineer Mumford thump-thump-holler-thump folk renaissance. Gather ye round the campfire; bring your uke, bring your flute, borrow a string section, and let’s … >>
Track of the Day Elbow - The Bones of You Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsFavourite Elbow album is not an easy choice: I was originally going to go with Leaders of the Free World in support of its underdog … >>
Track of the Day The Divine Comedy - Something for the Weekend Share Tagschamber poptracks from top 30 albumsWhen I was leaving university, I had an idea that I would start a music magazine or fanzine of some kind. I wrote off … >>
Track of the Day Tindersticks - No More Affairs Share Tagslovestringstracks from top 30 albumsI guarantee you that Tindersticks Second Album is the best album you’ve never heard. And that’s a money back guarantee (subject to terms and conditions, … >>
Track of the Day The House of Love - The Girl with the Loneliest Eyes Share Tags90sindietracks from top 30 albumsIf all I really wanted was to show the authenticity of my indie credentials, I’d just pick The German Album, or The House of Love … >>
Track of the Day The National - Mr November Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsThere are many live versions of this track available on youtube, but my advice would be not to spoil the moment of actually hearing it … >>
Track of the Day R.E.M. - Fall on Me Share Tagstracks from top 30 albumsGiven that it’s taken me the best part of 20 years to figure out what my favourite R.E.M. album is, this might explain why I … >>