New Year is actually my favourite time of the musical year by far. I'm perenially propelled through midwinter on an avalanche of new music, aggregated from the year-end lists of all those many bloggers who've had better (or less scrupulous) access to more albums throughout the past year. Yet before I begin my annual attempt to soak up as much as I can of the good stuff that has dripped through my fingers, I still want to talk about my ten favourite albums of the year (especially since I'm bound to start regretting my decisions as soon as I sink properly into my January playlists).
As tends to happen when I compare my lists with those of more full-time bloggers, some of the space usually reserved for zeitgeist-definingly new stuff has been given over to exceptional new offerings from some of my favourite old stalwarts - the kind of album that Pitchfork will acknowledge gladly as an addition to an established band's existing oeuvre, but then overlook around list-time. Still, these ten weren't too difficult to assemble, since between them they easily demanded the majority of my aural attention as the year proceeded.