December, for music lovers, is all about those end of year lists (and not really about Christmas Number One, is it?). These lists are very beloved to me - I enjoy putting weeks and weeks of thought into them, and I must shortly decide who will succeed Kings Of Leon and Sigur Ros. First, I devour everyone else's opinion in case there's something I might have missed. Recently (as you may have noticed - sorry), I've been busy, happily occupied, and haven't given these important matters the time they deserve. I'm working hard now to put that right. You can expect to see my personal albums and tracks of 2009 appear here over the next week or so. Once I work out once and for all, how good (or otherwise) Bob Dylan's "Christmas In The Heart" really is.
2010 already looks promising. Bloodgroup's album (right) has great reviews in Iceland but hasn't reached my ears yet, Sigur Ros' Jonsi (free mp3 at that link!) has a solo album coming in March, Seabear promise a return in the Spring and then head to SXSW... there will be more.
I have been devouring the music magazine's opinions. Over at the NME, The Horrors got the crown. Kasabian were flavour of the month (erm, year, surely) at Q magazine, Uncut went for Animal Collective whilst Phoenix ruled supreme at the marvelous Drowned In Sound website. I've stopped caring what Mojo think - it always seemed to be Richmond Fontaine. Tell me if that's changed.
I haven't spotted any Icelandic albums in this year's round-ups. This can only mean that those round-ups are wrong. It has been another wonderful year of Icelandic output, as so clearly evidenced at Iceland Airwaves in October and this is reflected over at the Iceland Music Export website which will very soon be updated with the best of 2009 list featuring contributions from various experts (blush) on the subject.
One huge development (for Icelandic music lovers in London) over the last few weeks has seen the start of a new club night in snowy London town form the wonderful team at JA JA JA music (A Big Nordic Music Affair). The first two nights were curated by Radio One's Huw Stephens and then last week by xfm's brilliant John Kennedy, who very wisely picked Iceland's electro-tastic Bloodgroup, I then unwisely got sick and missed it. I will not make that mistake again for the third installment, curated by Sean from Drowned In Sound. Sean is a man of evident taste as he's picked 2 Icelandic acts out of the 3 slots. So get down to The Lexington on January 21st to see Sudden Weather Change and The Leaves. Brilliant - thanks JA JA JA!