the list you probably haven't been waiting for, but here they are anyway in old fashioned top 10 style:
10. Delta Spirit - history from below. US college rock, but a bit more interesting than other more famous stuff like drive by truckers. I'd been waiting for ages to see Delta Spirit and they finally came over to the Barfly in September, but it was a monday night and I'd had a hard weekend and in the end just didn't have the energy to trek to camden to see them. A pity but the album is still good, and I guess they'll be back.
9. Field music - field music. Epic double album of experimental new wave. The first double album I ever bought was Kiss Alive 2, in 1978 (for £3 off Tony Tiffin). The Field Music effort even blows that classic away. And they are from Sunderland. God like.
8. Good Shoes - no hope no future. Even better than their first album, bit more hard edged and punky. Sadly, left the cd (along with about 6 others) in alamo rental car in the autumn and failed to replace it yet but a great album nonetheless.
7. Male Bonding - nothing hurts. Saw this lot play at Offset festival in the summer. Great live, only three of them but superb energy. West coast grunge guitar pop, though I think they are from Essex. will be massive.
6. Dan michaelson and the coastguards - Shakes. Only just got this, and love it already. Former Absentee man with a gravelly voice, and just a brilliant songwriter. Will make you want to nod your head and say "yes, that's what it's like, Dan".
5. I am Kloot - sky at night. Really nice set of songs. I'm worrying I might get bored with it, but I put it back on again tonight just to check and it is still lovely. Gentle, orchestral, mellow.
4. Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell - north farm sessions. Saw these two play the upstairs cafe in the Whitechapel gallery and they blew me away. Just gorgeous songs, harmonies and instrumentation. They were a highlight at End of the Road later in the year. If the first (Hares on a mountain) and fifth songs (Letters to Lenore) don't bring tears to your eyes, well, you are less of a soppy git than me.
3.the national - high violet. bought this as soon as I;d seen them play a couple of tracks on jools holland early in the year, then had to wait up until december to see them play live, in Brixton at the academy on a freezing night. They were fantastic though. Very very good album. Every track a great tune, but still dark and moody.
2. Darren Hayman - Essex arms. The album he's been threatening to make for ever. From the brilliant opening "be lonely" all the way through 12 tracks namechecking most bits of an underrated county. Warm but still challenging, and lovely melodies. What music is all about. Saw him earlier in the year in Leytonstone playing the sheepwalk, before Whats Cookin moved out of there. He played a solo gig in the Stow this month, but sadly I was away with work.
1. These new puritans - hidden. It's a bit of an essex top two as this mob are from southend. This is just a superb album. orchestral music, with tarzan lord of the jungle style drumming, electronica and chanting. Sounds shite in those terms, but it pretty much defies explanation. they played at the shoreditch festival (and loads of other places) but after about three whacks of the big drum the speakers blew up. One of the best bits of new music for a long time.
SO that's it. Lots of thers could have mentioned - futureheads, sun city girls, miles benjamin anthony robinson etc etc - but those were the best for me. Next year looking good - New Iron and Wine and Low Anthem albums due, and the north east americana festival at the end of jan the first of a great run of gigs. Rock on.