heard on the wire

We’ll always have Venice ’till it falls into the sea

I could stay forever hanging out, to quote Allo Darlin, but time is short and there are still at least half a dozen more nominees for 2011’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life, including my favourite folk-, country- and dance-tinged tracks of the year.

But first the aforementioned Allo Darlin’ and a version of a song by Darren Hayman, no stranger to these parts. Like an increasing number of independent artists and labels, All Darlin’ are selling the single through their Bandcamp page, whence they may actually get a fair share of the proceeds. Spotify it ain’t.

Allo Darlin’ :: Darren

Audio MP3

From Darren to Ariadne, from the Tiny Birds’ (free!) debut LP, Hymns for the Careless. Nu-folk may be the most ghastly genre label to date, though nu-gaze runs it close, especially as the pop-sensibilities of this record are about as far from finger-in-the-ear droning as folk can get. And it mentions Venice, which is a surefire way to get onto this blog.

Tiny Birds :: Ariadne

Audio MP3

Art and Sex is the debut LP from The Whatevers, from Leeds, who “sing mainly about their relationship history, radical leftist politics, not being able to get out of bed and conversations about sex that they have had at bus stops.”

Is that sex or conversations about it that they have at bus stops?

The Whatevers :: Awkward

Audio MP3

Help Stamp Out Loneliness are from Manchester, make great pop records and have a brilliant name. So good in fact, that they also gave it to their debut LP.

Help Stamp Out Loneliness :: Record Shop

Audio MP3

As for those country and dance tracks, keep listening.

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