…Because everyone else seems to be doing it! Okay, here we go:
10. Last Smoke Before the Snow Storm – Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Beautiful and understated, Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s songs feature fairytale lyrics and a unique, dreamy quality.
9. Last Night on Earth – Noah and the Whale
More mature than their first album, and considerably more up-beat than their second, Noah and the Whale succeeded this year in creating a third album that drew on the best qualities of both of its predecesors. It is a wistful, nostaligic album that tells us stories of childhood and leaving home, amongst other tales.
8. Pala – Friendly Fires
A perfect summer album that just leant itself to festivals, The songs on Pala are as bright and colourful as the hawaiian shirts that lead singer Ed Macfarlane likes to don.
7. A Different Kind of Fix – Bombay Bicycle Club
This is everything a Bombay Bicycle Club fan could ask for in a new album. Great lyrics, beautiful use of instruments and a perfect mix of upbeat songs and softer tracks.
6. 21 – Adele
I know it’s somewhat controversial to place this album anywhere below 1st on an end-of-the-year chart, but spectacular as it is, there are a few others which, in my opinion, just about beat it. However, 21 is still one of my favourite albums of the year – I’m not going to say anymore, as I’m sure you’ve all heard it!
5. Mirrorwriting – Jamie Woon
One of the hidden gems of 2011, Mirrorwriting is the genious first album from singer/songwriter Jamie Woon. Each song is breath-taking, and Jamie’s voice is utterly flawless; he is definitely one of the most under-rated artists currently on the british music scene.
4. A Creature I Don’t Know – Laura Marling
Again, a wonderful, mature progression from her previous albums. Songs such as Salinas and The Beast showcase a voice and wisdom that seem way beyond her years.
3. England Keep My Bones – Frank Turner
I’m a bit behind the times when it comes to Frank Turner, having only discovered his music this year. Thankfully, though, I had the good fortune to see him live at Leeds festival; an incredible experience which was enough to convince me to by England Keep My Bones, plus many songs from previous albums.
2. Every Kingdom – Ben Howard
Ben Howard has to be my favourite “new” artist of the past year – well, new to me anyway. I don’t even know where to start with this album. Every song is a masterpiece.
1. Ceremonials – Florence and the Machine
In my opinion, no singer can match the magnificence of Florence at the moment. Everything song she makes pure brilliance, and while Ceremonials is less raw than her previous album, it is also bigger and more spectacular – it is an album created specifically for the sell-out arena shows of her next tour (one of which I’m going to see, yay!), without being too commercial.
With the dark lyrics and haunting melodies that we’ve all come to expect and love from Florence, Ceremonials is a triumph.