2012 – A few more records of note

I decided to restrict my best-of-2012 list to full-length studio albums of new material with a 2012 retail release date. But there are a few great records that fall outside that definition, and would be difficult to place in any kind of ranking. But they’re all too good not to give a mention, so here they are.

The Heather Findlay BandSongs From The Old Kitchen

A delightful album of acoustic reworkings of Heather’s songs from Mostly Autumn, Odin Dragonfly and more recent solo work, with the band featuring the now-departed Dave Kilminster and Steve Vantsis. The organic chilled-out arrangements are a very good match for the natural warmth of her voice, making this perhaps the best record she’s made since going solo.

KarnatakaNew Light, Live in Concert

Live album (also an excellent DVD) capturing the band on their first tour with new vocalist Hayley Griffiths, fronting the short-lived six-piece lineup with multi-instrumentalist Colin Mold, whose violin playing enhanced the Celtic side of their music. Aside from Hayley’s imaginative re-interpretation of old favourites, this record is also a showcase for Enrico Pinna’s phenomenal guitar playing.

Crimson Sky - DawnCrimson SkyDawn

Excellent four-track EP from the new lineup of Crimson Sky with Jane Setter and Moray McDonald, with two brand new songs and two reworked older numbers. As with their previous work, it’s an intriguing blend of progressive rock and 80s-style new-wave, and benefits from a far more polished production than earlier recordings.

Twelfth Night Live and Let Live - Album CoverTwelfth NightLive and Let Live

The classic and long out-of-print single LP-length album from the seminal 80s neo-proggers, reissued and expanded into a two-hour double-CD capturing the entire two-hour show, which must have been a painstaking labour-of-love to put together.

Rob CottinghamCaptain Blue

One of those records where the pre-orders shipped in December, although the retail release isn’t until the new year There will be a full review of this forthcoming, but let’s just say this is a good one. Will it make the 2013 end-of-year list? Time will tell on that…

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4 Responses to 2012 – A few more records of note

  1. Wednesday says:

    Some excellent albums across all those lists… but couldn’t you squeeze in Kilminster’s “Scarlet – the Director’s Cut” which had its first official mainstream release in November? http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=3897

    Okay… I’m a little biased, but still – this album is awesome and should be on anyone’s top list for the year… or at least get a special mention…

    http://rockguitardaily.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/dave-kilminster-scarlet-directors-cut.html for a very accurate review, in case you’ve not got around to picking up a copy yet, Tim :-p

    Unless, of course, you’ve decided to stick it in your Legendary list… although I have a feeling I can probably guess what’s at the top…

  2. David Meadows says:

    I’ve only had time to play Captain Blue twice since receiving it, and it’s so good I’m having to re-evaluate my end-of-year top 10! I will admit to being surprised, as I’m not the world’s biggest Touchstone fan.

  3. Tim Hall says:

    I thought you might like Captain Blue.

    (a) It’s got Heather on it
    (b) It’s nowhere near as heavy as Touchstone
    (c) It’s got Heather on it.

    It does remind me a lot of very early Touchstone, especially the dual male-female harmony lead vocals, which were a feature of their first album.

  4. David Meadows says:

    I bought it purely because of (a) and (c), as you rightly suspected, but she’s not on it as much as I expected. Yes, she’s on most of the tracks, but definitely in a secondary role. But that doesn’t disappoint me at all, because I found that like Rob’s voice a lot on this more melodic (or, less heavy) material. Your (b) is a big factor in why I like the album.