Ida Maria

It’s the end of the year, and sure as eggs is eggs there are music lists, polls and debates galore. I’m a sucker for a good end-of-year list, so I’m sure as hell gonna contribute my own. So without further ado, here are my top ten albums of the year:

10. Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into

A triumph of genre crossovers, from Daft Punk to ’80s pop, there was hardly a dud track on here.

Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Weird Science

9. Ida Maria – Fortress Around My Heart

Explosive, effervescent pop-punk from the amazing Miss Maria, her live show is just as good.

Ida Maria – Stella


8. Lightspeed Champion – Falling Off The Lavender Bridge

Dev Hynes truly manages to shake off the Test Icicles tag to mould himself as a brilliant, twisted folk troubador.

Lightspeed Champion – Galaxy Of The Lost


7. Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords

I know comedy records shouldn’t count, but this is such a well-formed album, the fact that it’s funny doesn’t even matter that much.

Flight of the Conchords – The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)


6. Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires

The perfect blend of house, indie, funk and any other genre you want to name, this album manages the seemingly impossible task of making a hugely coherent album without ever becoming samey.

Friendly Fires – Photobooth


5. Mumford and Sons – Lend Me Your Eyes EP

Alright, it’s an EP not an album, but all four tracks are just so beautiful, so unbelievably heart-wrenching and glorious that I can’t not include it.

Mumford and Sons – Awake My Soul


4. Laura Marling – Alas, I Cannot Swim

New-folk’s true pioneer, this album delivered exactly what everyone wanted, the old demos produced beautifully, as well as some wonderful new tracks.

Laura Marling – Night Terror


3. Johnny Flynn – A Larum

Three new-folk albums in a row eh? I’d been waiting for an album from Johnny Flynn since his first demo of Tickle Me Pink, and the album was everything I’d wanted and more.

Johnny Flynn – Leftovers


2. Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – Angles

Hip-hop doesn’t have to be corporate, gangstafied shite, it can be poetry, it can be dance music, it can be funny or tragically sad. In short, this album’s brilliant.

Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – The Beat That My Heart Skipped

1. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

To be honest, I don’t think there was ever a doubt in my mind that this would be first place. When it came out it was just so different. Totally summery, totally African and totally incredible.

Vampire Weekend – Bryn

Last night, my lovely girlfriend and I got the positive pleasure of heading to Newcastle’s Carling Academy to watch V.V. Brown and Ida Maria (and for free no less, thank you guestlist). The gig itself was wonderful, V.V. Brown was a fireball of soulful, poppy fun, a mix of ’50s guitar rhythms, ’70s funk and ’00s Amy Winehouse vocals. Ida Maria was her usual effervescent self, mixing the punk explosion of “Oh My God” with the husky-voiced loveliness of “Keep Me Warm” and generally making everyone who knew her there smile.

But that’s precisely the point. Half the people there didn’t know who she was. Of course, a song like “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” was always going to be a hit, but that’s not always a good thing. For example, three girls in front of us literally didn’t know a single song other than that one. And they were on the barrier. And they didn’t dance. And they didn’t fucking applaud. I mean seriously, if you’re going to pay to go to a gig, make a bloody effort to enjoy yourself, don’t just treat the performance like some kind of trial for the ultimate reward of the one song you know. And it wasn’t just them, at the very least a quarter of the crowd seemed to know one, or at best two, songs that she did. The local support band before V.V. Brown (who were excellent, and who I never caught the name of annoyingly) were subjected to football chants and general idiocy just because people were waiting for Ida. It’s a massive shame because, like I’ve said, the gig was wonderful, and I still had a lot of fun, but Cat and I both came out feeling slightly pissed off that we seemed to be the only people who went for more than just 3 minutes of dancing. Frankly, if you don’t know the headline artist of a fairly major gig, don’t take up space at the front where the real fans want to stand, especially if you don’t want to have the courtesy to at least listen to the music you don’t know. Idiots.

Ida Maria – Oh My God
V.V. Brown – Quick Fix