No. 10:
Lost In The Trees – All Alone In An Empty House

North Carolina’s ‘Lost In The Trees’ manage to produce an acoustic orchestral sound that avoids the usual cliches. They describe their sound as orchestral folk pop which pretty much fits the bill, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is your run of the mill Nick Drake impressionists. I dare you not to be moved by this standout track from the album.

No. 9:
These New Puritans – Hidden

Quite simply this album sounds like no other band recording at the moment and easily better than any of the other arty bands kicking around now. The recording of the album included ‘Six-foot Japanese Taiko drums, a thirteen piece brass and woodwind en-semble, sub-heavy beats, prepared piano, a children’s choir, Foley recording techniques (including a melon with cream crackers attached struck by a hammer, used to simulate the sound of a human head being smashed), and the ethereal voice of Heather Marlatt from dream-pop group Salem.’ Try to imagine all that. Or failing that you can listen to this:

No. 8:
Los Campesinos – Romance is Boring

Discovered this band by accident. Glad I did. Exactly the sort of band I would have wanted to be in in my late teens/early twenties. Noisy, emotional and lyrically challenging. Add to that a track with a title describing the best place to start a short story and you can see why I like, like, like this band.

Honorable mentions:

Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
Emma Pollock – The Law of Large Numbers
Pete Molinari – A Train Bound For Glory
Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
Erland & The Carnival – Erland & The Carnival
MGMT – Congratulations