“Oh the January man he walks abroad in woollen coat and boots of leather / The January man is here for starting each and every year”
That’s right Bert Jansch, the January man was here. But he sodded off four days ago to let the February man take over, meaning there’ll never be a better time to investigate January 2010’s best albums and tell YOU what they sounded like. Bert Jansch, by the way, is a 67-year-old Scottish folk musician who’s all kinds of awesome on the guitar and played on Babyshambles’ second album Shotter’s Nation. Pete Doherty couldn’t be arsed, you see, because that bag of heroin in his pocket wasn’t going to shoot itself up, was it?
Now answer these questions:
1/ Do you like all-male indie rock bands?
Big props to Vampire Weekend, Spoon and The Soft Pack who made Contra, Transference and The Soft Pack respectively and gave America a massive head start in the currently non-existent global race to make the most good indie rock music in 2010. Here’s an adjective about Vampire Weekend: ‘tropical’. Here’s one about Spoon: ‘solid’. Here’s one about The Soft Pack: ‘energetic’. But, luckily for England, These New Puritans were on hand to make Hidden, for which they earn the super-descriptive word ‘adventurous’.
2/ Do you just want to pop?
Because Acolyte by Delphic is the route to go down if you like your pop music to storm the charts, be overplayed on Radio 1 and regularly soundtrack rugby players necking cheerleaders in student unions. Compliments all.
3/ Do you like dance music?
If yes, you’ll probably want to indulge in 1/ There Is Love In You buy Four Tet, 2/ Real Life Is No Cool by Lindstrom and Christabelle and 3/ Kompakt’s Pop Ambient 2010. We like Lindstrom and Chritsballe best, because it makes you feel like an angel is making love to your ear canal. So cool.
If no, ask yourself this:
4/ Do you like female singers?
Charlotte Gainsbourg is one, and Scout Niblett is one, but their albums IRM and The Calcination of Scout Niblett are totally different. Gainsbourgh is the daughter of French creative Serge Gainsbourg and has collaborated with Beck on a soft and gentle record full of mystery and wonder. And Niblett is a lady from Nottingham who loves to ROCK and ROCK hard.
5/ Would you rather immerse yourself in a world of dreamy confusion?
Then allow Animal Collective (with Campfire Songs) and Beach House (with Teen Dream) take you to places you’ve never been before.
6/ Or do you just want to cut through the bullshit and hit the hip-hop mixtapes?
That’s exactly how New Orleans based Jay Electronica feels, which is why Victory is so brilliant. Let the obliteration begin.