75 First Love Last Rites by the Passmore Sisters 1988
Not sisters and no one called Passmore , I first came across the Passmore Sisterd when a 12" single of theirs features in a lucky dip bag that Jumbo records in Leeds used to run every now and then. You would buy a sealed bag of singles for a set amount and took your chance on getting a couple of gems.
I followed up going to see them at the Duchess of York in Leeds and then buying their debut and only lp.
On one hand typical indie fare but on the other hand a set of songs that would not have seen out of place on lps by bands that got a lot more success. There are echoes of the Smiths , the Housemartins , etc all of which lift this lp way above the usual indie fodder.
These next 2 tracks show the bands two sides , the dreamy Byrdsy June is in the Water and the frantic acoustic strum of Red Star Blue Heart
June is in the Water - Passmore Sisters
Red Star Blue Heart - Passmore Sisters
A shame they never got to make a second lp as the variety and knack with a catchy tune on show here makes you think they would have only got even better.
Hunting a copy of the lp down is a bit of a challenge.
Now for something completely different here is my top 10 lps of the year
10 Tree Bursts in Snow - Admiral Fallow
Not quite as good as their debut, more of a slow burn , but full of top tunes
9 Forever So by Husky
Some lush chamber pop from New Zealand
8 The North by Stars
A return to their Pet Shop Boys meets New Order meets the Smiths best
7 The Defenestration of St Martin by Martin Rossiter
first solo lp by Gene singer. Piano ballads of sorrow
6 Given to the Wild by the Maccabees
this seems to have been the year of guitar art pop with Django Django , AltJ , etc. This was the first and the best
5 Oh Pioneer by Duke Special
Straight forward pop songs for once , well as straight forward as Duke Special can get. The sleeve notes explaining the songs show catchy pop doesn't need to mean stupid pop
4 My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men
Part Bjork , part Belle and Sebastian, part the Stars , but really a sound all their own . Fantastic Scandinavian pop
3 Hipsters by Deacon Blue
Just an unbelievably strong set of songs , their best since Raintown.
2 Crown and Treaty by Sweet Billy Pilgrim
Emotion and songs among the studio trickery
1 Mid Air by Paul Buchanan
Snippets and sketches of life set to a piano and one of the best voices going
Here is a track by each best of 2012 The order is a bit out so I'm afraid you will have to play a bit of guess who is who