Those with long memories, unaffected by a year or two of musical excess, will recall that Songs Heard On Fast Trains grew out of an unprompted end-of-year favourites list on my not usually music focused personal blog. Well, somewhere in the summer I decided to stop writing here – a decision which weirdly aligned with a whole lot of other changes, which result in a very different set of circumstances right now. At the time, I decided I soon missed my interminably long descriptions of music, and oddly – to me at least – so did a few other people. I thought about casting around to see if there was anywhere I could contribute, perhaps even anonymously to avoid the whole “but you’re not Scottish” bullshit which plagued the last few months of Songs Heard On Fast Trains too. In the end, the solution came rather unexpectedly from Mr Peenko himself. Lloyd approached me to write for his excellent, exclusively Scottish blog which tidied away a lot of the issues, and let me ramble on again about music I loved. He has also been incredibly tolerant of my erratic work rate, constant disappearances to the United States and general failure to thrive. I’d promise to improve, but I suspect he knows it won’t happen!
So, we approach the end of a year which has been pretty momentous for me personally, and a little strange musically. There have been few really startling albums – but lots of smaller releases by bands I’ve loved. One thing which has remained constant is how important music has been to me – and how big a part it has played in all the other changes I’ve seen this year. So, when asked to contribute my favourite albums of the year to Peenko I struggled somewhat – but came up with things which I’ve listened to a great deal. These are records which have sustaining power above and beyond the norm – and which I’d wholeheartedly recommend.