Our Lost Infantry have had a stunning year, topped off by the release of their debut album ‘The New Art History’, via Deep Elm Records in November. After their final celebratory show of the year at the Aldershot West End Centre on 14 December, the band are already making extensive plans for next year and are sure to be playing in a town near you.
All four members of OLI found the time to choose their three favourite tracks from albums released during 2012, providing us with an incredibly diverse Spotify Playlist, which you can hear here.
Thom Ashworth, vocals and guitar:
1. Everything Everything – Cough Cough
Is this an indie band or the next big R&B hit? So big sounding, so hooky. Their melodies never go where I expect. Chuffing magnificent.
2. This Town Needs Guns – Adventure Stamina Anger
I was sad when Stu left TTNG (though Hank’s contribution is pretty rad). The parting gift of 2 tracks was perfect. Love the cowbell.
3. Portico Quartet – Lacker Boo
A darker place than they’d ever visited before, and all the more compelling for it. I felt like they finally moved on from the gimmick of the hang drum and just made a great modern jazz album.
Joe Ashworth, bass and vocals:
4. Bad Books – Pyotr
This song is Andy Hull at his best – from the sparse arrangement to the storytelling lyrics that only improve with each listen, every part of this song sounds as deliberate and raw as Andy ever is without sacrificing structure. Swell.
5. mewithoutYou – Cardiff Giant
This is one the best tracks they’ve ever put out, combining the more recent indie feel with the more classic post-hardcore vibe. Aaron’s screams are the best they’ve ever sounded towards the end – loud, confessional and downright scary.
6. Coheed & Cambria – The Afterman
The riff on this is great, it’s simple but it holds the song together and doesn’t stop at any point. This is the kind of record I wish they’d written years ago.
Matt Phelps, keyboard and vocals:
7. Autumn Chorus – Brightening Sky
I was at school with Robbie but hadn’t seen him for yonks when I was alerted to Autumn Chorus by a mutual friend a few years ago. Their debut album, ‘The Village To The Vale’, is an astonishing work of symphonic post rock. I could have picked any track really, but this one is the standout ‘pop song’ for me, with Robbie’s exceptional voice complemented perfectly by a guest vocal appearance from Anna-Lynne Williams of Trespassers William.
8. Bat For Lashes – Laura
I must confess to being very late to the party here. Several people have said I’d love Bat For Lashes, but it’s taken me until the last couple of months to realise they’re right. This stunningly beautiful piano ballad is the highlight for me on her third album, ‘The Haunted Man’.
9. alt-J – Taro
Overhyped maybe, but that doesn’t change the fact that alt-J’s debut fits in a whole bunch of clever ideas in its 44 minutes, encapsulated perfectly in closer, ‘Taro’, with its bhangra-style finger tapping breaks, big guitar riff, and sing-along outro. Love them or hate them, they don’t really sound like anyone else, and that’s pretty awesome.
Michael Parkin, drums and vocals:
10. Frightened Rabbit – State Hospital
The vocals on this track are stunning and I love the video. I have been slightly obsessed with Frightened Rabbit ever since we supported them a couple of years ago, in my eyes they can’t do any wrong.
11. Spring Offensive – Not Drowning But Waving
We have had the pleasure of gigging with these guys many times. Every song they release out does the last. There is something very special about the way they write music, full of beautiful harmonies and dark undertones.
12. Bon Iver – Towers
The whole album is great and I could listen to it on repeat. Despite being unable to hear what he is saying, Vernon’s vocals are perfect. The video is brilliant, I do enjoy a good beard.
You can hear Our Lost Infantry’s Best of 2012 playlist on Spotify.