All right, it's upon us. Climb down off of those tenterhooks and warm yourself by the glow of this year's strenuously anticipated Furtive 50.
In fact there's a little bonus feature this year, as you no doubt feared there might be. It having been (it seems to me) a pretty fine year for music, the longlist of releases that I knew I liked enough to want to take into consideration in drawing up my chart was well in excess of 200 albums, and having listened at least once to each of those and sorted them into definites and maybes, there were already more than fifty in the 'Essential - Must Include' category. So below the main body of the 50, you'll find a list of the next 50. (That's where I drew the line, you'll be pleased to know.)
As usual, I've eliminated anything that says it's an EP (or, in the case of the Holly & Jessica album, runs under fifteen minutes); greatest hits compilations etc. (so no McFly and no Dalek); and reissues of old albums (so the Nick Drake Family Tree set is disqualified).
The same disclaimer as last year obviously applies: I've managed to listen to about three hundred new albums this year, but I've almost certainly missed loads that, had I heard them, would have made the cut; for example, everyone's end-of-year lists have made a big fuss of the Burial and Panda Bear records, and I haven't heard either of those. Inevitably this is an incredibly partial survey, which aspires to be nothing more than a way of celebrating the music that has helped me get through the year in one (big, lumpy) piece.
Tomorrow I'll upload a track from each of the albums to the Gevorts Box player over on the right of the page, so you can share the pleasure, the pain and the pandemonium. [That's done now -- enjoy!]
And so, my dears, in obverse order, the winners are...