In a shameless cash in on this festive season and because every other Tom, Dick and Sally feels obliged to make an end of year list, I've decided to revisit some of our finest finds of 2008.
Let's be clear about this, right from the start, I'm not suggesting this is a definitive guide to the best music released in the past twelve months, it's more of a nod of appreciation to some of the acts I've come across that I particularly enjoyed listening to. To be honest, I don't buy too many contemporary albums these days, mainly because it's increasingly difficult to buy copies on vinyl. It also seems rather pointless for me to devote time and energy to artists who are already being rightly lauded elsewhere; let's face it, what could I add of value, to the avalanche of plaudits that have been heaped onto the marvellous Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes albums.
One final caveat, the order of the countdown is no reflection of the relative quality of the acts. Think of this exercise as being carried out in the style of a school sports day, run by a loony left council, where competition has been banned and everyone's a winner, even the kid who tripped up on his own shoelaces at the beginning of the egg and spoon race (oops! I mean activity) They all win a prize, the coveted Scratchy Buckles Seal Of Approval, which you'll agree is almost as prodigious as a Grammy.
First up, is young scamp around town called Thos Henley, he brandishes a banjo, a smooth voice and a fine ear for a good tune. The recent revival of interest in artists, who inhabit the folky end of the music spectrum is heartening to behold and Thos was a breath of fresh air in this scene. 'Summer On The Thames' ebbed and flowed like a summer song should and his cover of the Leona Lewis hit 'Bleeding Love' was inspired.
If he continues to develop his songwriting skills and hones his pastoral sound, this coming year should deliver some well deserved national attention. I look forward to a debut album coming out and I'm also determined to finally catch the band perform live in 2009 as he regularly performs in my neck of the woods.
He is the video that accompanies a delicate song simply called 'Her'