Product DetailsHere’s the first of our High Fives from friends of MusicRiot.  Dean Owens has released 2 albums this year (“New York Hummingbird” and “Cash Back”) and both earned four-star reviews here.  Dean’s Top 5 albums for the year are:


“Algiers” – CalexicoProduct Details

Calexico are from Tuscon, Arizona and released their seventh album “Algiers” in September 2012.  The band moved away from their Tex-Mex roots to incorporate some New Orleans influences for this album which has been described as their most accessible and exciting record so far.

“Bloom” – Beach House

“Bloom”, the fourth album from Baltimore-based Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand (who formed Beach House in 2004) was released in May 2012 on Sub Pop.  2 songs from the album, “Myth” and “Lazuli” were also released as singles.

“Fear Fun” – Father John MistyProduct Details

Released in May 2012, “Fear Fun” is the first album Joshua Tillman (former drummer with several indie bands, including Fleet Foxes) has released under the name of Father John Misty.  Interesting fact for you; most of the development of the songs was done in Laurel Canyon, which was the home of the early 70s California singer-songwriter scene which launched the careers of Neil Young, The Eagles, Jackson Browne and many others.

“Life is People” – Bill FayProduct Details

“Life is People” was released almost 50 years after Bill Fay’s first 2 albums in the early 70s.  At that time he attracted comparisons with Ray Davies, John Lennon and Gary Brooker but lost his contract after 2 albums.  He has been name-checked as an influence by many performers, including Nick Cave and this album has been acclaimed as his masterpiece by many critics.

“Scrimshaw” – Nels AndrewsProduct Details

“Scrimshaw” is Nels Andrews’ third album.  He’s attracted loads of praise and songwriting awards and is based in Brooklyn.  His first album reached No. 1 on the US Americana chart in 2005 and he’s now starting to attract attention in Europe as well.


Dean also gave honourable mentions to John Hiatt, Richard Hawley and Jack White.  He’ll be touring in Spring 2013 and you can get the dates here on MusicRiot.  Thanks very much Dean for sharing your choices with us.