Album: Hurstville, 2011
Justification: This came out this year and it’s basically an excuse for me to say “hey, you might have forgotten what a great album Hurtsville is.” It was one of my favourite albums this year and this single was getting major spins on the APS jukebox since its release. And I should enjoy it while I can, because on the basis of Ladder’s albums to date, his next one will probably be death metal or drum’n’bass, since his first album was basically a solo acoustic Bonny Prince Billy-esque affair and his second was a blues-soul effort. And they’re both fine, as it goes, but this album absolutely killed me. The title track’s also freakin’ brilliant, incidentally.
They’re great live too, especially now that the Dreamlanders are in tow – which includes Kirin J Callinan on guitars/keys and Donny Benet on bass. It’s an all-indie-star Sydney supergroup, basically.
It also hints at something that I would like to see Ladder do more of down the track: the pun on (Sydney suburb) Hurstville paints the city in a romanticised, monochromatic manner that I found tremendously appealing. I’m always slightly uncomfortable about Australian references in songs – writers can bang on about London or New York all they want, but when they start referencing Carlton it just seems weird and wrong – so when a writer does it well, I find it especially affecting.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: Another great Sydney classic – the Hummingbirds with the mighty ‘Two Weeks with a Good Man in Niagara Falls’.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…