Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Off The Beaten Tracks

Posted by Mark Merrifield on

We've made it to the end of the year people - well done to us all for surviving and doing our best to stay positive!

Christmas Opening Times

For those still wanting their musical fix over the festive period we are OPEN

10 - 5.30 Tuesday to Saturday (6pm Friday) until 3pm on Christmas Eve.

25th - 28th Dec Closed

29th - 31st Open 10am - 4pm (New Year's Eve till 2pm)

1st - 4th January Closed

Back to normal hours from Wednesday 5th January 2022

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all our customers. Thanks for your support and we look forward to sharing lots more music, old and new, with you in 2022.

Thanks too for getting in touch with your Albums of the Year - there's been some great recommendations - we'll keep sharing them here below....n no particular order.... 


1.Bright Green Field - Squid
2.Forest of Your Problems - Snapped Ankles
3.Butterfly 3000 - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Best Music DVD
American Utopia - David Byrne
Best re-released obscurity
Jolene - The Sisters of Mercy, from the RSD BBC Sessions 1982-1984
'Album of 2021 hands down Self Esteem - Prioritise Pleasure. I don't usually enjoy an album that pop but it's top quality. Also really enjoyed Damon Albarn's The Nearer The Fountain, More The Pure The Stream Flows.'
'2021 has been a great year for the concept album. Special mentions must go to The Coral - Coral Island - the familiar sounds of a great British  seaside pier and amusement park.
Public Service Broadcasting - Bright Magic - this almost made my top 3 status but they're so big so they don't need glowing recommendations from me!
Berlin is among my favourite cities and this album walks you right through it in different ways. There's elements of Kraftwerk and later on Bowie's Low side B. It's also beautifully packaged. 
However, here's my top 3
3. Audiobooks - Astro Tough. Audiobooks are unique...a middle aged bloke with long white hairand a young lass sporting a parkaand a deadpan face.  Astro Tough's tracks vary in tempo and are lyrically left field. I saw them supporting Gruff Rhys in Sheffield in October..unforgettable. The Doll is one of my favourite tracks of '21.
2. Gruff Rhys - Seeking New Gods - following smoothly on from no. 3 and another concept piece. Only the Welsh Maestro could conjure up an album themed around a Korean volcanic peak that, upon deeper discovery, is a metaphor for so much more. Again, beautifully packaged  and short enough to play over and over again while still leaving you wanting more. He was sublime live, playing all his best solo stuff plus this album in full, backed by an incredible band inc the former Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock.
1. Richard Dawson - Henki - another British treasure, Richard Dawson hit us with this late in the year. he has, out of nowhere, teamed up with his Finnish metal band idols, Cirlce, to release an album of songs each named after important and ancient Europena plant/flower species. yet, the lyrics seemingly have no link to the song title. Lily is also one of my favourite tracks of the year, written about his mother's supernatural experiences while nursing the recently deceased in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary. Unique and inspired writing, with Finnish muscle backing him up!!! 
Special mention also to Mogwai, Jane Weaver, Penelope Isles, Chet Faker for his lush outing Hotel Surrender and finally Amyl & The Sniffers...raucous, foul mouthed, trashy punk from Melbourne...just the ticket as the antidote to the thoughtful and atmospheric. I also loved Joy Orbison's Still Slipping Vol. 1...mundane Britain but to a great dance soundtrack..keep rocking everyone and thanks to our dealer for keeping us hooked through another tough 12 months'.
Thanks Nick 'regular customer and fellow addict'.
1.Neil young crazy horse Barn
2.Steve gunn Other You
3.Teenage fan club Endless Arcade
1.The Anchoress - The Art Of Losing
2.Mogwai - As The Love Continues
3.Du Blonde - Homecoming
4.The Weather Station - Ignorance
5.Tindersticks - Distractions
Plus Idles, Amyl & The Sniffers, Arlo Parks, Jane Weaver, Nick Cave...
Some great recommendations there. The new music of 2021 has without doubt  been a great distraction.
Agree Paul!! We'll list our favs of the year next week, if you'd still like to let us know your top 3 (or more!) Albums of 2021 then please pop in the shop OR contact us HERE

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