Jane Francis shares vocal and songwriting duties with Jay Manley in new wave-inspired indie popsters Velvet. This year, she showcased some of her solo material at Sparklefest. Her picks:
1. The Pretenders--The Pretenders. "With this album I'd celebrate my independence from the ills of society. It's robust with punk and infused with rabid independence."
3. The Carpenters--The Singles. "It suddenly hits me I'm not going anywhere, and I lament the days of perfect '70s orchestrated, analog pop songs. It never ceases to amaze me how fragile and powerful these songs are.
4. Talk Talk--Spirit of Eden. "This nearly impossible to find album could be my favorite record ever made, and would help me come to terms with my desertion. Their six-song record is brave, chilling, vulnerable and full of pure surrender."
5. Sun Ra and The Arkestra--Sound of Joy. "To finish off my sanity. Sun Ra's recordings are jazz from a different galaxy; completely stretches the imagination and makes you feel like you could swim to Cuba if necessary."
Jay Manley's picks:
1. Aimee Mann I'm With Stupid. "A very influential album for me. Jon Brion's crazy guitarisms flourish throughout."
2. Gary Numan Telekon. "A pinnacle of Numan's songwriting."
3. The Pretenders II. "The golden age of The Pretenders and James Honeyman-Scott on guitar!"
4. Let's Active Cypress. "A wonderful record!"
5. Siouxsie & The Banshees Tinderbox. "Beautiful layering of themes."