Our Top 5 Albums of 2012
Whoop! Here are our top 5′s.
Here’s mine. It’ll probably change tomorrow.
5. BITCHES – Buster
High octane motherfuckery! I only listed to this album (EP) once this year but my new founded deafness cherished it.
They don’t have videos of their Buster EP but here is an old appearance they made on The Knocking Shop.
4. Dirty Three – Toward The Low Sun
Toward The Low Sun scatters, sprinkles, stabs, splatters and swells an array of melancholic textures from all angles and distances. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard. How can a band do stuff like this? How the shit? This is like someone came along and killed all magicians, burnt all Homeric Hymns and spoke truth through bending the impossible. Music continues to astound me.
3. Dan Deacon – America
America is one of the most eclectic albums I’ve heard in recent years. From noisy pop tunes that like sound he’s sat in his bedroom with Archimedes to screw a pop song out of a glass of Dr Pepper through to the classical meanderings of an enlightened Mars Rover finding life after a lifetime of loneliness.
2. Radiator Hospital – Can You Feel My Heart Beating?
Tape release by one of my favourite finds of the year. Just blisteringly refreshing lo-fi songs. For fans of Daniel Johnston, Half Japanese and the untwee side of indiepop.
1. GOAT – World Music
Experimental voodoo-based noise psychedelia with a massive bit of OOOOMPH! It’s like they’ve travelled every groove of an Ersen record and summoned up a Finders Keepers compilation made entirely of green smoke and crow feet. GOAT are my band of the year (thanks for the recommendation Rory Perkins!).
I also enjoyed amazing albums/EPs by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, No Joy, Elvis Depressedly, Ariel Pink, Thee Oh Sees, Video Daughters, No Monster Club, Tigercats, Happy New Year, Opossum, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Bare Pale, Deerhoof, Gorgeous Bully and Pity Party.
Music is the most beguiling of concepts. On the one hand it’s the most sociable art form in the world, on the other hand it’s the most private and obsessive. I’m pretty sure you know what I mean when I think “God, this album is so good, I want everyone to hear it, but not in a way they’ll talk through it, or be there or be anywhere other than in my own brain when they hear it”. Anywhere other than a music blog, that would sound like the ramblings of a crazy person. Music is beguiling, and that’s what’s damn flapping brilliant about it.
5. OLO Worms – Yard is Open
I love OLO Worms. They are the perfect blend of melody and crazy, and this album has been way too long in the making. Totally worth the wait though. They are also partially responsible for saving 6 Music, so we owe them. Now that they’ve finally done an album, let’s hope they do a tour too.
4. Menomena – Moms
This is my dirty rock entry. I love rock music, despite my folky exterior. There’s just something about long-haired sweaty men, what can I say? Anyway, great melodies, some cracking riffs, and the hair…the hair. Say no more.
3. Alt J – An Awesome Wave
To quote Matt and Ed when I confessed this would be in the top 5, “well, someone’s got to be commercial”. But screw those guys, it’s a lovely album, the vocals remind me of ClouDead and that’s no bad thing. It’s ethereal, different and gap bridging. Well done, chaps.
2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Transcend!
A much hyped album of 2012 which delivered. I think parts of my ears melted when listening to this, along with my brain and heart. Some albums require so much concentration to really adore them, they’re more like books, by which I mean they can affect you very much and be worth every second but you’ll never find yourself jumping around the kitchen to them. Just gorgeous.
1. Beach House – Bloom
Good Lord. What an album. It ticks all my boxes. That’s all I’m going to say about that, because you should go out, buy it and find out for yourself.
Highly commended. Jack White – Blunderbuss, my ol’ boy has pulled it out of the bag again. I’ve loved the White Stripes/Raconteurs etc. for a very long time. What Jack’s done this year isn’t ground-breaking, but he is still writing great songs. This album is great and still holds my interest. Which is more than can be said for The Shins new album.
Matt (editing): “Ed, does your top 5 have an order?”
Ed: “Nah, just throw them up wherever”
Her Parents – Physical Release
11 songs in 17 minutes, lots of shouting, and an opening track entitled “Win Lottery, Kick the Fuck Out of Your House”. So sums up the debut release of Her Parents, a band formed from the refugees of Internet Forever, Dananananaykroyd, and Stairs to Korea. Racing through songs about Nietzsche, Bon Iver, and open mics, it’s the most fun record I’ve come across in a very long time. Perfectly formed with absolutely no filler, this is the sound of a band doing exactly what they want without giving a fuck what anyone else thinks about them.
Allo Darlin’ – Europe
Europe lacked the immediacy of the band’s debut release back in 2010, but once it did work it’s way into your head, there was no ignoring it. The indiepop sounds that worked so well before are still here, but everything builds upon that earlier work. The whole band feel more confident in their abilities, none less than Elizabeth Morris, whose evocative vocal deliveries can break even the coldest of hearts. Allo Darlin’ aren’t a band focused on changing the world, but on those little things that feel infinitely more important.
Tigercats – Isle of Dogs
It’d be easy to include Tigercats on this kind of list, simply because they played at The Deaf Cat for us earlier on in the year and rocked the shit out of the place. Their album more than deserves its place here though, as it’s remarkably self-assured for a debut record, opening and closing with mission statements for the band that see them defined as far more than “the new band from those Esiotrot guys” that they were regarded as when they first appeared.
Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t
For a man that’s been active for twelve years now, it’s hard to believe that I Know What Love Isn’t is only the third full length record from everyone’s favourite melancholic Swede. It’s a rather more poppy affair than his previous works, but the hallmarks of humour, wry observations, and slightly awkward use of the English language are all still here. Even with that, few people can evoke imagery even in the most mundane of situations as well as Lekman.
This Many Boyfriends – This Many Boyfriends
A band named after a Beat Happening song was never going to be a hard sell for me, but thankfully This Many Boyfriends are really bloody good in their own right anyway. Finding the appropriate middle of ground between indiepop and a rather louder, slightly more traditional rock sound, the band just about pitch themselves in the right place. Walking the line between thumping drum beats and songs about loving The Pastels isn’t the easiest place to be, but This Many Boyfriends manage to pull it off.
Here’s to next year.