Category Archives: best of 2012

Top 10 Albums of 2012

concrete_opinions_best_of_2012

Here you go, my top 10 albums of 2012.  I went back and forth on this up until the last minute.  But alas, there’s no going back now.  My picks are official and floating around the world wide web for everyone to scrutinize.  And speaking of scrutiny, I would love some feedback.  Do you agree/disagree with my picks?  What were your favorites this year?  Heck, what were your least favorites?  Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going.

[p.s. see how my final top 10 compared to my favorites back in June and July]

 

10. Sigur Rós//Valtari

sigur_ros_valtari

Scratched them off my concert bucket list this year and totally lived up to my expectations.  I have no idea what Jonsi and company are singing about and I really don’t care.  Beautiful music is beautiful music.  Period.

Sigur Ros – Ekki múkk
sigur-ros.co.uk//facebook//vimeo//soundcloud//shows//iTunes

 

 

9. Sleigh Bells//Reign of Terror

sleigh_bells_reign_of_terror

I can’t get enough of this duo.  My favorite driving music.  Turn it up, roll down the windows, drive fast.  Noise pop at it’s best.

Sleigh Bells – Crush
web//facebook//twitter//soundcloud//shows//iTunes

 

 

8. Exitmusic//Passage

exitmusic_passage

An amazing and emotionally charged record that I seem to enjoy more with every listen.  If Beach House were to team up with Sigur Rós, I imagine it would sound like this.

Exitmusic – White Noise [from Passage]
web//facebook//twitter//shows//bandcamp//iTunes

 

 

7. Blackbird Blackbird//Boracay Planet

blackbird_blackbird_boracay_planet

If you haven’t already, you need to give Blackbird Blackbird a proper listen.  This guy is amazing and he just keeps getting better.  Boracay Planet is his best yet.

Blackbird Blackbird – It’s A War [from Boracay Planet]
web//facebook//twitter//soundcloud//bandcamp//iTunes

 

 

6. Kishi Bashi//151a

kishi_bashi_151a

This record makes me happy.  Smart lyrics, beautiful vocals, imaginative arrangements, and quite the impressive violin work.  Kishi Bashi’s debut album 151a is all of these things and more.  Kishi Bashi is my favorite new artist of 2012 and it’s no surprise he’s on so many year end lists.

Kishi Bashi – Bright Whites
web//facebook//twitter//soundcloud//shows//bandcamp//iTunes

 

 

5. Crystal Castles//Crystal Castles (III)

crystal_castles_III

My favorite Crystal Castles release to date.  With every new track the Canadian experimental/electronic duo dropped, the more and more my excitement and anticipation grew.

Crystal Castles – Wrath of God
web//facebook//twitter//soundcloud//shows//iTunes

 

 

4. Lost In The Trees//A Church That Fits Your Needs

lost_in_the_trees_church_that_fits_needs

One of the most personal, and beautiful, records i’ve fallen in love with (probably since The Antlers’ Hospice in 2009).  Lead singer/guitarist based the record largely around his mother’s suicide, stating that — “I wanted to give my mother a space to become all the things I think she deserved to be and wanted to be, and all the beautiful things in her that didn’t quite shine while she was alive.”

Lost In The Trees – Golden Eyelids
web//facebook//twitter//soundcloud//shows//iTunes

 

 

3. Porcelain Raft//Strange Weekend

porcelain_raft_strange_weekend

Mauro Remiddi, as Porcelain Raft, has crafted a dreamy and visceral sound unlike no other.  One of the most impressive debut albums since The xx’s xx in 2009.

Porcelain Raft – Drifting In And Out
web//facebook//twitter//soundcloud//vimeo//shows//iTunes

 

 

2. Beach House//Bloom

beach_house_bloom

Baltimore’s Beach House continue to set a high standard for dream pop with each and every release.  This year’s Bloom might be their best yet.  It’s definitely my personal favorite from the duo.

Beach House – On the Sea
web//facebook//twitter//shows//iTunes

 

 

1. The xx//Coexist

The_xx_coexist_cover

Easily my favorite album of the year.  Totally exceeded my expectations.  Like their debut, I can listen to this record, from start to finish, over and over again.

The xx – Try
web//facebook//blog//shows//iTunes

Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far): Part 4

 

Sorry for the delay, but here it is, the fourth and final post of my favorite albums of 2012 (so far).  If I had to rank my favorite albums of the year today, at least three of the albums below would make the cut.  But alas, I still have about 5 months to narrow it down, but please check back in December to see who makes the cut.  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out parts 1-3 (part 1//part 2//part3) and please, leave a comment below, or look me up on twitter or facebook, and let me know what your favorite albums of 2012 are (so far).

 

Sigur Rós//Valtari

sigur-ros.co.uk//facebook//vimeo//iTunes

 

Sleigh Bells//Reign of Terror

reignofterror.tv//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Spiritualized//Sweet Heart, Sweet Light

spiritualized.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Tanlines//Mixed Emotions

tanlinesinternet.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Teen Daze//All of Us, Together

asilentplanet.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Tennis//Young & Old

tennis-music.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Vacationer//Gone

vacationermusic.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

The Walkmen//Heaven

thewalkmen.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Yann Tiersen//Skyline

yanntiersen.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Yellow Ostrich//Strange Land

yellowostrich.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far): Part 3

 

Lower Dens//Nootropics

lowerdens.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

M. Ward//A Wasteland Companion

mwardmusic.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Memoryhouse//The Slideshow Effect

memoryhouse.se//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

The Mynabirds//GENERALS

themynabirds.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Norah Jones//Little Broken Hearts

norahjones.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Now, Now//Threads

nownowband.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Of Monsters And Men//My Head Is An Animal

ofmonstersandmen.is//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Pomegranates//Heaven

pomegranatesart.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Porcelain Raft//Strange Weekend

porcelainraft.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Sharon Van Etten//Tramp

sharonvanetten.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Part 4 coming soon. Stay tuned.
(if you haven’t already, be sure to check our Part 1 & Part 2)

Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far): Part 2

My favorite albums of 2012 (so far) continue today with some really exciting releases, including the solo debut from the one and only Jack White, the exciting debut from Kishi Bashi, and the beautiful new release from Lost in the TreesA Church That Fits Our Need.  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 and stay tuned for parts 3 and 4 later this week.

 

Fanfarlo//Rooms Filled With Light

fanfarlo.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

First Aid Kit//The Lion’s Roar

thisisfirstaidkit.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Frankie Rose//Interstellar

missfrankierose.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Geographer//Myth

geographermusic.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Grimes//Visions

grimesmusic.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Islands//A Sleep & A Forgetting

islandsareforever.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Jack White//Blunderbuss

jackwhiteiii.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Japandroids//Celebration Rock

japandroids.com//facebook//bandcamp//iTunes

 

Kishi Bashi//151a

kishibashi.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Lost In The Trees//A Church That Fits Our Needs

lostinthetrees.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Part 3 coming soon.  Stay tuned.

Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far): Part 1

I hadn’t really thought this post would have multiple parts, but it seems my intentions became much more ambitious as I sat down to finally write this.  In my defense, 2012 has been another fantastic year of music.  We’ve had new releases from the likes of Sigur Rós, Beach House, Air, and Sleigh Bells, as well as some really exciting debuts, including those from Alabama Shakes, Porcelain Raft, Clock Opera, and Kishi Bashi.  On top of all that, we still have new stuff from The xx, Passion Pit, Yeasayer, and Animal Collective on the horizon.  Needless to say, I’m in love with a lot of music right now and it’s gonna be super hard for me to narrow down my favorites come December.

So as we wait for the “best of” season, I’m gonna showcase my 40 favorite albums of the year so far.  To make things a bit easier on my end, they’ll be in alphabetical order.  Like I said earlier, narrowing this list down and picking favorites among favorites will be no easy task and I only want to do it once this year.  So without further ado, I present my Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far): Part I.  Enjoy.

 

Air//Le voyage dans la lune

aircheology.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Alabama Shakes//Boys & Girls

alabamashakes.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Beach House//Bloom

beachhousebaltimore.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Bright Moments//Natives

brightmomentsmusic.com//facebook//iTunes

 

Chiddy Bang//Breakfast

chiddybang.net//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Clock Opera//Ways To Forget

clockopera.com//facebook//twitter//souncloud//iTunes

 

Cloud Nothings//Attack On Memory

cloudnothings.com//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Craft Spells//Gallery

tumblr//facebook//twitter//iTunes

 

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros//Here

edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros.com//tour//facebook//twitter//tumblr//iTunes

 

Exitmusic//Passage

weareexitmusic.com//facebook//twitter//bandcamp//iTunes

 

Part 2 coming soon.  Stay tuned.