Tag Archives: bloom

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
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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]
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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]
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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
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5. Crystal Castles//Crystal Castles (III)

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

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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
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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
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2. Beach House//Bloom

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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
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1. The xx//Coexist

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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
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(31) Days of Good: 12.2.12

Baltimore’s Beach House continue to impress with each and every release.  This year’s Bloom might be their best yet.  It’s definitely my personal favorite from the duo and one my top 10 favorite albums of 2012, which makes it incredibly difficult to pick one favorite.  Bloom is one of those records you can listen to start to finish, over and over again.  “Myth” was my first taste of Bloom and it’s an incredible leadoff track.  “Lazulli” is simply magical…or what I like to describe as “Legend of Zelda” meets dream pop.  Ultimately, I have to go with “On the Sea”.  Now this is just me, but this song makes me happy and nostalgic.  Whenever I listen, I can’t help but take trips down memory lane.  I also really love the “Rainbow Connection”-esque piano in the beginning, and how it delicately builds and builds, but never really bursts.

Beach House – On the Sea [from Bloom]
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I’ve been a fan of Brooklyn’s Yellow Ostrich for a couple of years now and I love what these guys are doing.  They have such a cool and authentic sound, simply calling them indie rock doesn’t do them justice.  The band had a big year.  The band’s biggest highlight this year was the release of Strange Land — an impressive, and surprisingly sophisticated, guitar-heavy pop record.  And along with touring extensively all year, the band also found time to release a great EP — Ghost.  If you haven’t given Yellow Ostrich a proper listen, you’re missing out.

Yellow Ostrich – Marathon Runner [from Strange Land]
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It comes as no surprise to those that know me, or read this here blog, that I am a big fan of The Antlers.  They released a full-length, Burst Apart, and an EP, (together), last year.  I figured they’d take this year off, God knows they deserve it.  Lucky for me, and the rest of the fans, the band surprised us with a fantastic new EP, Undersea.

The Antlers – Drift Drive [from Undersea]
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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

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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.

[new music roundup] 5.15.12

A few of my favorite new releases, including the highly anticipated releases from Beach House and Best Coast.  As always, be sure to visit Largehearted Boy for a whole lot more of this week’s new releases.

Beach House//Bloom
Myth
beachhousebaltimore.com
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iTunes

 

Best Coast//The Only Place
The Only Place
bestcoast.us
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iTunes

 

Craft Spells//Gallery EP
Leave My Shadow
craftspells.tumblr.com
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iTunes

 

Japandroids//The House That Heaven Built
The House That Heaven Built (via soundcloud)
japandroids.com
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bandcamp
iTunes

 

Plushgun//Me.Me.
Waste Away
plushgun.com
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iTunes

 

What are your favorite new releases this week?