Back by popular demand (ok, popular by me), here is my annual post on music I liked in 2012. It isn’t in any particular order, but there are 10-12 songs and/or albums that occupied a large slide of my musical listening for the year.
Some honorable mentions:
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – I See a Darkness
I know a lot of people didn’t like the new “upbeat” version of “I See a Darkness” (here is the original), but I love it.
Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
I wanted to like this more than I did. However, “Comeback Kid” is a great track.
Jack White – Blunderbuss
Old Mr. Reliable. Nothing shocking, yet nothing bad.
El-P – Cancer 4 Cure
I don’t know why I’m always so wary of El-P albums. I’ve liked them before on the first few listens and then never returned. “The Full Retard” is a great track, albeit very NSFW or NSFKids.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – “Can’t Hold Us”
Nothing against The Heist, but I haven’t had bought the album yet, so it seemed disingenuous to include the whole thing. However, this live version of “Can’t Hold Us” from KEXP is ridiculous. This track is probably one of my top 5 favorite songs on 2012.
The top 10 (not in any order, really)
Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
Ubertrendy pick. Too bad. Highly listenable. Not sure about its longevity, though.
Aesop Rock – Skelethon
Drop the old producer, and suddenly Aesop Rock is free to be, well, better. Probably one of the bigger surprises of the year for me.
Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan
Kind of like my fetish for Xiu Xiu (although I didn’t like this year’s offering nearly as much as their previous work), Dirty Projectors are a love/hate band for most people. Swing Lo Magellan had more “songs”, but still plenty of weirdness.
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Speaking of “songs”, Celebration Rock turned the Japandroids into arena rockers and it is awesome.
Metric – Synthetica
To be honest, I haven’t particularly liked the last few Metric outings, but for whatever reason, Synthetica stuck with me. Whether that’s a mark for quality music or just catchiness, beats me.
Dum Dum Girls – End of Daze EP
If you’re looking for the highest density of great songs, the End of Daze EP is it. Blows the Dum Dum Girls first two albums out of the water — and that is only with 5 songs to boast.
Hot Chip – In Our Heads
I’ve said this before – Hot Chip are the Pet Shop Boys of the 21st century. Not that the Pet Shop Boys are gone, but, whatever. I’m right. The video for “Night and Day” is trippy as well.
Walkmen – Heaven
I tend to be of the opinion that the Walkmen are the best rock band active today. Just try to prove me wrong.
Ok, so I sort of lied. These next two might have been my two favorite songs of the year.
Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
I probably don’t want to admit how many times I listened to “Breezeblocks” this year. The rest of the album is pretty solid as well, but man, they entered “Take Me Out” territory with this track.
Purity Ring – Shrines
Let me tell you, my new subwoofer loved this song. I can’t really put my finger on it, but if this is the music that people are making in Edmonton, then wow.
I hope everybody has a great 2013!