Sunday, January 27, 2013

Top 20 Albums of 2012

With January almost in the books, I figured it was time I finally unveiled my top 20 albums of 2012.  Except my top 20 will be my top 21 this year.  I recently started listening to Lost in the Trees' album a bit more over the last couple weeks, and realized just how much I loved it.  Since it didn't make it to my honorable mentions, I decided to just throw it in the last spot here.

Without further adieu, my top 21 albums of 2012.

21. Lost in the Trees - A Church That Fits Our Needs
Favorite Track: "Red"

20. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
Favorite track: "Anything We Want"

19. The Killers - Battle Born
Favorite track: "Runaways"

18. Passion Pit - Gossamer
Favorite track: "It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"

17. The xx - Coexist
Favorite track: "Angels"

16. St. Vincent & David Byrne - Love this Giant
Favorite track: "Optimist"

15. Regina Spektor - What We Saw From the Cheap Seats 
Favorite track: "All the Rowboats"

14. M. Ward - A Wasteland Companion
Favorite track: "Crawl After You"

13. Mumford & Sons - Babel
Favorite track: "Below My Feet"

12. The Raveonettes - Observator
Favorite track: "Till the End"

11. Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts
Favorite track: "Miriam"

10. Waxahatchee - American Weekend
Favorite track: "Bathtub"

9. Rosie Thomas - With Love
Favorite track: "Back to Being Friends"

8. Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania
Favorite track: "Violet Rays"

7. The Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leaving Now
Favorite track: "There's No Leaving Now"

6. Ingrid Michaelson - Human Again
Favorite track: "Ghost"

5. Jenny Owen Youngs - An Unwavering Band of Light
Favorite track: "Pirates"

4. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
Favorite track: "I'm Wrong"

3. Andrew Bird - Break it Yourself
Favorite track: "Lusitania"

2. Metric - Synthetica
Favorite track: "Speed the Collapse"

1. The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
Favorite track: "Handwritten"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Albums of 2012: Honorary Mentions

In putting together my best-of lists, I'm always amazed at how many don't make the cut for top 20.  I always think that 20 is enough, but it never is.
So, before I get to those top 20, here are a bunch of albums I really loved from this past year.  I didn't love them enough for them to actually crack the list, but I loved them, all the same.

Jessica Ripka - The Family Album
She has become a good friend, and I was honored to be able to contribute to this album with a remix of one of the tracks.  The entire album is solid: full of fun, piano-pop songs.  There's more than a little Regina Spektor influence here, but she is also able to craft a sound that is all her own.  Buy the album here.  It's only $5 for the download.

Favorite track: "Tagalong"

Call Me Constant - The Sun, The Moon, The Dark, The Dawn
The lead singer is a friend of mine.  This entire album is terrific.  Full of driving, emotional riffs, thundering drums, and horn-laden breakdowns (it's clear they're fans of Anathallo).  This is one that is hard to listen to just one song.  The entire album is an experience.  It's a beautiful, cohesive album.
You can buy the album here.  You can get the download for $10, but it's well worth your money to pony up the extra $5 for the physical edition.  The packaging is fantastic.

Favorite track: "An Oath Can Be Amputated/The Dawn"

And now the rest, in no particular order:

Action Bronson - Rare Chandeliers
Favorite track: "Sylvester Lundgren"

Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
Favorite track: "Laura"

Beach House - Bloom
Favorite track: "Myth"

Cat Power - Sun
Favorite track: "Ruin"

Chiddy Bang - Breakfast
Favorite track: "Handclaps & Guitars"

Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet on Sky
Favorite track: "Pierce the Morning Rain"

Lana Del Rey - Born to Die
Favorite track: "Lucky Ones"

Efterklang - Piramida
Favorite track: "Told to Be Fine"

El Perro Del Mar - Pale Fire
Favorite Track: "Walk on By"

Father John Misty - Fear Fun
Favorite track: "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
Favorite track: "Emmylou"

Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
Favorite track: "Getting There"

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Favorite track: "Bad Religion"

Fun - Some Nights
Favorite track: "Some Nights"

Amanda Jenssen - Hymns For the Haunted
Favorite track: "Illusionist"

Kid Koala - 12 Bit Blues
Favorite track: "8 Bit Blues (Chicago to NY to LA)"

La Sera - Sees the Light
Favorite track: "Drive On"

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's - Rot Gut, Domestic
Favorite track: "A Journalist Falls in Love with Deathrow Inmate #16"

Shearwater - Animal Joy
Favorite track: "You As You Were"

The Vaccines - Come of Age
Favorite track: "Teenage Icon"

Woods - Bend Beyond
Favorite track: "It Ain't Easy"

Yeasayer - Fragrant World
Favorite track: "Henrietta"

The School - Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything
Favorite track: "Never Thought I'd See the Day

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Huddle - Islands

I love this song, but the video really takes it to another level.