Friday, December 28, 2012

My 12 Favorite Albums of 2012

I wasn't going to compile a list of my favorite albums from this year, because generally I listen to pretty old music. Lately it's been a steady rotation of older Rilo Kiley, Wilco, Smashing Pumpkins, Jet Black Summer, Nirvana - a lot of bands who haven't released anything lately, and if they have - I wasn't into it. 

Then last night I got to thinking, there were a bunch of great albums that were released this year that I loved.
So let's recap, shall we?

12: alt-J An Awesome Wave - This record just made the list. The single Breezeblocks plays on our local "alternative" radio station here in Nashville at least once an hour, and I'm not sick of it yet. So catchy, and the rest of the album turned out to be pretty great as well. 
Favorite tracks - Breezeblocks, Bloodflood

11: Bad Books II - A Kevin Devine/Manchester Orchestra collaboration. I don't think I need to say any more.
Favorite tracks - The After Party, Forest Whitaker, Ambivalent Peaks

10: Alabama Shakes Boys & Girls - So bummed that I didn't get to see this band when they played Live on the Green over the summer. When I first heard Hold On, I was blown away. The whole album is so great to just drive around and sing along to.
Favorite tracks - Hold On, Rise to the Sun

9: The Gaslight Anthem Handwritten - I honestly wasn't so in love with this band like almost everyone else was when they first discovered them. Slowly they grew on me, and this album solidified my appreciation. It's so good. It makes me feel warm lovey feelings. And they cover one of my favorite Nirvana songs on it.
Favorite tracks - Mulholland Drive, Keepsake

8: Gypsy Giant's Despair - Dammit, this record is so good. It was hard to find at first, for some reason. I'm so glad that I was able to find it, and play it repeatedly for weeks. Wilkes-Barre seems to be a breeding ground for all the bands that I grow to absolutely love. Vocalist Alex Russin sounds so much like Blake Schwarzenbach which is only icing on the cake.
Favorite tracks - Cherry Picker, Dear Sister, Unconditionally Dependent, Count Your Blessings

7: Swearin' Swearin' - This is another album that I got into fairly recently. It's so great, though I feel that way about most female fronted punk bands. They sometimes remind me of Go Sailor and P.S. Eliot.
Favorite tracks - 1. into Here to Hear (the first two tracks) flow perfectly and are so much fun

6: Cat Power Sun - It's Chan Marshall. The first single from this album, Ruin, would play all the time when I first started at Free People and it made me especially psyched for the release. It did not disappoint.
Favorite tracks - Cherokee, Ruin, Manhattan

5: Title Fight Floral Green - The way Title Fight progresses musically with every album is so impressive to me. You can totally tell they aren't releasing music just to sell records. There is always so much emotion and "realness" to be felt in every single song. 
Favorite tracks - All of them? Seriously. But mostly Leaf, Like A Ritual, and Lefty

4: Basement Colourmeinkindness - This record will forever remind me of my sister since she had an advanced copy that her boyfriend, who does a lot of band interviews and radio shows, got a hold of. So now I hear it and I am back in her car in October driving around Long Island - eating bagels, drinking coffee, getting tattooed, thrifting - it was the best day. The album is flawless and I'm so bummed that I will never have a chance to see Basement live, since they won't be touring in America again.
Favorite tracks - Covet, Bad Apple, Black

3: Screaming Females Ugly - If you've ever seen this band live, you would completely understand my obsession. They're so amazing. Marissa Paternoster can do so many nutty things with her voice and microphone tricks, plus she shreds. Hard. They're really fun and really raw at the same time. I was so excited for this album to come out after I played out their other four about a million times each. Listening to it for the first time was like opening gifts on Christmas day - each song left me elated.
Favorite tracks - High, Leave it All Up to Me 

2: Hop Along Get Disowned - Hop Along, Queen Ansleis was one of those bands with one release and a few rare tracks that I would listen to every spring over and over again, and thought I'd never be able to hear anything more. (Fun fact, Andrew made me a mix tape when we first met with one of their rarest songs on it and it took me six months to find a digital version of the song to hear once my tape deck was no more). When I heard talk of Hop Along releasing a new album I thought, no way! But it was true, my girl Frances Quinlan released an album, full band this time, with a shortened band name. I don't think I'll ever get sick of this album. It is so perfect, her voice is so pretty. Sad and pretty. And if I ever did anything musically, Frances Quinlan and this record would be noted as a main motivator.
Favorite tracks - Tibetian Pop Stars, Laments (which is almost the same song as Laments of a Mattress - a song from Hop Along's first album Freshman Year), Get Disowned

1. Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do - I love Fiona Apple's crazy ass FOREVER. Anyone who was around me in June was forced to listen to this record, because it was always playing. I'm talking at least one hundred times. It was so worth the wait. Literally, every track is perfect. You know those albums that kind of make you feel awakened? Like.. different after you listen to it? That's most recently this one, for me. 
Favorite tracks - Jonathan, Left Alone, Werewolf, Periphery, Anything We Want 

It was a good year for music after all! All of these albums are available on Spotify if you wanted to give them a listen, and I suggest that you do!

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