Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 Best Albums Post

Happy December readers.

What camp are you in?  Do you love year-end lists, or wish all list makers were water-boarded until they agree to never post one again.  Me?  I love em.  And for my sake I hope you are of the prior persuasion because I am about to present you with my annual list of best albums.

Are these truly the best albums of 2012?  The answer, of course, is that to me they are. Everyone will have a differing opinion on the releases they enjoyed during the past twelve months, and to me that's what makes it so much fun.

I read every best album list I can, so I can discover music that I had never heard of before.  And since I have heard only a fraction of the 2012 releases out there your favorites are likely not on my list.  But I would certainly love to hear them so I can listen and from my own opinion.

So, without further delay, here are my picks for the best new releases of 2012. I tried to describe some.  If you don't like it, tough this ain't Rolling Stone.  Just give a listen.

10. Ty Segall - Twins:  One of my favorite finds of the past year, Ty Segall lays on a thick dose of garage punk that treads heavily, and quickly worked it's way into my listening rotation.

9.  Beach House - Bloom:  I'm not big on including follow up efforts on my top albums list, but this follow up to the 2010 release Teen Dream is packed with many more of the hypnotic melodies that gave the duo a spot on my list that year.

8. Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams:  I actually found this band after perusing other top ten lists.  It's a beautiful sounding album and has a melodic quality that sets it apart from many of the contenders I was considering including here.

7. The Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leavin Now:  Okay, long time readers may remember that I am a huge Tallest Man fan.  I have even referenced his songs in previous posts, and his previous albums are all in heavy rotation here at LIAYF.  This album took a bit longer to grow on me, being a bit more mellow than his previous works, but once it did I was hooked.  Gotta love the gravely voice.

6. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist:  Hip Hop doesn't often make it onto my top lists, but this release from Seattle artist Macklemore is just plain good music.  It didn't hurt that Macklemore also coined one of my favorite songs in the past couple years: My oh My! (about Mariners broadcasting legend Dave Niehaus) which is not on this release but is worth checking out.

5. The Lumineers - The Lumineers:  Last year it was The Head and the Heart, and The Fleet Foxes.  This year another Seattle based band has gained nationwide attention with a blend of folksy, rootsy music that makes you want to sing along.  My favorite song is Big Parade.

4. Alabama Shakes - Boys and Girls: A very nice blend of Southern Rock and Folk with elements of a 70's vibe that sticks with you like a hearty breakfast.

3. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory:  It's a bit hard to describe why I like this alternative release so much, but I do.  It has a nice up tempo, heavy droning sound that weaves its way into my psyche and makes me feel oddly upbeat.

2. Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal: I could have easily made this my #1, I like it that much.  The best way I can describe it is 'Arena Folk', it comes at you with a big symphonic sound in what is essentially a folk record.

1. Japandroids - Celebration Rock:  
There was no real debate for me on this one.  The first time I heard this record I was blown away.  The title really says it all, as it is an upbeat Rock record that begs to be played on repeat.  If you haven't already, check it out.  Now.

11. Honorable Mention
Tame Impalla - Lonerism
Band of Horses - Mirage Rock
Ryan Bingham - Tomorrowland
Silversun Pickups - Neck of the Woods
Soundgarden - King Animal

Please feel free to leave a comment, letting me know your favorite Albums from 2012.


triles said...

I love year end lists (I'll be doing a couple of my own), and this is great. Most of the artists on here are unknown to me, so I'll be checking them out. Liking Japandroids right off the bat.

daniel said...

I am getting old. I have only heard of a small handful of those bands. Buying new music just isn't in the cards for me these days unfortunately. I do love these sorts of lists though as it opens me up to new stuff to try out - at least, it used to...

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Tim - Cool. I will swing on over an check yours out too. I bet you are doing films, no? Unfortunately, I see far too few movies these days. I do, however, get time to listen to music thankfully.

James (SeattleDad) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James (SeattleDad) said...

@daniel - I subscribe to Spotify so I can check out many different artists. There are apps on there to see recommended albums and reviews as well. Plus, I listen to KEXP quite a bit and visit local music blogs.

FilmFather said...

Okay, you are officially a hipper dad than I, because aside from Soundgarden and Ryan Bingham (I think), I have never heard of any of these artists. When's the new Little River Band album coming out, dag nabbit?

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Playstead said...

I love the new Smashing Pumpkins album -- one of the year's best. And the weird part is that I've never really liked them before now.

You've got some good ones on here.

Unknown said...

I discovered Volbeat this year, and Beyond Hell/Above Heaven is always in my music rotation. An older album called Rock the Rebel-Metal the Devil is also a good listen if you like Rockabilly Metal.

john cave osborne said...

it's been too long. i love this post. love the heist and had never heard My Oh My. just listened to it in its entirety here on your fine site. i was at that game in 95, you know. with edgar's crack, joey, then griffey. if i'm not mistaken, it gave the big unit, who had made a rare appearance out of the bullpen, the victory. what a memory. how cool it is to think of macklemore as just a kid listening to it with wide-eyed wonder. anyway, great stuff, buddy. happy new year.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Film Father - The Little River Band was big when I was in High School, I think. That was a while ago. I think they are probably coming to casino near you soon though.

@Playstead - I actually really liked the new Pumpkins too. Surprised me really. I thought they were dead and buried.

@Peter - I love Rockabilly, (Rev Horton Heat) but not sure I have heard any Rockabilly Metal. Sounds pretty cool though. Glad I have Spotify so I can check those bands out.

@JCO - I know! That song just speaks to me as a Seattle Sports fan. I think you said before that you were at that game. I'm sure you will NEVER forget that moment. I won't for sure. The song is on the deluxe version of The Heist.

Designer Daddy said...

Ugh, since becoming a dad I never get my list out by year's end. Hope to have it up by Grammys. :) "Bloom" was a fave if mine too. I didn't love Japandroids my first listen -- I may check them out again. Good list!