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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

my top 8 albums of 2012

Unfortunately 2012 was not the GREATEST year for music however there were some splendid album releases, only 7 8 of which were worthy enough for a mention here. These are my top 8:

8. The Lumineers - The Lumineers

A newcomer to my iTunes playlist, the hit single, "Ho Hey" quickly made its way to the top 10 songs of 2012 for me.

The Lumineers' debut album is full of mostly lively folksy tunes with a few more downbeat but still lovely songs, my favourites are: "Ho Hey", "Big Parade", and "Stubborn Love".

7.  The Shins - Port of Morrow

A long awaited follow-up to Wincing The Night Away, Port of Morrow is he 4th studio album from James Mercer-led, The Shins.

Mercer attributes the new sound to his newfound domestic life; a certain departure from past releases by the band and further influenced by the departure of founding members since 2007 and also by nostalgia.

Lyrically rich, the album is a certain pleaser for the band's fan base, 
"Remember walking a mile to your house a glow in the dark, I made a fumbling play for your heart and the act struck a spark" 
(Simple Song)

My favourite songs include, "Simple Song",  "Fall of '82" and "No Way Down"

Port of Morrow reached #4 on the Australian Aria charts.

6. Yeasayer - Fragrant World

A new inclusion to my top 8, I neglected to get this album when it first came out but have since seen Yeasayer in concert twice this year and they were wonderful.

This is their 3rd release, Fragrant World. I loved Odd Blood and All Hour Cymbals but on first listen I wasn't convinced that they had pulled their 3rd release off. I have since listened to the album quite a few times and have decided that I was an idiot and it's pretty damn good, especially if you love classic Yeasayer tunes.

My favourites are, "Henrietta", "Longevity", and "Reagan's Skeleton"

5. Flume - Flume

Ahh, Flume. A late comer to the bandwagon, I'm so very glad I jumped on. Rarely do I like this type of music but Flume surprised me!

Flume is the brainchild of 20 year old Sydneysider, Harley Stretton.

An Impressive line-up of collaborations lead to this wonderful album.

Tunes to listen to include, "Sleepless" (Ft. Jezzabell Doran) and "Insane" (Ft. Moon Holiday)

4. Passion Pit - Gossamer

The long awaited follow-up to 2009's "Manners" is one that is tinged with bittersweetness. Michael Angelakos' newest brainchild, "Gossamer"  is one that is fraught with manic undertones and is indeed attributed to one great big manic episode. This album, thankfully,  is brilliant regardless of the undertones. I was always wary of any follow-ups to Manners and the Chunk Of Change EP but this was another pleasant surprise for me.

From the get go, the album delivers a juicy, poppy and wonderful album laced with those famous Angelakos falsetto-prone vocals and surprising lyrics,

"It's not right, it's not right
am I the only one who sees us fight? 
What are we? Who are they?
Who says those bastards don't deserve to pay?"


"Sylvia, right back where you came from, 
you're a pendulum, heartbroken and numb but 
Sylvia, no one's gonna tell you when enough's enough... 
Enough is enough." 

The band puts on an equally impressive stage show, the energy that one man evokes of a room full of people is magnificent; the whole 9:30 club in Washington D.C. was jumping!

A spectacular second record, I wish I had 3 number 1 spots!

Tunes I adore are "Carried Away", "Love is Greed" and "It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"

3. Freelance Whales - Diluvia

Another second release for a band in my list, Diluvia is a delightful album - the band formed after an ad was placed on Craigslist! . Picking up from where the first release, Weathervanes left off, Diluvia is a sweet and enjoyable addition to my iTunes folder.

When I was in Washington DC on exchange, I was lucky enough to see Freelance Whales at the 9:30 Club. They were dressed up for Halloween and there were two freelance whales in the audience. I dressed as a normal person. They played the majority of songs from their 2nd release which due to its limited releases, I hadn't listened to yet but it was great, the whole audience was dancing and having a great time. They also played old favourites from Weathervanes which definitely did not disappoint.

Diluvia has a wide range of sounds, the harmonium is a pretty cool and rare inclusion in bands these days and they use a glockenspiel as well...

My absolute favourite track from the album is "Follow Through", 

"Two words
I never thought they'd be the ones I'd choose
and I'll always follow through"

I also love "Dig Into Waves".

2. Grizzly Bear - Shields

The latest offering from Grizzly Bear, Shields is full of surprising elements. 

Their 4th album, the boys have their style down pat. I have yet to see them in concert due to missing them in both the USA and Australia but I have been told they are great live (no surprises there). 

The album was mostly recorded in Cape Cod, at lead singer Ed Droste's grandmother's home. 

Droste notes the album is not as dreamy as past releases; with a heavier emphasis on drums and raw vocals.

The album debuted at number 7 in the Billboard charts and sold 39,000 copies in its release week!

The band definitely struck gold with this release, my favourite tracks are "Yet Again" and "Speak In Rounds".

1. Beach House - Bloom

I adore Beach House.The duo consisting of Victoria LeGrand and Alex Scally have featured in my list of favourite bands for a long time. It should be no surprise to people who follow either of my blogs that Beach House's latest offering, Bloom came in as my number 1 choice for 2012.

Bloom is a diverse album but it also sticks to the formula the band has used for previous albums (Teen Dream, Beach House, and Devotion),  LeGrand's singing voice is as beautiful and as deceiving as usual - her range is wonderful. 

The album is dreamy and lovely, exactly what you expect and would want from a Beach House release.

The album starts with the slower "Myth" and ends with "Irene". My favourite tunes are "Wild", "Other People" and "Troublemaker.