PMW’s FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2012
Here go the full lengths. These are this year’s albums that I most adored from front to back. Certainly, much could be said about each album, but in an effort to keep this short, I’m going to try and keep myself concise and provide with links to seek out the material in your own way.
Once again, I can’t stress enough, this is not a “Best Of” list. These are my favorites from the year, and the order could change on any given day (outside of the top 5 or so, which are pretty steady). My hope here is to point out some albums that might inspire you to seek them out, or hell - make a list and share your own. Whatever the case, you can’t go wrong with these twenty wonderful albums, born in the year 2012.
Click the Titles for Band Info and/or Purchase Info:
20.) “Beams” by Matthew Dear - One or the best dance/electronic albums witha real heart since LCD Soundsystem left the game.
19.) “Calendar” by Motorama - A Russian shoegaze band doing it as good as anyone. Deserves massive exposure.
18.) “S/T” by Melody’s Echo Chamber - Gorgeous, dreamy psych pop. Like a female fronted Spiritualized.
17.) “Space Between Us” by Daniel Land & the Modern Painters - If Coldplay became a dream pop band and worked with Robin Guthrie instead of Brian Eno. Super good orchestral dream pop.
16.) “Shields” by Grizzly Bear - A more mature, challenging, rock record than I expected. They’re pushing into some wonderful experimental sounds.
15.) “Nootropics” by Lower Dens - A swirling blend of ambient, synth pop, and psych pop that unravels more wondrously with each listen.
14.) “Interstellar” by Frankie Rose - A big gorgeous pop record that sounds equal parts the Cure, Deerhunter, and M83 boiled down into a killer lo-fi synth pop sound.
13.) “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Returning after a too-long hiatus and sounds just as powerful and vital as ever. Epic is an understatement.
12.) “True” by Violens - Dark, textured, and haunting dream pop that never misses a false note. Everything about it feel rich and real.
11.) “Celebration Rock” by Japandroids - A modern day Replacements who blast through songs with fist pumping urgency and an incredible command of a catchy hook. Some truly wonderful songwriting as well.
10.) “Tender New Signs” by Tamaryn - The most pure and ethereal shoegaze album of the year.
9.) “Heartbreaking Bravery” by Moonface (w/ Siinai) - An aggressively challenging album loaded with explosive emotion and killer hooks. Some of Spencer Krug’s best writing to date.
8.) “Channel Orange” by Frank Ocean - What else is left to say? This guy is an amazing producer, writer, and singer. He’s absolutely the real deal.
7.) “Soft Fall” by Sun Airway - Criminally underrated. A stunningly gorgeous surrealist dream pop album, layered and textured to sound totally original.
6.) “The Haunted Man” by Bat for Lashes - A massive achievement in big, lushly orchestrated pop songs that further proves what an incredible talent Natasha Khan has turned out to be - beautifully written and performed. One of my favorite voices in music today.
5.) “The Wilderness” by Cemeteries - Popping up seemingly out of nowhere, late in the year was this absolutely captivating bit of shadowy dream pop, wrapped in infectious hooks. Every song is a winner and if their is any justice in the world, “The Wilderness” will find a massive audience.
4.) “Kill For Love” by Chromatics - It took four albums, but finally I was drinking the Chromatics Kool-Aid. A lush and rich, dark, shadowy album perfect for late nights. It’s music for the dark, and it’s perfect.
3.) “Heaven” by The Walkmen - An immensely enjoyable album of big hearted rock music. An ode to growing old and getting your shit together. So consistent and powerful with every track. Some incredible writing here as well. Its nice to hear something that leaves you feeling optimistic and this late in the game, The Walkmen leave me feeling just that.
2.) “Total Loss” by How to Dress Well - Tom Krell returns with another heartbreaking, but equally soul stirring album full of power. Despite the often melancholic vibe of the overall affair, the album never feels depressing, but more celebrates life. A true original. Every ounce of this album is special.
1.) “Oshin” by DIIV - Clearly, I’m a dream pop fan, and this is the album that I feel like I’ve been waiting for for years. A dark counterbalance that hovers over the dreamy sounds keeps the album sounding original and vital. Every song has a killer hook, and just finds it’s way to embed in your brain. The most truly pleasurable listening experience of the year for me. It was my soundtrack from the moment I first pressed play. Perfect.
There you have it. Albums, EPs, and Music Videos down - Songs to go. Hope you find something to love here - I know I love every note.