we, the undersigned
By now you know the rote, I missed more new music in 2012 than I actually heard, including some big obvious titles blah blah blah. Same old excuses, and they remain as true as ever for me. And this year I have an additional excuse, the lapsing of my participation in BLIP, where I used to count on cutting edge fellow blipsters to keep me cresting the wave of new music.
Even so I did manage to hear a lot of great new music over the year, thanks in no small part to many trusting musicians and a handful of record labels who kept my album review pile overflowing. Some of those albums made it onto my Top 10 of 2012 list. Which is as follows, thusly:
4. Jack White - Blunderbuss
After years of resisting the genius (there I said it) of Jack White, I happily admit to being bowled over by Blunderbuss. It's an album that feels like the culmination of all his musical explorations to date. Awesome shit.
5. Beach House - Bloom
Perfect dream pop, always lovely, always note perfect. Beach House just keep getting better and better and Bloom is a must have in any music lover's collection.
6. The Avett Brothers - the Carpenter
Strong alt-country sensibility with solid rock chops, The Carpenter figures prominently on many best of lists, and with good reason. I think it's the Avett Brothers' best effort to date.
7. Fort Atlantic - Fort Atlantic
I first heard Jon Black (aka Fort Atlantic) on a NoiseTrade sampler that included his stunning track Let Your Heart Hold Fast. I had to hear more. I ordered his self-titled album and was gobsmacked to discover that every song was equally as solid. Soaring choruses, building crescendos, mixed with a little electronic experimentation, Fort Atlantic was a smorgasboard of everything I love in music.
8. Josh Ritter - Bringing in the Darlings
I am cheating a bit by including this one, as it is an EP, but it's so lovely and it is tiding me over until Josh Ritter releases a full-length album in the new year. And every song includes the word "darling". Awww.
9. The Sumner Brothers - I'll Be There Tomorrow
This album came to me out of the blue, offered to me by the Sumner Brothers of Vancouver prior to their recent tour. Real-life brothers Bob and Brain Sumner tag team on lead vocals, Bob with a compellingly heartbreaking catch in his emotive voice, Brian with an authoritative baritone that hearkens back to the heyday of Johnny Cash. The Sumners serve up a beautifully soulful brand of alt-country that you need to hear.
10. Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet on Sky
They disbanded and then reunited, but these guys just don't quit. I Bet on Sky sounds exactly the way it should, and that's good enough to give it placement in my favourites list.
Labels: albums of the year