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14 December 2012

What was your favorite new music of 2012? What new music did you hear this year that rocked your socks? List your top 5, top 10, top 15, top 20, whatever you want. You can list songs, or albums, or both! [More:]You can just name them, link to them on YouTube, share files, whatever. Just tell us what new music you heard that made you happy in 2012.
I'm actually a bit torn about this video - it's cute, but I like my favorite song of the year better without it - Ben Folds Five - Do It Anyway.

My other mentions are Alabama Shakes' album Boys And Girls and Wanda Jackson's Unfinished Business. I think Magnetic Fields' song Andrew In Drag was last year, if I look it up and it was this year, gonna share the video again which I lurve.
posted by rainbaby 14 December | 22:59
I think this was a great year for new music. My excessive year end Top 20 with reviews and links is over here, but here are my top five faves:

#1 - the CLOUD NOTHINGS Attack On Memory (Carpark) - Attack on Memory is a forceful big guitar indie rock album that expertly merges oversized pop hooks with punk rock intensity.
VIDEO: "Fall In"

#2 - NADA SURF - the Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy (Barsuk Records) For album number seven Nada Surf don't alter their pop formula - they just refine it and inject some extra energy.
VIDEO: "Waiting For Something"

#3 SHOES - Ignition (Black Vinyl Records) - The power pop legends return with their first album in 18 years - loaded with the superior hooks and harmonies you'd expect.
VIDEO: "I'm On You"

#4 - CHUCK PROPHET - Temple Beautiful (Yep Roc) Chuck's 12th album features a wonderful collection of songs about San Francisco that reminds me of a roots-rock Ray Davies meets Alejandro Escovedo.
VIDEO: "Whate Night, Big City"

#5 - LEE RANALDO - Between The Times & The Tides (Matador) - Ranaldo is more straight-ahead rock/pop focused on his first post Sonic Youth solo album, but there's still enough guitar experimentation and sonic twists that it's obvious where he came from.
VIDEO: "Off the Wall"
posted by Slack-a-gogo 14 December | 23:02
Woot! This year - Andrew In Drag.
posted by rainbaby 14 December | 23:04
My 3 favorite songs of 2012 were "Emmylou" by First Aid Kit, "Default" by Django Django, and "All Your Gold" by Bat For Lashes. Like BoPo, I was also a big fan of "Andrew In Drag".
posted by Slack-a-gogo 14 December | 23:07
Ooh, I loved Default by Django Django too! Last link from me, then I'll enjoy others' - Alabama Shakes "Hold On."
posted by rainbaby 14 December | 23:19
Albums I downloaded and liked this year:

Port of Morrow, The Shins
An Awesome Wave, Alt-J
My Head is an Animal, Of Monsters and Men
Channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean
Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt
Bloom, Beach House
Boys & Girls, Alabama Shakes
The 2nd Law, Muse

Also, I've listened to Essential Mix by Nicolas Jaar a lot.
posted by initapplette 14 December | 23:48
I really like that "Emmylou" track.

I don't really have a Top 5 -- I'm not much of a rank-er. But this year, a few things got to me.

First was Bruce's Wrecking Ball. Y'all know I'm a Bruce acolyte. But a couple tracks on here are powerfully angry and soulful in a way that is so...2012, the year of Occupy, the year we started to assert that regular people really do mean something.

And then there's New Multitudes, and Hoping Machine. I discovered and fell in love with this song over a beautiful, promising Memorial Day weekend that seemed to hold a lot of portent for a beautiful summer, only the next day, earthly calamity appeared in the form of a lengthy, expensive terminal illness for our beloved cat, Alvin, and with him seemed to go all our personal plans (and certainly our budget) for progress as a couple this year. SO this song actually kind of hurts to listen to, because I had hardly learned it before it came totally true and taught itself to us. And today, on Friday December 14th, it is still seems sadly portentous.

Third, I'd echo Alabama Shakes.

Fourth, I put Vintage Trouble, which we ran across only a few days ago. Google the hell out of them.

Don't really have a 5th...maybe Avett Brothers or Mumford & Sons, but who doesn't like that stuff....
posted by Miko 15 December | 01:17
2012 has been an insanely great year for music, more than I've been able to keep up with. I already have a list as long as my arm of stuff that I missed this year and want to check out- and too much interesting music is never a bad thing, IMO. So here are my favorite albums that I DID hear this year, with a sample of each.

This list is NOT in order, except that my two favorite albums are right at the top.

Dan Deacon, America Deacon's music can feel abrasive at first but really it's just texture, in the same vein as experimentalists from the middle of last century like Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. But with drums and while wearing goofy 80's glasses. This is my most listened-to album of 2012, mostly for the 4-part song called "USA" that ends it, with its blend of crazy rhythm textures and orchestra. It's a Jackson Pollack fever dream, and fuck is it gorgeous.
USA I: Is A Monster
USA II: The Great American Desert
USA IV: Manifest

Black Moth Super Rainbow, Cobra Juicy Like an adventure trip into the airbrushed scene on the side of a 1970s van. This is BMSR's 3rd major album and also their best: aerosol vocals and sunburnt electronics making beautiful, sometimes touching melodies. "Spraypaint" is a song that sticks in my head a lot, with its plaintive chorus of "...fucked up when I'm living without you."
Windshield Smasher

Dinosaur Jr., I Bet On Sky This band's second act continues to be hilariously awesome, because listening to them in the 80s, you just knew they were a bunch of fuckups who wouldn't be around very long. This album isn't as wonderfully bombtastic as last year's Farm, but it may be even catchier.
Don't Pretend You Didn't Know

Perfume Genius, Put Your Back N 2 It This album is so intimate it hurts. Singer Mike Hadreas made an album while he was climbing his way out of addiction and it's as delicate as it is razor-edged. Gorgeous, stark, and amazing.
No Tear
Hood (video)

Swans, The Seer Another band I never expected to come back from the dead, much less that they'd be BETTER than before. This album is two hours of beating your head against the universe, and it feels good.

Andy Stott, Luxury Problems Dust, decay, entropy. Romantic breakdown. The video for the best song is excellent and stars Marilyn Monroe.

fun. Some Nights An indie power pop band made it big! Love these guys, and their album is a pure delight.
Some Nights

Cloud Nothings, Attack On Memory My first favorite album of 2012. Melodic, desperate, at times frantic... this is an amazing step up for this Ohio band. The rawness even reminds me of times of Joy Division, even though the singer is many octaves higher than Ian Curtis.
Fall In

Lambchop, Mr. M Lambchop do so much great music it's almost hard to keep up with them, but this album was better than a lot of their recent output. And even a weak Lambchop album is kind of okay.
Gone Tomorrow
the video, which is really good

Kelly Hogan, I Like To Keep Myself In Pain A local heroine decided to stop hiding behind Neko Case and M. Ward and do another solo album, thank goodness. It's been too long. I love how she describes a relationship falling apart in terms of apartment furniture in "We Can't Have Nice Things," while she pretends to be Frank Sinatra apologizing to Nancy for being a shitty dad in "Daddy's Little Girl."

Calexico, Algiers A return to form.
Fortune Teller

Holy Other, Held Ghostly and weird, I kept coming back to it, over and over. I've played this little EP a lot in 2012.
Love Some1

Guided by Voices, The Bears For Lunch I know what you're thinking: who the hell can even tell GbV albums apart anymore? I promise you, this one is ASTOUNDING. It's their 3rd album since they reformed earlier this year, and it is wonderful.
She Lives In An Airport

Lana Del Rey, "Born To Die (Paradise Edition)" Her album came out in January, the new "Paradise" EP came out just recently, and they're both full of fantastic, dark pop music. All the white boy indie music bloggers screeching over how "authentic" she is or is not were really gross... LDR is a pop persona and a damn good one. Here's the best song from the original album (for the record, when she sings "I hear that you like the bad boys HONEY", that high note gives me chills) and then my favorite song from the new EP.
Video Games

Patterson Hood, Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance My favorite member of the Drive-By Truckers did a killer solo album. I've already shared my favorite song from the album, "After The Damage" which has the most awesome harmonising with Kelly Hogan (seen elsewhere on this list). Here's Pat in an argument with himself, his older and younger self, in a song called "Better Than The Truth."

X-TG Desertshore/The Final Report One of my most anticipated albums of the year was the former members of Throbbing Gristle recording a cover of Nico's "Desertshore"... and OMG is it gorgeous. Here's my favorite track from that: Cosi Fanni Tutti singing Nico's "My Only Child"

If you want to snag all these songs at once, they're all here in one big ZIP.
posted by BoringPostcards 15 December | 01:36
Album-wise, I liked Grand Hotel by The Explorers Club, and two songs I listened to repeatedly were Steam Powered Giraffe's "Saturday Night" and Amanda Palmer's "Do It With A Rock Star". Beyond that, I was more involved in taking my own guitar chops to a higher level.
posted by Ardiril 15 December | 03:54
I have no idea what I've listened to this year.

Alabama Shakes, of course.

Panopticon, "Kentucky". This is a black metal bluegrass record. Or a bluegrass black metal record. I'm not sure. It sounds like a gimmick, but it works -- that lonesome bluegrass sound melds right into the cold dark space of blurry black metal guitars. It's phenomenal, atmospheric stuff.

Horseback, "Half Blood". From one of the members of the alt-country band Mount Moriah comes another odd hybrid. This is, well, ambient folk metal? No idea what you'd call it. Layers and layers and layers of sound, big chunks of space. Proggy bits smushed up against jagged harsh vocals that melt over Americana dreamscapes. And lyrically it's a palimpsest, a puzzle that unfolds with every listen and erases your expectations. I love this album.

Earth, "Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 2". More atmospheric art-drone from the masters of the genre. Like the previous record, this one draws on British folk music as its inspiration, but it's all about the space between the notes. Got to see them live for the first time this year! They were fantastic. I giggled when a 20-something turned to her date and said, "they're good, but gosh they don't play very fast." Heh. You don't say.

White Lung, "Sorry". Fabulous spiky snarly punk rock. Jagged yet sinuous guitars and a lead singer who sounds like she's genuinely about to break a bottle off in your neck. They're from Vancouver, and you can hear the Nomeansno influence.

And for big dumb fun there's Kvelertak, whose music I first heard over the closing credits of the film Trollhunter. It's like a bunch of black metal guys went, you know what? Lets play cock rock and do drugs and chase groupies! It's FUN, which you can't say about many metal bands from Norway.

But I really haven't listened to all that much new stuff this year, despite BoPo's best efforts. I've been grooving to old music I missed the first time around, like the sadly underrated fathers of death metal, Death. "Sounds of Perseverance" is a perfect metal album: technically amazing, rich and dark and deep and scary.
posted by BitterOldPunk 15 December | 07:14
Great stuff so far, thanks all.

I don't have a best of since I don't buy/listen to enough new music to put together a full list but some stuff that I've liked:

Carolina Chocolate Drops, "Leaving Eden". I saw them live in the park in June and their live show blows away their recordings but if you can't seem them their disk from this year is pretty darn good.

Craig Finn, "Clear Heart Full Eyes". Some of the religious stuff was a little too strong for me but the music is solid.

Alabama Shakes, "Boys and Girls". N-thing this although the newer songs weren't quite as strong as the four from the EP.

Bob Dylan, "Tempest". Not the strongest thing he's done even of his recent stuff but as a Pittsburgher, I can resist a song with the title like Duquesne Whistle.

Cat Power, "Sun". I just got this but I'm really liking it so far.
posted by octothorpe 15 December | 08:25
Miko - I need to get that Vintage Trouble album. Saw them opening for the Who and they were real damn good.

BoringPostcards - That Dan Deacon sounds interesting - I've never heard of him, but I'll be checking it out. I gave up on Dinosaur Jr years ago, so I was stunned at how enjoyable this album was.

BitterOldPunk - I need to check out that White Lung lickety split!

I also need to give Alabama Shakes another try. I've obviously missed something.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 15 December | 11:11
Holy crap gbv is back together?!?? I must live under a rock.

Bat for Lashes is pretty amazing.

My fav new music is probably Joy Ike. I saw her play at a tiny house show a couple weeks ago and was absolutely amazed. She has a youtube channel with some videos, but her in person is just powerful and amazing.
posted by sio42 15 December | 16:53
Doomtree's No Kings. Minnesota pride!
posted by koucha 15 December | 21:40
Two albums of note for me this year:

I listened to Watsky's Nothing Like the First Time incessantly this summer. Some days it was the only thing keeping my huge pregnant self sane as I dragged myself to work! Even listened to it in the labor room right before Oliver was born. Favorite tracks, "Rich Girl", "$$", "$$$"

And this, exactly: fun. Some Nights An indie power pop band made it big! Love these guys, and their album is a pure delight.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 15 December | 21:44
I checked and literally the only album that was released in 2012 that I bought was the Mumford and Sons one.

Now I'm depressed.
posted by gaspode 15 December | 22:39
BitterOldPunk, I wasn't sure so I had to confirm with the husband, but we are pretty sure that we saw Panopticon, oh, 5 or 6 years ago at a tiny bar in Brooklyn. They were awesome and obviously made an impression because I recognised your description of them immediately :)
posted by gaspode 16 December | 00:05
The best music I bought this year was Matraca Berg's Love's Truck Stop (released in England only). The woman is a vivid, eloquent story teller, and to have a new album barely 17 months after The Dreaming Fields (her first album in 17 years) is particularly fantastic.

In looking back, I can see most of the music I bought this year was catching up on the past few years when I was poorer; people like Kelly Hogan and Kate Rusby and Cassandra Wilson and Wanda Jackson are in my queue for future purchase.
posted by julen 16 December | 14:14
Broadside by Bellowhead

It's a folk album (Don't run away! Come back!). They're an eleven piece band with great arrangements and at the top of their game. Video here.

The Face Of Mount Molehill by Neil Cowley Trio

It's a jazz album (Don't run away! Come back!). This is a beautiful and amazing record and they're brilliant live. Video here.

Plumb by Field Music

I absolutely love Field Music, they are my favorite band of the moment. This is pop of the clever, arty variety. A live video here.

I'll also second Slack-a-gogo's recommendation for Shoes - it's a terrific record.

There's been other stuff too but I'll leave it at that for now.
posted by dodgygeezer 16 December | 18:04
Magical Mystery Tour! Tonight! || BUNNY! OMG!