Best Albums of 2012
So here we are again folks…. list time. A little later than planned (I did want to do it on January 1st - there’s the whole month of December out there listmakers!) but here we are.
And what a list. It was hard enough getting it down to a top twenty five let alone a top ten, five, three or number one. But unlike DiS, who somewhat took the easy way out by claiming five equally placed top records, it’s been whittled down to the list you see here. If you’re a reader of this blog you know what I like and you know what you like and hopefully there’s some crossover, particularly within this list.
As for themes within this list, apart the lowest ever reviews-to-records ratio that this blog has endured in its short and tumultuous time, there are few. Simply amazing songs, songwriting and production from across the genres of indie rock, pop, blues, folk, goth rave, soul, punk, psychedelia, house, garage rock and the like. Perhaps the one overarching theme is of an uplifting yet wry take on the world. One that carriers the spirit of 2012 and HSM quite nicely indeed.
So, are you ready? Good, then let’s get started:
25. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart, Sweet Light
24. Crystal Castles - III
23. Jack White - Blunderbuss
22. Actress - R.I.P.
21. Richard Hawley - Standing At The Sky’s Edge
20. John Talabot - Fin
19. Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
18. Mac Demarco - 2
17. Cat Power - Sun
16. Chairlift - Something
15. Ty Segall & White Fence - Hair
14. Dan Deacon - America
13. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
12. Foxygen - Take The Kids Off Broadway
11. Gashcat - Reunion
External image 10. Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man In The Universe
The painful and proud realisations of one of music’s elder statesmen.
Wearing the supergroup tag pretty well, The Divine Fits is a slick and solid album.
Nothing more or less than you’d expect from the boys from Brooklyn: shimmering, epic and beautiful sounding pop music.
Throwing off the morose and abashed side of his persona, Josh Tillman’s Father John Misty is hilarious and heartfelt.
External image 6. Django Django - Django Django
Ever complex and inventive, Django Django’s debut record is a sparse but funky affair.
Simple the sound of rock music done right. Very right.
Translating the Dirty Projectors’ baroque sound into something more accessible proved to be a stunning success.
External image 3. Grimes - Visions
An ethereal, sensual release, Visions fulfils the promise of Grimes’ previous releases.
External image 2. Tame Impala - Lonerism
Making a psychedelic rock record sound fresh and exciting in 2012 is no mean feat and Tame Impala do it with such verve and aplomb
And finally, introducing HotSpotMusic’s favourite album of 2012:
Kishi Bashi’s debut release, 151a, wins this year’s prize (there is no actual award nor cash prize) as HotSpotMusic’s best album of 2012. And it wins for the simple fact that, amongst very tough competition, it was the one record I kept coming back to over and over again. It’s only nine tracks and thirty four minutes but within that short time it manages to transport you to another world, a world that is a complete melange of chaos and creativity but one where the end result is one of pure beauty and joy. It’s not been featured on many end of year lists and that’s a shame because, in this humble writer’s opinion, it’s an epic, orchestral masterpiece.
So there you have it: 2012’s best releases in a nutshell. And now here they are in a lovely playlist:
Here’s to 2013.