Craig’s Favorite Albums from 2012

CraigMy top ten for the year, with a brief explanation/comment.

Enjoy & Happy New Year!

……

1. Grizzly Bear Shields
The guys in Grizzly Bear killing it, once again.  This record is almost perfect. The compositions are strange & beautiful, and they complement the haunting singing styles of Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen.  If you didn’t get this album – you missed (but there’s still time!).

 Check Out: Yet Again [mp3]

Check Out: Gun Shy

Check Out: Sun In Your Eyes

2. Tame Impala Lonerism
Australian neo-psychedelic rockers blow out all the stops in channeling the most blissed-out, mind-melting, flashback-inducing dimensions of the Beatles, the Flaming Lips, and Black Sabbath.  Put your headphones on & go for a ride.

Check Out: Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Check Out: Elephant

DP3. Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan
The most complete album to date from Brooklyn’s avant-garde pop troupe, Dirty Projectors.  The instrumentation is understated and intuitive, while the vocal arrangements are soulful and eccentric.

Check Out: Gun Has No Trigger

Watch: The Socialites

DD4. Dan Deacon America
Baltimorean Dan Deacon is the man.  America is a fascinating collection of electronic compositions that mix his love of nerdy, high-brow classicalism with ghetto-blaster, get-stupid party attitude.

Check Out: Lots [mp3]

Check Out: True Thrush

BH5. Beach House Bloom
More props to Baltimore – these dream pop originators continue to shine on their fourth album.  Bloom is simultaneously simple and cinematic.

Check Out: Myth [mp3]

Check Out: Wild

foxygen6. Foxygen Take The Kids Off Broadway
These spastic soulsters distill the essence of all things that make up great rock ’n’ roll (e.g. the attitude of the Rolling Stones; the pretense of David Bowie; twisted and glib lyrics of Bob Dylan/Steve Malkmus/Lou Reed; and the anthems of The Who) and render it in an easy-to-swallow pill form; as irresistible as foxy oxygen.

Check Out: Make It Known [mp3]

Check Out: Take the Kids Off Broadway

PR7. Porcelain Raft – Strange Weekend
Lush electro-pop from Italian Mauro Remiddi – bursting with layers of snyth, drums, and Remiddi’s androgynous vocals, the songs suggest the visual dreamscape of Remiddi’s journeyman musical past.
.

Check Out: Unless You Speak From Your Heart [mp3]

Check Out: Put Me To Sleep [mp3]

8. Lotus PlazaSpooky Action at a Distance
Deerhunter’s Lockett Pundt makes a great record.  Spooky Action is subtle and restrained, with tight, looping song structures, awash in tastefully resolute guitar effects.  The vocals are unassuming and slowly strewn about the medium-paced and up-tempo songs.  A real treat.

Check Out: Strangers

Check Out: White Galactic One

ORMONDE9. Ormonde Machine
A chance encounter among singer Anna-Lynne Williams and guitarist Robert Gomez at a Midlake recording session in Denton, TX lead to the couple renting a house in the small desert town of Marfa, TX to hammer out what would become ‘Machine’. The result is a striking collection of superb indie pop songs that range from wistfully deranged ballads to exquisite chamber pop.

Check Out: I Can’t Imagine [mp3]

MD10. Mac Demarco 2
Something I discovered on Pitchfork – didn’t think it would make my top 10, but the layered, reverb guitar work is sort of intoxicating – definitely refreshing in its combination of technical skill and laid back delivery.

Check Out: Freaking Out The Neighborhood [mp3]

Check Out: My Kind of Woman [mp3]

Honorable Mentions:

Alt-J An Awesome Wave
Animal Collective Centipede Hz
Baroness – Green & Yellow
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy
Rebecca Brandt Numbers &Shapes
ConveyorConveyor
Dntel Aimlessness
Fanfarlo Rooms Filled with Light
THE FLUTE FLIESYes Means Maybe
Jane Jane Pollock – Jane Jane Pollock
LIARS – WIXIW
Matthew Dear Beams
Menomena MOMS
Oulipo Primitive Ways
Pinback Information Retrieved
Yeasayer Fragrant World

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