Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favorite Albums of 2012

There are so many records I didn't spend enough time with, and even more I never got around to. I'm sure I'm missing some good ones, but so often this year I found myself in a music tunnel vision of sorts where after keeping up with clients' and friends' records, I only wanted to come home and listen to old familiar things on the turntable. The Byrds, The Kinks, Kate Bush, and Kraftwerk made comforting re-appearances throughout 2012. Tell me what I missed out on, and I'll check it out.

Dream Boat - Eclipsing
Delightful comes off as a word used by British Pollyanna movie characters, but it's been nothing short of delightful working with Dan and Page on this record. Their enthusiasm and non-stop stream of thank-yous kept me powering through all of my fourth quarter 2012 campaigns. Oh yeah: the record is beautiful.

Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
Looks like this one is being re-released by What's Your Rupture? (Iceage, Throwing Up) in 2013, but I'm going to call it 2012.

Black Forest Fire - Transit of Venus
Dreamy, shoegazy debut from Austinites you should look out for at SXSW. Storm Thorgersen designed the album art. He also designed Dark Side of the Moon, Houses of the Holy, and a slew of other noteworthy albums.

The Casket Girls - Sleepwalking
I met Ryan Graveface (of Graveface Records and Black Moth Super Rainbow) on a trip to Savannah earlier this year. When he sent me this record, I freaked out. Ryan and I both share a penchant for ghosts and other spooky oddities, and it comes through in his lyrics.

Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II
Thee Oh Sees can do no wrong by mees.

Peaking Lights - Lucifer
This LP lived on my turntable all summer long.

Matthew E. White - Big Inner
Matt's Hopscotch performance might just be my favorite show of 2012. From the anticipation backstage, to the 30+ piece orchestra, full opera house, choir led by Phil from Megafaun, the looks of joy on the faces of Matt's family and label friends, and the encore of CSNY's "Woodstock," it was such a special night and the culmination of so much work and love. I'm very grateful to have been both behind the scenes and watching from the audience.

Fergus & Geronimo - Funky Was The State of Affairs
Super nice dudes, super good record. If you like Gang of Four, Wire, or Devo, you'll dig this.

Bear in Heaven - I Love You, It's Cool
How many times did I see yall in 2012? I don't even remember. I do remember when we put a whole sheet of temporary tattoos on Joe on my porch after one of them.

Scott & Charlene's Wedding - Para Vista Social Club
This band of Aussies has been a blast to work with this year, and I can't wait to share the EP and LP due in 2013 on Critical Heights. Members of slacker-pop peers Twerps and Family Portrait helped with the making of this record.

Easter Island - Frightened
Sweet dudes, sweet sounds. After a rough trip up to Hopscotch Fest this year to play our showcase, we took them out to dinner. Asher called my boss to ask permission before ordering the steak. He said yes, because who could say no to anyone in Easter Island?

Maserati - VII
I'm biased because like many bands on this list, I like these guys personally a whole stinkin' lot. I got to hear a lot of these songs come together over time, and put them in touch with Bruno Borges for the album art. The final product is unmistakably a Maserati record.

Kishi Bashi - 151a

The Men - Open Your Heart
Sinkane - Mars
Favorite show of CMJ 2012.
Soft Moon - Zeros
I'm still not over my kick where I want every band to sound a little bit like Joy Division. Soft Moon does the trick. Dark, brooding, new wave-y and industrial. Don't miss them at Caledonia in January.
Grass Giraffes - Transportation EP

Ormonde - Machine
Lovely friends, lovely songs. Another record that was a pleasure to help with publicity for.

Ape School - Junior Violence

Opossum - Electric Hawaii
So much good stuff comes out of New Zealand.

Spiritualized - Huh?

Moon Duo - Circles
Can't believe I haven't bought this one yet.

Jacob Morris - Moths
Jacob has shared the stage with endless Athens heavy hitters from E6 artists to Patterson Hood from Driveby Truckers. His solo work will go over well with fans of Elliot Smith or Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac.

I know I'd love you if I only got to know you more:

Tame Impala - Lonerism

Jeff The Brotherhood - Hypnotic Nights

Wild Nothing - Nocturne

Titus Andronicus - Local Business (this one just kind of snuck past me, and I'm kind of ashamed I didn't spend more time with it yet, since I love these guys.)

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