P|M|W’s FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2012 //first half//
Last year, I was a month premature (May is the sixth month of the year, right?), so this year I waited it out to make sure I’d heard as much of the goodness out there, as I possibly could have. Once again, I’ve decided to only rank my top three, and then the rest will be alphabetical. Outside of my number one spot, I’d say that it might change on a day to day basis, depending on mood, weather temperature, and or what I ate the day before. By this point last year, I’d already heard what ended up my favorite album of the year, as well as my favorite song of the year. That being said, there are still a lot of potentially great albums on their way, and that’s not even counting all of the wonderful gems that we have no idea about that will surely surprise us and become embedded nuggets of ear goodness in the months to come. So take this list with a grain of salt. It might be the same list you see again in six months, or it might be radically shifted. The only thing for sure is that each of these albums is wonderful in their own way and deserve multiple listens from all ears, everywhere.
* My mixtape of top twenty favorite songs of the year will post later this weekend as soon as mix finishes.
** Click Album title to stream album on Spotify.
- DIIV - OSHIN /// DIIV’s beautifully dreamy debut album hit me dead on in a way that I wasn’t expecting. The familiarity with the sounds drawing on all influences that I obsessed over in my youth, coming together in this new, but lived in sound - took my breath away. Having been a fan of Beach Fossils (Z. Cole Smith’s other band) for a while now, I was thoroughly impressed that the material stood out and has it’s own distinct sound. A fully realized debut album that gives me massive hope for the future of the band. KEY TRACKS ("Wait", "Doused", "Home")
- THE WALKMEN - HEAVEN /// The Walkmen have been quietly (and not so quietly - have you seen them live in a confined space? fuck eardrums!) turning out the hits for a decade now and after always finding something to love about each release. Yet here, a decade in, they’ve produced an album so incredibly absorbing and likable that it’s like listening to a greatest hits album of one of your favorite bands. Even more amazing, the band swapped up some of their more anthem-like sounds for stripped back 50’s guitar and doo-wop influences and it fucking works every time! A gorgeous album about being an adult. KEY TRACKS ("Heaven", "The House We Made (b-side)", "We Can’t Be Beat").
- MOONFACE - WITH SIINAI: HEARTBREAKING BRAVERY /// A dark and loud album from one of my favorite writers (and serial band starter, Spencer Krug). This is probably the most challenging album on my favorites list and it’s recently made a strong resurgence in favor, after I realized that I’d been humming about half the album for the better part of the year. This isn’t Krug’s masterpiece, but with Finnish rockers Siinai, in tow, it’s probably his heaviest (which is not always my usual pick). What is amazing about the album is that after the bouncing around in various bands for the better part of a decade, Krug feels at home here. Like some of his best material with Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown, he’s at his best when he’s angry or hurt and you feel both on this album. The melodies and harmonies are top notch and if you don’t mind some tracks getting a little loud on you, then this might be your cup of tea. It certainly is mine. (KEY TRACKS: "Lay Your Cheek Down", "Shitty City", "Headed For the Door")
///THE REST (alphabetical)///
Okay, so I guess that’s eleven albums, but fuck it - limits are a waste of time. The podcast/mixtape of my favorite single tracks (not singles, but single songs) will go up tomorrow. It’s a doozy. As for the albums, I’m sure I probably missed something (I’m already regretting the absence of Echo Lake), but I’m sticking to what I had written down. How about you? Did I get it right-ish enough for you? Spill blood in my mailbox if you must.
Thanks for listening and tune in tomorrow for the big half year roundup mixtape. Take care!