TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2012: better late than never

Being that it’s already January and I’m about to start another semester at grad school, I had better pump this list out now. It was originally intended as a two-part deal with full reviews for each record…but now it’s going to be a list with some random words thrown in here and there.

Honorable mentions: Jessie Ware, St. Gregory Orange, Tigercats, Clock Opera, Sinkane, Shrag, The Maccabees, Maribel, Exlovers, Egyptian Hip Hop

And the top 20…

20. Lone Wolf / The Lovers

19. The Megaphonic Thrift / The Megaphonic Thrift

18. Django Django / Django Django

17. Cheers Elephant/ Like Wind Blows Fire

16. The Evens / The Odds

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After a week+ of putting this list together, I’ve finally reached the end. Not surprisingly, I’ve come across a few songs that should probably be included, but it’s impossible to be 100% thorough with these things. If you want to see the rest:


Next week I’ll work on the albums and my 2013 list, and maybe get around to some of the stuff I missed (but probably not).

Either way, this will be a good way to not think about how bad the Sixers are without Bynum and Jrue.

10. Everything Everything “Cough Cough”
At times when this quartet do the whole “art for art’s sake,” it can hinder the music, but on their debut you heard the potential for something great. Tunes like “MY KZ YR BF” and “Suffragette Suffragette” hinted at this, and with “Cough Cough” – the first single from their sophomore album, that potential has been fully realized. It’s an anthemic, percussion-heavy romp that shows the band at their darkest, but also most triumphant.

9. Runaround Kids “Blush”
There’s nothing minor about my obsession with this band any longer – it’s a full blown love that’s absolutely craving the next album. The smattering of singles and comp appearances from the band this year showed that the massive growth on Linked Arms was no joke – they were still looking above and beyond their current subject matter of “GIRLS DON’T LIKE ME DRINKING DRINKING DRINKING BAND BAND WAKEFIELD WAKEFIELD GIRLS.” With “Blush” – the sole new add-on to the Teeth Blue, Lips Red EP, we’re getting a potential sneak peak of 2013, a year that could very well feature this trio running things in West Yorkshire, London, and beyond.

8. Pulled Apart By Horses “Everything Dipped in Gold”
I gave up on most “heavy” music years ago – it just really wasn’t my thing any longer, but Pulled Apart By Horses are one of those rare, once-in-a-decade bands who are truly next level. What’s most important is that they know how to write songs – catchy as all fuck songs – that rarely leave your head and make their gigs truly memorable events. “Everything Dipped in Gold” is one of those moments that remind you that anyone can write a timeless song.

7. Pins “LuvU4Lyf”
Some bands are downright annoying with their marketing – like WU LYF, but others take a more understated approached, like Pins. And in reality all the band did was remain under the radar, release minimal information, and play utterly brilliant gigs – or at least that’s what I heard from scores of locals. The band’s first single stoked the flames a bit, but the release of their first EP, of which “LuvU4Lyf” is drawn from – lit a massive fire. Clocking in at just 2:30, it’s pulsating bass-led rhythm section and explosive chorus are accented by lead singer Faith Holgate’s proclamation, “I would die for you, and I love you for life.”

This is the type of song that makes a career.

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Mostly because I’m insane, I tried to put together a list of all of my favorite videos of the year.

I had to stop after awhile – I didn’t have time to go through all of them, so this post will be the first chapter. There may be another, there may be five more…or this may be the only one.

Below are two from the oft-discussed FOE and Blood Red Shoes, “The Black Lodge” and “In Time To Voices,” respectively. Above is a clip from the Megaphonic Thrift, whose second album is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Plus there’s some nice looking girls in it, guys.

Read on for some new music and key time-wasting tips.

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Almost a month ago I scribbled down a list of my albums of the year, or at least the contenders, and I posted it over here. I’m still not sure if that’s the entire pool I’m drawing from, as there are still a few titles I have yet to check out.

I still have a few weeks to formalize the list (and also do songs and new bands), but for now, here are some of the albums that will be near the top. This is completely out of order.

The Crookes / Hold Fast

FOE / Bad Dream Hotline

Blood Red Shoes / In Time To Voices

Saint Etienne / Words And Music By Saint Etienne

Bruce Springsteen / Wrecking Ball

Niki & the Dove / Instinct

Pulled Apart By Horses / Tough Love

Ellen & the Escapades / All the Crooked Scenes

The Megaphonic Thrift / The Megaphonic Thrift


FOE – aka Hannah Clark of Fleet, England – has just unveiled the video for “The Black Lodge.” This is the third single from her debut Bad Dream Hotline, one of this year’s best albums.

She’s been compared to Kate Bush and P.J. Harvey, which aren’t bad touchstones, but there is something much deeper, much more sinister going on here.


I’ve been fooling with this post for awhile. I meant to do something like this a few weeks ago, but between school, work, the lack of a cohesive idea, and difficulty agreeing on what should be on the list, it got pushed back. But finally, here it is. There will be some omissions, there may be some mistakes, but overall, I hope it’s a good picture of what this year has looked like so far. And since it’s the half, it’s gives me some time to reflect and make some changes before the year ends.



It’s rare anymore that an album remains on heavy rotation for more than six months, if only because there’s a lot of great new music out there. This year is no exception, and the debut album from FOE (Hannah Clark from Arthur, Hannah Shark) is exactly what the world needs right now. Bad Dream Hotline firmly instills Clark as a unique personality, one who would have thrived in the ’90s and deserves to conquer not just England and the United States, but the world over. While each of her videos have been made on a shoestring budget, they all contain things you can’t buy with money – creativity, ambition, and ingenuity. It’s the ideas that have and always will drive great music, and Clark is onto something very special here. Latest single “The Black Lodge” (the album’s best song) is released on 07/23. Not only this year’s best debut, but this year’s unequivocal best album.

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