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.
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