With 2012 coming to an end soon, I decided to make a list of some of my favorite albums from the past year to kickstart the blog. I recommend listening to all these albums in their entirety as they are all fantastic works of music.
1. The Soft Moon-Zeros
This album is really cool in that it sounds like nothing else. Luis Vasquez, leader of The Soft Moon is able to perfectly create a totally unique sound that combines heavy bass and percussion contrasted with sharp synth, guitar and haunting vocals. He also puts on a great live performance, even busting out the bongo drums. Hell yeah!
2. Beach House-Bloom
Beach House knocked it out of the park with Bloom. Bloom is so terrific because each cut on the album is unique, but follows the same theme as the rest. The sound is also really lush and dreamy. Just listen to it.
3. Chromatics-Kill for Love
Kill for Love is great to listen to on a rainy day. It has a good balance between light and dark, mixed with a healthy dosage of pure space. It’s really easy to listen to this album and get lost in your thoughts, only to awaken from your trance when it ends. It also has a great cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My”.
Visions is so radical because it combines heavy machine music with high pitched almost childlike lyrics. It’s better to listen to on full volume and will get you up and moving. The tracks on this album vary from highly catchy clubby techno grooves to weird machine noises that sound great too.
Along with Kill for Love and Bloom, Oshin has an amazing dreamy and spacey sound to it. It’s got lots of great guitar riffs, echoey lyrics, and a nice mellow mood. It’s enjoyable all the way through and is full of lots of fantastic moments.
Ripping Swedish post punk with great sound and a killer synth lead, what else could you want? This debut album is lots of fun to listen to and awesome when really loud. They also put on an excellent show and are really nice people.
7. Purity Ring-Shrines
Shrines is another album with a cool, unique sound. It’s got lots of sounds you won’t hear anywhere else and a lot of complexity within each song. It’s cool to be able to listen to a song and try to catch every little instrument that goes off. It’s also got some sweet hip hop influenced beats.
8. Crystal Castles-(III)
Crystal Castles is back again with another great album. (III) is full of lots of amazing songs to rave to and goes in a different direction than (II), focusing on lyrics. I recommend it if you like machine music with a good amount of screaming.
9. Diamond Rings-Free Dimensional
Free Dimensional is among my favorite pop music ever. Its got a big full sound, catchy tunes, and meaningful lyrics. He can also put on a really fun show. Don’t miss it.
10. Andy Stott-Luxury Problems
While Luxury Problems isn’t exactly “easy listening”, it can be really awesome to listen to one of his songs discretely build to greatness. It’s also cool how the really deep and spacial bass is mixed with the light angelic voice.
Honorable Mention: Poolside-Seasons Change
Although Seasons Change isn’t an album, it is one of my favorite things I have listened to this year. It represents the change of seasons from fall to winter and has a bunch of great remixes strung together with an excellent flow. Also it’s free!