Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Finally, My Favorites from 2012

The one thing I would reliably do was post an annual "Top 10" or "favorites."  I was even slower this year than ever before, but even worse, I'm not sure I listened to enough new material for a full "Top 10" list.  Instead, I'll just list 2012 tracks/albums that I enjoyed in no particular (well, ok, alphabetical, order):

Paul Banks' Banks - definitely hearkens back to his Interpol stuff much more so than the Julian Plenti material.  "The Base" is one of my favorite songs from 2012.

Saint Etienne's Words and Music - a nice job by my favorite indie-dance group.  This is their best effort since Finnistere.  Loaded with catchy, dance-floor tunes and crafty lyrics.  "I've Got Your Music," "Tonight," "DJ," and "Headed For The Fair" are fantastic.

School of Seven Bells' Ghostory - they keep impressing me.  Even with the loss of Claudia Deheza, SSB puts out a great album, filled with the same ethereal vocals and shoe-gazey, slightly dancey sounds (in that head down and shaking kind of way) of their past releases.  "Show Me Love," a really dark track that sounds like it could be off of Lush's Split, is the best of the album.  "The Night," "Lafaye," "Love Game," and "Scavenger" are also great.

Teen Daze's All of Us, Together - really nice chillout music (although quite uplifting) and I guess this is indeed aptly described as "chillwave."  "The New Balearic" is especially good.

The XX's Coexist - all of the trademarks of The XX are here, slow-tempo, chill sounds, crescendo guitar licks, downer lyrics, and a consistent rhythm.  Not as many standout tracks as their debut, but  "Chained," "Sunset," and "Reunion" are excellent.

As for individual tracks, I liked Cat Power's "Ruin," That Work's "Secret Lover," The Temper Trap's "Need Your Love (Fort Remeau Remix)," Frankie Rose's "Know Me" and "Night Swim," Polica's "Lay Your Cards Out," Burial and Four Tet's "Nova," Orbital's "New France" (hooray, Orbital is back!), and finally The Wallflowers' "Reboot the Mission" - I've been waiting for a sequel to "Magnificent Seven," but I never thought it would come from The Wallflowers (of course having Mick Jones involved certainly helps).

My favorite song from 2012 was Grouplove's "Tongue-tied" - the problem here of course was that it was released in September of 2011.  I just never caught on to it until 2012!

Rather than finding the time to listen to new releases, I turned to some of my old favorites in 2012, primarily Interpol (man, I've played their stuff so much over the past decade), Bloc Party (Intimacy wasn't as bad as I initially thought, although I loved their earlier stuff, especially where Gordon would do some back and forth vocals), Thunderball (one of my favorite downtempo groups from one of my favorite downtempo labels - ESL Music), Groove Armada's Lovebox (there are several good tracks, more than just "Easy" and "Love Box" - two of my favorite "electronic" songs), Apollo Heights' White Music for Black People, and several baggy tracks ("Sunshine and Love," "World in Motion," "The Only One I Know," "Step On," "Groovy Train," "Fools Gold," and "En-Tact").