The best things I’ve heard in 2012

Hey, it’s music list time again. This is my annual “best things I’ve heard this year” list, which can be a song, concert, or an album. And it may be something that wasn’t released this year, but it is the first time I’ve heard it, given it a significant listen, or rediscovered it. (Take a look at the 2011 version here if you missed it.)
So here we go, in alpha order:

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

Just some good old fashion rock and roll. And does this woman have some pipes or what? Reminds me a bit of Heartless Bastards.

Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

So yeah, this album isn’t as good as Merriweather Post Pavilion, but so what? Not one for a casual listen, takes some work to really enjoy but worth it.

Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man

Man, I love me some Natasha Khan. Keep making pop music this good, please.

Beatles – 180 gram vinyl reissues (Revolver, Rubber Soul, and Abbey Road)

Yes, it is a shame that these releases came from the digital masters. And yes, if they ever release the mono version of these three albums again I’ll likely buy those too. Don’t care though, I get to listen to Norwegian Wood on my turntable, and that is pretty much all I care about right now.

Bob Mould – Silver Age

Bob brings it harder at 52 than just about anybody else half his age. With this record and the Sugar reissues, Bob’s my artist of the year for 2012.

Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

Just love this record, plain and simple.

Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

A great record with some old school soul and R&B underneath.

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

“Supergroups” rarely work (Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs, Sam Brown of New Bomb Trucks, and Alex Fischel are the closest thing indie has had to one this side of New Pornographers.) This one works very well, indeed.

Father John Misty – Fear Fun

Love this record. Father John is Joshua Tillman, former drummer for Fleet Foxes, and he’s one upped his former band with this one. And the consistently awesome and fetching Aubrey Plaza is amazing and hilarious in this video.

Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes

This is the chill record of the year. Betting that it gets a lot of airplay in Colorado from now on. (The short film promoting the record is deep, beautiful and incredibly sad.)

Grizzly Bear – Shields

Love the record. As for the video, somebody watched Black Swan a few too many times perhaps.

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

The one word that consistently comes up when talking about this record is “shenanigans.” Probably my favorite of the year, just drop the needle and hang on for 38 minutes of blistering rock/punk goodness.

Passion Pit – Gossamer

Before you say anything, I know this song is now better known as TV commercial. Doesn’t change the fact that this is a pretty great pop record.

Radiohead – Tampa, Florida February 29, 2012

Best show I saw all year, and this was a personal highlight. The guitar coming in at 1:35 is pretty boss. Wrote about it here.

Roger Waters – Comfortably Numb, Orlando Florida June 16, 2012

Another one I wrote about extensively. My friend Nick was hoping against hope that this would happen:

Sugar – Remastered Vinyl Reissues (Copper Blue, Beaster EP, File Under: Easy Listening)

Oh, Bob, we were so much younger then, weren’t we? Sugar was the blueprint for every Foo Fighters Song every recorded.

Tame Impala – Lonerism

Tame Impala still bringing out the best of the 60s and giving it a modern twist. This was from just a couple of nights ago on Jules Holland.

The Walkmen – Heaven

If this is “dad rock,” then we dads are in good hands.

Jack White – Blunderbuss (side 2)

Listened to this record a lot when it came out, and am still enamored with side 2 a lot. And who else but Jack could pull off this song and this excellent all female country/blues band?

The xx – Coexist

Another great chill album. Put on the headphones and dim the lights.

Yeasayer – Fragrant World

This is an album I think I liked better than a lot of people. Add this the chill with headphones category and enjoy.

Well, there you go 21 of the best things I’ve heard this year. For those so inclined there will be a matching playlist on Spotify in the very near future. You can follow me there by clicking the Spotify banner on the right side of this page.

What did I miss? What’s on your list?



Posted on November 27, 2012, in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Nice list, I’m glad you included Alabama Shakes on your list. I managed to see them twice this year and they put on an incredible live show, definitely worth catching if they’re near your area!

  2. I agree w/Mike75. I love the Alabama Shakes! So glad you included them. And XX…

  3. Great list–gotta love the Alabama Shakes.

  4. So good to read all the Alabama Shakes love.

  5. Where is the inevitable Spotify playlist? I believe you did one for 2011.

  1. Pingback: The best of 2010-2013 Mix Tapes | Fables of the Deconstruction

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