Monthly Archives: May 2012

My Favorite Albums Of 2012 So Far

Beach House – Bloom

With music that is heavenly and magical and lyrics that are heartbreaking and beautiful, Beach House have once again created a pop masterpiece. Each song has something poetic and profound to say about love and relationships. Beach House remind us how precious relationships are in the song Wishes, “One in your life, it happens once and rarely twice”. Victoria Legrand’s vocals are as lovely as ever on Bloom. She honestly has some of the best female vocals I have ever heard. I can’t recommend this band’s music highly enough. Bloom is my favorite record of the year so far.

Listen to Bloom here.

The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

The stories that Kristian Matsson’s sings about are vivid and full of humanity. His acoustic music is raw and timeless. One of the most haunting songs I’ve heard this year is “Little Brother” which is about a brother facing both his younger brother’s trials and his own trials. There is such honest feeling in this song. You can hear real pain in Matsson’s voice as he’s singing this song. When you hear something like that you can be sure you are listening to something special; something honest, true, and powerful.

Listen to the single “1904” here.

The Shins – Port Of Morrow

It’s been refreshing to hear such a positive pop album from The Shins this year. This album encourages us to cherish our friendships, be grateful, and to carry each other through the darkness in our lives. Can’t ask for much more from an album than that. This record is a gift.

Listen to Port Of Morrow here.

The Walkmen – Heaven

The Walkmen sound wise and reflective on their new record. This may be due to the fact that they have had 12 years of experience together. The Walkmen explore the ups and downs of life and love on this record with unrestrained honesty. This album is like a camp fire, always warm and always inviting.

Listen to Heaven here.

Jack White – Blunderbuss

Jack White continues being a master of rock and roll with his new solo record. It’s a strange, fun album in which Jack offers many interesting perspectives on love, relationships, and women. It’s one hell of a rock record.

Listen to Blunderbuss here.

Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It

This is a record with short songs that are each extremely powerful and beautiful. Mike Hadreas’ piano music and vocals express human brokeness and longing to great effect.

Listen to Put Your Back N 2 It here.

Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Jason Pierce is a rocker who sounds like the Beatles and sings songs that express feelings of depression and doubt but are also hopeful. Pierce wrestles with God, love, and drug addiction in his lyrics. Sweet Heart Sweet Light is a comforting hand to hold in this messy life.

Listen to Sweet Heart Sweet Light here.

Frankie Rose – Interstellar

Frankie Rose’s angelic vocals and her dreamy, outer space pop music makes this a memorable record.

Listen to Interstellar here.

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

If you wanted an album this year that you can seriously rock out to and that will leave you grinning ear to ear, well here you go! Japandroids capture the energy of youth within this record and give you reason to celebrate life.

Listen to Celebration Rock here.

Chairlift – Something

It’s Caroline Polachek’s rich, emotive vocals which make this young band something to watch out for. Chairlift’s synthpop music compliments her voice well. I can only imagine that this band has a bright future.

Listen to Something here.

BADBADNOTGOOD – BBNG2

This young group of guys are making some fresh, ferocious jazz music. With a rebel spirit BBNG are a rising, special band.

Download BBNG2 for free here.

Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror

Derek Miller’s loud guitar music and Alexis Krauss’ sweet and fiery vocals are a great mix that make Sleigh Bell’s music unique and vibrant. Reign Of Terror further shows Sleigh Bells to be an exciting group that have their own convincing swagger.

Listen to Reign Of Terror here.

Sigur Ros – Valtari

There’s something holy about Sigur Ros’ music. With Valtari they have crafted another glorious post rock album that leaves you space to think, dream, and imagine.

Listen to Valtari here.

Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur

Kathleen Edwards is a singer-songwriter with country and folk influences. She has a beautiful voice and her music is easygoing even as she explores some darker themes in her songs.

Listen to Voyageur here.

 Royal Headache – Self Titled

This Australian garage rock band make fun, positive, and soulful rock music. So throw your cares away and dance a little why don’t you?

Listen to Royal Headache here.

John Talabot – Fin

A very solid dance album that is full of jungle rhythms and pulsating life.

Listen to Fin here.

There has been some great music that’s come out this first half of the year. I’m looking forward to hearing what the rest of the year holds for us in music.

What are some of your favorite albums of the year so far?

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Royal Headache – Girls / Surprise

There’s something positive, youthful, and infectious about Royal Headache’s garage rock music. With their new self titled album, Royal Headache have made a set of short songs that are soulful and perfect for your summer listening.

And here’s a link to their song “Surprise”.

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The Tallest Man On Earth

The Tallest Man On Earth aka Kristian Matsson is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. His vocals and music are reminiscent of Bob Dylan but he definitely is a unique artist. Matsson pushes his vocal range further with this new single “1904”. He sings at a higher register at some parts of the song to great effect. The music in this song is uplifting and pleasant to listen to. What I love about The Tallest Man On Earth’s music is his lyrics. The lyrics are vague enough to be open to interpretation and are also rich with images and meaning. There are always new things to discover when you revisit a song by Matsson. I’m greatly anticipating his new album There’s No Leaving Now, which comes out June 12th.

Listen to “1904” here: Spotify or at RollingStone

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Animal Collective – Honeycomb

“Honeycomb” is a new single from psychedelic pop band Animal Collective. This song will fit very nicely into your summer playlist. It bounces along like a bunny with many unique sounds splashing over each other.

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Sarah Jaffe – Glorified High

Sarah Jaffe’s new music video is simply awesome. The kid in this video can dance like nobody’s business! On her new album Sarah continues being a thoughtful singer songwriter and is adding new layers of pop music to her sound.

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Allo Darlin’ – Capricornia

Allo Darlin’s new album Europe is a sweet, bright album that’s perfect for sunny days.

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Polica – Lay Your Cards Out

Polica were a pleasant music discovery of my day. The use of auto-tune has been abused by many artists but some artists are using it effectively. James Blake, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, and Active Child are a few of these artists. You can add Polica to that list. Polica make dark, dreamy pop music and heavily use auto-tune. Polica are proof that auto-tune isn’t dead it’s just coming to life.

Heres some links to some other good songs that use auto-tune.

James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

Active Child – Playing House

Bon Iver – Woods

Bon Iver – Beth/rest

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St. Vincent – Krokodil

St. Vincent aka Annie Clark knows how to make a great song with her guitar and voice. She put out this new song “Krokodil” on record store day of this year. Clark has played heavier rock songs before but this may be her most fierce song yet. It has a punk fever running throughout it as Clark growls and screams the lines of the song. “Krokodil” will become a staple for every St. Vincent live performance. Now, will you head bang with me?

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Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Father John Misty is singer songwriter J. Tillman who used to be the drummer for Fleet Foxes. He has recorded several solo albums but his newest album Fear Fun has his best production and sound yet. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” is the first single to have a music video from his new album. It’s a pretty crazy video which features actress Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation). The song really jumped out at me when I first heard it. The heavy hitting drums make this an aggressive song. It’s a brooding rock song in which Tillman sings the memorable lyrics, “We should let this dead guy sleep!”. If you like Fleet Foxes, Bob Dylan, and classic rock music you’ll probably enjoy this song and Father John Misty’s new album.

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