Top Albums of 2012 So Far

Posted by Billy Gil, June 28, 2012 05:27pm | Post a Comment
It’s that time of year again — time for best of music lists. No, it’s not December yet, but I don’t care. It’s Thursday and I want to make a list. Pick up all of these if you haven’t yet.
beach house bloom
1. Beach House - Bloom
Song for song, Beach House’s Bloom is the most consistently great album that’s been released this year. The band sounds more energized than ever, grasping the pop brass ring with songs like “Lazuli” and “Other People” that match hookiness for sheer beauty. If Beach House are this generation’s Cocteau Twins, this is their Heaven or Las Vegas.

fiona apple the idler wheel
2. Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel
Fiona Apple is no less mad or maddening than before on The Idler Wheel…, but her venomous lyrics have a new sting, her vocals are more accomplished than ever, and her arrangements are as bravely tangled and unafraid of ugliness as her lyrical content.

Death Grips The Money Store
3. Death GripsThe Money Store
A relentless noise assault against all things staid, boring, tucked-in, Death Grips laugh in the face of hip-hop, post-punk, dubstep or any other describer you could lob at them. Nothing fits and nothing should with something this wild and individualistic.

Grimes Visions
4. GrimesVisions
Visions is easily the best Pop with a capital P album of the year, but Grimes is way too weird and intriguing to be written off as just this year’s indie pop starlet. With a couple of albums already under her belt, Visions still seems like just the tip of the iceberg for what Claire Boucher will continue delivering. She dares to be grating and inscrutable (the fucking insane “Eight”) while still widely appealing on catchy club-friendly tracks like “Genesis,” “Oblivion” and majestic goth showcase “Nightmusic.”

ty segall slaughterhouse
5. Ty SegallSlaughterhouse
How does something that’s been out for two days make this list? It’s that ferocious, just a pure blast of sludgy rock, wicked riffs and Segall’s melodic songwriting chops.


6. ChromaticsKill For Love
On an almost overwhelmingly massive album, Chromatics don’t make things easy with Kill For Love. Unlike their friendlier labelmates Glass Candy, their catchiest songs are buried amongst extended Dario Argento soundtrack-style jams, and even then they’re delivered with such a cool demeanor, you’re the one who has to reach out to connect to these songs. Thank God, cause Kill For Love’s nighttime mystique and seedy club jams keep me coming back and uncovering something new every time.


Lotus Plaza Spooky Action at a Distance
7. Lotus PlazaSpooky Action at a Distance
The second release from Lotus Plaza is a bit of a coming-out party for Deerhunter’s Lockett Pundt, often relegated to righthand man to Brandon Cox. Spooky Action’s gauzy, sun stroke pop proves beyond a doubt that Pundt is crucial to the sound and success of that band, and that in addition to being a remarkable guitar player, Pundt is an exceptionally strong (if somewhat shy) songwriter and performer in his own right.

Killer Mike RAP Music
8. Killer MikeR.A.P. Music
Probably like a lot of people, the first thing that grabbed me about R.A.P. Music were its catchy Southern rap tracks like “Go!” and “Southern Fried,” but the astute social and political commentary buried within his wordplay are just as remarkable as all the fast rhymes and cool weird sounds — see “Reagan” and “Ghetto Gospel.”

Japandroids Celebration Rock
9. JapandroidsCelebration Rock
Like the Replacements before them, Japandroids’ scuzzy, screamy rock ‘n’ roll has a big old beating heart underneath the din, not to mention hooks for days. This album and the Ty Segall one just make me want to shotgun a beer and smash it to my forehead.

lower dens nootropics
10. Lower Dens - Nootropics
Jana Hunter’s husky, powerful vocals soar and dive through extended guitar soundscapes. It’s layered and murky, yet Hunter makes the emotional heft of songs like “Propagation” feel like a sucker punch.

What are your favorites of the year so far????????????????

Relevant Tags

Top Albums Of The Year (1), Top Albums Or 2012 (1), Best Of 2012 (31), Beach House (27), Fiona Apple (10), Death Grips (20), Chromatics (12), Grimes (29), Lotus Plaza (2), Killer Mike (13), Ty Segall (40), Lower Dens (7), Japandroids (5)