Amoeba.com’s growing free downloads section had a ton of great stuff this year. Here are some highlights.
Sufjan Stevens – “Justice Delivers Its Death”
This delicate ballad comes from Sufjan Stevens’ latest Christmas opus, Silver & Gold, Songs for Christmas, though its delicate beauty would fit on any of Stevens’ early, more acoustic releases.
Pissed Jeans – “Bathroom Laughter”
Pennsylvania punks Pissed Jeans’ latest album, Honeys, is due Feb. 12 on Sub Pop. The first taste from the album is a ferocious blast, with singer Matt Korvette scream-talking lyrics quickly as the band bashes out two-and-a-half minutes of hardcore bliss.
Tame Impala – “Elephant” (Canyons Wooly Mammoth remix)
If you’ve listened to Lonerism endlessly like me, it’s a revelation to hear this remix of lead single “Elephant,” transforming it into a kind of psychedelic house track.
Buy the album (Lonerism)
Divine Fits – “Would That Not Be Nice” (RJD2 Remix)
“Would That Not Be Nice,” the verbose Beach Boys wordplay tying into the band’s skittery dance-pop, was a highlight from year-end list contender A Thing Called Divine Fits. This RJD2 remix makes it a great addition to either your dance floor or chill out mix.
Buy the album (A Thing Called Divine Fits)
Memory Tapes – “Sheila”
The Supertramp-ish “Sheila” is one of the better tracks on the recently released Grace/Confusion.
Buy the album (Grace/Confusion)
Louis Armstrong with Jimmy Bertrand’s Washboard Wizards – “I’m Goin’ Huntin’”
Hear a sample of the remastering work Amoeba has done with Louis Armstrong’s early catalog. Read more about the remastering here, and check out more rare digitized vinyl downloads in our Vinyl Vaults section.
Clinic – “Miss You” (Peaking Lights remix)
This bleak little tune brings together two artists who released great albums in 2012, the irascible Liverpudlians Clinic, who released the darkly laid-back Free Reign, and indie dup-pop band Peaking Lights, whose Lucifer is a silky, trippy affair. No surprise how well the bands’ aesthetics unite here.
Buy the albums:
Clinic – Free Reign
Peaking Lights – Lucifer
How to destroy angels_ – “Ice Age” (The Soft Moon Remix)
Oakland-based one-man goth band The Soft Moon (aka Luis Vasquez) has remixed the song “Ice Age” from How to destroy angels_’ An Omen EP, transforming the track into something closer to classic Nine Inch Nails.
Buy the album (An Omen EP)
Chelsea Wolfe – “The Way We Used To”
My favorite song from Chelsea Wolfe’s excellent Unknown Rooms album, which popped up in my top albums of 2012 list. Download this haunting track; if you like it, you’ll dig the rest of the record.
Daughn Gibson – “Reach Into the Fire”
The first taste of new Daughn Gibson after his fine 2012 album All Hell is brighter than the moonlit sounds of that album. Maintaining the country sampling style he debuted on All Hell, he amps it up with a synthy beat and a more pop-driven, Ian Curtis-esque vocal. All Hell made it onto Amoeblogger Aaron Detroit's best of 2012 list; check out his list here.
Buy the album (All Hell)
Sic Alps – “Glyphs”
“Glyphs” is the prickly single from Sic Alps’ sick self-titled psych disc, released this year. Read my interview with Sic Alps’ Mike Donovan here.
Allah-Las – “Busman’s Holiday”
Moon Duo – “Sleepwalker”
Moon Duo’s gnarly krautrock is as nasty as it is intoxicating. “Sleepwalker” comes from the fine Circles, released this year.
Wild Nothing – “Paradise”
The best song on Wild Nothing’s gorgeous Nocturne is ethereal dream-pop of the finest order.
The Sea and Cake – “Harps”
Sam Prekop writes pretty synth ditties that the rest of his band helps transform into fully formed indie pop songs. Here a sterling example with “Harps,” from 2012’s Runner. Read my interview with Prekop here.
Black Marble – “A Great Design”
The title says it all — darkwave enthusiasts Black Marble create a beautiful synth soundscape on “A Great Design.” It’s culled from their 2012 album A Different Arrangement, which slotted a spot on Amoeblogger Brad Schelden’s top albums of 2012 list.
Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”
Critics have touted Dum Dum Girls’ latest EP as their finest release yet. I don’t agree, I think both of their full-length albums are vastly underrated, but I’m glad the End of Daze EP got the Girls more much-deserved attention. Hear the “Crimson and Clover”-style reverb grandeur of “Lord Knows.”
Redd Kross – “Researching the Blues” (Live at Amoeba)
The return of Red Kross was one of the nicest music stories of 2012. The band’s set at Amoeba Hollywood practically tore the roof off, and their Researching the Blues album was a punk-fueled power-pop treat. The band were nice enough to mix a performance of this song at Amoeba as well, though you’ll have to pay for that one (listen/buy here). Read my interview with Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald here. Watch the performance here.
A Place to Bury Strangers – “You Are the One”
Brad Schelden liked this album a bit more than I did, but I still love me some APTBS. Here’s one of the best tracks from Worship, the ecstatically noisy, groovy “You Are the One.”
The Magnetic Fields – “Andrew in Drag”
I have a love/hate relationship with The Magnetic Fields’ campier songs, but this one wins because of its gorgeous melody. It’s on 2012’s Love at the Bottom of the Sea.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, catch ’em all, you Pokemon master you, at our free downloads section. And check back often, as it's updated regularly.