1. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
2. Willy Mason – Carry On
3. Lucius – Wildewoman
4. The Lone Bellow – The Lone Bellow
5. Laura Marling Once I Was An Eagle
6. Paul McCartney – New
7. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get…
8. The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars
9. The Milk Carton Kids – The Ash & Clay
10. The Head And The Heart – Let’s Be Still
These were my favorites of a really solid year of music! It was tough to pick this top 10.
Vampire Weekend in the #1 spot is likely no surprise to you if you know me or read this blog. To me, there was no competition there. If you haven’t heard Modern Vampires of the City, try sitting down for a listen sometime, with an open mind. It saddens me that hype or reputation can sometimes turn people off of a band altogether, without a single note of the music being heard.
A big huge THANK YOU to everyone who reads this blog, leaves comments, likes posts, etc.
I really appreciate you! I hope I helped you discover something new in 2013…here’s to another year of great music!
Happy New Year!
I like some pop music, and for me, John Mayer’s pop sound has just gotten better and better with each new album. It’s hard for me to know where exactly Paradise Valley will land on my year-end “best of” list, but I know with singles like “Wildfire” and “Paper Doll”, it’s going to be on there somewhere.
Here are some artists/albums/songs that grabbed my attention in 2012, but didn’t quite make my Top 10 list…
First, my 5 favorite singles of 2012:
The Shins – “Simple Song”
Michael Kiwanuka – “I’m Getting Ready”
Ben Taylor – “Oh Brother”
Norah Jones – “Happy Pills”
Willie & Lukas Nelson – “Just Breathe”
And some other music I really enjoyed…
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
Two of my favorite artists got together to put out a very creative and experimental album in 2012:
Charlie Mars – “Let The Meter Run”
This contagiously feel good song was my earworm for a while:
Dr. John – Locked Down
This album, produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, is pretty dynamite. Here’s “Revolution”:
Dave Matthews Band – Away From The World
I liked a lot of what I heard from the new Dave Matthews Band album, especially this single:
Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
I pretty much love anything Regina Spektor does, and her 2012 album has a wide range of solid songs on it…just check out how different the these two tracks are (both have gorgeous music videos!):
Jesse Harris – Sub Rosa
This album has a wonderfully relaxing vibe to it…I think Jesse Harris has a Donovan/Nick Drake feel:
Andrew Bird – “Danse Caribe”
Far and away my favorite track on Andrew Bird’s 2012 release, Break It Yourself:
I’m sure I’ll think of more, but this, along with my Top Ten list, pretty much wraps up favorite music of 2012! Thanks so much for reading and listening…here’s to a lot more great music in 2013!
There was a ton of great music this year, but as I mentioned before, I wasn’t as adventurous musically as I have been in the past. I decided to keep the list short, and these 10 albums were clear standouts. I can think of some other artists/songs/albums that did catch my attention this year, so I’ll talk close calls later this week…
1. Dr. Dog – Be the Void
2. Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls
3. Bahamas – Barchords
4. Mumford & Sons – Babel
5. Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
6. The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
7. John Mayer – Born and Raised
8. JD McPherson – Signs and Signifiers
9. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…
10. Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind
Happy New Year!
Be the Void
As I post my 10 favorite albums of 2012, I want to talk about my #1! I will say, the #2 album is a VERY close second…and they were both acts I saw live in concert this year. I’ve been a big fan of Dr. Dog since college, but finally seeing them live really changed the game! These guys have so much energy on stage and somehow their harmonies come off brilliantly in the live setting. Honestly they’re close to the top of my list for my favorite live acts ever.
The contagious, feel-good vibes of Dr. Dog’s music don’t seem to be lost on anyone. I can think of countless times this year when I put on this album in a social setting and people have loved the sound and asked who it was. At the same time, I’ve found that anyone who’s familiar with their music can instantly recognize any song and be psyched to hear it. Be the Void is an outstanding album from one of my favorite bands. Somehow, over the years, Dr. Dog has kept what makes them unique and universally appealing while progressing and evolving…
“Do the Trick”
“That Old Black Hole” [LIVE]
On January 1st, 2012, the year kicked off with one of my favorite releases – Barchords. Afie Jurvanen is Bahamas and he’s by far my favorite musical discovery of the year. This Canadian musician has previously worked with Feist and this is his sophomore solo release. The first track, “Lost In The Light” particularly grabs me — the beauty of it still has me completely in awe even after listening hundreds of times (no exaggeration there). Can’t wait to hear more from him…
“Lost In The Light”
“Caught Me Thinking”
“Ok Alright I’m Alive”
Signs and Signifiers
I think anyone who has heard one track from this album can tell it’s something special. Over the last few years, MANY artists and bands have gone for the old vintage soul sound, but there’s something about JD McPherson’s debut album that shines a little brighter than the rest. A trio produces the main sounds of this album…that simplicity combined with McPherson’s raw vocal stylings make a dynamite sound. Vintage equipment recorded on quarter-inch tape create an authentic throwback vibe. Definitely one of my favorite releases this year!
“North Side Gal”
“Signs and Signifiers” [LIVE]
Amos Lee – Mission Bell
I have mixed feelings about this album…similar to the feelings I have for the Wilco album. I love Amos Lee’s music, especially his voice, and I really love the band Calexico, who back him on this album. I guess I had higher hopes for the collaboration, but there ARE some really great songs on here. I’d say half are extremely strong, especially “El Camino”, “Windows Rolled Down”, “Violin”, and “Flower”, which happen to be the first four tracks. Honestly those four almost carry the rest of the album for me. They’re that good.
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
This year, Helplessness Blues grabbed hold of me and never really let go. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to an album quite so many times without growing tired of it. These songs are filled with moments that make my heart swell, give me goosebumps, and take my breath away. There’s only one other album I’ve heard this year that comes close to the beauty of this one…I’ve yet to decide which will be my top choice…
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
It’s truly hard to believe that John Paul White and Joy Williams have only known each other for a few years. In 2008, they were brought together for a blind songwriting session and they clicked…to say the least! Their debut album, Barton Hollow is brilliant. The songs evoke a range of emotions with their breathtaking harmonies and delicate instrumentation. The chemistry between these two makes them one of my favorite live acts of the year as well…check out their live TV debut on Jay Leno:
The Civil Wars