concrete_opinions_best_of_2012

Here you go, my top 10 albums of 2012.  I went back and forth on this up until the last minute.  But alas, there’s no going back now.  My picks are official and floating around the world wide web for everyone to scrutinize.  And speaking of scrutiny, I would love some feedback.  Do you agree/disagree with my picks?  What were your favorites this year?  Heck, what were your least favorites?  Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going.

[p.s. see how my final top 10 compared to my favorites back in June and July]

 

10. Sigur Rós//Valtari

sigur_ros_valtari

Scratched them off my concert bucket list this year and totally lived up to my expectations.  I have no idea what Jonsi and company are singing about and I really don’t care.  Beautiful music is beautiful music.  Period.

Sigur Ros - Ekki múkk
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9. Sleigh Bells//Reign of Terror

sleigh_bells_reign_of_terror

I can’t get enough of this duo.  My favorite driving music.  Turn it up, roll down the windows, drive fast.  Noise pop at it’s best.

Sleigh Bells – Crush
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8. Exitmusic//Passage

exitmusic_passage

An amazing and emotionally charged record that I seem to enjoy more with every listen.  If Beach House were to team up with Sigur Rós, I imagine it would sound like this.

Exitmusic – White Noise [from Passage]
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7. Blackbird Blackbird//Boracay Planet

blackbird_blackbird_boracay_planet

If you haven’t already, you need to give Blackbird Blackbird a proper listen.  This guy is amazing and he just keeps getting better.  Boracay Planet is his best yet.

Blackbird Blackbird – It’s A War [from Boracay Planet]
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6. Kishi Bashi//151a

kishi_bashi_151a

This record makes me happy.  Smart lyrics, beautiful vocals, imaginative arrangements, and quite the impressive violin work.  Kishi Bashi’s debut album 151a is all of these things and more.  Kishi Bashi is my favorite new artist of 2012 and it’s no surprise he’s on so many year end lists.

Kishi Bashi – Bright Whites
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5. Crystal Castles//Crystal Castles (III)

crystal_castles_III

My favorite Crystal Castles release to date.  With every new track the Canadian experimental/electronic duo dropped, the more and more my excitement and anticipation grew.

Crystal Castles – Wrath of God
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4. Lost In The Trees//A Church That Fits Your Needs

lost_in_the_trees_church_that_fits_needs

One of the most personal, and beautiful, records i’ve fallen in love with (probably since The Antlers’ Hospice in 2009).  Lead singer/guitarist based the record largely around his mother’s suicide, stating that — “I wanted to give my mother a space to become all the things I think she deserved to be and wanted to be, and all the beautiful things in her that didn’t quite shine while she was alive.”

Lost In The Trees – Golden Eyelids
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3. Porcelain Raft//Strange Weekend

porcelain_raft_strange_weekend

Mauro Remiddi, as Porcelain Raft, has crafted a dreamy and visceral sound unlike no other.  One of the most impressive debut albums since The xx’s xx in 2009.

Porcelain Raft – Drifting In And Out
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2. Beach House//Bloom

beach_house_bloom

Baltimore’s Beach House continue to set a high standard for dream pop with each and every release.  This year’s Bloom might be their best yet.  It’s definitely my personal favorite from the duo.

Beach House – On the Sea
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1. The xx//Coexist

The_xx_coexist_cover

Easily my favorite album of the year.  Totally exceeded my expectations.  Like their debut, I can listen to this record, from start to finish, over and over again.

The xx – Try
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