31 Passion Pit – Gossamer
Passion Pit’s cheery electropop put a smile on my face this year. Thanks guys!
FT: I’ll Be Allright.
32 The XX – Coexist
Everybody seem to agree that this is not XX at their very best. There is no Crystalized or Islands here but it doesn’t mean Coexist is not gripping either. It is. The question is, if this was their first album, would we rate it higher than we do now or would they get lost in the indie pack?
FT: Swept Away
33 Crystal Castles – III
I watched the Canadian duo last Saturday at Brixton O2 and was left speechless after the show. It was a magnetic, crazy affair. In the world of Lanas, Katys and Nickis, Alice Glass is a breath of fresh air. So is III.
34 Ms Mr – Candy Bar Creep Show EP
35 Trailer Trash Tracys – Ester
A friend had e-mailed their song Candy Girl a couple of months back and had said that he could not stop listening to this band. For good reason. The album is not a masterpiece but you get lost in their dreamy songs.
FT: Candy Girl
36 Silversun Pickups – Neck of the Woods
I have been a HUGE fan of this band amid questions of what I see in them. When they are closest to shoegaze, they are one of the most unique rock bands in the world to me. However, in their own standards, this is a disappointing third album. You won’t like Neck of the Woods if you don’t like their earlier stuff. But to a girl who thinks the first two albums are masterpieces, it will make do.
FT: Skin Graph
37 Beach House – Bloom
It is a plain beautiful record. The only thing is, too much of a beautiful thing can get boring after a while.
38 Tall Ships – Everything Touching
39 Ultraista – Ultraista
Maybe it’s the fact that this is the project of Nigel Godrich that made me listen to it over and over. Although Ultraista is not extraordinary, I’m very drawn to Laura Bettinson’s vocals floating over their effortless electro.
FT: Small Talk
40 Paul Banks – Banks
He did ok. He could do better. This is one of those rare occasions that I can’t help but agree with Pitchfork. Banks sounds best when he’s closest to Interpol.
FT: The Base
41 Simian Mobile Disco – Unpatterns
We have seen stronger disco albums this year but SMD’s Unpatterns is a worthy alternative.
42 Miike Snow – Happy to You
FT: Bavarian no 1
43 The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
The kings of darkness who put you in a mood that only God knows what can take you out of. I wish it was sans l’accent though…
44 Efterklang – Piramida
45 Stubborn Heart – Stubborn Heart
FT: Starting Block
46 CFCF – Exercises
47 Ben Howard – Every Kingdom
I can’t believe I have a folk record on the list. Yet I couldn’t stay immune to Howard’s melodies. Beautiful record from the young musician.
48 Dead Can Dance – Anastasis
49 Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
This is not the kind of record that I’d usualy like but the slower tracks are really irresistibly depressive. I pass the more up-tempo numbers.
50 Emeralds – Just to Feel Anything
More Best Ofs…
Best Album Sleeve
Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man
When I first saw this album cover, I was actually repelled by it. However, after close inspection, it’s not distasteful as far as nudity goes. And most importantly, I feel like it sums up today’s relationships extremely well, where women are the new men.
Worst Album Sleeve
Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
Best Album Title
Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
On many occasions this year, I thought what a great album title this was. Applies to my life quite a lot. Brilliant.
Worst Album Title
Paul Banks – Banks
Very original Mr. Banks. I understand the message he’s trying to give. That it’s really, truly him this time and this is as intimate as we can get with this uber-talented musician. However, it is very boring and lacks the creative genius of his lyric writing. Just writing Banks on the cover does not save it either.
The Vaccines – The Vaccines Come of Age
I wish they didn’t…They were at the top of my list last year. I think they rushed this one a bit since it clearly lacks the wit of their brilliant debut. Fingers crossed for the third one.
Best Live Shows
I have some more shows to go to until the end of 2012, but as of today, here are the shows that blew me away.
1 Orbital – Brixton O2
2 Crystal Castles – Brixton O2
3 M83 – Primavera
4 Pulp – Efes One Love
5 DIIV – The Garage
6 The Maccabees – Alexandra
7 Tom Vek – The Garage
8 Radiohead – The O2
9 Grizzly Bear – Pitchfork
10 Swiss Lips – The Union
11 Kings of Convenience – Babylon
12 Breton – Scala
13 John Talabot – Pitchfork
14 Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Shepherd’s Bush
15 Blur – Hyde Park