10. Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship
Love and life songs shattered with power and demise, Here We Go Magic tinges the nerves with hooks and indistinct sampling that can only be described as magic.
9. Chromatics – Kill For Love
An album as immersive as this seems completely too much to write one or two sentences about. This is a whole world Chromatics have built and you are the sole resident wavering and wandering through it all.
8. Tame Impala – Lonerism
Psychedelia and pop have never harmonized so well. This is an album that finds all the right influences and gains accessibility because of it. The fifty year old critic from Britain to your really ‘cool’ dad is gushing about how neat this album sounds. It’s more than true, and the ‘cool’ thing about it is that the music created by Tame Impala, hardly gives any sort of vibe of giving a shit what any of us think.
7. Port St. Willow – Holiday
‘Holiday’ is a lush intricate record of textures that takes the mind and warps it every which way. Hard to fathom, but this is the work of a singular man who loops, sings and performs every aspect and instrument on this debut.
6. Beach House – Bloom
Stunning and gorgeous, Beach House continues to create top-tier songs that knit together an album that truly blooms the more you listen.
5. Purity Ring – Shrines
Shrines is a magnificent piece of work melding all the right elements of melodies, atmosphere, and production creating a world to explore that will engulf your senses. Lyrical content that is grotesque and completely consuming, is just the tip of the iceberg here. An entire album built around singular idea of mysticism and electronic elegance.
4. Jessie Ware – Devotion
Jessie Ware’s affinity for cultivating an entire aura around 80’s smooth pop, is absolutely breathtaking. Calm and confident, Ware takes those cues and petulantly shows that she isn’t just a gawker towards those who defined that genre but completely stands on her own as the most affecting and pure voice of 2012.
3. Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory
More than just themes of angst, regret or reflection, ‘Attack On Memory’ is an opus that encompasses a 90’s flourishing grunge scene. Throaty vocals, wide spaces open for melodic guitar work, and a sense of feeling truly alive drives this LP into a category inaccessible by most.
2. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…
Emotional as ever, this seven-year-in-the-making release sees Apple reviving her fundamental baroque vocaling into an absolutely chilling record. This is Fiona gritting her teeth and unleashing everything she’s got to fill each void with an enticing assault of passion. While you’re rooting for her to keep going, ‘The Idler Wheel’ knows how to leave all the right measures and instrumental gaps to their own merit, letting you ponder how you are supposed to process such raw talent and self-reflection.
1. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Literally starting and ending with fireworks, this is an album of anthems that sheds goosebumps and tears. Anthem rock n roll was created and believed in because of albums like this. Japandroids have managed to get the best of you. The sheer energy pouring from this record is astounding. When that last firework ceases, only then does the illumination begin to dim; letting the listener ‘understand’ and ponder what life holds next for them.