50. The Amazing – Gentle Stream
Lulling folk riffs and extravagant imagery bring back a Laurel Canyon influenced album that focuses on detail and traditional 60’s symphonics.
49. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
These two Swedish sisters certainly kickstarted the trend of 2012’s acceptance of pop-folk; paving the way for multiple other musical success stories that overshadowed how great this release is. Innocent pure talent is still deserving without any gimmicks and First Aid Kit showcases that appropriately.
48. Daphni – Jiaolong
A secondary project of Daniel Victor Snaith (who also makes music as Caribou), Daphni sparks interest in what dubstep was built from: traditional club music. “Jiaolong” has such a free-flowing vibe that it gives the listener a true hope in an electronic revival that doesn’t need glitchy computer sounds or bass drops to succeed.
47. Liars – WIXIW
“WIXIW” was truly a montage of Radiohead influences with classic post-rock ambition. Liars cultivated an album this year that was off the beaten path just enough to keep a listener guessing at what was next while getting the approval that keeps the volume knob creeping higher and higher after each repeated listen.
46. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Any content spurred from the parent web of Fleet Foxes is going to garner some attention. Nobody expected J. Tillman to come forth with an alter ego of swagger and story telling though. Pushing an envelope that wasn’t necessary in Fleet Foxes, Tillman looked like he was genuinely having a blast with ‘Fear Fun’ .
45. DIIV – Oshin
While the sweeping currents of guitar-work here are prominent, DIIV successfully made an album that truly made the seas stand still. DIIV’s echoing distant vocals drove this album that works like a perfect soundtrack to any subconscious examination.
44. THEESatisfaction – awE NaturalE
Revival of 90’s RnB and hip-hop philosophies were prominent this year. THEESatisfaction’s debut showed a strong connection with those influences that obviously shaped their upbringings. Strong lyrical rapping and flow, with the correct touch of melody was exactly the strengths this Seattle duo brought to the table, furthering Sub Pop’s emergence as more than just another ‘surviving’ label of the past.
43. Django Django – S/T
Weird British Art Rock that really couldn’t be described more than that. With catchy melodies and awkward choruses, Django Django gets your attention effortlessly. Every song invokes a foot clap and a self-involved show-tune commercial in your head, and the world seems like a brighter place because of it.
42. Woods – Bend Beyond
Even though these guys have been churning out records at least once a year, somehow each release gets better and more refined even though you thought it not possible. “Bend Beyond” showcases the care and seriousness in which Woods takes with every effort. This is the collective you want around your campfire and life in general. With them in tow, what could go wrong?
41. Angel Haze – Reservation
For a first mixtape to start out her budding career, “Reservation” is a real punch to the throat. Cocky, loud, and smart as all hell, Angel Haze is taking the reins with a fierceness right out the gate. A flow reminescent of ol’ Busta Rhymes and melodic beat mixtures like late Aaliyah/Timberland collaborations, Haze is sure to impress on her debut in 2013.