Boogie Staff Picks: The Year in Music [2012]

Posted on: December 19th, 2012 at 11:24 am by

[Alabama Shakes, December 2011]

Here’s a list of our staff picks for best albums of 2012. Don’t see your choice records of the year?  What was your favorite release?

ELIE’S PICKS

1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
Awesome northwest hip-hop with killer melodies and lots of social commentary. Plenty of parallels to Atmosphere.

2. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Fell in love with this outfit after hearing breakout hit, “Hold On.” Seeing them in the now-defunct Lakeside Lounge a year ago solidified our affair.

3. Line and Circle - Roman Ruins/Carelessness
Who gives a shit if the LA-based outfit only has two tracks released. Insta-classics in our book. Their sound is as if the Church, the Cure, and Smiths had a musical threesome.

4. Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
Its grit-scratchy tracks (a la Kurt) will have you head-banging while humming. You might even feel yourself getting a sore throat just listening to the sandpapery delivery. Check out “Stay Useless.”

5. Perks of Being a Wallflower – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
When the book came out in the late 1990s it quickly became a personal favorite. We could say the same for the soundtrack. The collection of generation-spanning “alternative” tracks is enough to sate hipsters and Gen-Xers alike.

6. Lana del Rey - Born To Die
Beneath all the bullshit blogger backlash and authenticity issues is an album replete with great songwriting. Still can’t get enough of “Diet Mountain Dew.”

7. The Lumineers - The Lumineers
Their name evokes something out of a Stephen King novel, but the music could never score the soundtrack to that movie. This record is a welcome companion and reminds us of another favorite band, Delta Spirit.

8. Soundgarden – King Animal
Grandfather grunge is back in the house. Cornell and company still flex the music muscle, and it sounds almost like you’d imagined.

9. Grimes – Visions
Impressive that the Canadian-born musician recorded and mixed this third studio album using Apple’s Garage Band software. The result is a fresh aural collage worthy of multiple listens.

10. Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal
To be honest, the first time we heard this Icelandic collective, it sounded exactly much like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. But they say imitation is the sincerest version of flattery, right? It’s easy listening and worth your ear.  In fact you’ve probably already heard “Little Talks” a zillion times.

HOLLY’S PICKS

1. The xx – Coexist
The hottest album in 2012, Coexist is sultry and magnetic. The music is stripped down and haunting, and the lyrics austere in their pining.

2. Line & Circle – Roman Ruins/Carelessness
Sure it’s a single, but better than most of what we’ve heard this year. Difficult to describe, but impossible to forget, “Roman Ruins” has pretty much been in our daily rotation, since we first heard it. Listen to it right now.

3. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
The Lumineers are everywhere now with “Ho Hey,” which is great because I am no longer limited to hearing it on my ipod. I hear it at the grocery store, the dentist, Top 40, in Barnes & Noble, on ABC Family – and while my obnoxious indie music loving heart is usually so quick to dismiss something of this caliber, I cannot. I love this song so much and will listen to it at every opportunity presented. More importantly, I hope this wildfire of a single causes people to buy the album, because it really stands on its own. It’s smooth, but with just enough jagged edges to keep you listening.

4. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The Heist
An album full of earworms, The Heist is witty, inspirational, modern, hip hop at it’s finest. It sets the bar for rapping about diverse themes in a manner that is more clever than it is brash.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The best soundtrack we’ve heard since Garden State, as we mentioned here.

6. Dry the River – New Ceremony
This is what happens with you combine the finer points of folk with an intense dedication to emotion, in the truest sense of the word. The tracks are intriguing with their obscure literary references, and their passion resonates with the swell of every one. To regard it as somewhat of a religious experience would not be an embellishment.

7. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
It’s loud, it’s imploring, it’s fuzzy, it’s full of angst. It’s indie rock that isn’t too cool for school.

8. The Vaccines – Come of Age
A fast paced, oldie-inspired british rock album. The hooks lean towards the harmonious side, making it both unassuming and really fun to listen to.

9. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Del Rey’s soundscapes are as lush and expansive as her vocals. It’s 49 minutes of temptation and heartache – a vintage feel to suit modern tolerances.

10. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
The most unique album I’ve heard all year. It’s as elusive as the band itself. It’s moody, chalk full of innuendo, and the beats juxtapose the electronica perfectly.

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