Boogie Staff Picks: The Year in Music [2012]

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

BENJY’S PICKS

1. Dr Dog – Be The Void
The Philadelphia retro-psych band churned out yet another solid record with a set of well crafted melodies, but this time they moved slightly beyond their regular lo-fi work and opted for heavier studio production. Despite more complex instrumentation and some very serious lyrics this time around, their boundless energy and 1960s inspired runaway guitar soloing showed us that one of America’s hardest working bands are finding success by sticking to what drew fans to them in the first place: their authentic attachment to the spirit of energetic old-school classic rock.

2. Annie Clark (St. Vincent) + David Byrne – Love This Giant
This pairing seemed like a perfect fit from the very beginning: a musician known for pushing boundaries in experimental funk and new wave, plus a history of collaboration within the Indie scene… and wait is that also David Byrne?! The Talking Heads legend worked with Clark on wonderfully strange horn arrangements to accompany an outrageously funky duo of guitar shredders that is indescribable in its uniqueness – which sounds exactly like something David Byrne would be behind.

3. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes- Here
The hippie troupe with more members than you can keep track of made sure to follow up their sometimes-underwhelming debut album Up From Below with an effort that goes beyond catchy pop jingles for commercials. Here we have another mellow 1960’s throwback with relaxing folk and gospel influences abound.

4. Black Girls – Hell Dragon
The Richmond, VA band has an incredibly unique sound, but their blend of Flaming Lips-meets-Fleetwood Mac-meets-My Morning Jacket psychedelic rock makes for a supremely listenable album from start to finish. Hell Dragon is just the beginning for this band on the rise.

5. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Odd Future’s resident sexy-voice-guy evolves from laying down show stealing cameo appearances for rap royalty to crafting his own R&B masterpiece. Channel Orange, his second album, is loaded with excellent neo-soul music featuring powerful heartfelt lyrics.

6. Trey Anastasio – Traveler
The Phish guitarist and venerable jedi may have shocked a few people with his decision to veer far from his jam-band comfort zone to record with members of various indie bands (Bon Iver, Mates of State, The National), but Trey showed why he is so well respected for his immense musical versatility. As indie collaborations go, it was a solid mixture of jams featuring punchy funk loops as well as some extra-mellowed pop, but for some fans (including this one) it was divine.

7. New Mastersounds – Out on the Faultline
The 8th studio album from this British jazz/funk quartet ups the ante from their previous album where they decided to focus on songs with lyrics as opposed to their trademark wordless jams. This album features a slew of cameo appearances, mostly horns, which add a new dynamic sound on top of their typical fast-paced funking.

8. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
Fiona’s first Album in 7 years is twisted dark and bleak; not even an arrest for pot possession could detract from her mystique.

9. Hospitality – Hospitality
Just a really fun album to listen to. Hospitality’s bright, bouncy jingles attempt to paint the scene of twentysomething big city life, and their vibrant harmonies and clangy cheery guitar infuse that carefree attitude into their music.

10. Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu
Yes! The badass garage-blues revivalist era brings forth yet another TV licensor’s dream, this time in Gary Clark Jr’s sophomore album. Clark’s vocal skills are on par with his guitar chops (downright ridiculous) and his live show is phenomenal.

ALLISON’S PICKS

1. Nas – Life is Good

2. Marley – Original Soundtrack

3. Mumford & Sons – Babel

4. Various Artists – Reggae Gold 2012

5. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – The Lion The Beast The Beat

6. Stephen Marley – Revelation Part 1 – The Root of Life

7. Various Artists – Relix Magazine CD Sampler January, February 2012

8. Wu-Tang Clan & D-Block – Wu-Block

9. Murs and 9th Wonder – The Final Adventure

10. Warren Haynes – Live at the Moody Theater

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