Favorite Albums of 2012 - Pete

I couldn’t think of a more daunting, yet exciting task than writing a year-end piece for the TOME. These guys listen to so much good music in a year that I couldn’t help but feel a bit under-qualified. I needed to be able to narrow down the few dozen albums from 2012 that I was familiar with and select the few that truly spoke to me. The list went from ten to five after a good deal of over-thinking and stressing out…but here it is: My Top Five Favorite Releases of 2012. Enjoy!

Pete

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05. Animal Collective

Honeycomb  /  Gotham

( Domino )

 

Okay, okay, okay. Not everybody thinks Centipede Hz is up to snuff, I get it. I don’t disagree in some regards, but that is not the point I’ve chosen to make here. In Animal Collective’s more recent past, a pattern has emerged. Take a look at the Strawberry Jam line of releases: first came the "Peacebone" and "Fireworks" singles, then the full-length masterpiece itself, to be followed up by the brilliant Water Curses EP. Merriweather Post Pavillion took on the same 'single, LP, EP' release format. It’s a successful way to build tension outside of the proper album: give the audience a taste of what is ahead, deliver the meat and potatoes, and follow up with a shorter post-script piece. This is exactly why I chose the "Honeycomb / Gotham" single for my number five spot: the tension it created for me while waiting for Centipede Hz. Those were some of the most enjoyable times I had this year, even if the full-length isn’t as mind-blowing as we were all hoping it would be.

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04. Asfandyar Khan

Elsewhere

( Self--Released )

 

I know, I know. Ranking an album that was reviewed by Tome’s very own Ryan H. is shameless, but I really can’t help it. This album is so gorgeous. It is slow and solemn, a mood that reflects much of this year. Tracks like "Sept 29th" and "Austerity Years" are perfect accompaniments to the darkest moments of 2012. Anything else I could say has already been more eloquently stated by Ryan, so read what he had to say here. I will, however, say that I heard this album right around the time that I started writing for Tome again. It was a gorgeous way to be reintroduced to these awesome people.

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03. M. Sage

Into  The  World  /  Long  Peace  2xEP

( Patient  Sounds)

During Goldrush 2012, I sat and watched Matt Sage perform while the audience sat on the floor, reclining. Laid back. I had just bought a copy of this tape straight from the man himself and could not wait to snag the mp3s. It was one of my favorite moments of that awesome festival. Sage is one of the best Colorado musicians for so many reasons. For starters, he runs the Patient Sounds label (tons of awesome stuff to listen to there), performs constantly with various bands/acts and records and releases tons of good music.  As if that wasn’t enough, Matt is a really good guy. These EPs feature a sprawling and beautiful arrays of sampleage, which should already be enough to make you want to listen. If not though, how about this…Side A’s title track features Julian Lynch. This release is incredible. Please check out Patient Sounds and support them; there isn’t an album in their catalog that isn’t worth the money and time. 

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02. The Boats

Ballads  Of  The  Research  Department

( 12K )

This may have been the first 2012 album I heard this year.  What a way to start. Not to mention all of the other amazing material coming out from 12k this year (as always). I was introduced to the label late in the game, but this album is just… fantastic. Fading from ambient bliss into perfectly synched slow-core drenched pop (and back again!), this album always leaves me needing to hear it again. At times I hear the long pregnant pauses of early Do Make Say Think. At others, I hear the sleep medicated drawl of Calla in the lush guitar work. Either way, this album made my list early. And hard.

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01. Lambchop

Mr.  M

( Merge  Records )

 

Ohhh man. I never thought this type of lounge-esque, scotch-drinking, cigarette-jacket-wearing sound would enter my headphones, let alone a Top List (Not to mention NUMBER 1!), but hey, here it is. Lambchop is the type of band you’ve heard of a million times: they’ve released countless albums over the course of a couple decades with as many musicians moving in and out of the group.  This album is, however, a career high. Personally, I was so moved after listening to the instrumental breakdown in opener, "If Not I’ll Just Die," that it became my song of the year immediately. It has a bit of a Cat Stevens feel to it, and I mean that in a spectacular way. If you don’t feel old while listening to this album, you probably aren’t enjoying yourself.

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January 11th, 2013