2012: The Year in Review… kinda.

Okay, so it’s at the very end of the year and I just created the playlist that I do every year cataloging my favourite songs and bands in 365 days.  Usually I have a really good pick of my favourite albums of the year and like to do a little review of them incase no one has heard of the band and help promote them a little.

This year there wasn’t a huge list of definitive albums and it was hard to come up with my favourites.  I have a list of five albums that I really took to this year but I’m not gonna do a big review or anything, maybe just say a few words about why I liked them.

It’s weird but my favourite albums this year were actually of bands that albums came out prior.  So I would say my top three were Yuck’s self titled album (came out in 2011), Youth Lagoon’s The Year of Hibernation (came out in 2011) and Wavves’ ep, Life Sux (2011).  So all from last year.

I could also add Surfer Blood’s Astrocoast (2010) and Dan Mangan’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice (2009) to the albums I listened to the most.  That’s not to say this year wasn’t great, I just wasn’t as ‘in tune’ with the newest music as I would have liked.
Here are my favourite albums of 2012.

5.  The Vaccines – Come of Age 
This the Vaccines’ sophomore album and it actually took me a good little while to get into it.  I was still hyped on their last record and this wasn’t it.  The songs were good but they didn’t hook me like their debut.  After listening to the CD repeatedly in my car it just clicked and it keep getting more and more awesome every time I listened to it.  So my advice is just keep playing it, because it gets great!  The vibe is upbeat and it just wreaks of good old punk rock anthems.  Great times.

4.  Metric – Synthetica

I pretty much love anything by this band and I may (do) have a crush on Emily Haines but that’s not hard to believe.  Me and Alyssa saw these guys in Montreal this summer at Osheaga and it was amazing!  Granted we were situated at the stage to the left of where they were playing so we didn’t have the greatest view or could hear them as clearly as we would have liked but it was still great to see them play live.  Synthetica is just more Metric in the same vain as Fantasies.  They have moved on from their days of Live it Out and have, in my opinion really found their sound, and it’s still awesome.

3.  Wild Nothing – Nocturne

This band is nothing short of fantastic!  This is their second record coming after their ep titled, Golden Haze which was really cool (the title track is brilliant).  Their sound is ambiant and it almost vibrates through you.  I can compare it to Youth Lagoon’s The Year in Hibernation because of the similar way the sounds echo through each track.  It is a perfect record to do homework to.  I love listening to it when I draw… whenever I get around to drawing anyway.  Give ‘er a listen!

2.  Japandroids – Celebration Rock

This record is so great on a few different levels.  The first is that it is simply super fun to listen to.  If you are in the mood for some fun punk-rock (light on the punk) and ya just wanna feel like a partying teenage kid, then give Celebration Rock a try!  I listen to this record all the time on my comute into school.  As I’m walking through Toronto with this thing playing in my ears I can just imagine being on my skateboard or something and just ripping through the streets.  It just makes me not care about the every day life and it makes me want to kinda let loose and have a few beers.

Celebration Rock is a really cool record for it’s continuity, starting off with fireworks playing in the first track and end the album with the same fireworks.  That’s just something little that I really appreciate with it, and those little touches kinda carry on through it and gives it some roots.  There are so many fun tracks, like the single The House that Heaven Built (which constantly plays on the radio around here) taking charge and representing what this record is all about.

1.  Grizzly Bear – Shields

This album kind of came out of no where for me.  I wasn’t really expecting to like it as much as I did.  I have listened to a few Grizzly Bear records as of late, and I really like them, but they don’t really have a sound that I look for.  Grizzly Bear is definitely weird, and include some extra sounds that aren’t usually present in a lot of mainstream indie-rock these days, and even though I appreciate how they change the genre, I just never really took to that style of music writing.  With Shields I think they started to tone it down a little, maybe bring their sound to more of the mainstream market.  to be honest I haven’t read as much into music as much this year as I have other years (mainly due to laziness) so I don’t have a proper description of what sound they were going for but they have definitely included more pop and hooks into their writing this time around.

Shields has something for everyone.  It still has the Grizzly Bear signature weirdness but it also has those really catchy tunes that make ya wanna jump around!  The change from their previous stuff into my definition of ‘mainstream’  is why I made Shields my favourite record of 2012.  It surprised me in a way that I didn’t expect and I love the difference from one track all the way to the conclusion of the album.

Anyways these are my picks for this year, and if you check out this blog there is not reason why you can’t check out these bands! They aren’t exactly ‘underground’ but you may find something you haven’t heard before.

I shall be posting my playlist on 8tracks (a fantastic playlist website) and then embedding them over here so you can check out a few tunes right on ma blog.  This year has been a crazy one, and I hope to be doing a little update on my life in a little, but for now… enjoy some excellent music!



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