Notes Are Shattered

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Best of 2012

Three-and-a-half months after the fact isn't too long to wait for a list you don't care about, right?

This list is pretty amorphous. #1 is definitely (probably) better than #55, but it's all sorta subjective. Descriptions are minimal by design because writing too much about music - or any art, really - detracts from said art, I think (and because I'm lazy). I'm not really sure how I feel about my reviews, but meh. They are what they are.

Anyway. These are some of the best albums that came out last year, at least according to my retarded brain. I tried to provide multiple sources to stream/download all the albums (the "Download" links will take you to a .rar file on my own Mediafire account; other links should be self-explanatory).

Enjoy! Gimme some feedback, too, even if you think these albums are all shit.


55. Dean Blunt
The Narcissist II
Abusive, disconnected electrodreampop; flat, weird, and upsetting
Spotify
Download


54. Pentimento
Pentimento
Stupidly emotional pop-punk; tear out your heart and slap it on your sleeve
Bandcamp (stream only)
Official site (free download)


53. Mutilation Rites
Empyrean
Violently shifting atmospheric black metal; like being repeatedly followed and then mugged in the same dark alley by a guy who helps you up each time
Bandcamp (stream only)
Download


52. DIIV
Oshin
Krauty space-rock; zone zone zone focus zone focus zone...zone
Spotify
Download


51. MediaFired
The pathway through Whatever
Echo chamber plunderphonics; seriously, there's a song in there (sometimes even a Backstreet Boys song)
Bandcamp (set-price digital)
Download


50. Swearin'
Swearin'
Low-fi popindiepunk; re-embrace your youth no matter how young you are
Bandcamp (set-price digital)
Spotify
Download


49. Pig Destroyer
Book Burner
Visceral deathgrind; pure sonic and lyrical aggression
Bandcamp (set-price digital/crazy amount of physical formats)
Spotify
Download


48. White Suns
Sinews
NOISEpunk/NOISErock; confrontational structured chaos
Spotify
Download


47. Buildings
Melt. Cry. Sleep.
Angular noisepunk; look, if the cover and album title don't make you want to download it, I don't know what else will
Bandcamp (set-price digital/physical)
Spotify
(no mp3s at the moment - lemme know if you want some and I'll hook it up)


46. Royal Headache
Royal Headache
Motown punk; low-fi, soulful, and catchy
Bandcamp (set-price digital/physical)
Spotify
Download


45. Scott Walker
Bish Bosch
Experimental term-paper rock; whether you "get it" or don't (I'm somewhere in between), definitely worth a listen
Spotify
Download


44. Flavor Crystals
Three
Drony American krautrock; slip into a waking lucid dream
Bandcamp (set-price physical + bonus tracks)
Bandcamp (set-price digital)
Spotify
(also no mp3s at the moment - lemme know if you want some and I'll hook it up)


43. Daughn Gibson
All Hell
Spaced-out electro-country; outlaws, drugs, and samplers
Spotify
Download


42. Frank Ocean
channel ORANGE
R&B for the hipster set (and everyone else, apparently); I don't like R&B and I like this
Spotify
Download


41. Panopticon
Kentucky
Bluegrass-black metal (blue metal? blackgrass?); not really a cohesive amalgamation, still well-played
Bandcamp (pay what you want digital)
Download


40. Lambchop
Mr. M
Distant alt-country; really, don't know what the fuck they talk about
Spotify
Download


39. Bear in Heaven
It's Cool, I Love You
Electronic stonerrockpop; dose dance cry repeat
Spotify
Download


38. JJ DOOM
Key to the Kuffs
Amorphous hip-hop; I don't know which is looser - DOOM's flow or Jarel's beats
Spotify
Download


37. School of Seven Bells
Ghostory
Heartbroken electro-shoegaze; upbeat melodies and distorted guitars to make you sad
Spotify
Download



36. Motion Sickness of Time Travel
Motion Sickness of Time Travel
Interactive ambient drone; drift into the cosmos
Bandcamp (set-price digital)
Spotify
Download


35. The Chariot
One Wing
Spazzy experimental metalcore; more accessible than you think
Spotify
Download


34. Waxahatchee
American Weekend
Low-fi simplistic depressive singer-songwriter; a great album in spite of all those things
Spotify
Download



33. Divine Fits
A Thing Called Divine Fits
FUCK YES POWER POP; a supergroup that actually pays off
Spotify
Download


32. Allo Darlin'
Europe
Twee as fuck; still have a crush on their vocalist
Bandcamp (set-price digital/physical)
Spotify
Download


31. The Mountain Goats
Transcendental Youth
Desperately stripped-down indie rock; smile and cry and love those horns
Spotify
Download


30. Kathleen Edwards
Voyageur
Breakup-hookup indie rockpop; applicable no matter your relationship (or lack thereof)
Spotify
Download


29. Tennis
Young & Old
Semiprecious 60s girl-group indie pop; fuck you, this makes me happy
Spotify
Download


28. Baroness
Yellow & Green
Anthemic stoner rock; smoke up and sing along
Bandcamp (set-price digital/physical)
Spotify
Download


27. Wildernessking
The Writing of Gods in the Sand
Psychedelic uplifting South African black metal; zone out and smile while you rage
Bandcamp (set-price digital/physical)
Download


26. Reubens Accomplice
Sons of Men
Indie emo rock; hard to pin down, easy to feel
Bandcamp (set-price digital)
Spotify
Download


25. Dawnbringer
Into the Lair of the Sun God
Upbeat, melodic heavy metal; punch everything with a smile on your face
Bandcamp (set-price digital/physical)
Spotify
Download


24. fun.
Some Nights
Bombastic pop; ignore the autotune and enjoy the flawless songwriting and self-deprecating lyrics
Spotify
Download


23. Mixtape
Seany Richfield
Next wave of Twin Cities hip-hop; get into this before everyone else catches on
Bandcamp (free download)
Download


22. Guided by Voices
The Bears for Lunch
Seminal indie rock; "Was that a song?" turns into, "That's my jam!"
Spotify
Download


21. The Casket Girls
Sleepwalking
Faded goth-pop; better and more serious than you think it is
Spotify
Download


20. Godspeed You! Black Emperor
'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Post-rock revivalism; why you loved this genre in the first place
Spotify
Download


19. Gaza
No Absolutes in Human Suffering
Post-grindsludgecore; misanthropy as a means of connection
Bandcamp (stream only)
Spotify
Download


18. The Men
Open Your Heart
GARAGE MUSIC; diverse enough to challenge you - pop enough to get stuck in your head
Spotify
Download


17. Japandroids
Celebration Rock
Uplifting noise-pop; scream the "na-na-na"'s with every ounce of your being
Bandcamp (set-price digital/physical)
Spotify
Download


16. Death Grips
The Money Store
Misanthropic avant-industrial punk-hop; go burn everything you love
Third Worlds (official site, stream all albums for free)
Spotify
Download


15. Dinosaur Jr.
I Bet On Sky
Motherfucking indie ROCK; let the music blow you away while you listen to the lyrics
Spotify
Download


14. Is/Is
III
Self-proclaimed "witchgaze"; crank it and let the distortion overtake you
Bandcamp (set-price download/physical)
Spotify
Download


13. Aesop Rock
Skelethon
Lyrically-dense transmorphic hip-hop; focus and let it twist your mind
Spotify
Download


12. mewithoutYou
Ten Stories
Emotive indieposthardcore with a slight Jesus bent; simultaneously soothes and mangles your soul
Spotify
Download


11. Swans
The Seer
Dark minimal-maximal avant-rock; let the depressive psychosis enter your brain
Spotify
Download



10. Tame Impala
Lonerism
Beatlesy psych poprock; escape into your selfish weed coma
Spotify
Download


9. Spiritualized
Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Psychedelic pop gospel; fade away into lovelessness
Spotify
Download


8. Black Moth Super Rainbow
Cobra Juicy
Fuzzy, blissed-out synthesized poprock; melt into your sunchair
Rdio
Spotify (Windshield Smasher single)
Download (includes Psychic Love Damage EP)



7. Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d city
Conceptual progressive west coast hip-hop; listen and tell Rush to go fuck themselves
Spotify
Download


6. Converge
All We Love We Leave Behind
Pummeling mathcore/hardcore punk; breathe deep and destroy your walls
Spotify
Download


5. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Lost Songs
Arty, obscure, socially-conscious punk/indie/alt-rock; punch your steering wheel 'til you feel something
Spotify
Download


4. 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
Experimental bummer piano/alt-rock; exorcise your demons
Spotify
Download


3. Cloud Nothings
Attack On Memory
Self-pitying hardcore/pop-punk; scream it in your car and watch the stares
Spotify
Download

 
2. Crywank
Narcissist On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Megadepressed folk-punk/anti-folk; will save your life if you need it
Bandcamp (pay what you want)
Download


1. Titus Andronicus
Local Business
Nihilistic, self-pitying punk/indie rock; gofuckmyselfandyoutoo
Spotify
Download

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