Best Albums of (75% of) 2012 (So Far)

Updated version of: http://scotty-t.com/2012/06/22/best-albums-of-2012-so-far/

Top 10

fun., Some Nights
Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend
Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan
Beach House, Bloom
Metric, Synthetica
The Walkmen, Heaven
Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball
Matthew Dear, Beams
Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
Father John Misty, Fear Fun
Escort, Escort

The Rest (Bottom 10)

Grizzly Bear, Shields
Strand of Oaks, Dark Shores
Metric, Synthetica
Daughn Gibson, All Hell
White Rabbits, Milk Famous
Silversun Pickups, Neck of the Woods
of Montreal, Paralytic Stalks
Japandroids, Celebration Rock
Craig Finn, Clear Heart Full Eyes
Heartless Bastards, Arrow
Bear in Heaven, I Love You, It’s Cool
Escort, Escort
Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
Beach House, Bloom

Listen To This: “Dark Shores” by Strand of Oaks

Today I did what I occasionally do: downloaded 4 new records, listened to them all in a row, waited to feel something. It happened on the 4th record in: Dark Shores by Strand of Oaks. It sounds unique, while hinting at many other things: Feist’s orchestration, Jim James’ acoustic oeuvre with My Morning Jacket, maybe a light jam session with Sam Beam and Dan Auerbach. It’s just plain good.

It doesn’t take much more than one listen to “Maureen’s” to get the point – but here’s the whole record:

eMusic was way ahead of me / you: eMusic Selects ’10 Alum: Strand of Oaks
Way back in 2009: Who is… Strand of Oaks?

I’m proud that, by creating those custom post types, I had a tiny part in thrusting these stories onto the internets.

Stream “Under African Skies” (Paul Simon / Graceland documentary)

There’s an amazing documentary about the making of Paul Simon’s Graceland called Under African Skies that was released recently, as Graceland was just reissued as a celebration 25 years after its original release.

Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the journey of his Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.

Stream the whole thing for free (!!!):

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/under_african_skies

Here’s a trailer:

Best Albums of 2012 (So Far)

The Best


fun., Some Nights

Unequivocally, my favorite album this year so far. I have listened to it more times than I can count, and I still get goosebumps like it’s Justin Bieber and I’m a 13 year old girl from the Houston suburbs.

If they hadn’t made Aim and Ignite, I think they would be viewed as some mechanized pop creation, but it’s clear Nate Ruess is just a total badass.


Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend

Completely out of nowhere, this record kicked my ass. The “strange weekend” in question is supposedly the one in which the hurricane was supposed to hit NYC in August of 2011, but obviously didn’t. That weekend was my birthday weekend, and I spent Friday night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So did Mauro Remiddi – he had recently moved from Rome via a brief stint in London. COINICIDENCE?


Metric, Synthetica

I was actually getting tired of Metric. I saw them at Terminal 5 in 2009 and 2010 and they played the exact same show – which was awesome, but kinda lame of them. Yeah, we get it, Fantasies was an awesome record.

This new record rules. I am excited to see them perform full blast live. Which is great – because I took a leap of faith buying tix to their show at Radio City Music Hall in September (4 months ahead of time, for $150 – but screw you, I got FRONT ROW).


The Walkmen, Heaven

I used to *dislike* The Walkmen, and then they released Lisbon a few years ago, which if you haven’t heard, is INSANELY good. They opened up for Grizzly Bear at the Beach at Governor’s Island, and I basically ignored them, because I am an idiot.

I went to their headlining show at Terminal 5 and was blown away. I can already hear how awesome these tunes are gonna be live – Remember Remmmmmmmemmber!


Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

I would never have given this album a chance if I hadn’t seen Bruce and the E Street Band absolutely destroy the Meadowlands a few months ago. Chris and I saw Bruce at Giants Stadium (the old one) before they tore it down and rebuilt the new one.

At that show (the one where he played 100% of Darkness on the Edge of Town), before the band came out, Bruce came out and played a new song by himself: “Wrecking Ball.” The whole album is good. Granted, it may take seeing him live to respect what an absolute musical giant he is, but I have listened to this record basically once a day for 3 months.

The Rest

Escort, Escort
Daughn Gibson, All Hell
White Rabbits, Milk Famous
Silversun Pickups, Neck of the Woods
Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
Beach House, Bloom
of Montreal, Paralytic Stalks
Japandroids, Celebration Rock
Heartless Bastards, Arrow
Bear in Heaven, I Love You, It’s Cool

Listen To This: “Synthetica” by Metric

I LOVE Emily Haines. She is my favorite part of Broken Social Scene. I saw Metric give 2 amazing performances at Terminal 5 when they were supporting their last record, Fantasies. I have front row tickets to see them at Radio City Music Hall in September.

Their new record dropped, Synthetica, dropped today. It’s awesome: