Guys… we know year-end lists are totally bogus and lame and wrong and biased and pretty pointless. I mean, what does it really matter what our favorite record of the year was, ya know? Pretty much 10 times out of 10 we’ll end up finding a record the year after it came out and like it more than anything else that came out that year. Also – living here in Nashville it’s easy to just chalk up all the local releases as our favorites because, well, they’re really fucking good [looking at you Cy Barkley, JEFF, Heavy Cream, PUJOL, Natural Child, Turbo Fruits, Fox Fun, Leather Nightmare, Ranch Ghost, Uncle Skeleton, blah blah blah] SO – with all that said – we’ve decided to put together a little list of non-local new records we listened to a whole lot this year and really enjoyed. You could probably guess most of them, but maybe not. Click below and check them out and tell us how wrong we are or maybe go find them and give them a listen…
Daniel Bachman – Seven Pines [Tompkins Square]
Daniel came to town not too long ago to play a gig over at The Stone Fox opening for Mark Fosson. Garnering lots of comparisons to his Virginia-native brother Jack Rose – 22 year-old Bachman recorded a stellar guitar record in Philadelphia and it’s spent a good bit of time on our turntables this Fall/Winter season.
Mac DeMarco – 2 [Captured Tracks]
This one was a little more unexpected. After hearing Mac’s Rock & Roll Nightclub EP back in March we thought it could be really good or very kitschy, but now we’re on board and think it’s some of the best pop going on right now. With hints of a Modern Lovers/Jonathan Richman vibe to it. Hopefully we’ll be having him visit the Nashville Country soon.
Ty Segall – Twins [Drag City]
Total no-brainer, right? Duh. I mean, whatever. Whenever we’re feeling down we go and watch the clip of Ty destroying Letterman and remember that things can be real. If you’ve waited this long to listen to this record we really don’t know where your hesitation comes from.
Thee Oh Sees – Putrifiers II [In The Red]
For some reason we feel like this record has been totally overlooked by most people this year. Probably due to the fact that Dwyer and co have no reservations about flooding the market with their music – but why should they? This album has some of the best Oh Sees material on it since Master’s Bedroom or Help! Plus they’re still the best live band around.
Ty Segall & White Fence – Hair [Drag City]
Originally the two were supposed to get together to work on a 7″ single but it turned into a full album and we’re lucky for that. It’s been said that we should be expecting another collaborative LP from the two sometime soon and if it’s anything as remarkable as Hair – we’re sure it’ll find it’s way back onto one of these lists.
Cheap Time – Wallpaper Music [In The Red]
We know we said no locals included in the list, but we’d be totally remiss if we didn’t include Wallpaper Music in this. Cheap Time’s third studio album is a pretty pummeling force full of Aussie-style riffs and tones and it’s more than worth your time.
Hank Wood & The Hammerheads – Go Home! [Toxic State]
Maybe our favorite record to come out this year. 2012 has been a really great year for the guys over at Toxic State and though we’ve heard that Hank Wood & The Hammerheads have been recently defunct – this album is definitely worth grabbing if you can find it. Most distros have been sold out for a while now – but if you dig hard enough you could probably find a copy somewhere.
Jessica Pratt – Jessica Pratt [Birth Records]
We think we are maybe the only people who are putting together a year-end list as eclectic as to include Jessica Pratt and Crazy Spirit. This debut record from Jessica is also the debut release for Tim Presley’s Birth Records. It’s one of the more beautiful records we’ve heard from any new artist in recent memory. Perfectly fitting for these colder months of the year. A second press is in the works right now and should be available again soon if not already.
Ex-Cult – Ex-Cult [Goner]
We’ve talked a lot about this record already, and our adoration has only grown since then. Watching the progression of Ex-Cult from their first couple of singles to this debut full length has us really excited to see where the band will go next. They’ll be hitting the road hard this Winter/Spring and we can’t wait for the Nashville dates.
White Fence – Family Perfume Vols. 1 & 2 [Woodsist]
Originally released as two separate albums and later packaged together as a double LP – White Fence’s follow-up to last year’s Is Growing Faith is one of our absolute favorites to come out this year. White Fence also gave us one of the best shows we saw all year and we’re doing our best right now to make sure we get another one real soon. More about that another time though…
Crazy Spirit – Crazy Spirit [Toxic State]
Another offering from the Toxic State Records guys that totally blew us away earlier in the year. After a couple 7″s and last year’s Demos 12″ we were excited to get a full proper album from the guys and it rips just as hard as we’d expected it to. This one – like the Hank Wood record – is a little harder to track down, but if you can find it at a distro we highly suggest snagging it.
Sonny & The Sunsets – Longtime Companion [Polyvinyl]
The record came out earlier this year and showcases Sonny Smith in a more stripped down form – different than the usual pop eccentricities that we usually expect from him. The record’s got a good bit of a sad tinge to it but what more could you expect from a recently divorced Sonny? It’s a bit of a heartbreaker at times but you know – sad songs are sometimes the best songs.
Woods – Bend Beyond [Woodsist]
We’re always keen on the production of the Woods crew – but this latest offering found it’s way firmly planted on our turntable for a good couple of months and for good reason. Walking the line and teetering on the fence between jammy kraut and folky pop is a hard thing to do but Woods seem to be able to do it pretty flawlessly. Plus – there’s a snake on the cover and snakes are sick
Tame Impala – Lonerism [Modular Recordings]
To be honest, we haven’t listened to this record too much. But the stuff we’ve heard has been pretty good and to see that it’s getting noticed by more than the scum of the underground makes us think that maybe “people” are sort of into good music? Maybe we’re wrong, but we’re hopeful.
So there it is. No rankings or numbers or whatever – just records we listened to a lot this year and liked a lot. You can agree or disagree and think that we left out a lot of great albums – which we probably did. But we’ll hear them eventually and we’ll make up for it then or something.