Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The 2012 David Music Poll Results

The 2012 David Music Poll Results

1. fun., Some Nights (23 votes)

2. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange (21)

3. The Lumineers, The Lumineers (20)

Beach House, Bloom (20)

5. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel… (18)

6. Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal (13)

Lana Del Ray, Born to Die (13)

Jack White, Blunderbuss (13)

Grizzly Bear, Shields (13)

10. Mumford & Sons, Babel (11)

runners up: (10 votes) Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls; (8 votes) First Aid Kit, The Lion’s Roar; Alt-J, An Awesome Wave; Grimes, Visions; (7 votes) Cat Power, Sun; Passion Pit, Gossamer; The Shins, Port of Morrow

Notes: Well, it was a mighty close race in the David Music Poll this year, with only five votes separating the top five. In the end, fun. edged out critical darling Frank Ocean, newcomers The Lumineers, and relative veterans Beach House and Fiona Apple. This is Ms. Apple’s third top five showing for her three albums released since the music poll began in 1999. Other music poll stalwards with good showings were Jack White and Grizzly Bear, although some previous favorites (I’m looking at you, The Killers, Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor, Bob Dylan…) didn’t fare as well. Interestingly, The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men, who both ride the coattails of Mumford & Sons, ended up surpassing Mumford’s new effort in the poll. 2013 will mark the return of many poll favorites (Vampire Weekend! The National! Phoenix! Possibly Arcade Fire!), so it will be interesting to see if they keep their favorite status.

Now, to the individual lists…

I Tramp All Over My List

This year is the first where, I have to say, the order of my favorites seems almost arbitrary. No single album stood out in a big way this year – there were a lot I liked a lot, but I can’t say there was a single album that I unreservedly loved -- in the way, say, that I unreservedly loved, and still unreservedly love, the Robyn album(s) last year. The Ingrid Michaelson album was easily my most-listened-to album this year – I don’t love every song, but it has more songs I love than probably any other album, so I’m going to put it on top. Both Sharon Van Etten and Metric surprised me this year – I’d liked some songs of theirs before, but this time around, the albums won me over. (The Sharon Van Etten narrowly wins partly because I’ve lived with it longer.) The February House cast album is the first cast album to make my list (although Once is close behind). Of Monsters and Men released the best Mumford & Sons album this year (with Phillip Phillips’s “Home” being the best Mumford & Songs song.) Beth Orton made a nice return to form, The Hunger Games soundtrack made me respect Taylor Swift, I liked this Cat Power album more than any other before, and Ellie Goulding’s album was aural wallpaper in a good way. Cutting my songs list to seven was hard – which is kinda funny, since I was the one who limited people to seven. But Sinead O’Connor’s “Queen of Denmark” was my runaway favorite, with “Call Me Maybe” easily the pop song of the year. All of the debuts listed below popped onto my radar in December – I have a feeling that both Kishi Bashi and Django Django might have made my year-end list had they arrived earlier. As for old favorites, Fiona Apple kept things interesting, Sinead O’Connor returned to form, Ben(jamin) Gibbard did a good job solo, and Aimee Mann did what she does well, but Regina Spektor disappointed and The Killers released an album so bad there’s only one song from it I can bear to listen to.

Essential Albums

Ingrid Michaelson, Human Again

Sharon Van Etten, Tramp

Metric, Synthetica

Gabriel Kahane, February House cast album

Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal

Beth Orton, The Sugaring Season

Soundtrack, The Hunger Games

Cat Power, Sun

Ellie Goulding, Halcyon

7 Essential Songs

“Queen of Denmark” by Sinead O’Connor

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

“Blank Maps” by Cold Specks

“Come Back Down” by Greg Laswell featuring Sara Bareilles

“Keep Your Head Up” by Ben Howard

“It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons

“We Will Never Ever Get Back Together” by Taylor Swift

Most Interesting Debuts

Kishi Bashi

Django Django

Tom Odell

Little Green Cars

Steven M Stands at the Sky’s Edge

1. Richard Hawley, Standing at the Sky's Edge

2. Tame Impala, Lonerism

3. Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light

4. First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar

5. Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe

6. Titus Andronicus, Local Business

7. Cody Chestnutt, Landing on a Hundred

8. Melody's Echo Chamber, Melody's Echo Chamber

9. Wind Nothing, Nocturne

10. Turbo Fruits, Butter

Best discovery from a previous year: Echo and the Bunnymen, What Are You Going to Do With Your Life? (1999); Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)

Trevor Celebrates Good Rock (Come On!)

1. Japandroids, Celebration Rock

2. Tame Impala, Lonerism

3. Title Fight, Floral Green

4. forgetters, Forgetters

5. Hot Water Music, Exister

6. Jeff the Brotherhood, Country Life

7. Smith Street Band, Sunshine and Technology

Jordan S Has Some Fun

#1. Fun, Some Nights

#2. Benjamin Gibbard, Former Lives

Maggie S Rides an Awesome Wave

Easy for me, because I didn't do a lot of album-faithful purchasing this year:

1. Alt-J, An Awesome Wave

2. Fun, Some Nights

You said 7. I'd already tried to narrow my 2,347 songs I acquired last year for my blog and only managed to get it this tidy. Then again, I think only 8 of these came out in 2012. The rest were just new finds for me.

1. “North Col” – Shearwater

2. “Dear Fellow Traveler” – Sea Wolf

3. “How Many More Times” – Field Music

4. “Lay it Down” & “The Best We Got” – The Rubens


5. ”YoYo” – Pop ETC (formerly the Morning Benders, if you care)

6. “I’m a Pilot” – Fanfarlo

7. “Submarines” – The Lumineers

8. “This is What I Said” – Cloud Control

9. “Rapunzel” – Drapht

10. “Can’t Touch It” – Ricki Lee

Plain Awesome

11. “Sun” – Two Door Cinema Club

12. “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” – Tame Impala

13. “Fingers Never Bleed” & “Longevity” – Yeasayer

Things that Sound Good While I Drive Sideways

14. “Fame” – Santigold

15. “Nothing Else is Real” – Mackintosh Braun

16. “Again (Original Mix)” – Elizabeth Rose feat. Sinden

17. “Monsoons” – Puscifer

18. “Love from a Stone” – School of Seven Bells

19. “Afterlife (Neon Feather Remix)” – Switchfoot

Zachary P, Here Comes the Sun

My number 1 album is Cat Power, Sun. That's all -- don't wanna listen to anything else :)

Megan B Puts the Fun Into 2012


Fun, Some Nights

Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

The Lumineers, The Lumineers

Lana Del Ray, Born to Die

Regina Spektor, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats

Mumford and Sons, Babel

Jack White, Blunderbuss

Brandi Carlile, Bear Creek


Fun, Some Nights

Frank Ocean, Bad Religion

The Lumineers, Ho Hey

Mumford and Sons, I Will Wait

Phillip Phillips, Home

Lana Del Rey, Born to Die

Muse, Madness

Leanna Doesn’t Fight the Civil Wars

My big discovery this year was The Civil Wars.

Entirely separate from their being on the Hunger Games soundtrack - which is valid and an /amazing/ song.

I saw them play live on Austin City Limits and as live performers they BLEW MY MIND and now I listen to them all the time.

Gabe B, Born to Love Lana

Lana del Rey, Born to Die

Lana del Rey, Paradise

End of list.

Crissa in da House

1. Beach House, Bloom

2. Grizzly Bear, Shields

3. Grimes, Visions

4. Purity Ring, Shrines

5. Tame Impala, Lonerism

6. Passion Pit, Gossamer

best single: Yet Again by Grizzly Bear

Lisa M Sees Pink

I have very little to offer, but I cannot pass up the chance to share my 
love and admiration for Pink.


1. Pink, The Truth About Love

Top songs: 

1. Try, Pink 

2. Just Give Me a Reason (Feat. Nate Ruess), Pink

Ted G Channels Orange

I'm listening to number 3 as I write...and now, against my will, number 6.

1. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

2. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel is Wiser

3. Jimmy Cliff, Rebirth

4. Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music

5. Grizzly Bear, Shields

6. Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (My 3-three-year old daughter insisted I include this; just what I need, seriously -- Dora singing 'Your sex takes me to paradise' at the JCC.)

Bryant P Swims in the, erm, Ocean

Most Essential Albums 2012:

1. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

2. M. Ward, A Wasteland Companion

3. The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter

4. Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again

5. Beach House, Bloom

6. Passion Pit, Gossamer

7. Tennis, Young & Old

8. Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls

Top Seven Songs of 2012 (great idea!):

1. M. Ward, Clean Slate

2. Frank Ocean, Lost

3. Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

4. Gossip, Move in the Right Direction

5. Imagine Dragons, It's Time

6. Pink, Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

7. Gotye, Somebody That I Used to Know

Jonathan V iswhoheiswhoheiswho

First the lists, then the disclaimer...


1. iamamiwhoami, Kin

2. Beach House, Bloom

3. Tame Impala, Lonerism

4. Stars, The North

5. The Killers, Battle Born

6. Bear in Heaven, I Love You, It's Cool

7. Chiddy Bang, Breakfast

8. Grimes, Visions

9. Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe

10. Guided by Voices, The Bears for Lunch / Shins, Port of Morrow


1. iamamiwhoami, Idle Talk

2. Miike Snow, God Help This Divorce

3. The Killers, The Rising Tide

4. Purity Ring, Amenamy

5. Stars, A Song is a Weapon

6. Chiddy Bang, Handclaps and Guitars

7. Andy Stott, Luxury Problems

8. Sleigh Bells, Crush

9. Moonface, Yesterday's Fire

10. Disparate Youth, Santigold

These lists feel very flakes-without-the-raisins to me, and I realize now that it's not just because I legally can't include that Gotye song. The fact is, some of the very best music I heard all year was from previous years, in some cases the IMMEDIATELY PREVIOUS ONE! Mea culpas, really--me stumbling over a band or group or album that everybody else knows is awesome already, or should. So here are some recommendations from that end of the music timeline.

Phantogram - Saratoga Springs isn't famous for just the horses anymore. This duo from yes, Saratoga Springs, is teleporting everything that was awesome about trip-hop into the not-so-distant future, and they are waiting for you to meet them there. Get the track "Don't Move", and just TRY to obey the order implicit in its name.

Guided by Voices - You're probably wondering why everyone who gets into this band turns into a GBV cultist. Just listen to "Bee Thousand" and "Alien Lanes" and it will all become clear. There are few modern bands that compare favorably with The Beatles in terms of consistent songwriting genius.

Pavement - Guilted by The National's famous lyric ("praying for Pavement to get back together...") I figured I should check out the Malkmusian rockers in question, and yes, they're amazing. But they're SO good, so musically DENSE, that it actually takes a while for you to cross the line from being merely interested to being gut-hooked. Everyone disagrees on the best gateway albums, I say start with "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" and "Brighten the Corners", they're very accessible.

Neon Indian - If you're into M83 and Washed Out, allow me to play "purchase-bot" for a moment, and recommend Neon Indian. Trippy, playful electronica that justifies the existence of headphones.

Kuedo - I'm recommending a specific Kuedo album here, "Severant". If you like electronica and you like the music Vangelis wrote for the "Blade Runner" soundtrack, consider your weekend awesomified.

Scott T Can Dance

Tough year for "essentials". I don't think I picked up one album from a new artist for 2012. There were many fine albums by the groups I already enjoyed, but none of them were among what I'd consider the artists' best work. So as not to vote a goose egg, I'll go with my favorite all-time band who reunited after a 16 year break to produce another excellent record. To top it off it was the one concert I attended in 2012 - my first concert in three years (Thanks having a toddler!)

Essential Album of 2012

Dead Can Dance, Anabasis

Essental Albums Discovered in 2012

Real Estate, Days (2011)

Dum Dum Girls, Only In Dreams (2011)

Austra, Feel It Bread (2011)

Top 7 Songs of the Year (How did you choose seven as the number?_

1. Metric - Youth Without Youth

2. Black Taxi - Tightrope

3. Chairlift - Sidewalk Safari

4. Grimes - Oblivion

5. Now, Now - School Friends

6. POP ETC - Keep It For Your Own

7. Saint Etienne - Tonight

Mondo Blake N

Electric Guest Mondo is my fave album of the year.

Hey, Ho, Phil B!

Top Albums

The Lumineers, The Lumineers

Frank Ocean, Channel ORANGE

Lupe Fiasco -- Food & Liquor II

Kendrick Lamar -- Overly Dedicated

Justin Bieber -- Believe

Top Songs:

P!nk -- Try -- Song and Video

Fun -- Some NIghts

Cruise -- Florida Georgia Line

Swedish House Maifa -- Don't You Worry Child

Jason Mraz -- I Won't Give Up

Top Acts

Swedish House Mafia

The Lumineers

Justin Bieber


Jason Mraz

The Ty Goes To Kevin W

Most Disappointing Album, 2012:

Diamond Rugs, Diamond Rugs – This album just kind of sits there, occasionally making brief forays into middle-of-the-road depravity. I expected actual depravity.

Likely essential album I’ve not heard yet: 
River City Tanlines, Coast to Coast – Just about everything Alicja Trout touches is worth checking out. Memphis, man.

Recent Essential album I just discovered:

Vending Machine, Let the People Sing (2010) – Memphis, man. Video:

Essential albums, 2012:

9. Dwight Yoakam, Three Pears

8. Tigher High, Myth is This – Memphis.

7. Jack Oblivian, Rat City – The album never quite reaches the guitargasm of the opening (and title) track again, but Jack-O keeps churning it out. He’s from Memphis.

6. Gentleman Jesse, Leaving Atlanta – There are moments when this sounds like a Joe Jackson tribute album, which is a good thing in my book, but it’s its own animal.

5. Mind Spiders, Meltdown – There are moments when this sounds like a Jay Reatard tribute album, which is a good thing in my book, but it’s its own animal. Video:

4. Mikal Cronin, Mikal Cronin – Jangly pop with a few smack-you-upside-your-head moments from one of Ty Segall’s crew.

3. The Barbaras, 2006-2008 – Yes, I know the years say otherwise, but this is a 2012 release. These old part-time bandmates ofJay Reatard traded in his insanity for pure, gorgeous, bouncing pop. Jay claimed the recordings were lost, but – now that Jay’s gone and the band’s morphed into The Magic Kids – they were found, remastered by Alicja Trout, and presented by Goner Records in all their glory. Memphis, man. Live video with Jay Reatard on drums:

2. King Tuff, King Tuff – King Tuff alternates between cock-rock swagger and balladeering, sneering along like a teenager with a head cold, a bad attitude, and a bottomless bag of weed. Video (in 3D):

1. Ty Segall – It’s too difficult to disambiguate all the projects from his ambitious year, so I’m just saying Ty Segall. I could write at length about his Fun House-era Stoogey sludge, but I’ll simply quote from AMG’s review of Slaughterhouse: “Segall and his bandmates recall some crazed biker gang who have come to town to feed your children bad drugs and leave them deaf.” Giddyup. Video:

Top 7 songs

7. Mark Sultan, Axis Abraxis

6. Ty Segall, Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart

5. Mikal Cronin, Again and Again

4. Jack Oblivian, Rat City

3. Mind Spiders, Play You Out

2. Ty Segall, Ghost

1. King Tuff, Bad Thing

Lonnie’s Head is an Animal

Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal

Of Monsters and Elizabeth E

Most essential album:

Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal

Other essentials:

The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter

Ed Sheeran, +

fun., Some Nights

Grouplove, Never Trust a Happy Song

Imagine Dragons, Night Visions

The Lumineers, The Lumineers

Mumford & Sons, Babel

The Shins, Port of Morrow

Various Artists, The Hunger Games soundtrack


Taylor Swift, We Are Never Getting Back Together (obvs.)

Imagine Dragons, It's Time

Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (double obvs.)

Of Monsters and Men, Little Talks

Grouplove, Tongue-Tied

fun., Some Nights

Phillip Phillips, Home

Daniel H Kills For Love

1. Chromatics, Kill For Love

2. Metric, Synthetica

3. Of Monsters And Men, My Head Is An Animal

4. Zammuto, Zammuto

5. Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Untogether

not that I expect anyone else to stand with me on this. It's lonely, my music tastes.

Matthue Bows to Royalty

Will it skew your stats if I only give a top-7? I've been sort of 
lackadaisical in the new-music-I-love department. Not that I haven't 
heard of things; I only think I'm running out of things that blow my 
mind. Does this mean I'm old?

1. Childish Gambino, Royalty 

2. Jean Grae, Cookies & Comas 

3. Freelance Whales, Diluvia 

4. Of Monsters and Men, My Head Is an Animal 

5. Lana del Rey, Born to Die 

6. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange 

7. How to Destroy Angels, An omen


Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen - I just heard this for the first 
time, in its entirety, about a week ago. (If I was a slightly more 
successful YA author, there would be no way I could admit this.) And I 
didn't even hear the real version -- it was her with the Roots, on 
that late night show, with a xylophone and toy piano and ?uestlove 
playing kazoo. And it was the most wonderful thing ever. I guess she's 
hugely successful, and getting all over the place, but how she kept 
glancing at Quest to see if she was doing the right thing, and lost 
her place for a second because she seemed to be genuinely starstruck, 
it was really sweet. That's the only song. There.

Dean B’s Idler Hands…

Essential Album of 2012:

1. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...

Other Favorites:

2. Big Boi, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

3. Mike Doughty, The Lo-Fi Lodge

4. Mumford & Sons, Babel

5. Bob Dylan, Tempest

6. The Walkmen, Heaven

7. Jack White, Blunderbuss

8. The Magnetic Fields - Love at the Bottom of the Sea

9. Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe

Top 7 Songs:

A Ring On Every Finger - Liars

Madness - Muse

We Can’t Be Beat - The Walkmen

Werewolf - Fiona Apple

Just From Chervon - Dirty Projectors

Something To Believe In - Citizen Cope

Thinkin Bout You - Frank Ocean

All She Cares About Is Mariachi - The Magnetic Fields

Kate W Will Not Be Caught Unaware

The only album I purchased in 2012 was Broken Bells’ self-titled 2010 album. For me, 2012 was the year of singles.

1. Allen Stone, Unaware = haunting perfection

2. Bruno Mars, Locked Out of Heaven = an “over and over and over again” song

3. Phillip Phillips, Home = just makes me happy

4. Nicki Minaj, Starships = my 2012 jam

5. David Guetta, feat Sia, Titanium = one of my “belt it out in the car” songs

6. Jack White, Sixteen Saltines = genius

7. Swedish House Mafia, Don’t You Worry Child = a second “belt it out on the car” favorite

Elana M’s Stubborn Music Love

Essential Albums:

1. The Lumineers, The Lumineers

2. The Shins, Port of Morrow

Best Singles:

Flowers in Your Hair, Ho Hey, Classy Girl, Stubborn Love (The Lumineers)

Simple Song and It's Only Life (The Shins)

I Will Wait (Mumford & Sons, Babel)

Best discovery from previous years: Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More

Kate H Goes Grizzly

Best Album 2012:

Shields - Grizzly Bear

runners up:

Cat Power - Sun

Polica - Give You the Ghost

Horse Feathers - Cynic's New Year

Caveman - Coco Beware

Best "New To Me" Artists:

The Antlers

The Head and the Heart

Wye Oak


S. Carey

Jennifer H S is a Charmer

My essential 2012 albums:

Aimee Mann, Charmer

The Lumineers, The Lumineers

One Direction, Take Me Home

Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday Roman Reloaded

Ke$ha, Warrior

Alabama Shakes, Boys and Girls

The Shins, Port of Morrow

Eamon T Makes Some Myth

I accidentally hit send in the middle of editing my list. Here's my actual finalized submission.

1.Beach House - Myth

2. Ssion - Bent (technically from 2011...but really took off last year)

3. Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man

4. The Raveonettes - Observator

5. Gossip - A Joyful Noise

6. Goat - World Music

7. Ariel Pink - Mature Themes

8. Cat Power - Sun

9. Jack White - Blunderbuss

10. Sky Ferreira - Ghost EP

Promising for 2013:

Suede - Bloodsports

If Suede's leaked lead off track, Barriers, from their first album in 10 years is any indication, they have truly returned to form.

Christopher Owens - Lysandre

Former Girls front man successfully strikes out on his own.

Daniel L Finds the Origin of Love

My Essential Album from 2012:

Mika, The Origin of Love

Other Essentials:

Dragonette, Bodyparts

Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal

Neon Trees, Picture Show

Mumford & Sons, Babel

Leila S Sees Stars


Stars, The North


Sweet Heart Sweet Light, Spiritualized

I Know What Love Is, Jens Lekman

Love at the Bottom of the Sea, The Magnetic Fields

Four, Bloc Party

In Our Heads, Hot Chip

TOP SEVEN SONGS OF THE YEAR (in no particular order)

Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen

So Long You Pretty Thing, Spiritualized

I Love It, Icona Pop

Idea of Happiness, The Van She

Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It, Stars

All of Me, Tanlines

Cowboy Boots, Jens Lekman

Brian M’s Ruby Slipper

It was a good year of music this year, a lot of really good albums, but the top ten or so really stood out for me. Here you go. (full list and reviews on my blog if you're interested: here)


Ruby Throat, O Doubt O Stars


Big Blood, Old Time Primitives

Langhorne Slim, The Way We Move

Jack White, Blunderbuss

Nacho Picasso, Lord of the Fly

Andrew Bird, Break It Yourself

Andrew Bird, Hands of Glory

Alberta Cross, Songs of Patience

The Wooden Sky, Every Child a Daughter Every Moon a Sun

Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

Right Away Great Captain, The Church of the Good Thief

Kadavar, Kadavar

Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...

Guided by Voices, Class Clown Spots UFO

Jason Molina, Autumn Bird Songs

Ty Seagall - Twins

As for favorite songs, I got that covered too. (If you're interested, you can hear them all on my blog, here).

Sivert Hoyem, "Where is My Moon"

Andrew Bird, "Give It Away"

Nacho Picasso, "Naked Lunch"

Blur, "Under the Westway"

John Frusciante, "Ratiug"

The View, "Tacky Tattoo"

Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"

Neil Young, "Driftin Back"

Langhorne Slim, "Coffee Cups"

Fiona Apple, "Every Single Night"

Lindsay R’s Funtastic Nights

Top Seven Albums

( * denotes “not released in 2012, but discovered by me in 2012”)

1. fun., Some Nights

2. Brandi Carlile, Bear Creek

3. Amy Ray, Lung of Love

4. Alpha Rev, New Morning *

5. Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials *

6. The Black Keys, El Camino *

7. Adam Lambert, Trespassing

Top Seven Songs of 2012

( * denotes “not released in 2012, but discovered by me in 2012”)

1. Brandi Carlile, “Hard Way Home”

2. Amy Ray, “Bird in the Hand”

3. Alpha Rev, “Lonely Man” *

4. Adam Lambert, “Chokehold”

5. fun., “Some Nights”

6. Brandi Carlile, “Raise Hell”

7. Alan Doyle, “I’ve Seen a Little”

David G Tames the Lonerism

Tame Impala - Lonerism

Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel!!!

and of course... Frank Ocean.

Jennifer S Has More Fun This Year

Was “Some Nights” by fun this year or last? If this year, then I’m voting for that!

Bob R Has Visions


Grimes - Visions

and my favorite single was Nuclear Seasons by Charli XCX

Josh L, Weekend Warrior

I think I'm getting even less cool and with-it, if that can be believed. I just discovered that a lot of "new" albums I like were in fact 2011, that a lot of bands I "discovered" this year put out crappy albums--I had discovered, apparently, their earlier work. I can't even vote for my two lifetime most essential musicians who both released albums, because they weren't great. Well, I will, actually, because somebody needs to speak up for old white men. I will be lecturing on hoplite warfare in two hours, after three hours sleep, so I may talk about Dylan and Young there too if I forget how Greek battle works... but you know what I was listening to on repeat last night?


American Weekend

So I'll vote for that. I haven't even listened to the latest Mountains Goats yet, which is a disgusting failure. But: Neil's Psychedelic Pill and Dylan's Tempest are also essential, and I stand by Fiona and the Idler Wheel, even if Kristen has banned the "Hot Knife" track (I sing all the parts at once). But check this out: my most essential music-related activity is riding the exercise bike (if you don't got your health, right?) and therefore the dumb-as-shit, great-for-pedaling-fast-and-singing-in-a-bono-voice essential album of the year is The Killers, Battle Born. Nice.

Aimee F Does Not Prefer That Indie Rock Record That’s So Much Cooler Than Taylor’s

I’ll just do singles for this year:

1) Taylor Swift, We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together

2) Gotye, Somebody That I Used to Know

3) Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe

4) Nicki Minaj, Starships

5) Adele, Skyfall

6) Fun., We are Young

7) Psy (sigh!), Gangnam Style (I wasn’t even sure if this could count as a “single”—it was more a YouTube sensation with a song attached, but still, it kind of defined 2012).

8) Bruce Springsteen, We Take Care of Our Own

9) Frank Ocean, Thinking Bout You

10) Regina Spektor, Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

11) Taylor Swift (again), I Knew You Were Trouble

Cecil C Heads to the Bahamas

1. Bahamas, Barchords

2.Martha Wainwright, Come Home to Mama

3. Laura Marling, A Creature I Don't Know

4. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel

5. Dallas Don Burnet, Cancel My Disappointment

best single - Adele - Skyfall

best rock documentary - Hits So Hard

best rediscovery - Lisa Germano

Jon S Does Not Avoid the ‘droids

My favorite new albums:

Japandroids, Celebration Rock - Without question, this was my favorite album of the year. Coming in at around just 30 minutes, they took the cool stuff they made in their debut release, Post-Nothing, and made it perfect. the name "Celebration" is perfectly apt. This is what real rock n' roll feels like. Large-hearted and free.

Crystal Castles, III - CC's third album is by far their most organic and gentle. And by gentle, I just mean it doesn't feel like Alice Glass is stabbing me in the eardrums (although don't get me wrong, Alice Glass can stab my eardrums or really do anything she wants to me ANY TIME SHE WANTS). This album is ominous, lush, and takes me swiftly to my dark brooding place. Which is handy, since I tend to write dark, brooding fiction.

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 - The long awaited (by me, anyway) follow-up to her 2005 release Extraordinary Machine does not disappoint in any way. Frequently teetering between pop glide and ragged-edge chaos, this, my friends, is good art.

Shovels & Ropes, O Be Joyful - Out of left field, an up-tempo folk band with a twinge of bluegrass. This debut album from a husband and wife duo is gritty, cheerful, and full of heart. Even the sad songs are somehow uplifting.

Passion Pit, Gossamer - Sometimes you want something big and full with a nice groove. Something that recalls a bit of Motown flourish but still has a modern electro-pop feel. Here's that album for you.

Grimes, Visions - Light yet daring, ethereal yet audacious, there really isn't anyone out there doing what she's doing. Pop electronica pushed through some surreal looking glass world. But it never devolves into tedious conceptual junk. It floats above.

Buke and Gase, Function Falls - Nerd punk at its best. They make their own instruments and have a smart, raw sound that

remains catchy.

Fun, Some Nights - It's the sort of cheesy pop that my 7 year old and I can enjoy together. Imagine the two of us belting out "Carry On" during last summer's road trip with the windows rolled down. Albums come and go, but this memory will be enshrined perfectly in my mind forever.

Purity Ring, Shrines - Purity Ring reminds me a little of one of my favorite bands, The Knife. It's dark, it's electronic, it's the sort of thing I dance to in my room alone when I'm psyching myself up for an extended writing session (that may have been TMI). I'm hoping for a bit more dynamics on the next album, but for a debut album this is solid stuff that, for now at least, fills that Karin Andersson-shaped hole in my heart.

The xx, Coexist - The xx seem to be slightly obsessed with the minimalism trend, which is fine by me. Achingly sincere, romantic, and lovely, there is not a note out of place on this album. Or really, a note wasted. I'm a little worried about the next album, though. I'm not sure where you go from here. They may have to start putting stuff back in.

Honorable mention to Cat Power's Sun. It's a good album, but hewing a little too close to "Adult Contemporary" for my tastes.

Album I missed the first time around:

M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - I picked this 2011 release up after it made David's top ten list for last year. So glad I did. It's soaring and epic and really great to write to. Also, bonus guest vocals from one of my favorites, Nika Danilova, aka Zola Jesus.


More than half of these are from albums I didn't list as my favorites. Particularly Lana Del Rey, Regina Spektor, and Best Coast, felt like a few really good tracks, with the rest of the album as padding.

- Bat for Lashes, "Oh Yeah"

- Cloud Nothings, "Stay Useless"

- Lana Del Rey, "Blue Jeans"

- Best Coast, "The Only Place"

- Regina Spektor, "All The Rowboats"

- Japandroids, "The House that Heaven Built"

- Purity Ring, "Belispeak"

- Crystal Castles, "Affection"

Molly B Kills the Darlings

Number one album of 2012 was "Killing the Darlings" by Pearl & the Beard, a band from Brooklyn who was touring with Ani last fall.

Runner up: Hunger Games Soundtrack

Pretty sure the song of the year is Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Other top songs:

Calvin Harris, Feel So Close

Of Monsters and Men, Little Talks

David Guetta, Titanium

Alex Clare, Too Close

Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Katy Perry, Wide Awake

Special Summer 2012 shout-out to Michael Sembello's "Maniac," which is surprisingly modern and can hold its own with today's pop music. (Note: do not watch the video if you are prone to seizures.)

Teri Y Knows How to Be a Heartbreaker

Top Albums

1. Marina & the Diamonds, Electra Heart

2. Pink, Truth About Love

3. Walk the Moon, Walk the Moon

4. The Hundred in the Hands, The Hundred in the Hands

5. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die

6. Scissor Sisters, Magic Hour

7. Karmin, Hello

Honorable Mentions

Ellie Goulding, Halcyon

Eve 6, Speak in Code

fun., Some Nights

Garbage, Not Your Kind of People

Ke$ha, Warrior

Ladyhawke, Anxiety

Madonna, MDNA

Metric, Synthetica

Niki & the Dove, Instinct

Regina Spektor, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats

Rizzle Kicks, Stereo Typical

JR Plays Video Games


1. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die

2. Gotye, Making Mirrors

3. Rihanna, Unapologetic

4. Justin Bieber, Believe

Alaya J Loves One of the Bois

Most Essential Album of 2012: Big Boi, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe (Would have been my essential if 
Big Boi hadn't run me over with his truck of holy-shit-awesome) 

Dr. John, Locked Down 

Michael Kinuwaka, Home Again 

Yeasayer, Fragrant World 

Firewater, International Orange! 

The Walkmen, Heaven 

Brandi Carlile, Bear Creek 

Laura Gibson, La Grande


1. Apple Of My Eye, Big Boi 

2. Jack White, Love Interruption 

3. ZZ Ward, Put The Gun Down 

4. First Aid Kit, Emmylou 

5. The Shins, The Rifle's Spiral 

6. Chairlift, Take It Out On Me 

7. Gotye, Somebody That I Used To Know

Joe M Gets on the Buss

Jack White - Blunderbuss

Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

The Lumineers - self titled

Frank Ocean - Channel ORANGE

The XX – Coexist

And top song (that's right, just one, not seven - damn your rules) has to be Azealia Banks' "212"

Sarah H Bears It

Most essential albums of 2012:

1. Grizzly Bear, Shields

Top seven tracks of 2012:

1. Best Coast "The Only Place"

2. Carly Rae Japsen "Call Me Maybe"

3. Tame Impala "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"

4. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "Thrift Shop"

5. Grizzly Bear "Yet Again"

6. Miguel "Do You..."

7. Father John Misty "Nancy From Now On"

Matthew U’s Delta Dawns

Most essential album:

Iris Dement, Sing the Delta

Other essential albums:

Patti Smith, Banga

Brandi Carlile, Bear Creek

Discoveries from previous years I just started listening to this year:

Iron & Wine (with Calexico), In the Reins

Gossip, Music for Men

Most essential songs:

Patti Smith, Amerigo

Iris Dement, The Kingdom Has Already Come

Iris Dement, The Night I Learned How Not to Pray

Shawn Colvin, American Jerusalem

Brandi Carlile, Raise Hell

Emmy L Calls to Port


Shins, Port Of Morrow

Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again

Alabama Shakes, Boys and Girls


Michael Kiwanuka, Getting Ready

Psy, Gangam Style (Because I still love it)

Loughton Wainwright III, Older Than My Old Man Now

Kieran V Has Some Fun

1. fun. - Some Nights

2. The Lumineers - The Lumineers

3. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel

4. Pink - The Truth About Love

5. Pitch Perfect - The Soundtrack (yeah, you know I love me some a capella!)

Favorite songs of the year:

1. Some Nights - fun.

2. The A Team - Ed Sheeran

3. (Blow Me) One Last Kiss - Pink

4. Playing for Keeps - Elle King

5. Ho Hey - The Lumineers

6. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees

7. I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz

Emelia Z is Il-lumin-ated

I wasn't too thrilled with the new music I listened to this year, but here it goes:

The Lumineers, The Lumineers

John Mayer, Born & Raised

fun., Some Nights

Maroon 5, Overexposed

Mumford & Sons, Babel

Bill K Listens Up

Most essential album: Haley Reinhart - Listen Up.

Perfect pop album basically ignored because she was on American Idol. If you haven't listened to this and you like good female vocalists and a Motown vibe, you must check it out!

Other essentials:

P!nk - The Truth About Love

Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind

Aimee Mann - Charmer

Rufus Wainwright - Out of the Game

Matt Alber - Constant Crows

Adam Lambert - Tresspassing

Top 7 Songs of the Year:

1. Oh My! - Haley Reinhart

2. We Are Young - Fun.

3. Free - Haley Reinhart

4. Stronger - Kelly Clarkson

5. Big Machine - Mark Duplass

6. Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye

7. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees

Erich N Shakes it Up


1. Alabama Shakes, Boys and Girls

1. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

3. Twin Shadow, Confess

4. Emeli Sande, Our Version of Events

5. Santigold, Master of My Make Believe

6. Cat Power, Sun

7. Jack White, Blunderbuss


1. Jack White, Love is Blindness

2. Emeli Sande, Heaven

3. Twin Shadow, Golden Light

4. Cat Power, Cherokee

5. Frank Ocean, Thinkin Bout You

6. Santigold, Disparate Youth

7. Alabama Shakes, Hold On

Cassandra P Finds Perfect Imperfection

Most Essential Album:

Elle Varner, Perfectly Imperfect

Other Essential Albums (in random order):

Solange, True

Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox

Rihanna, Unapologetic

Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid: M.A.A.D. City

Miguel, Art Dealer Chic

Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream

Purity Ring, Shrines

Alex Clare, Lateness of the Hour

Rick Ross, God Forgives—I Don't

B.o.B, Strange Clouds

Emeli Sande, Our Version of Events

Marvin Sapp, I Win

Meek Mill, Dreams and Nightmares

7 Essential Songs (Arggghh only 7?!? Okay. Also in random order:):

Rihanna, Pour It Up

Elle Varner, Stop the Clock

Rick Ross, Bag of Money

Big Sean (f. Kanye West & Jay-Z), Clique

Miguel, That I Do

Emeli Sande, My Kind of Love

Ellie Goulding, Lights (old but I just got wind of it and played the hell out of it last year)

Tiffany S’s Tower of Babel

Top album of the year: Mumford & Sons, Babel

Runners up:

Ben Howard, Every Kingdom

Of Monsters & Men, My Head is an Animal

Taylor Swift, Red

Pitch Perfect Soundtrack

Top seven songs of the year:

1) Naked & Famous, Young Blood (technically released in 2011, but didn't *hit* until 2012)

2) Lumineers, Ho Hey

3) Matt & Kim, Let's Go

4) Of Monsters & Men, Love, Love, Love

5) Gotye, Somebody I Used to Know (technically released in 2011, but didn't *hit* until 2012)

6) Imagine Dragons, It's Time

7) Family of the Year, Hero

Amy M is Hot for Cold

1. Cold Pumas, Persistent Malaise

2. Grizzly Bear, Shields

3. The Daredevil Christopher Wright, In Defense of a Broken Back

4. Deerhunter, Halcyon Digest

5. Dark Dark Dark, Who Needs Who

6. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Heist

7. Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay, 212

8. Cate Le Bon, Cyrk

9. Blue Hawaii, Blooming Summer

10. Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams

Josh B’s Jagged Little Pill

1. Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

2. The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter

3. Japandroids, Celebration Rock

4. Jack White, Blunderbuss

Japandroids also have the song of the year: "The House That Heaven Built." Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!

Thanks for letting me be part of this even though I'm really out of the loop musically and spend most of the time listening to Dora the Explorer CDs. :)

Annie M is the Queen of Denmark

Favorite Albums

Sinead O’Connor, How About I Be Me (and You Be You)?

Beth Orton, Sugaring Season

Aimee Mann, Charmer

The Shins, Port of Morrow

Song of the Year (though it was overplayed)

Gotye, “Somebody That I Used to Know”

Youtube Video Song of the Year (overplayed but still kind of irresistible)

Carly Rae Jepson, “Call Me Maybe”

Ned V’s Final Testament



Jinny W Trio of Quartets

My top favorite of 2012:

*Takacs Quartet with Ralph Kirshbaum, Schubert String Quintet in C, plus the Quartettsatz. Hyperion.

Runners Up:

*Pacifica Quartet, The Soviet Experience, Vol. 2, String Quartets by Shostakovich and His Contemporaries. Cedille Records.

*Tokyo String Quartet, Brahms Quintets with Jon Nakamatsu and Jon Manasse. Harmonia Mundi.

Scott D Whispers Sweet Nothing

I had trouble thinking of albums, but here are some tracks. I feel 
like I've been into music recently that wasn't released this year.

1. Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch, "Sweet Nothing" 

2. Paloma Faith, "Picking Up Pieces" 

3. Cat Power, "Cherokee" 

4. Florence + The Machine, "Spectrum (Calvin Harris remix)" 

5. Loreen, "Euphoria"

Tim D Tramps All Over This List


1. Sharon Van Etten, Tramp

2. Screaming Females, Ugly

3. The Luyas, Too Beautiful to Work

4. Jack White, Blunderbuss

5. Jukebox the Ghost, Safe Travels


1. Darlingside, The Ancestor

2. Green Day, Oh Love

3. Shearwater, Animal Life

4. Prince, Screwdriver

5. Jonsi, Go Do

e’s Kindred Spirit

Burial - Kindred / Truant Rough Sleeper EP

Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It

How to Dress Well - Total Loss / Live Yourself

Purity Ring - Shrines

Grimes - Visions

JJ - High Summer EP

Clams Casino - Instrumental Mixtape 2

Himanhsu - Nehru Jackets

Allo Darlin' - Europe

Angel Haze – King

Lucas K Rocks the Jukebox

1. Jukebox the Ghost, Safe Travels

2. Jens Lekman, I Know What Love Isn't

3. The Mountain Goats, Transcendental Youth

4. Ben Folds Five, The Sound of the Life of the Mind

5. First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar

6. Best Coast, The Only Place

7. John Mayer, Born and Raised

8. Passion Pit, Gossamer

9. Aimee Mann, Charmer

10. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel

Terra M Wrecks It

I love the idea of Most Essential Songs, too. Mainly I will be interested in perusing this list though, because I was on a big Depeche Mode kick this year during my writing.

But! Most essential albums:

#1 Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball (I know this totally makes me an Old Lady, but it's an awesome album)

#2 David Byrne and St. Vincent: Love This Giant

#3 XX: Coexist (I know everyone's over them but I listen to this over and over)

#4 Mozella: The Brian Holland Sessions (great Motown sort of throwback that is pure FUN)

New discovery for me this year was also 2:54 (self-titled album) and also this AWESOME band called Zammuto. (Here's a link to my blog post on them (

Kasia Catches Some Reys

Favorite Album of 2012

Lana Del Rey - Born to Die

The Rest!

Twin Shadow, Confess

Alt-J, An Awesome Wave

Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan

Sharon van Etten, Tramp

First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar

Of Monsters and Men, My Head Is An Animal

Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams

Sanders Bohlke, Ghost Boy

Smoke Fairies, Blood Speaks

Milo Greene, Milo Greene

Electric Guest, Mondo

Best Albums from Years Before

Civil Wars, Barton Hollow

7 Best Tracks from Years Before

Birdy - "White Winter Hymnal"

Active Child - "Johnny Belinda"

Other Lives - "For 12"

Massive Attack - "Paradise Circus"

Oh Land - "Wolf & I"

Patti Smith - "Dancing Barefoot"

Paul Simon - "Peace Like a River"

7 Favorite Tracks

Father John Misty - "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"

alt-J - "Breezeblocks"

Dirty Projectors - "Gun Has No Trigger"

David Byrne & St. Vincent - "Who"

Lana Del Rey - "American"

Shearwater - "You As You Were"

Andrew Bird - "Three White Horses"

Jasper D Calls the POLIÇA

Most Essential Album of 2012:

1. POLIÇA, Give You The Ghost

Other Essential Albums of 2012:

2. Lana Del Rey, Born To Die

3. Marina & The Diamonds, Electra Heart

4. Ellie Goulding, Halcyon

5. Azealia Banks, Fantasea

6. Grimes, Visions

7. Regina Spektor, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats

8. Santigold, Master of my Make-Believe

9. Julia Nunes, Settle Down

10. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up

Top Singles of 2012:

MNDR, Feed Me Diamonds

Bat For Lashes, Laura

Lady Gaga, Cake Like Lady Gaga

Delta Rae, Bottom Of The River

Gossip, Move In The Right Direction

CocoRosie, We Are On Fire

Discoveries From Previous Years:

(Honestly, all of these albums would be in my top five had they been released in 2012)

CocoRosie, Grey Oceans (2010)

Washington, I Believe You Liar (2010)

The Knife, Deep Cuts (2003)

Julian H is an Animal (Collectively)

Favorite Albums:

1. Animal Collective, Centipede Hz

2. Beach House, Bloom

3. Matt & Kim, Lightning

5. Of Montreal, Paralytic Stalks

6. Matisyahu, Spark Seeker

7. DIIV, Oshin

8. Passion Pit, Gossamer

9. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday

Favorite Songs:

1. Kate Bush, Running up that Hill - London 2012 Olympic version

2. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl., Bang Bang Bang - Girls Episode 7

3. Shonen Knife, Psychedelic Life

4. Stars, A Song is a Weapon

5. Walk the Moon, Next in Line

6. WZRD, Upper Room

7. Jungle Drum, Emiliana Torrini

Stephanie P, A Rós is a Rós is a Rós


1. Sigur Rós, Valtari (most essential)

2. Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls

3. Jack White, Blunderbuss

4. Rufus Wainwright, Out of the Game

5. Brian Eno, LUX

6. Regina Spektor, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats

7. Hammock, Departure Songs


1. Rufus Wainwright, "Montauk"

2. Atoms for Peace, "Default"

3. Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"

4. Kishi Bashi, "Bright Whites"

5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop"

6. M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

7. Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"


8. Alabama Shakes, "Hold On"

9. Kreayshawn, "Gucci Gucci"

10. Passion Pit, "I'll Be Alright"

11. Hunx, "Private Room"

A few discoveries from previous years . . .

1. The Vaccines, What Did You Expect from The Vaccines?

2. The Blow, Paper Television

3. Adam Hurst, Elegy (perfect writing music, especially combine with

And the best live shows . . .

1. Radiohead

2. Jack White with Alabama Shakes

3. Childish Gambino

The Way Kevin K Moves

1. Langhorne Slim - The Way We Move

2. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

3. Brendan Benson - What Kind of World

4. Jack White - Blunderbuss

5. The Avett Brothers - The Carpenter

6. Cliff Hillis - Dream Good

7. The Lumineers - The Lumineers

8. Jukebox the Ghost - Safe Travels

9. Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal

10. Gentleman Jesse - Leaving Atlanta

11. Rhett Miller - The Dreamer

12. Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy

13. Chuck Prophet - Temple Beautiful

14. Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits

15. Rodriguez - Searching for Sugar Man

Jarrett K Hits it Out of the Ballpark

1 -- Ballpark Music: it's nice to be alive

2 -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis : The Heist

3-- Etyan and the Embassy: Everything Changes

4 -- Passion Pit: Take a Walk

5 -- The Lumineers

The Apple of Andrew F’s Eye

My top 3 this year:

1. Fiona Apple, The Idle Wheel...

2. Fun, Some Nights

3. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

12 year old Carolyn's Vote:

1. Taylor Swift, Red

Ronnie A’s Skyfalllllllll

Less scores this year, instead sublime music/film moments

Skyfall, Adele for the song and Thomas Newman for the score

Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, “Heroes” David Bowie

Moonrise Kingdom

Bernie, “Love Lifted Me” sung by Jack Black

Not Fade Away, “Road Runner” sung by the Sex Pistols

Searching for Sugar Man, Rodriguez

Holy Motors, the accordion scene “Let My Baby Ride” and “Who Were We” sung by Kylie Minogue

Hay is for Horses, But Hey Ho is for Nina S

"Essential" is a tough word to parse, and I tend to listen to music I've loved for years, or decades... but here are some 2012 releases I like:

1. The Lumineers, The Lumineers

2. Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leaving Eden

3. Grizzly Bear, Shields

4. Tallest Man on Earth, There's No Leaving Now

5. Mumford & Sons, Babel (though I like their first better)

6. Janis Joplin, The Pearl Sessions (OK, it's a 2012 RErelease, but still knockout!)

More banjos than drums in this year's playlist. Hmm. And even a cello--thanks, Lumineers, for making the instrument I played in high school as hip as the bass guitar I secretly craved.

Kathleen P Weaves on the Lumineers

1. The Lumineers, The Lumineers

2. Father John Misty, Fear Fun

3. Tanlines, Mixed Emotions

4. Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal

5. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die: The Paradise Edition

6. Beach House, Bloom

7. Jessie Baylin, Little Spark

8. First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar

9. Alabama Shakes, Boys and Girls

10. Nashville Cast, The Music of Nashville Original Soundtrack

John A Grins and Bears It

12. Lana Del Rey: Born to Die

11. The Unwinding Hours: Afterlives

10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

9. alt-J: An Awesome Wave

8. Bob Mould: Silver Age

7. Tanlines: Mixed Emotions

6. Divine Fits: A Thing Called Divine Fits

5. Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan

4. Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory

3. Animal Collective: Centipede Hz

2. Frank Ocean: channel ORANGE

1. Grizzly Bear: Shields

Top 7 Seven Tracks of 2012

7. Alt-J: breezeblocks

6. Frank Ocean: Lost

5. Grimes: Oblivion

4. Tame Impala: Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

3. Bob Mould: Briefest Moment

2. Grizzly Bear: Yet Again

1. Animal Collective: Today's Supernatural

Biggest Band Discoveries


Rogue Wave

Emily S Hits Alt-J

For most essential album of the year I have a tie vote between Alt-J's An Awesome Wave and First Aid Kit's The Lion's Roar.

Melissa W Sees Red


Taylor Swift, Red

fun., Some Nights

The Lumineers, The Lumineers

Beach House, Bloom

First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar

Individual Songs:

Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen (pref with this video, which I find heartwarming):

Ho Hey, The Lumineers

Starships, Nicki Minaj

We Are Young, fun.

Justin S’s Fun-damental Choice

My nomination for the music poll is SOME NIGHTS by FUN.

Megan S is Perfectly Frank

Top Albums of 2012

1. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

2. Grizzly Bear - Shields

3. Best Coast - The Only Place

4. Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory

5. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel ......

Older Albums I Discovered This Year

1. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved A Man(The Way I Loved You) (1967)

2. Caetano Veloso - s/t (1986)

3. Elton John - s/t (1970)

4. Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)

Top 10 Songs (Seven seemed like an odd place to cut it off so I did 10.)

1. My Blood - Ellie Goulding (I'm not even an Ellie Goulding fan and I can't believe this song hasn't been discovered yet! Heads and shoulders above Anything Can Happen.)

2. Wasted Days - Cloud Nothings

3. There's No Leaving Now - Tallest Man on Earth

4. Emmylou - First Aid Kit

5. Myth - Beach House

6. The Only Place - Best Coast

7. Laura - Bat for Lashes

8. The House That Heaven Built - Japandroids

9. Hold On - Alabama Shakes

10. Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings - Father John Misty

Brant R is a Crazy Beach

My Essential Albums of 2012: 

Beach House/Bloom 

Wild Nothing/Nocturne 

King Tuff/King Tuff 

Cat Power/Sun 

Grizzly Bear/Shields 

The Raveonettes/Observator 

TV Girl/The Wild, the Innocent, and the TV Shuffle

My Essential Tracks of 2012: 

TV Girl/Diet-Coke 

Beach House/Other People 

King Tuff/Baby Just Break 

Tanlines/Lost Somewhere 

Wild Nothing/Nocturne 

Grizzly Bear/Yet Again 

Cat Power/Manhattan

My Essential Discoveries of 2012: 

Miike Snow/Miike Snow [2009] 

Black Lips/Arabian Mountain [2011]

John Lennon/Some Time in New York City [1972] 

Youth Lagoon/The Year of Hibernation [2011] 

Buddy Holly/Buddy Holly [1958] 

Sonny Rollins/Way Out West [1957] 

Blouse/Blouse [2011]

Marisa P Won’t Switch Channels

Essential Albums

1. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

2. Solange, True EP

3. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

4. Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls

5. Haim, Forever EP

6. Taylor Swift, Red

7. Ellie Goulding, Halycon

8. FUN, Some Nights

9. Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream

10. Best Coast, The Only Place

Best Singles

1. Gotye, Somebody That I Used to Know

2. Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

3. Adele, Skyfall

4. Florence & Calvin Harris, Sweet Nothing

5. Grimes, Genesis

6. Fun, Some Nights

7. Rihanna, Stay

8. Adorn, Miguel

9. Carly Rae Jepson, Call Me Maybe

10. Katy Perry, Part of Me

11. 212, Azelia Banks

Top Seven Songs

1. Frank Ocean, Thinkin’ Bout You

2. Solange, Losing You

3. Ellie Goulding, Anything Can Happen

4. Alabama Shakes, Hold On

5. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

6. Haim, Forever

7. Another Love, Tom Odell

Joseph H Blooms

Beach House - Bloom

Sigur Ros - Valtari

Grimes - Visions

Grizzly Bear - Shields

Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

Passion Pit – Gosamner

Siobhan V in da House

Beach House, Bloom

Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...

Wild Nothings, Nocturne

Apollo Ghosts, Landmark

Neil Halstead, Palindrome Hunches

Biggest Letdown of 2012: 
a tie! 
THE XX, coexist 
SHINS, Port of Morrow

Camera Obscura

Andy M on Mars

The Mars Volta, Noctourniquet

TMV's best album in years. And, sadly, their swan song. To mourn their break-up, this is my only submission.

Andrew H Watches the Wheels

Most Essential Albums:

1. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel

2. Pink, The Truth About Love

Honorary Beatific Mention:

- Regina Spektor, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats

Top Seven Songs of the Year:

1. “Shut Eye” – Stealing Sheep

2. “Navajo” – Ponderosa

3. “Hot Knife” – Fiona Apple

4. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – Taylor Swift

5. “Angels” – The XX

6. “Let’s Have a Kiki” – Scissor Sisters

7. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers

Most Essential Songs that are a) covers and b) from previous years but nevertheless c) what I listened to most often:

1. “Take Care” – Florence + the Machine

2. “A Boy from School” – Grizzly Bear

Preeti C Has a Chip on Her iPod

Essential album of 2012:

Hot Chip, In Our Heads

Essential Songs:

Blur, Under the West Way

A.R. Rahman, Heer

M.I.A. Bad Girls

Hot Chip, Look At Where We are

Los Encantados, Maritime

Fun., Some Nights

Nas, Bye Bye Baby

Jonas R Fears Fun AND Chooses Fun

I definitely found myself listening to tracks more than albums this year - so I'm happy to contribute to this year's definitive mix as well. Since I fear some of my favorite songs may not get enough votes to warrant a place on the list, I implore you to play the track "My Bonneville," by Annie and the Beekeepers. It captures all the joy of being 16 and inheriting your first car, not necessarily a dream car, but more than you ever dreamed of.

OK, here goes...

Top Albums

1. Fun, Some Nights

2. Father John Misty, Fear Fun

3. Best Coast, The Only Place

4. Jack White, Blunderbuss

5. First Aid Kit, The Lion's Roar

6. The Shins, Port of Morrow

7. Annie and the Beekeepers, My Bonneville

8. Japandroids, Celebration Rock

9. M. Ward, A Wasteland Companion

10. Off!, OFF!

Top Songs - mostly a list of title tracks...

1. Annie and the Beekeepers, My Bonneville

2. Father John Misty, I'm Learning to Love the War

3. Best Coast, The Only Place

4. Fun, Some Nights

5. Jack White, Freedom at 21

6. Ben Folds Five, Erase Me

7. The Ting Tings, Hit Me Down Sonny

Lauren S Belongs To You, And You Belong to Her

My favorite albums this year:

1. The Lumineers, The Lumineers

2. Mumford & Sons, Babel

3. Imagine Dragons, Night Visions

4. Morning Parade, Morning Parade

5. Of Monsters & Men, My Head is an Animal

6. Kopecky Family Band, Kids Raising Kids

7. Various Artists, The Hunger Games (Songs from District 12 and Beyond)

Favorite songs of the year (in no particular order):

The Lumineers, Stubborn Love

Mumford & Sons, Hopeless Wanderer

Morning Parade, Born Alone

Imagine Dragons, Radioactive

Daughter, Run

The Heavy, Same Ol'

Santigold, Disparate Youth

Favorite Older Album I Wish I'd Discovered Sooner: James Vincent McMorrow, Early in the Morning (2011).

Nick E Shows His Preferences

1. Earlimart, System Preferences

Man, I could swear Elliott Smith worked on this album. Is that just me? It's maybe not groundbreaking, but it's strong from start to finish, shows some nice variety, and feels like something I'd have loved in college but with a fresh coat of paint. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but it's kind of perfect for me.

2. Jens Lekman, I Know What Love Isn't

In my opinion, Jens has never quite replicated the perfection of his first album -- which is really my way of saying that I like him as a total underdog sad sack. This album comes close to those good old days. Fun lyrics across the board, and enough somber songs to balance out the louder, more exuberant stuff. Also, Flatbush Avenue Target name-checked!

3. The Magnetic Fields, Love at the Bottom of the Sea

The good songs on this album are phenomenal. I can't imagine living in a world without "Andrew in Drag." But as usual with TMF in recent years, the bad songs are just as numerous as the good and, like a just-okay joke, not worth a replay once you know the punchline.

4. The XX, Coexist

A bit too muted to rank higher -- the lyrics have hardly registered with me at this point, but it's a beautiful album I'll continue to listen to for some time, I'm sure. Unless I forget about it….

5. Neil Halstead, Palindrome Hunches

The individual tracks blend together a bit too much, but hey, he's really good at what he does. Perfectly enjoyable and occasionally devastating -- though I hope his next project takes him in a new direction. It's time, Neil!

Song of the year:

Scissor Sisters, "Let's Have a Kiki"

I'm a bit sick of it at the moment, but for the rest of my life, whenever I hear it, I will remember 2012.

Pop mix track of the year:

Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"

There's always one song that makes me want to do drag, and this year, this is it.

Andrea R Heads to the Beach

Beach House, Bloom

Metric, Synthetica

Ellie Goulding, Halcyon

Father John Misty, Fear Fun

Santigold, Master of Our Make Believe

Alt-J, An Awesome Wave

Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Purity Ring, Shrines

Now Now, Threads

The xx, Coexist

Gotye, Making Mirrors

Top songs:

Ellie Goulding, "Only You"

Alt-J, "Fitzpleasure"

Father John Misty, "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"

Sea Wolf, "Old Friend"

Santigold, "Disparate Youth"

Purity Ring, "Lofticries"

Passion Pit, "It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"

Billy M is a Young Man in America

Young man in America - Anais Mitchell 

Not our kind of people - Garbage 

Hunger Games soundtrack 

Fiona apple – The Idler Wheel

Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game

Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man

Glen Hansard – Rhythm and Repose

Dan P and His Incorruptible Heart

Lavender Diamond - Incorruptible Heart

Beach House - Bloom

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Here

Christopher P’s Version of Events

1. Emeli Sande "Our Version of Events"

2. Paloma Faith "Fall to Grace"

3. Marina & the Diamonds "Electra Heart"

4. Lana del Rey "Born to Die"

5. Ellie Goulding "Halcyon"

Benjamin W Has Some Old Ideas

1. Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas

2. Niki and the Dove, The Fox

3. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

4. Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid M.A.A.D City

5. Jack White, Blunderbuss

6. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Here

7. David Byrne & St. Vincent, Love This Giant

And, of course, the song from my mom's book trailer. Whoever made it is a genius.

Giles G is Thinking About Frank

1. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

2. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...

3. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city

4. Mumford & Sons, Babel

5. Beach House, Bloom

Dash G Surfs to This Ocean

Artist: Frank Ocean


Channel-Orange-Frank Ocean

good kid, m.A.A.d city-Kendrick Lamar

Cruel Summer-Good Music

Babel-Mumford and Sons

The Heist-Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Royalty-Childish Gambino

Bob B On Fire

"Where The Kids Are" by Blondefire.

Joel P

Top 5 Albums (for nostalgia’s sake, because we don’t really listen to music as albums anymore, do we? I included one mixtape that really isn’t an album. Sue me.)

1. Metric , Synthetica

- Undeniably my most-listened-to album of the year, and a gem from start to finish. Perfect as an album, it flows from start to finish, the lyrics are brilliant and give me frequent frissons, the sound so heartfelt that it always makes me feel infinite. One of my all-time favorites.

2. Kishi Bashi, 151a

- Creative, fun, touching. A great listen start to finish with original ideas that surprise you around every turn, like a reinvented, accessible Animal Collective.

3. King Charles, LoveBlood

- In a year where the Lumineers and Mumford made watered down folk music boring and ubiquitious, King Charles played around with the forms and made something a lot more interesting.

4. fun., Some Nights

- You’re just dumb and full of your hipster self if this isn’t in your year-end-countdown. Nate Ruess has been making awesome music since the beginning of The Format and his music deserves the mainstream attention it’s getting. No other album was more rousing, more unafraid, more universal in the best possible way.

5. Azealia Banks, Fantasea

- Hit or miss, but when it hits (with Fierce, Esta Noche, Luxury, 1991, etc.) it’s amazing. And she’s hands-down this year’s breakout artist. If only she can keep it going…

Honorable Mentions:

Japandroids, Celebration Rock

Imagine Dragons, Night Visions

The xx, Coexist

Die Antwoord, Ten$ion

Wild Cub, Youth

Death Grips, The Money Store

Alt-J, An Awesome Wave

Angel Haze, New York EP

Emeli Sande, Our Version of Events

Rye Rye, Go! Pop! Bang!

Two Door Cinema Club, Beacon

Mika, The Origin of Love

Most overrated artist of the year: Frank Ocean

Seriously someone just stab me in the ear if I have to hear about his whiny mediocrity one more god damn time. I don’t care that he said he sucked a dick for some free album promotion, the guy’s lame.


1. Cha-Ching by Imagine Dragons

- NO ONE HAS HEARD THIS SONG. And it’s insanely amazing! It was an extra (I think) that was only added to the Spotify album and it’s so finger-snappingly infectious that I definitely listened to it nine million times this year.

2. 212 by Azealia Banks

3. Some Nights by Fun

4. Breathing Underwater by Metric

5. Went Away by The Maccabees

6. Sleep Alone by Two Door Cinema Club

7. I Don’t Recall by Lavender Diamond

LoveBlood by King Charles, Thunder Clatter and Colour by Wild Cub, New York by Angel Haze, Send Me Down by Haim, Hero by Family of the Year, Taro by Alt-J, Manchester and Bright Whites by Kishi Bashi, White Foxes by Susanne Sundfor, Heart Attack by Asteroid Galaxy Tour, Dum Dum by Baauer, Can’t Say No by Conor Maynard, Monopoly by Danny Brown, Next to Me by Emeli Sande, The House that Heaven Built by Japandroids, How to Be a Heartbreaker by Marina and the Diamonds, Tightrope by Walk the Moon, Elephant by Tame Impala, Losing You by Solange, Bangs by Brick + Mortar, 40oz Bounce by Krueger, The Veldt by Deadmau5, Faithless by Heavenly Beat

Tis the Season for Kristin E


fun., We Are Young (because it had the power to make me feel younger than Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann)

Beth Orton, Call Me the Breeze

Gotye, Somebody That I Used to Know

A. C. Newman, I'm Not Talking

Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe

Aimee Mann, Labrador (the video boosts its single power)


Beth Orton Sugaring Season

A. C. Newman, Shut Down the Streets

Inner Banks, Wild

fun., Some Nights

Beach House, Bloom

Wild Nothing, Nocturne

Aimee Mann, Charmer

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