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Seven Albums I Fell in Love With in 2012 (even though two of them are EPs) 

 Well, even though we’re almost 10 days into 2013, I felt the need to write about my seven favorite albums from 2012.

Muse – 2nd Law



Everyone knows that I love Muse so I expected to love this album. While it’s still not my favorite Muse album, I really appreciate the way they experimented with dubstep in a way that was not annoying. Also, there are a few stand-out tracks that will really knock you on your ass, like the single, “Madness.”





First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar



This folk duo consists of two Swedish sisters, Johanna and Klara Söderberg. With their amazing vocal melodies and complementing harmonies and absolutely beautifully constructed songs with powerful storytelling lyrics, this album will take you on a journey.





Beach House – Bloom



This album is amazing. Everything Beach House has ever done is amazing. I want to have Victoria LeGrand’s babies. (Let’s just forget about the fact that that is biologically impossible and I don’t even want babies.)




Moonlight Bride – Twin Lakes, Moonlight Bride – Dead Language

     

Technically, these are two EPs, but I like to listen to them back to back and think of them as one album. Really, I think of Dead Language as the sequel to Twin Lakes. Moonlight Bride is a Tennessee band that has seriously not gotten enough attention. These two EPs are filled with catchy songs like “Lemonade” that have some pretty solid hooks to heartbreaking songs like “Open Waters.” I can’t wait to hear what Moonlight Bride will do next.





Stars – The North



Here’s another band I love. I must admit, though, I was a little disappointed with 2010’s The Five Ghosts so when I heard this album, I immediately fell in love. “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It” is probably my favorite song of the entire year. This album has all of the great songwriting that made me fall in love with Stars.





Grizzly Bear – Shields



This was another highly anticipated album for me that certainly did not disappoint. If you liked the complex, mellow Veckatimest, you will love this album. Tracks like “Sleeping Ute” and “Yet Again” stand out for me. This album has a very nostalgic quality that makes me think of classic rock bands from the 1970s.





Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon




This was a new band I discovered in 2012. On the surface, this is a really catchy pop rock album. But when you listen more closely, you’ll discover deep, meaningful lyrics that point to themes of spirituality, especially on tracks like “The World is Watching” and “Remember My Name.” But “Sleep Alone” is probably my second favorite song from 2012.

Music I fell in love with in 2010... 

Alright, I know everyone is all listed out by now with all of the "Best of 2010" lists floating around. Also, I thought about it, and for me it's really hard to "rank" music. How can I compare one album to a completely different album? It's like saying "Which is the better fruit? Bananas or oranges?" Neither one can objectively be "better" although we may each have different favorites. So I thought instead of doing a countdown, I would just tell you about some of the albums that I fell in love with this year.

Beach House - Teen Dream



Teen Dream on Amazon.com

Beach House's website
 
Beach House on myspace

Of course, I have to mention this album. How could I not? Especially after I saw them live twice this year. (Ironically, neither show was in Atlanta. The first one was in Asheville, NC in late April. I drove up there to see them when their Atlanta show was sold out. The second time I saw them was in Athens at the 40 Watt.)

The first time I listened to this album all the way through, it was like magic. I completely fell in love with Victoria Legrand and her captivating vocal melodies, especially paired with Alex Scally's guitar, which weaves together with the organ so beautifully. This album took me somewhere, every time.




Arcade Fire - The Suburbs



The Suburbs on Amazon

Arcade Fire's website

Arcade Fire on myspace

I've been a huge fan of Arcade Fire ever since Funeral came out in 2005. I was a little obsessed with Funeral and Neon Bible, actually. So I was really excited about their 2010 release. But when I listened to the first few times, I was a little disappointed. It wasn't what I expected it to be. It didn't make me feel the way that those first two albums did, especially Funeral with it's longing and joy and childhood nostalgia. 

And then one day, I just sat down and listened to the whole thing, and I had a moment. I got it. It captures that suburban-9-to-5-sitting-in-traffic-this-is-almost-like-being-in-jail-but-we-don't-notice-because-we're-too-busy-drinking-lattes-and-playing-on-our-iphones feeling extremely well. But it still slightly irritates me because Arcade Fire doesn't have to punch the clock or work 9 to 5 day jobs. They get to play music for a living. I'm sure at one point, they understood the frustration, living in the sprawl, feeling trapped, but I feel like this album is really coming from an outside perspective. I still have mixed feelings about it in that regard. Nonetheless, I've come to absolutely love the music. Especially this song, which I've definitely listened to non-stop, on repeat, for at least a day or two.






Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle



Penny Sparkle on Amazon

Blonde Redhead's website

Blonde Redhead on myspace

This is an album I haven't seen mentioned a lot on the various best of 2010 lists, and I really don't know why. This album is amazing! The airy vocals and dreamy guitars will send you into another world as well. They remind me of Slowdive meets the Cocteau Twins. If you like shoegaze or dreamy music, you should definitely check out this band. I am really hoping they make it to Atlanta sometime soon so that I can catch them live.



UNKLE - Where Did the Night Fall



Where Did the Night Fall on Amazon

UNKLE's website

UNKLE on myspace

This is another album I haven't seen mentioned much, which I also think is weird. I became completely obsessed with this album when I was in Mexico. I've been a fan of UNKLE for a while, but it was really listening to this album that made me pay attention. I especially love the tracks that UNKLE does with The Black Angels (there's one on this album and one on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack, which is actually a great soundtrack.)

Check it out!




Dark Dark Dark - Bright Bright Bright



Bright Bright Bright on Amazon

Dark Dark Dark's website

Dark Dark Dark on myspace

If you like Regina Spektor or My Brightest Diamond, you must listen to Dark Dark Dark.  This EP goes from eerie to nostalgic to passionate to elated to longing all within the span of six songs. After I saw the band live at The Five Spot in October, I was hooked. Their live show was amazing as well. They had an incredible presence. (And who doesn't love accordions?)



So there we have it. Five releases that I absolutely fell in love with in 2010.

Releases I'm excited to hear in 2011 so far? Well, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li, Devotchka, and Adele are all supposed to have albums coming out in 2011. I have a good feeling about this upcoming year. :-)

Podcast - Music sharing March 2010  

1. "Skyscrapers" - OK GO - from the album Of the Blue Colour Of the Sky



OK Go Website
Buy the Album on Amazon



2. "Pray for Rain" - Massive Attack - from the album Heligoland



Massive Attack website
Buy the album on Amazon



3. "Soldier of Love" - Sade - from the album Soldier of Love



Sade website
Buy the album on Amazon



4. "Young Guns" - Moonlight Bride - from the album Myths



Moonlight Bride website
Buy the album on iTunes



5. "Silver Soul" - Beach House - from the album Teen Dream



Beach House website
Buy the album on Amazon



6. "Lately" - The Helio Sequence - from the album Keep Your Eyes Ahead


Helio Sequence website
Buy the album on Amazon




7. "July Flame" - Laura Veirs - from the album July Flame


Laura Veirs website
Buy the album on Amazon



8. "Slow Down Town" - Headlights - from the album Wildlife



Headlights website
Buy the album on Amazon