Favorite Albums (and Songs) of 2012

December 10, 2012 — 5 Comments

sony music unlimited logoI have put together a list of my favorite albums each year I have blogged (2009, 10, 11).

Looking over my list this year it seems this is the year the techno pop and folk sing-alongs.

Miike Snow, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, and Purity Ring all fall under the techno pop while The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men fall under the folk sing-along.

Here is my list for 2012 (in no particular order).

  1. Miike Snow: Happy to YouI am surprised more people don’t have this album on their list. I may have listened to “The Wave” more than any other song this year. As Pitchfork describes them, they are an “electronic take on springy indie pop.” Some complain about the vocals and lyrics but it was one of the few albums I kept going back to.hotchip inourheads stickered
  2. Hot Chip: In Our Heads / With a techno flair and a trust in their music, Hot Chip produced a stellar fifth album. The vocals compliment the music rather than overwhelming it. It can be described as Dance Music, but it is soft and psychedelic.
  3. Yeasayer: Fragrant World / When I first listened to this album it was about as far away as it could get from this list. But I kept at it. By the 3rd time through I was stopped comparing it to Odd Blood, and started to appreciate it for its uniqueness. “Glass of the Microscope” pushed this one over the edge and could be my favorite song of the year
  4. 41ZsWDiEvfL. SL500 AA300 The Lumineers: The Lumineers / I am a sucker for this music. It has a toned down Mumford and Sons sound, with a more sing-along quality. Simplicity is the key for this Colorado crew.
  5. The Followers: Wounded Healer / This is the best indie Christian album I have heard in years. They bring back the organ calling it neo-gospel with a little 70’s, folk, and country influences.
  6. Of Monsters and Men: My Head is An Animal / As one reviewer noted, they combine the folky with the epic. They also have a sing-along quality but with a little more foot stomping. They are now a strong part of the indie-folk revolution that includes The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, and Mumford and Sons.
  7. Lecrae: Gravity / Mixing epic, symphonic with diverse beats, and creative lyrics Gravity came and has done what few Christian rappers have accomplished, produced something unique. “Falling Down” has one of the most catchy beats I heard all year. Most rap is like candy, it is sweet but does not last, and one grows tired of it quickly. But songs like “Confe$$ions” and “Tell the World” have the chance to make this one last.Purity pack shot
  8. Purity Ring: Shrines / Purity Ring has a heavenly techno pop sound. This is their debut album with dubbed-out beats and soothing female vocals from Megan Jones
  9. Grizzly Bear: Shields / This album is unlike most on the list, with melancholy sounds and more straightforward indie sounds without the pop.
  10. Fun.: Some Nights / This is the type of album that makes you want to set the world on fire (in a good way). The catchy tunes and simple yet relatable lyrics will make you run faster and jump higher.

Notable mentions:

  1. Matthew Perryman Jones: Land of the Living
  2. Santigold: Master of My Make-Believe
  3. Beach House: Bloom
  4. Mumford and Sons: Babel
  5. Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
  6. Jack White: Blunderbuss

Notable songs:

  1. Matt & Kim: Let’s Go
  2. Anais Mitchell: Coming Down
  3. Regina Spektor: How / The Party
  4. The Welcome Wagon: I Know That My Redeemer Lives
  5. Sara Bareilles: Lie to Me
  6. LP: Into the Wild
  7. Alabama Shakes: Hold On
  8. Arcade Fire: Abraham’s Daughter
  9. Delta Spirit: Time Bomb / Empty House / Tear It Up
  10. Jones Street Station: The Understanding
  11. Grimes: Genesis
  12. Muse: Supremacy
  13. Frank Ocean: Thinkin Bout You
  14. Bat For Lashes: All Your Gold
  15. Passion Pit: I’ll Be Alright

Patrick Schreiner

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I teach New Testament at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am married with three children. This blog, against all wisdom, includes anything I am interested in. That includes movies, music, theology, culture, hermeneutics, the Gospels, and politics. Feel free to comment and let me know you are reading or that you have found something helpful. I reserve the right to delete unhelpful or rude comments. Many of these posts are simply things I find interesting and therefore I am not asserting I agree with everything I link to.

5 responses to Favorite Albums (and Songs) of 2012

  1. Judging by this list, if you haven’t you need to give “Lonesome Dreams” by Lord Huron a listen. It was my “sleeper” record of the year in that I had never heard of them prior to my first listen of the record. Spacey, folk feel.

    Other notables for me: “Light for the Lost Boy” by Andrew Peterson, MPJ as well, and while it didn’t come out this year, “Slave Ambient” by The War on Drugs.

    Songs: “Elephant” by Tame Impala

  2. Looks like we have similar taste in music. I’ve not really been able to keep up with music this year (which is very strange for me!) so I’ll have to check out your suggestions. Both Purity Ring and Grizzly Bear have great albums 🙂

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