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).
- Miike Snow: Happy to You / I 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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
- Grizzly Bear: Shields / This album is unlike most on the list, with melancholy sounds and more straightforward indie sounds without the pop.
- 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.
- Matthew Perryman Jones: Land of the Living
- Santigold: Master of My Make-Believe
- Beach House: Bloom
- Mumford and Sons: Babel
- Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
- Jack White: Blunderbuss
- Matt & Kim: Let’s Go
- Anais Mitchell: Coming Down
- Regina Spektor: How / The Party
- The Welcome Wagon: I Know That My Redeemer Lives
- Sara Bareilles: Lie to Me
- LP: Into the Wild
- Alabama Shakes: Hold On
- Arcade Fire: Abraham’s Daughter
- Delta Spirit: Time Bomb / Empty House / Tear It Up
- Jones Street Station: The Understanding
- Grimes: Genesis
- Muse: Supremacy
- Frank Ocean: Thinkin Bout You
- Bat For Lashes: All Your Gold
- Passion Pit: I’ll Be Alright