In past years, January has been an absolute goldmine of the previous years albums, and this year I was very keen on catching up and finding some good tunes, as I personally found 2012 a little bit unremarkable musically. However it hasn't quite worked out as planned......
A real mixed bag across the board I thought, which probably didn't totally surprise me. I do wonder how much of it was genuine opinion, compared with the need to seem cool, or avoid criticism, or even to be liked on Facebook and Twitter. My preferred genres are a little out of fashion at the moment and the 'hot' albums are stuff that I'm not really interested in.
Before I get onto my highlights, I just want to make mention of Swans-The Seer album being a feature of most top 10's across the board. This album goes for 2 hours, and includes 32 and 23 minute tracks......geez, was it produced by Oliver Stone or something? Come on, seriously music people.....piss off.....that's just absolute rubbish to be recommending as a 'must listen' album! Nothing against Swans, and I'm sure that it has something to offer a minority audience, but who wants to listen to a fucking 2 hour album?? (Hehe...not 'Gen Y' I'll bet). Thumbs down to many pretentious music sites for following each other here.
I was very happy to see some of my favourites poll fairly well. The Shins-Port of Morrow, First Aid Kit-The Lions Roar, Of Monsters And Men-My Head Is An Animal, Dum Dum Girls-End Of Daze, and Best Coast-The Only Place were all great albums last year.
I was also absolutely stoked that Allo Darlin'-Europe was rated the top Indie Pop album by 'Pop Matters'. It was also my favourite album of the year, and they played an awesome show at 'The Tote' in Melbourne in October which was one of the better gigs I saw last year.
Out of the lists, I managed to get hold of the following albums that are all ticking along in my rotation at the moment:
The High Water Marks-Pretending To Be Loud - A really catchy guitar based album that grabs you from the first track This River Never Ends, which is an absolute cracker. This seems to be their 3rd LP, so I might need to try and track the others down. You can download this for free from their Bandcamp page, which is very nice of them.
Literature-Arab Spring - A similar sound to the album above, maybe a little bit heavier and faster at times, but hasn't quite got the same catchy hooks. This is a debut album, and it's absolutely roaring with energy. You can download this for your choice of payment from their Bandcamp page. I'm looking forward to getting right into this over the next few weeks/months.
King Tuff-King Tuff - I was very happy with the first few listens of this, but it's stalled a bit which I think is cos of the singers voice. Has a slight country-ish undertone as well, not that you'd call it country by any means. I'm having a break from this one for now.
Mystery Jets-Radlands - I remember their previous album, which was just OK. I've only given this one a couple of listens so far, as I've found myself distracted by some exciting new releases, nothing's grabbed me yet, but I've heard enough to know that it will stay in the rotation for now.
There have been a number of promising new albums that I've come across so already this year which is a little odd for January. It's kinda thrown me out of whack with my rotations as well...I'm far from the most organised bloke around, I've listened to far too many albums only once so don't have much of an opinion to give yet.
I'm very, very excited at the moment by The History Of Apple Pie-Out Of View, which was released in late January. They came across my radar last year with a couple of very nice songs in Mallory, and Science For The Young. I'm sure I'll go into this in far more detail next month...I think it's also going to be the first album that I ever do a full review of, which will be interesting. For now though I'll say that it's an outstanding debut, and tracks like See You and Glitch are bringing me back to it on a daily basis.
The other albums that are now into play for me are:
Veronica Falls-Waiting For Something To Happen
Christopher Owens-Lysandre (Why, why, why did he leave Girls??)
The Joy Formidable-Wolf's Law
Ex Cops-True Hallucinations (Very good early signs)
Ducktails-The Flower Lane
Foxygen-We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic
Widowspeak - Almanac
I also was given a copy of an EP by a local Aussie band called Tigertown-Before The Morning, from 2012 which is really good...indie pop with a really clean and catchy sound and some horns on the side.
A couple of disappointing ones that have been discarded fairly quickly are:
Tegan & Sara-Heartthrob (What on earth are you gals doing? This is horrible top 40 stuff..such a shame)
Parquet Courts-Light Up Gold
Anyway, that's it from me for now...cheers!