January 13, 2013
Contributed by Brad Fuller
Welcome back!! It’s that time of the year again; the semester is about to begin, but its time (and has been for a while) for end of the year music lists!! For me, its always interesting to read many lists to see how everyone viewed different releases compared to my opinions of them. This year, I had considerably less time to dedicate to new music due to my busy school schedule. This year, I listened to around 35 new albums (compared to over 70 from 2011). This may be the reason I felt that there were many more solid releases in 2011 than 2012, but it could be that my perception is fact; who knows… (maybe someone that was able to get through more material than I). However, I feel as if I have selected 12 solid albums from a wide spectrum of genres in which possibly everyone can find something enjoyable. Some of the albums may force you to step out of your listening comfort zone if you aren’t listening to music that isn’t simply radio music, yet for some you will hear something much more deep than simply the sounds. Also, I apologize for the lack of elaboration on some of these albums; I had a busy year :O
If you ever want to creep on me to see what I’m listening to, you can do so here: http://www.last.fm/user/bfuller92
[12.] Grimes | Visions
So digital. Post-Internet.
[11.] Sigur Rós | Valtari
Genre: Ambient/Post Rock
“I don’t care if Sigur Rós lyrics are in a made up fairytale language; their sound is beautiful” – Brad Fuller
[10.] The xx | Coexist
Genre: Indie Pop
Some say they didn’t like the direction (or lack of direction) The xx took with Coexist; I personally disagree with whoever they are.
[9.]Hot Chip | In Our Heads
Celebrate the light that bleeds through the pain.
[8.] Frank Ocean | Channel ORANGE
Genre: R & B
Frank is the first that I know of that is true to himself in an industry full of fake personalities and unrealistic motives.
[7.] Grizzly Bear | Shields
Genre: Neo-Psychedelic Rock
Nothing really stands out on this record; Aesthetically pleasing, demanding, and interesting.
[6.] Maps & Atlases | Beware and Be Grateful
Genre: Alternative Math Rock
I first discovered Maps & Atlases at a show on Fountain Square. After the show I simply walked backstage and started talking to Dave, the lead singer. We had a nice conversation before a girl who was interested on a whole different level rudely interrupted; I wished them well and went home. Their music is so quirky, yet refined; Basic, but intriguing. I highly recommend this album, simply because the band is very nice and appreciative. They take cool Instagram pictures too.
[5.] Twin Shadow | Confess
Even though it may seem like a lot of relationship issues, and a lot of “hey, haven’t we heard this before?” it really is way more than that, even if you don’t wear a leather jacket and grease your hair.
[4.] Passion Pit | Gossamer
Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Dance
I may have listened to this album a little too much this year, but not always for the right reasons; every track is so catchy! This may create a problem for some, however, because the music is so upbeat and positive while the lyrics are realistic accounts of life. Not necessarily the most negative record I’ve ever heard, but a fair statement of exploration.
[3.] Beach House | Bloom
Bloom is the album that you listen to and automatically think of your life, whether it actually applies. Chances are, it will apply in more than one way. We all change; we all bloom in some way. Even though I hate the word nostalgia with a burning passion, this album creates a nostalgic feeling, but in a way that will challenge you to evaluate your life and reflect on how you have become the person you are today. All while making you feel like you are dreaming.
[2.] Burial | Street Halo / Kindred EP / Truant EP
Genre: Ambient Dubstep
You may be the person that professes your love for dubstep, or you may think it sounds like a screeching broken record. However, many people will make this judgment by listening to whatever Skrillex song was played on the radio. Some advice: stop listening to the radio; Discover incredible music in genres that you always thought were annoying, because I can guarantee there is something artistic out there. When I listen to Skrillex, I understand the people that say it is annoying. Yet Burial has consistently put out records with simple messages that are easy to get into, and are written in a unique style.
[1.] Godspeed You! Black Emperor | Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Genre: Drone/Post Rock/Experimental
We haven’t heard from Godspeed since 2002, yet they seem to have picked up right where they left off. I wasn’t quite the avid music listener then that I am now, but I was aware of major political events occurring in our country at the time. Although it came directly after a time of great unity, us as a country were furious. Today, it seems not much has changed. After the recent presidential election, we remain as divided as ever. But in the masterpiece that is Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, that seems irrelevant. The tone of the music focuses on political themes that are being experienced throughout the world, but their art shines through the politics with no detail being left behind. Sure, when we see the first track tiled “Mladic”, we are not going to think of positive, happy art. The album is very dark and gloomy, with which seems to be, in my opinion, an accurate representation of how the world is beginning to view political figures, each other, and the future. While it is gloomy, it is a beautifully accurate assessment of the world that should not be overlooked.
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