Despite not being the most musically talented (can anyone say painful memories of playing the Jurassic Park Theme on Trumpet in Junior High Band?), music does play a big part in my life none the less.
Each year I compile my own personal Top Ten Albums of the past year. So in no particular order, here are my favourites for 2012. What albums have made your list this year?
2:54 - Self Titled
Comprised of two Bristol Born sisters, what’s not to love of a band with a name coming from the 2:54 mark in “A History of Bad Men” by of the Melvins? Extreme Music Geek Love!
Trust - TRST
No surprise here given how much I like Austra, what with Maya Postepski being in both bands. I caught an incredible live performance of Trust this year at the Great Hall in Toronto. It was a sold out show in high Summer with disgustingly humid weather (did I mention there’s no air conditioning in the Great Hall either?) It was a hot mess to be sure, and Trust had the crowd dancing till the very end in sweaty, bliss-filled abandon.
Ty Segall - Twins
Three full length albums in one year?!? Really? Man, do I feel lazy. Just go and listen, fantastic garage rock!
Amanda Palmer - Theatre Is Evil
Ms.Palmer never fails to deliver, and her Kickstarter crowd funded Theatre Is Evil is a splendid triumph, regardless of any interweb drama surrounding it. The woman always puts on an incredible theatrical show, though I can’t help but admit to missing the fantastic Danger Ensemble from her last tour.
Patrick Wolf - Sundark & Riverlight
A beautiful acoustic collection consisting of work from Wolf’s career over the past decade. Simply breathtaking.
Mark Lanegan - Blues Funeral
In keeping with my grunge roots (Doc Martens will never go out of style in my closet), Mark Lanegan’s (of Screaming Trees fame) solo release Blues Funeral is a hearty, soulful entry into my 2012 list. Though the album didn’t meet with critical acclaim, I really rate it. I’ve yet to hear Lanegan’s later 2012 Christmas themed release Dark Mark Does Christmas 2012, which is the only other album that could possibly have booted Blues Funeral off this list.
DIIV - Oshin
There’s a sense of familiarity with DIIV’s debut album Oshin. I wish I could claim I found out about this group on my own, but my classic rock loving boyfriend was actually the one to put me onto them “You’ll like this, it’s a Jamie-band” usually meaning something dream pop or shoegaze-y. DIIV are absolute ear candy for me, and hopefully for you too!
Toy - Self Titled
In the mood for some brilliant psychedelic indie rock? Good. Now go throw this on and have a listen. I happened across this UK band while listening to Marc Riley’s show on BBC Radio 6, and would have missed them completely otherwise. Yay internet radio!
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Aufheben
With albums released this year by both the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, I can’t help but be reminded of the love-hate relationship between Courtney Taylor and Anton Newcombe of BJM, especially portrayed in the excellent Dig! documentary by Ondi Timoner. Though the Dandy Warhols 2012 album This Machine is great, and catching them live this year at the Phoenix was easily one of my all time favourite concerts ever, BJM’s Aufheben really is a stand out album. Beautiful, and at times reminding me of Stereolab (see track 2 – Viholliseni Maalla).
Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
Likened to practically every successful alternative female musician going (Annie Lennox, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush and Bjork just to name a few), Natasha Khan really is her own woman despite the need for comparison. With several strong albums under her belt, her third being this years The Haunted Man doesn’t fail to delight – flowing seamlessly, it’s as rich and complex as the previous two. The album artwork is stunning in its simplicity and refusal to photoshop, primp or preen, taking a non sexualized stance on the body. Khan in an interview said regarding the artwork that she was: “wistful for album covers like John & Yoko or Patti Smith where bodies were allowed to be really natural, and represent more than just this one dimensional sexual provocation…[celebrating] all the complex things you can be except just being sexy”