I will say that 2012 has clearly been the year of the single-word album title. And that there is an embarrassing number of Wesleyan-affiliated artists on this list. And that I was wrong when I said that the Walkmen record sucks.
TOP TWENTY ALBUMS OF 2012
1. Port St. Willow — Holiday
I wrote about a Port St. Willow performance here , for Wesleying. The crowd sucked. This album is phenomenal, though.
[Key tracks: "Amawalk," "Tourist," "North"]
2. Swans — The Seer
I wrote about The Seer on my Best Noise-Rock of 2012 list. Scroll down.
[Key tracks: "A Piece of the Sky," "The Seer Returns," "93 Ave. Bues"]
3. Trespassers William — Cast
I wrote about Cast here, for PopMatters.
[Key tracks: "Believe Me," "Blue"]
4. Cloud Nothings — Attack on Memory
I wrote about Attack on Memory on my Best Noise-Rock of 2012 list. Scroll down.
[Key tracks: "No Sentiment," "No Future/No Past"]
5. Liars — WIXIW
I wrote about a Liars show in June for Consequence of Sound. Here's that review.
[Key tracks: "No.1 Against the Rush," "WIXIW"]
6. METZ — METZ
Obviously I also wrote about METZ on my Best Noise-Rock of 2012 list.
[Key track: "Knife in the Water"]
7. Ben Seretan — New Space
I raved about this record on Wesleying a whole lot, because it's really fucking good.
[Key track: "What Would You Do If You Were Me?"]
8. Menomena — Moms
Here's my review of Moms, via Consequence of Sound.
[Key tracks: "Baton," "One Horse"]
9. Beach House — Bloom
[Key track: "Lazuli"]
10. White Suns — Sinews
Wrote a blurb for Sinews on my Best Noise-Rock of 2012 list.
[Key track: "Footprints Filled"]
11. Tindersticks — The Something Rain
[Key tracks: "Show Me Everything," "This Fire of Autumn," "Frozen"]
12. Japandroids— Celebration Rock
[Key tracks: "Fire's Highway," "Continuous Thunder"]
13. Ben Seretan and The Early — In Two
Yes, I'm including Ben Seretan twice. This is a collaborative effort with Portland group The Early. I interviewed Ben about this record for Wesleying.
[Key tracks: "Drive to Michigan," "Onion Boy"]
14. Heems — Nehru Jackets
Wrote some words about Heems on Wesleying this year. Also spotted him at the Tent Party, lol.
[Key tracks: "Bad, Bad, Bad," "Womyn"]
15. Odonis Odonis — Hollandaze
Wrote a blurb for Hollandaze on my Best Noise-Rock of 2012 list.
[Key track: "Busted Lip"]
16. The Walkmen — Heaven
The first time I listened to Heaven, in the car on the way to my cousin Jason's bar mitzvah, I fucking hated it. The following week, Sam Sklar and I went
[Key tracks: "Line by Line," "Heaven"]
17. Lee Ranaldo — Between the Times and the Tides
[Key tracks: "Xtina As I Knew Her," "Fire Island (Phases)"]
18. The Men — Open Your Heart
I wrote a blurb for Open Your Heart on my Best Noise-Rock of 2012 list.
[Key tracks: "Please Don't Go Away," "Turn It Around"]
19. Point Reyes — Golden
Adam Lauria, you'd probably like this record
[Key tracks: "Kaddish," "Hair White"]
20. Bear in Heaven— I Love You, It's Cool
I interviewed Bear in Heaven here, shortly after I Love You, It's Cool came out, for the Argus.
[Key track: "Sinful Nature"]
TOP THREE DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2012
1. The Flaming Lips — The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends
Wrote about one track from this album here , for Rolling Stone.
2. Dirty Projectors — Swing Lo Magellan
Live review here.
3. The Babies — Our House on the Hill
Full review here, via Consequence of Sound. I wrote it on Election Night while watching election returns.
TOP FIVE ALBUMS OF 2012 THAT ARE MOST LIKELY REALLY GOOD BUT I DIDN'T ACTUALLY GET AROUND TO LISTENING TO THEM SO WHATEVER
1. Kendrick Lamar — Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
2. The Evens — The Odds
3. Spiritualized — Sweet Heart Sweet Light
4. Heems — Wild Water Kingdom
5. Andy Stott — Luxury Problems
TOP THREE SONGS OF 2012
1. Menomena — "One Horse"
2. Swans — "A Piece of the Sky"
2. Cloud Nothings — "No Sentiment"
TOP FIVE DISCOVERIES OF 2012
1. Laurie Anderson — Strange Angels
2. McLusky — McLusky Do Dallas
3. The Walkmen — You & Me
4. Swans — My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
5. Eleanor Friedberger — Last Summer
TOP ONE ALBUM THAT I TECHNICALLY OWNED WAY BEFORE 2012 BUT DIDN'T ACTUALLY REALIZE HOW GOOD IT WAS UNTIL 2012
1. Suede — Dog Man Star
TOP TEN CONCERTS I SAW IN 2012 IN PURELY CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
1. DIIV (then known as DIVE) and Teenage Cool Kids (2/25, Eclectic)
2. Bear in Heaven (3/3, The Space in Hamden, CT)
3. No Age and EULA (3/8, Eclectic)
4. Cloud Nothings and Future Islands (4/26, Eclectic)
5. The Walkmen (6/6, Bowery Ballroom)
6. Liars (6/20, Webster Hall)
7. Laurie Anderson and Geri Allen (7/17, The Stone)
8. A Place To Bury Strangers, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Hunters (7/27, Music Hall of Williamsburg)
9. R. Stevie Moore (9/22, Eclectic)
10. Menomena with PVT (10/12, Music Hall of Williamsburg)
TOP THREE ANTICIPATED ALBUMS OF 2013
1. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
2. Flaming Lips
3. Cloud Nothings