After having only five games to pick from for the top five games list, I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to music selection. Only problem is I haven’t really found much new music I like this year. Either new bands popping up sounding like ‘lite’ versions of bands I was expecting (The Knife, Queens Of The Stone Age and MGMT releases ran off into 2013) or it was popular bands pushing out bland new material. Though it wasn’t all so bad, these five albums made 2012 a little easier on the ears.
5. Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania (19th June 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/currently-listening-to-the-smashing-pumpkins-oceania/
Smashing Pumpkin’s Oceania starts the show off at number five, an album which startled me so much for not being complete pump. Billy Corgan’s more mellow approach has nothing on the experimental madness of ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’, but he’s too old for that sort of thing now and his mellow leanings today are rather pleasing for the ears. It’s an album I put on in a charity shop and it didn’t clear out the room. Charity shop quality… wait, that sounds bad!
4. Graham Coxon – A + E (2nd April 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/currently-listening-to-graham-coxon-ae/
Graham Coxon is not an artist I’ve been particularly endeavoured to listening to over the years, blame being introduced to his works with the folk heavy ‘Spinning Top’. But I gave him another go this year with A+E and now I’m not so bitter about the torture he’s put me through in the past. This has a raw sound as it pops out on grimy Britain and it is great background music for looking out of the window into the streets. It’s ended up as one of my most played for the year, and my number four. Though it may be most played because of the album sitting at the top of my iTunes. Slacker selection.
3. Purity Ring – Shrines (24th July 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/currently-listening-to-purity-ring-shrines/
Purity Ring is one of my personal discoveries this year. Itching to find out what the hell was going on with The Knife’s new album, I searched the net and found a review comparing this electronic duo the that other electronic duo. Starving for dark techno I dove straight in and found a new love. Haunting, beautiful and paralysing, Purity Ring is the best music for three in the morning. I even ventured out in the real world to see them live and it really gets you twisting. Unless you’re a hipster, because that could totally make your thick rimmed glasses fall off. I’m still bitter.
2. Deftones – Koi No Yokan (12th November 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/currently-listening-to-deftones-koi-no-yokan/
Koi No Yokan is love at first sight, just check out that sexy box art. I wish I had some interior design like that! The album has heavy and light running across the sunset hand in hand, creating a sound which is beautiful yet head rocking. Tracks are tightly woven together thanks to some gorgeous transitions and it never feels anything less than sleek and sexy. There is a lack of variation in lyrical content, but this is an album which just wants to speak of love in ways that no one else can. By knocking you into the ground then lifting you up into heaven. At the same time. How is that even possible!?
1. Grimes – Visions (31st January 2012)
Write Up: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/currently-listening-to-grimes-visions/
I called it the ultimate cleaning album, but that’s just because I can only listen to amazing music when cleaning. This makes mopping feel like the equivalent of skating on soda while the moon shines in from the window. It’s mystical, often nonsensical and the most refreshing album of 2012. And the best. This breakthrough should see Grimes shoot off into space and beyond, and I now need to run backwards and hoover up her previous two releases. For those who like pop to submerge them, rather than to make you groan the hooks.
And so 2012 turned out pretty well for music in the end, though my greedy ears are already twitching to the thought of 2013’s new sounds. What was expected this year is now expected next year. Hopefully this time they’ll emerge, but who knows if they can compete against what’s been and gone this year…