Daniel’s Top 5 Albums of 2012

(In no particular order)

Bloc Party - Four

I think on this album Bloc Party really experimented with different sounds and really broke away in certain songs from their usual style of writing, which I liked. The tracks “Truth” and “Team A” are my favorite off of the album. I like how they utilize guitar effects and how the recordings sound live. The melodies on most of the songs are a lot stronger then past records; not everything sounds like the lines “you are the bluest light,” “I still remember” and “this modern love.”

Crafts Spells - Gallery

I’m a huge fan of New Wave and Dream Pop music and I think Justin Vallesteros (singer of Craft Spells) nailed the sound on this EP. He writes and records everything in his bedroom which is also pretty cool, and a surprise how he gets it to sound good on recording. The first two tracks, “Still Left With Me” and “Warmth” are my favorite tracks. I saw them live in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall, and they are amazing live. They really perfected their live sound. And I even like how some songs sound live as opposed to how they are recorded. If you like this EP you should also check out “Idle Labor” which is their debut album that came out in 2011, which is also incredible.

The Tallest Man on Earth - There’s No Leaving Now

I really enjoy Kristian Matsson’s writing style. I have his entire discography on my phone, which I frequently listen to. I think the recording quality of this album was the best by far.  I like the live sound he gets on a lot of the songs and it’s just a good album in my opinion. My favorite tracks are There’s “No Leaving Now” and “Little Brother.”

In terms of music that came out in 2012, I only liked those three albums, as a whole.  And since I only had three from 2012 I’m also picking three albums from 2011.

Beach Fossils - What A Pleasure

I think when I first heard of Beach Fossils I heard their first self-titled album, which wasn’t bad but it didn’t impress me. I felt it lacked stronger melodies, but when hearing their release of “What A Pleasure” I was blown away by the guitars parts and vocal melodies. I like the vibe of the album; it feels like you’re in a dream with all the instruments drowned in reverb. My favorite tracks off the album are “What A Pleasure” and “Out In The Way” (feat. Jack Tatum.) It’s a very specific sound/genre but I enjoyed the EP a lot.

Blouse - Blouse

I was browsing through videos online when I came across of a live video of a song by Blouse and was really impressed with how good they sounded live. I really like this album, but I think it should have just been tracks 2-10 and taken out the first track because all those songs are really strong on their own. I like the dark tone in the singer’s voice. They have a very “80s” sound, which I can never get tired of.  Also the singer plays guitar which is always neat, considering that she’s the only guitarist in the band.

The Drums - Portamento

I am, and have been obsessed with The Drums since late 2010, when I first heard them. I think this is an album everyone should listen to at least once. I feel like they perfected the true sound of New Wave Pop. I can never get tired of listening to this. I have literally had this on repeat on the way to shows and on tour. I have seen them live twice, and got to meet their live drummer and bassist/guitarist. I think the songs are even better live. My favorite track has to be “Days.” A cool thing about both of their LPs is that they were all recorded in a house, with basic recording equipment; this particular album was recorded in the kitchen of an apartment. This is my favorite band currently (excluding The Beatles, of course.)