Thursday, April 11, 2013

Three Colours' Year End List (2012)

Not another Year End List

2012 is officially in the books, and Three Colours has compiled its very favorites of the year. In our opinion, here's the best music of 2012. You may be surprised to see a year-end list released this late into the year, but after all the life-changing events that have occurred over the year, I'm just happy to finally get this out there. 2012 was a crazy great year!

Top 13 LPs of 2012

13 :: Twin Shadow – Confess
It only took me 5 seconds to fall in love with Twin Shadow's newest LP. Confess is chalk-full of retro-stylized rock and R&B that somehow maintains a contemporary groove.

12 :: Grimes – Visions
Claire Boucher offers up a beautifully crafted album of otherworldly electro-pop, shape-shifting throughout the entire record. Visions may be the most unique album of '12.

11 :: The xx – Coexist
Picking up where they left off, The xx deliver yet another amazing collection of intimate, smooth jams. Lacking the catchy hooks found on their debut LP, Coexist is slightly less memorable.

10 :: Vacationer – Gone LP
After wowing listeners with the "Gone" Single and the Gone EP, Vacationer added some more hits on this long player. No travel guide necessary for where this album takes you.

09 :: Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams
Lonesome Dreams plays out like an epic western adventure. One of my most anticipated albums of 2012, the debut lives up to hype generated by the Mighty and Into The Sun EPs.

07 :: Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
Emotion-fueled folksy ballads with lush arrangements make Tramp a powerful listen. This LP is the sequel to Fiest's The Reminder that I've been longing.

06 :: Tanlines – Mixed Emotions
Electro-pop at its finest. Tanlines harness their uncanny ability to write catchy tunes that never wear out after repeated spins. 

05 :: Django Django – Django Django
This self-titled masterpiece is probably one of the most fun albums on this list. Very interestingly new sound, which lots of jingle jangle grooves.

05 :: Tame Impala – Lonerism
Tame Impala's sophomore LP is part throwback to '60s psych rock, part something entirely new... all amazing.

04 :: alt J – An Awesome Wave
A serious amount of hype followed this UK band, and after one listen to this genre-jumping debut, you'll soon understand why. Alt J's unique mix of indie rock sensibilities makes them a breath of fresh air in a musical landscape of imitators.

03 :: Kishi Bashi – 151a
Kishi Bashi creates fantastical dreamscapes and magical fairy tales throughout the amazingly wonderful 151a. Regardless of your mood, this LP is guaranteed to lift the spirits of any listener.

02 :: St. Lucia – St. Lucia
While this technically is an EP, this self-titled 6-song record plays like a full-length and lands into the number 2 spot on this year's best of list. Maybe it's the South African accent or the tropical-infused instrumentation, but this album plays out like an exotic island vacation.

01 :: Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
Faithful readers of Three Colours should find no surprise in 2012's best LP. When I witnessed Britt Daniel cover Wolf Parade's "Modern World" back in 2010, I told myself it couldn't possibly get any better than this. Fast forward to '12, while lamenting over the dissolution of Handsome Furs, I was soon rejuvenated by news of Divine Fits. Worlds collided, and the results were A Thing Called Divine Fits. Excitement alive, as this LP marks the beginning of a beautiful marriage of sound and style that hopefully produces future works of art.

Honorable Mentions
:: Poli├ža – Give You The Ghost
:: Grizzly Bear – Shields
:: Beach House – Bloom
:: Moonface – With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery
:: The Drums – Portamento


Top 13 Hump Day Power Plays of 2012

Since HDPPs technically started in December of 2011, I've decided to include some of the playlists that originally inspired me to embark on a year of weekly playlists, released every Wednesday, to aid in pushing through the Hump. Notably, a "Year-End" HDPP was compiled in an earlier post to capture the essence of 2012. Below you'll find some of the playlists that seemed to get the most play throughout the year.

13 :: Afternoon Dream Mix (4-18-2012)
12 :: Winter Blues Mix (1-25-2012)
11 :: Spencer Krug Mix (1-11-2012)
10 :: Winter is Coming Mix (11-14-2012)
09 :: Ghost Mix (10-31-2012)
08 :: Premiere Mix (12-7-2011)
07 :: New Wave/Surfer Rock Mix (12-14-2011)
06 :: Dan Boeckner Mix Vol 2 (9-26-2012)
05 :: Day 340 Mix (12-5-2012)
04 :: Hula Dream Mix (4-4-2012)
03 :: Stargazer Mix (6-6-2012)
02 :: Phantasmagoric Mix (7-25-2012)
01 :: Mighty Sea Mix (7-18-2012)


Most Underappreciated of 2011

In recent years, there's always been a few albums that I managed to miss. Whether I was purposely ignored the buzz surrounding these albums, or I just plainly failed to approach the record, they were later "discovered" and enjoyed. Strangely, there weren't any surprises this year that I mistakenly snubbed from last year’s “Best Albums of 2011” list. I will list three albums that I recognized as honorable mentions, but now enjoy probably more than I did after last year's Year-End List. Therefore, I acknowledge that the following were both great LPs and worthy of making the top of ’11.

03 :: Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation
02 :: PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
01 :: Toro Y Moi - Underneath the Pine

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