Top Albums of 2012

I was going to make a Top 10 Albums of 2012 list, but I got kind of burnt out ranking my Top Tracks list. So I alphabetized (by artist) twenty-five albums, released during the past year, that I genuinely enjoyed. Some of them were much BIGGER for me than others, but I honestly just couldn’t find the time or the wherewithal to rank these.

Right now, I’m certain that when I think of 2012 I’ll be reminded mostly of Grimes, Chromatics – those albums were definitely my #1 and #2 when I did have a list going – Cloud Nothings, Dirty Projectors, ScHoolboy Q, Jessie Ware, Chairlift, Kendrick Lamar and La Sera (which I don’t think got the love it deserved this year). But who knows. I’m sure that as I comb through Best Of lists I’ll discover things I missed or albums that I should have given another listen to. (Though I do realize that this list is um VERY SIMILAR to a lot of Best Of lists that are already out there.)

Anyway, here we go:

Angel Olsen, Half Way Home

Beach House, Bloom

Chairlift, Something

Chromatics, Kill For Love

Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory

Death Grips, The Money Store

DIIV, Oshin

Dinosaur Jr., I Bet On Sky

Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan

Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…

Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Frankie Rose, Interstellar

Grimes, Visions

Jessica Pratt, Jessica Pratt

Jessie Ware, Devotion

Julia Holter, Ekstasis

Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music

King Tuff, King Tuff

Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city

La Sera, Sees the Light

Laurel Halo, Quarantine

Lower Dens, Nootropics

Purity Ring, Shrines

ScHoolboy Q, Habits & Contradictions

Sharon Van Etten,  Tramp

Top Tracks of 2012

When I started making this list, I felt like I hadn’t listened to enough new music this year to pick and rank fifty of my favorite tracks. But  it turns out that wasn’t the case! (This was lucky because this consumed a great deal of time that I probably would have spent re-watching episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or staring at myself in the mirror, which I have done a lot since I recently acquired a whole lot of new makeup and side bangs.)

I just want to note that it’s likely I will immediately regret this order and that, in case you happened to wonder about this, Grimes’ ‘Oblivion’ and Chromatics’ ‘Kill For Love’ do not appear here because they were both on my 2011 list.

Anyway, here are my favorite tracks of the year!:

50. Prinzhorn Dance School: ‘I Want You’
49. Daughn Gibson: ‘Tiffany Lou’
48. Charli XCX: ‘You’re the One’
47. Fear of Men: ‘Your Side’
46. ScHoolboy Q: ‘There He Go’
45. Death Grips: ‘Get Got’
44. Killer Mike (feat. Bun B, T.I. and Trouble): ‘Big Beast’
43. Dum Dum Girls: ‘Lord Knows’
42. Peaking Lights: ‘Beautiful Son’
41. Laurel Halo: ‘Thaw’
40. Frankie Rose: ‘Know Me’
39. King Tuff: ‘Bad Thing’
38. Lower Dens: ‘Brains’
37. A$AP Rocky (feat. Drake, 2Chainz & Kendrick Lamar): ‘Fuckin’ Problems’
36. Carly Rae Jepson: ‘Call Me Maybe’
35. Miguel: ‘Adorn’
34. Lana Del Rey: ‘Ride’
33. Twin Shadow: ‘Five Seconds’
32. Tame Impala: ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’
31. Cloud Nothings: ‘Wasted Days’
30. DIIV: ‘How Long Have You Known’
29. TOPS: ‘Diamond Look’
28. Julia Holter: ‘In the Same Room’
27. Purity Ring: ‘Fineshrine’
26. Sharon van Etten: ‘Serpents’
25. Bat For Lashes: ‘Laura’
24. Angel Olsen: ‘The Waiting’
23. Chairlift: ‘I Belong In Your Arms’
22. Earl Sweatshirt: ‘Chum’
21. Blood Diamonds (feat. Grimes): ‘Phone Sex’
20. AlunaGeorge: ‘Your Drums, Your Love’
19. Beach House: ‘Myth’
18. Frank Ocean: ‘Thinkin Bout You’
17. ScHoolboy Q (feat. A$AP Rocky): ‘Hands on the Wheel’
16. Grimes: Vowels = Space and Time
15. Jessie Ware: ‘110%’ 
14. Ke$ha: ‘Die Young’
13. La Sera: ‘Please Be My Third Eye’
12. CHVRCHES: ‘The Mother We Share’
11. Kendrick Lamar: ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’
10. Susanne Sundfor: ‘White Foxes’
9. Dirty Projectors: ‘About to Die’’
8. Fiona Apple: ‘Werewolf’
7. Usher: ‘Climax’
6. Major Lazer (feat. Amber Coffman): ‘Get Free’
5. Grimes: ‘Genesis’
4. Solange: ‘Losing You’
3. Chromatics: ‘Back From the Grave’
2. Sky Ferreira: ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’
1. Jessie Ware: ‘Wildest Moments’

And here’s a Spotify playlist, minus the Jessie Ware songs as they’re no longer available (which is why I included them above):


Friday Roundup: Actually, So Many Oral Histories

I failed to post anything else this week because, well, I have no idea. Maybe because I spent too much time watching early Mariah Carey videos on YouTube. Maybe because I’ve been too busy making secret Year End Lists in my journal. (I feel self-conscious publishing these last few sentences for many reasons, mostly because I’m trying really hard not to sound like this.)

I actually did start writing a lot of stuff, which clearly I didn’t finish. One thing was about the A Very Special Christmas compilation series, specifically volumes 1-3. The other thing was about one of my current undertakings: watching all eleven seasons of Frasier. I hope that eventually I’ll be able to share all of my commentary on the best late 1980 and early 1990s Christmas songs, as well as my list of “Frasier’s Best Quips”, but this week was not the week, my friends.

Anyway, here’s some stuff that I was into this week. (It turns out I was mostly into oral histories.)

– Uh, I doubt I’m alone in this, but I was unfamiliar with Sholem Asch until I read this little thing on the Tin House blog. I’ve added Three Cities to my list of books to read, which is almost but not quite endless.

– Sheila Heti interviewed some people last year on a VERY strange/abusive children’s birthday party venue called the Rabbit Hole that existed in Toronto in the 1980s and it was great. (H/T Edmund)

– I’m a week behind on my New Yorkers again, but I really did enjoy this piece from last week about Apollonia Poilane and the Poilane bread empire (brempire? ugh).

– Obviously everyone has seen/read this by now, but Vanity Fair’s oral history of Freaks and Geeks was just what I needed/wanted.

– Oh man, this “My Superpower Is Being Alone Forever” was so good but sad and so true and even better, I think, than the first two in this series (published last year) but I haven’t re-read them recently at all.

– I am personally saving these 10 Best Oral Histories from 2012 to read when I’m bored. Though, I highly doubt I’ll read the sports ones. Just…that’s not who I am.

OK, everyone have fun at the 3-7 holiday parties you’re attending this weekend! Be safe! (ESPECIALLY if Santa Con is this weekend, even though I’m pretty sure it’s not because I haven’t heard any jerks talking about it.)