Saturday, July 07, 2012

Listening Habits 05-06.12

Half-time for 2012 and just before we make up our mind and add our two cents on the trending subject of the best albums and singles of the year so far, here are the lists with our favorites for May and June 2012:
No surprises at the top of our albums list as the top two positions are taken up by perhaps the two most anticipated rock releases of the first half of the year that both manage to live up to the high expectations.

Beach House have admirably taken up the challenge of following up "Teen Dream", one of 2010's highlights, by delivering the glowing "Bloom", a majestic record that may prove to be the duo's finest hour yet.

Jack White finally made the decision to go solo with "Blunderbuss" (perhaps as a way of getting closure from The White Stripes?) and offers a record that musically may be a little more laid back than his previous work but is no less striking, exhibiting once again his admirable skill of making music firmly rooted in rock tradition that sounds fresh and forward-thinking.

El-P once again delivers the goods with "Cancer 4 Cure", one of hip hop's best releases of the year, while Londoners 2:54, one of the names in our shortlist of 2012's most promising new acts, make their spectacular debut with their self-titled album (Friends from the same shortlist also made it in the Top 10 although their "Manifest!" does not offer another track as catchy as "I'm his Girl", one of last year's best singles). The Top 5 is completed with "Kill For Love", Chromatics' cinematic synth pop epic, while we also highly recommend Poliça's debut "Give You The Ghost", a record that masterfully combines R'n'B, dub, electronica and indie rock.

Top 20 Albums

1.   Bloom - BEACH HOUSE
2.   Blunderbuss - JACK WHITE
3.   Cancer 4 Cure - EL-P
4.   2:54 - 2:54
5.   Kill For Love - CHROMATICS
6.   Give You The Ghost - POLIÇA
7.   Between The Times And The Tides - LEE RANALDO
8.   Sweet Heart, Sweet Light - SPIRITUALIZED
9.   Europe - ALLO DARLIN'
10. Manifest! - FRIENDS
11. The Only Place - BEST COAST
12. Nootropics - LOWER DENS
13. Interstellar - FRANKIE ROSE
14. Sees the Light - LA SERA
15. Master Of My Make - Believe - SANTIGOLD
16. Quarantine - LAUREL HALO
17. The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends - THE FLAMING LIPS
18. EP's 1988 - 1991 - MY BLOODY VALENTINE
19. Tally Ho! Flying Nun's Greatest Bits - VARIOUS ARTISTS
20. Experimental Imagination - LAw

Top 20 Tracks

1.   Ruin - CAT POWER
2.   Fineshrine - PURITY RING
3.   Creeping - 2:54
4.   Wild - BEACH HOUSE
5.   Love Interruption - JACK WHITE
6.   Drones Over Bklyn - EL-P
7.   Night Swim - FRANKIE ROSE
8.   Youth Without Youth - METRIC
9.   Mind Control - FRIENDS
10. The Only Place - BEST COAST
11. Capricornia - ALLO DARLIN'
13. Angles - LEE RANALDO
14.  Into The Black - CHROMATICS
15. I See My Mother - POLIÇA
16. Disparate Youth - SANTIGOLD
17. Drive On - LA SERA
18. Groundhog Day - CORIN TUCKER BAND
19. Candy - LOWER DENS
20. Class Clown Spots a UFO - GUIDED BY VOICES

Cat Power, sitting pretty at the top of our Top 20 Tracks list with comeback single "Ruin"

(mp3s via Stereogum and Consequence Of Sound

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