On the first rainy day of autumn we’re looking back on the second half of the summer and choosing our favorite albums and tracks:
As we’ve said before, Purity Ring have made the Album of the Summer for us. The young Montreal duo, consisting of Megan James on vocals and Corin Roddick on instruments, succeeds in crafting a rich electronic tapestry on debut album "Shrines", masterfully combining the best elements from the last three decades of electronic music. Tampered hip hop and R&B beats provide the idiosyncratic rhythms that propel the ethereal synth-pop melodies, while Megan’s dreamy vocals become the most important instrument at the heart of Purity Ring’s luscious sound. "Shrines" is one of the albums that are defining the electronic sound of 2012 and given that "Visions" by label-mate Grimes was equally important in that respect, I imagine that they must be feeling pretty proud at 4AD right now.
Further evidence that currently the guitar sound has taken a back seat and electronic music is doing all the innovation driving is provided by "WIXIW", Liars’ sixth album. The former post-punkers and noise-makers, in another twist of their adventurous career path, have ditched the guitars and with the help of Mute label boss and synth-music pioneer Daniel Miller have crafted their most electronic record to date. Liars’ instruments of choice may have changed here, but the end result is as exciting as ever and no less unpredictable, ranging from the fine synthpop of first single "No.1 Against the Rush" to the aggressive dance punk of new single "Brats".
For those of us who are still in need of a regular guitar-noise fix, thankfully there were the summer new releases by Japandroids and A Place To Bury Strangers to keep our spirits high, with a little help from the new tunes by Dinosaur Jr. (their new album "I Bet On Sky" is expected soon) and Chelsea Light Moving, Thurston Moore’s new band, whose "Burroughs" sounds like a long lost Sonic Youth b-side.
Top 12 Albums
1. Shrines - PURITY RING
2. WIXIW - LIARS
3. Celebration Rock - JAPANDROIDS
4. Worship - A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
5. Synthetica - METRIC
6. The Money Store - DEATH GRIPS
7. R.A.P. Music - KILLER MIKE
8. Confess - TWIN SHADOW
9. Tuscon - GIANT GIANT SAND
10. Heaven - THE WALKMEN
11. With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery - MOONFACE
12. In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull - THE CRIBS
Top 20 Tracks
1. Watch The Corners - DINOSAUR JR.
2. Cherokee - CAT POWER
3. Belispeak - PURITY RING
4. Synthetica - METRIC
5. Heaven - THE WALKMEN
6. The House That Heaven Built - JAPANDROIDS
7. Burroughs - CHELSEA LIGHT MOVING
8. Alone - A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
9. Plague - CRYSTAL CASTLES
10. Brats - LIARS
11. I’ve Seen Footage - DEATH GRIPS (interactive video link)
12. Big Beast - KILLER MIKE
13. Five Seconds - TWIN SHADOW
14. The Base - PAUL BANKS
15. Lord Knows - DUM DUM GIRLS
16. I'm Not The Phoenix Yet - MOONFACE
17. Die Life - THE SOFT MOON
18. Glitters Like Gold - THE CRIBS
19. Undiscovered Country - GIANT GIANT SAND
20. OK - MICACHU AND THE SHAPES
Watch The Corners - DINOSAUR JR.