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The Best Albums of2012...So Far

Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe

Produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, Bobby Womack’s first album of original material singe 1994’s Resurrection introduces a new generation to Womack, re-imagining his soulful and at times devastatingly sad tunes into brilliant pieces of upbeat trip-hop inspired funk.

Sigur Rós – Valtari

As a return to Sigur Rós’ unique brand of post-rock, Valtari seeks to cradle its audience in an unassumingly beautiful soundscape. The LP is terrifically raw and therefore highly emotive. Some experimentation has filtered into the band’s recording process, and this has formed quite an intricate album. It displays the wonderful musicianship of Sigur Rós, and brings their entrancing aesthetics into the foreground.

Beach House – Bloom

Bloom works well both at the macro level – as a background to daily life – and for those who want to immerse themselves in the detail and the gentle reveal of textures and sounds. Pick the right moment and Bloom will feel like a transportive journey and you can’t ask for much than that from music.

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Japandroids up the ante on their rip-roaring second album Celebration Rock. Retaining the pure joy of their debut Post-Nothing the Canadian duo push themselves to the limit with terrifying vocals and frantic riffs on a record that does exactly what it says on the label.

Pond – Beard, Wives, Denim

While Beard, Wives, Denim keeps some of the spirit of Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker in conjuring images of taking acid and getting lost in a forest for a few days, this is a record that bundles together disparate influences in an accomplished mélange while somehow possessing a tangible geographical link to Australian landscapes and settings, particularly those of the west – whether watching an evening sunset from a woolshed in Karratha, soaking up the midday heat on a beach at Mandurah or surveying the splendour of endless grassy fields while driving up to Geraldton.

Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again

The sonic beauty of these tracks is defined by the combination of Kiwanuka’s silken, rich delivery and the honest, log cabin production style – evoking the warm brown hues of the record’s cover – that could make any listener feel as though they are sitting beside an open fire in winter listening to an omniscient storyteller weave his magic. Clearly elements of Kiwanuka’s sound are indebted to classic soul and R&B artists of bygone days, but the overall combination is something exciting and wholly his own.

Comments

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Andy_1989

Andy_1989 said on the 25th Jun, 2012

alabama shakes and sharon van etten also put out some good albums in the last six months

Andy_1989

Andy_1989 said on the 25th Jun, 2012

that wollen kits album should be on here as well.

ampersand

ampersand said on the 25th Jun, 2012

needs more japandroids.

sarahanne

sarahanne said on the 25th Jun, 2012



It has at least japandroid...

i_have_ADD

i_have_ADD said on the 25th Jun, 2012

My pick of 2012 so far is def Beach House

daz2811

daz2811 said on the 25th Jun, 2012

not a bad list. good to see the inclusion of pulled part by horses' killer follow-up album.
other than that though there is a distinct lack of anything too heavy and its as though hip hop doesn't exist at all.
my real gripe though is the clutching at straws / long bow drawing description of the pond album. this doesn't feel like it has any link to australia in its sound at all, has very little to do with the psychedelic music they are desperate to align themselves with in their bio, and even the name, pond, is ripped off from a far superior band from portland, oregon. oh and its just not any good.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 25th Jun, 2012

Quakers is a hip hop album. A really good hip hop album.

I think the list has a little of everything that the people who frequent FL seem to enjoy.

It looks like a lot of the same if, like some people on the FB page, you divide music into rap, heavy music, hipster music and pop. But if you actually look at that list it really is representing some great albums in all the kinds of genres FasterLouder covers.

grattan

grattan said on the 25th Jun, 2012



Quakers?

What other hip-hop would you put on the list? Comments that complain about a lack of a genre but then offer no examples are fairly pointless.

sarahanne

sarahanne said on the 25th Jun, 2012

Quakers is a hip hop album. A really good hip hop album.

I think the list has a little of everything that the people who frequent FL seem to enjoy.

It looks like a lot of the same if, like some people on the FB page, you divide music into rap, heavy music, hipster music and pop. But if you actually look at that list it really is representing some great albums in all the kinds of genres FasterLouder covers.

I vote BC the official spokesperson of FL ;-)

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 25th Jun, 2012

The list is pretty tight. Good coverage across everything. Concerning hip hop, I now nothing. Maybe Death Grips in if you're looking for more?
It coulda had class. It coulda been a contender. It coulda been somebody, instead of a bum,

daveyac8881

daveyac8881 said on the 26th Jun, 2012

Jonathan Boulet should try paying someone else to name his albums

shazie

shazie said on the 26th Jun, 2012

With him growing a massive beard, he should get The Beards to name his next album "You should consider having sex with Jonathan Boulet".

grattan

grattan said on the 26th Jun, 2012



He was on the short list. Great album.

Ya Maniacal Jester

Ya Maniacal Jester said on the 26th Jun, 2012

agree that beach house should be in there, jack white is a definite winner though...

sarahanne

sarahanne said on the 26th Jun, 2012



It is there on page two :-)
http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/features/32992/The-Best-Albums-of-2012So-Far?page=2

estyaguilar

estyaguilar said on the 26th Jun, 2012

Great selection of albums. Guess i'll have to get listening now.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 26th Jun, 2012

How much is Ladyhawke paying to be in this list?

The Men, Death Grips, Ceremony. and Chromatics all deserve to be up there.

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 26th Jun, 2012

Good list, great to see Quakers in there.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 26th Jun, 2012

How much is Ladyhawke paying to be in this list?



NZ$10,000.

So.... about $3.50.

Rocky Dennis

Rocky Dennis said on the 28th Jun, 2012

great list, loved about six of these albums so will have to give the rest a run!

eleanorb

eleanorb said on the 1st Jul, 2012

lana del ray and lady hawke... uh huh, sure.

jezz88

jezz88 said on the 1st Jul, 2012

the exclusion of make do and mend's everything you ever loved from this list is a crime against humanity

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 1st Jul, 2012



Nope, I just double checked and I'm certain they are there.

RAMONESelaar

RAMONESelaar said on the 1st Jul, 2012



It came out 5 days (even less for Australia) before the article was published. Not exactly enough time to get a good idea of where it sits in comparison to other albums released this year and hardly a crime against humanity.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 1st Jul, 2012

I distinctly remember Grattan and Sarahanne tossing the record aside onto a pile of blood diamonds and dead child soldiers.

Sound Alliance HQ is in a reeeeally rough part of Surry Hills.

grattan

grattan said on the 2nd Jul, 2012



5 days was plenty of time for this one.

brownbear

brownbear said on the 9th Jul, 2012

yawn, serious lack of hot chip (return to form) and scuba. and who could leave out totally enormous extinct dinosaurs?