The Best Albums of2012...So Far
Mon 25th Jun, 2012 in Features
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.