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Image for Best albums of 2012: mid-year edition

Best albums of 2012: mid-yearedition

Perhaps it feels a touch early for 2012 ‘Best Of’ lists, but we are only two weeks away from the middle of the year. Yep, we’re almost half way through the year that your annoying, barefoot, conspiracy theory believing mate keeps insisting will be our last. So let’s pause briefly to assess the year’s album releases.

While we can’t mention every album released in the first half of 2012 (and have no doubt failed to mention your favourite) the year so far has seen the return of The Shins and The Hives; the solo debut from Jack White; introduced us to new favourites including Quakers, Alabama Shakes, Michael Kiwanuka, Django Django, Grimes and Lana Del Rey;and added new records from the likes of Silversun Pickups, White Rabbits, Band Of Skulls, Pulled Apart By Horses, Spritualized, Mark Lanegan, Bobby Womack, Dr John and Sigur Ros to our playlists. On the local front, albums from Catcall, Ladyhawke, Bleeding Knees Club, DZ Deathrays, Bearhug, Pond, Children Collide, Deep Sea Arcade and Dirty Three have all clamoured for attention

A few publications – Spin, Stereogum, The Guardian and NPR – have all jumped the gun on the rest of the pack by dropping their mid-year list already and adding plenty of fuel to the ‘Album of the Year’ debate.

Spin favours a list of “Alt-rock legends, disco revisionists, country heartbreakers, the children of Def Leppard, sludge-metal mutations, the best rap record of 1987, and at least three pieces of Chicago footwork”; The Guardian list features everything from “avant hip-hop to disco-tinged electro”, while over at NPR their list finds space for Death Grips, Usher, and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Here are the lists from Spin, The Guardian, NPR and Stereogum – who’s on your list?

Best Albums of 2012

Spin’s list:

Action Bronson – Blue Chips
Addison Groove – Transistor
Actress – R.I.P.
Air – Le Voyage Dans Le Lune
Amadou & Mariam – Folila
Beak> – >>
Beach House – Bloom
Willis Earl Beal – Acousmatic Sorcery
Best Coast – The Only Place
Carter Tutti Void – Transverse
Ceremony – Zoo
Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
DJ Rashad – TEKLIFE Vol. 1 Welcome to the Chi
Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
Escort – Escort
Future – Pluto
Daughn Gibson – All Hell
Guided by Voices – Let’s Go Eat the Factory
Himanshu – Nehru Jackets
Imperial Teen – Feel the Sound
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
King Tuff – King Tuff
Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
Lindstrøm – Six Cups of Rebel
Spoek Mathambo – Father Creeper
The Men – Open Your Heart
Meshuggah – Koloss
Miguel – Art Dealer Chic Vol. 1 – 2 & 3
Moonface – With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction
Frankie Rose – Interstellar
Santigold – Master of My Make Believe
Siinai – Olympic Games
Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Torche – Harmonicraft
Traxman – The Mind of Traxman
Jack White – Blunderbuss

NPR’s list:

Ab-Soul – Control System
Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Berlin Philharmonic: St. Matthew Passion
Billy Hart – All Our Reasons
Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe
Death Grips – The Money Store
DJ Burn One – Where There’s Smoke
Dr. John – Locked Down
Exitmusic – Passage
fun. – Some Nights
Jack White – Blunderbuss
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Jeremy Denk – Ligeti/Beethoven
Kelly Hogan – I Like to Keep Myself in Pain
Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
Mati Zundel – Amazonico Gravitante
Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction
Patrick Watson – Adventures in Your Own Backyard
Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Usher – Looking For Myself
Vijay Iyer Trio – Accelerando
Yva Las Vegass – I Was Born In a Place of Sunshine and the Smell of Ripe Mangoes
The 2 Bears – Be Strong

The Guardian’s list:

Actress – R.I.P.
Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe
Chairlift – Something
Death Grips – The Money Store
A Time You May – Love Songs
Krystle Warren – Embrace
Dexys – One Day I’m Going To Soar
Django Django – Django Django
Dr John – Locked Down
Grimes – Visions
Hot Chip – In Our Heads
Jack White – Blunderbuss
Jam City – Classical Curves
John Talabot – fin
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
The Maccabees – Given To The Wild
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Poliça – Give You the Ghost
Roberto Fonseca – Yo
Saint Etienne – Words and Music

Stereogum’s list:

Heems – Nehru Jackets
Ceremony – Zoo
Willis Earl Beal – Acousmatic Sorcery
Grimes – Visions
Kindness – World You Need A Change Of Mind
Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Chromatics – Kill For Love
Death Grips – The Money Store
Frankie Rose – Interstellar
Tanlines – Mixed Emotions
Torche – Harmonicraft
Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action At A Distance
Julia Holter – Ekstasis
Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips
Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
Future – Pluto
Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror
Rick Ross – Rich Forever
Screaming Females – Ugly
El-P – Cancer For Cure
Beach House – Bloom
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Chairlift – Something
The Walkmen – Heaven
Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory

Social

Comments

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neuroticwill

neuroticwill said on the 15th Jun, 2012

There are so many good artists releasing albums this year: Sigur Rós, the Antlers, Grizzly bear, The xx, WIlliam Fitzsimmons, Patrick Watson, Great Lake Swimmers, Beach House

Sigur and Patrick Watson are the standouts for me so far.

i_have_ADD

i_have_ADD said on the 15th Jun, 2012

my top picks so far for 2012 are Beach House, Last Dinosaurs, Django Django, Jonathan Boulet and Liars

iNegro

iNegro said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Sigur Ros and the latest Future of the Left album have been doing it for me. Both are completely off the hook.

noksie

noksie said on the 15th Jun, 2012

the guardsian's knows what good music is out there

p1owz0r

p1owz0r said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Mine would be Cloud Nothings, Grimes, Beach House, Django Django, Jack White, Chairlift.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Jack White - Blunderbuss and White Rabbits - Milk Famous have been my standouts.

Mute

Mute said on the 15th Jun, 2012

3 inches of blood - long live heavy metal & ne obliviscaris - portal of i

ampersand

ampersand said on the 15th Jun, 2012

japandroids. so much awesome.

daz2811

daz2811 said on the 15th Jun, 2012

my top 5 would be: every time i die, the mars volta, sigur rs, pulled apart by horses, gonjasufi.

as far the lists above, pallbearer has been the most confusing one - i would honestly say this has been one of the worst albums i have heard all year but it appears on 2 of the lists. its as if they chose something so boring as it was the only metal they could tolerate. napalm death's new album is astounding if anyone really feels the need to include some metal in their list.

other honourable mentions are: high on fire, japandroids, el-p, hot water music, first aid kit, torche, theesatisfaction, silversun pickups.

johnnyzero

johnnyzero said on the 15th Jun, 2012

good to see the japandroids getting some love.

vincent noir

vincent noir said on the 15th Jun, 2012

though i'd just make a profile to voice my love.

hair by ty segall & white fence is easily the standout for me, not one song on that thing i don't remotely dislike. attack on memory also comes in pretty good, and completely fell for the perfume genius album.

bjw1

bjw1 said on the 15th Jun, 2012

cloud nothings, the men, fun., perfume genius, death grips, polica, toro y moi, japandroids, jack white, oh no & lower dens have all had good releases this year.

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 15th Jun, 2012

me like Terry Malts, Cloud Nothings, Ty Segall & White Fence, White Lung, Lower Dens, Polica, King Tuff, Here We Go Magic & Frankie Rose

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Oh yeah and Japandroids new record is the bomb.

andy_chalmers_102

andy_chalmers_102 said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Jack White has been my standout, with Cloud Nothings and Japandroids not far behind.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Jack White - Blunderbuss
Quakers - Quakers
Sigur Ros - Valtari
Hermitude - Hyperparadise
Bonobo - Black Sands (remixed)
Oh No - OHNOMITE


Love those of the top of my head

Paul_Busch

Paul_Busch said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Dr. John and Dr. Jack (White)....and starting to groove on the Lil Band o Gold record Fats Domino covers....and they will be here next week. Like a great bar band from America they will take you there!

kaydee

kaydee said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Jack White & Shearwater are the standouts for me so far.

Beach House, Japandroids, The Shins, Sigur Ros & Sharon Van Etten are up there as well.

astreat

astreat said on the 15th Jun, 2012

good to see torche finally making a few lists. they have been consistent for a few years now. harmonicraft is a fucking killer album. my fav so far.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Standouts have been Cloud Nothings, Jack White and Father John Misty. Pleased but not blown away by Sigur Ros, Deep Sea Arcade, Metric, Regina Spektor. Beach House have been the only genuine let down for me this year. Loving EPs from Chet Faker, Lisa Mitchell and Burial.

haydendavies

haydendavies said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Jack White, Sigur Ros, Japandroids, Tenacious D, Django Djang & Grimes

shazie

shazie said on the 15th Jun, 2012

This year has had so many fantastic releases, here's some albums I've enjoyed this year and recommend(Order is chronological to me listening to each album throughout the year):

Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory
The Maccabees - Given to the Wild
Nada Surf - The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy
Chairlift - Something
Pulled Apart By Horses - Touch Love
Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour
School of Seven Bells - Ghostory
Bear in Heaven - I Love you, It's Cool
Last Dinosaurs - In A Million Years
Revolver - Let Go
Miike Snow - Happy to You
Howler - America Give Up
Apparatjik - Square Peg in a Round Hole
Yeti Lane - The Echo Show
If These Trees Could Talk - Red Forest
Pg. Lost - Key
Chromatics - Kill For Love
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
Mystery Jets - Radlands
Beach House - Bloom
Blood Red Shoes - In Time to Voices
The Cribs - In the Belly of the Brazen Bull
Here We Go Magic - A Different Ship
Electric Guest - Mondo
Keane - Strangleland
Silversun Pickups - Neck of the Woods
Frames - In Via
The Temper Trap - The Temper Trap
Teen Daze - All Of US, Together
Sigur Ros - Valtari
Japandroids - Celebrations Rock
Animal Kingdom - The Looking Away
O. Children - Apnea
Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts In Snow
Hot Chip - In Our Heads
Maximo Park - The National Health
Iamamiwhoami - Kin
Jonathan Boulet - We Keep the Beat, Found the Sound, See the Need, Start the Heart


(if I haven't included an album you like, it's most probably because I still need to give it more listens. There's some albums I've been waiting to hear for a while that have come out but for some reason have been pre-occupied by other albums and haven't given them enough listens)

Edit: Biggest herp, forgot Silversun Pickups new album (one of my favourite of the year)

shazie

shazie said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Massive herp, Neck of the Woods is one of my favourite of 2012 but I realised I forgot to put them in there. Was going through my "2012" playlist but didn't realise I had deleted my old SSPU files for the new album(when it leaked) but hadn't added the new, better quality, files to the playlist to replace them in the list. (It helps me to keep track of which albums came out this year)

Thanks for correcting me, I'll blame alcohol as I'm doing this drunk.

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 16th Jun, 2012

Sigur Ros, Jack White, and Temper Trap have been my faves.

dynamo

dynamo said on the 16th Jun, 2012

Young Guns - Bones standout album for me so far this year

Other albums i have enjoyed are
Lostprophets - Wepons
Epica - Requiem For The Indifferent
LostAlone - I'm A Ufo In This City
Poets Of The Fall - Temple Of Thought

Scooter mcgavin

Scooter mcgavin said on the 16th Jun, 2012

Shazie you are always so darn agreeable

Also one of the few people who go out, get drunk come home & make best of lists (another commendable trait)

01seb

01seb said on the 16th Jun, 2012

My top few for the year:

Miike Snow - Happy to You
Silversun Pickups - Neck of the Woods
The Temper Trap: The Temper Trap
Metric - Synthetica
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

Looking forward to new albums later in the year from Muse, Biffy Clyro, The Killers and The Presets.

Sir Toire

Sir Toire said on the 16th Jun, 2012

Jack White, Miike Snow, SSPU, Japandroids and Alabama Shakes have done it for me.

Scooter mcgavin

Scooter mcgavin said on the 16th Jun, 2012

Actually I agree with everyone, good work everyone!

bboy9

bboy9 said on the 16th Jun, 2012

oberhofer has been my fave. best aus releases has been deep sea arcade and pond.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 16th Jun, 2012

I think you mean Hermitude

Doctoresq

Doctoresq said on the 17th Jun, 2012

without a doubt, pallbearer's sorrow and extinction has been and probably will be my aoty unless tool's new album comes out and is particularly good.

nos235

nos235 said on the 17th Jun, 2012

By the end of the year this will be the new Adele 21

http://static-l3.blogcritics.org/12/05/22/180547/Haley-Reinhart-2.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4GkHkLIIFg

RAMONESelaar

RAMONESelaar said on the 17th Jun, 2012

Sweet Teens, Japandroids, The Menzingers and Lower Plenty are the standouts for me so far.

Jack White, The Shins, fun. and Restorations are up there too, along with the Shuffle & Scrape compilation.

Matty 182

Matty 182 said on the 20th Jun, 2012

cloud nothings is my standout, but where is devin 'roomancing' that is a terrific album

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

NPR Listeners Top 20

1. Jack White: Blunderbuss
2. Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls
3. Beach House: Bloom
4. The Shins: Port Of Morrow
5. Of Monsters And Men: My Head Is An Animal
6. Andrew Bird: Break It Yourself
7. Sharon Van Etten: Tramp
8. Regina Spektor: What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
9. Japandroids: Celebration Rock
10. Gotye: Making Mirrors
11. First Aid Kit: The Lion's Roar
12. Tallest Man On Earth: There's No Leaving Now
13. Rufus Wainwright: Out Of The Game
14. Kishi Bashi: 151a
15. Sigur Ros: Valtari
16. Norah Jones: Little Broken Hearts
17. Fun.: Some Nights
18. The Walkmen: Heaven
19. Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros: Here, tied with Grimes: Visions
20. Best Coast: The Only Place, tied with Spiritualized: Sweet Heart Sweet Light

nothing wrong with the list except for the lack of mathematical abilities.

bjw1

bjw1 said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

NPR Listeners Top 20

1. Jack White: Blunderbuss
2. Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls
3. Beach House: Bloom
4. The Shins: Port Of Morrow
5. Of Monsters And Men: My Head Is An Animal
6. Andrew Bird: Break It Yourself
7. Sharon Van Etten: Tramp
8. Regina Spektor: What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
9. Japandroids: Celebration Rock
10. Gotye: Making Mirrors
11. First Aid Kit: The Lion's Roar
12. Tallest Man On Earth: There's No Leaving Now
13. Rufus Wainwright: Out Of The Game
14. Kishi Bashi: 151a
15. Sigur Ros: Valtari
16. Norah Jones: Little Broken Hearts
17. Fun.: Some Nights
18. The Walkmen: Heaven
19. Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros: Here, tied with Grimes: Visions
20. Best Coast: The Only Place, tied with Spiritualized: Sweet Heart Sweet Light

nothing wrong with the list except for the lack of mathematical abilities.

?

shazie

shazie said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

Don't you get it? Albums only count as being released once it's released in the US.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

when was Making Mirrors released in the US?

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

December 6th 2011

I think thats the right iTunes store

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/making-mirrors/id485468305

EDIT: says US so yeah Id say that

bjw1

bjw1 said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

so why is it included in a 2012 list?

luxembourgerqueen

luxembourgerqueen said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

NME - 20 Best Songs of 2012 So Far
1. Grimes - Oblivion
2. Death Grips - Get Got
3. Pond - You Broke My Cool
4. Jack White - Sixteen Saltines
5. Sleigh Bells - Demons
6. Nicki Minaj - Beez In The Trap
7. Alt-J - Breezeblocks
8. Savages - Husbands
9. Django Django - Default
10. Polica - Wandering Star
11. Plan B - iLL Manors
12. Azealia Banks - Jumanji
13. Jai Paul - Jasmine
14. Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine?
15. MIA - Bad Girls
16. SpaceGhostPurpp - The Black God
17. John Talabot - Destiny
18. Watch The Throne - No Church In The Wild
19. The Men - Open Your Heart
20. Haim - Forever

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

wow good on Pond! really need to get my hands on their album.

Green Man

Green Man said on the 27th Jun, 2012

here are my favorites from the year's first half:

locked down - dr john
in our heads - hot chip
rispah - the invisible
through the night - ren harvieu
before the storm - jack savoretti