IGIF’s Overlooked Albums of 2012

nightmoves-coloredemotions

Rock and roll with some twang, that’s what Night Moves debut LP was full of. They first caught my ear with single “Headlights” and then released an entire album’s worth of polished funky rock not to be missed. The entire record is what I imagine taking acid in the desert would be like, only if I were to jump inside a tumbleweed with earbuds blaring Led Zeppelin and roll around for a few days. – Nathaniel

polica-giveyoutheghost

As you’ll see below, this was my favorite album of 2012 – overlooked or not. I’m not quite sure why either, for Give You The Ghost didn’t fuel my ears with a tangible “I like X, Y, and Z because..”. No, this record just stuck to my soul like the Harmon family stuck to Murder House. It’s dark, lyrical, melodically moody, and moves the molecules of your insides like only truly great music can. – Nathaniel

pond-beardwivesdenim

This was totally Tame Impala’s year but please do not overlook their side-project POND. They put out a terrific record this year that is a blend of lo-fi funk and warped psychedelia It’s like Tame Impala was stuck in a time capsule from the 70′s and, believe you me, that sounds flat-out awesome. – Nathaniel

purebathingculture-st

This young duo from the Northwest rocked my ears with their single “Ivory Coast” earlier this year – which is one of our fav songs of 2012. That song and three others were released on an EP that shouldn’t be missed because Pure Bathing Culture have a purely bright future. – Nathaniel

romanruins-homebuilding

Homebuilding is the debut album from Graham Hill, former touring and studio drummer for the likes of Beach House and Papercuts. Designed to be listened to in one continuous track (but broken up into ten digitally), this album features music for the drug-friendly busybodies among us. Layers of downtempo tropicalia are stacked against tickling, buzzing textures and harmonies. It’s a wonderful album if you have the patience for it, as it unfolds more and more with every listen. – Connor

samflax-agewaves

There’s a weird energy surrounding Sam Flax’s music. Warped surfer rock is really easy to get wrong and even easier to become redundant. The energy of Flax’s debut LP Age Waves pulls you into a sandy uniqueness unlike any other record of 2012. – Nathaniel

spiritramp-illuminati

Intelligent and deliberate fingerpickin’ folk music makes up most of Spirit Tramp’s Illuminati EP, a handful of near gems and odd tunes that’s pretty much par for the EP format. Occasionally the band strikes an exceptional note with their vocal harmonies and backwoods vibes, and that combination is something I feel 2012 sorely missed. – Connor

wildcub-youth

I’d call Wild Cub a late bloomer, since they jumped onto my radar late in 2012. I didn’t need an entire year to enjoy what they’re creating, though, starting off with jungle juiced single “Thunder Clatter”. Youth has influences all over the place, from Talking Heads to U2, that strangely work really well together underlined by a tropical vibe. – Nathaniel

youngman-vol1

For the third time in as many years, Colin Caulfield subtly stuns with a new collection of songs. Sleepy and minimal as they may be, each track overflows with the sort of nuanced delicacies one would expect from a band well into the second or third decade of their career. Every track is patient, almostly selfishly so (it’s refreshing to see a band not give one thin shade of crap about its audience while still producing such universally excellent material), spacious, and endlessly rewarding to listen to. It’s almost like you’re peering into a private jam session. And just as the album’s title, Vol. I, suggests, even after these three years Young Man is only getting started. – Connor

yunglife-st

There’s something to be said for the band that creates the best synth pop album of the year, even if they sound almost exactly like the “band” that recorded that “Dickheads” song (which is a great song either way). I’ve got a warm spot in my heart for unabashedly 80′s ripping synth pop, and Yung Life do it better than 95% of other bands. Needless to say, their debut album is filled with insanely catchy tracks from front to back. – Connor

For more overlooked albums, you can check out our Facebook page. In case anyone’s interested, here’s our personal top ten favorite albums of the year:

Connor’s Top Ten

10. Levek – Look A Little Closer
9. Lower Dens – Nootropics
8. The Walkmen – Heaven
7. Porcelain Raft – Strange Weekend
6. Blondes – Blondes
5. Lands & Peoples – Pop Guilt
4. Young Man – Vol. 1
3. Grizzly Bear – Shields
2. Beach House – Bloom
1. Hundred Waters – Hundred Waters

Nathaniel’s Top Ten

10. Grimes – Visions
9. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid M.A.A.D City
8. Tame Impala – Lonerism
7. Grizzly Bear – Shields
6. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
5. Wild Nothing – Nocturne
4. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
3. Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It
2. Beach House – Bloom
1. Poliça – Give You The Ghost

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

e6gMan December 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Nice lists, here’s mine:
Eric “e6gMan” Eggleson’s TOPTEN 2012
Shut Down the Streets -A.C. Newman
Beautiful Sharks -Keith Canisius
Tomorrow’s Yesterday -Almost Charlie
Places -Sam Billen
Interstellar -Frankie Rose
Can I Sit Here and Absorb? -William Seen’s Transport Music
Electric Cables -Lightships
Tender Opposites -Tops
Spooky Action at a Distance -Lotus Plaza
Talent -Heavenly Beat
Top Songs I played to Death
“Hai Bby” -The Bilinda Butchers
“The Reflection of You” -Bear in Heaven
“Only In My Dreams” -Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
“Genorate” (feat. Phaze Future) –LoveSkills
“Viholliseni Maalla” -The Brian Jonestown Massacre
“The Mother We Share” -CHVRCHES
“Andreja 4-Ever” Elite Gymnastics
“Happy Home” -ONUINU
“Race to Mars” -Slowness
“I’ve Got Your Music” -Saint Etienne
Happy New Year!

Reply

Log December 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Just wanted to say “thanks” for this list. I find that I get bored with the usual year-end fare. I mean, if you keep up on music, you’ve probably heard everything on the list. It’s these “overlooked” lists that I find much more valuable. Stuff that’s slipped through the cracks, etc. So, anyway, thanks! I’ll be adding this stuff to my spotify playlist.

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MCKL December 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Does anyone know where to find the Nicole Miglis EP? I’d like to buy it after loving the Hundred Waters album, but it seems to have disappeared from the internet.

Reply

James December 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Nice list. I can’t wait to dig through it.

However, I’m again disappointed to see an overall lack of Zammuto. I thought for sure you guys would would give some praise to one of my favorite albums in the past few years.

I look forward to next year. Keep up the good blog work.

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walt January 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm

i would have expected to see monster rally’s LP or recent EP to be in this best of. really solid stuff and only you guys (that i am aware of) promoted them online. regardless, can’t wait to check this music out!

Reply

fede January 6, 2013 at 10:47 am
Sid January 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Great idea, and great list (at least the few I’ve heard, can’t wait to listen to the others).

I’ve been reading IGIF since 2006, you guys have introduced me to countless gems. Thanks for everything you do and keep up the great work.

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