Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Best of 2012: Justin's Favorites

This year I was reminded how vital music can be in tough times and how context can turn a good album into something unforgettable.

When I hear Nate Tarr of Wood Ear start singing "Been the hottest summer that I've known," I'll always feel the sweltering humidity of summer 2012 – literally the hottest summer I've known. All of my favorites this year send specific memories like this to the forefront of my mind.

I don't know if I would rank any of my top albums this year higher than any albums I've listed in previous year-end posts for Triangle Music, but they were crucial in 2012 for me and will always be an important part of how I remember 2012.

Favorite Albums
1. Open Your Heart by The Men
2. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
3. In Our Heads by Hot Chip
4. Interstellar by Frankie Rose
5. Transcendental Youth by The Mountain Goats
6. Shake Your Head by Spider Bags
7. Mr. M by Lampchop
8. Don’t Be A Stranger by Mark Eitzel
9. Steeple Vultures by Wood Ear
10. The Haunted Man by Bat For Lashes

Honorable Mentions: The Clearing by Bowerbirds,  All We Have Is Time by TOW3RS, Tramp by Sharon Van Etten, Eight Trails, One Path by Various Artists, Big Inner by Matthew E. White

Favorite EP
A Shallow Madness by Lilac Shadows

Favorite Reissue
Copper Blue by Sugar

Favorite Songs
1. “Pyramid” by Frank Ocean
2. “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit
3. “Ex-Dreams” by The Men
4. “White Cedar” by The Mountain Goats
5. “Andrew In Drag” by The Magnetic Fields
6. “Cooking Up Something Good” by Mac Demarco
7. “These Chains” by Hot Chip
8. “Steeple Vultures” by Wood Ear
9. “Seabirds” by Nieces and Nephews
10. “So Long You Pretty Thing” by Spiritualized

Favorite Performances
1. John Darnielle, Mac McCaughan and Greg Cartwright @ Motorco, 4/19/12
2. The Mountain Goats @ Fletcher Opera Theater, Hopscotch, 9/7/12
3. Matthew E. White @ Fletcher Opera Theater, Hopscotch, 9/6/12
4. Justin Townes Earle and Tift Merritt @ Cat’s Cradle, 11/15/12
5. Frank Fairfield @ Haw River Ballroom, 1/20/12

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