The Play ‘Em All experiment meant that I didn’t give new music the attention I usually do in 2012, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a top list.
(And yes, once again I was too busy/lazy to post this when I should have so I’m time traveling back to insert this post.)
1. Boys & Girls – Alabama Shakes
Don’t you love it when your most highly anticipated album of the year satisfies that expectation? Great record, pretty good live show. Not sure how long the band will last, but Brittany Howard is the real deal.
2. Daytrotter Session – Mike Doughty
This might be on the line of violating my rule that an EP can’t be album of the year, but rules are made to be broken, right? My favorite Daytrotter session of the year if not all time. The covers felt super random at the time, not yet knowing that Doughty had an all covers album cooking.
3. Barchords – Bahamas
A little more rockin’ than Pink Strat and a strong follow-up. Also has the honor of being the last band I saw live in 2012 and the first band I saw live in 2013. Afie Jurvanen has a great stage presence and banter during his shows, right up there with Benji & Doughty.
4. A Wasteland Companion – M. Ward
He just keeps doing his thing, and that thing is fine by me. Now when is that new Monsters of Folk record coming out?
5. There’s No Leaving Now – The Tallest Man on Earth
Every time I listen to this I love it more. His gig at the Ford Amphitheater was my favorite of 2012.
6. I Know What Love Isn’t – Jens Lekman
A little more quiet and a little less goofy than what came before, but I still dig. (And for the record I have nothing against goofy at all – that’s meant as a compliment.)