You knew it was coming. There was no way we were going to escape 2012 without a “best of” round up. After plugging in a few of my personal favorites, asking around what some of our readers thought should be included on the list and then doing a quick Internet drive by of NPR and SPIN magazine to make sure I hadn’t overlooked anything monumental here’s what we’ve come up with. (To be fair, I’m certain I overlooked something monumental. Feel free to set me straight in the comments section below.)
Some of these bands/songs are mentioned in Jeri Kopet’s article “Songs for stumbling into the new year” in this week’s Press.
Fiona Apple put out a new album and its pretty incredible. I’ve always been a fan but some of her more recent albums lost me a little bit. This new album feels like a return to the Fiona Apple I’ve known and loved since ninth grade. The albums name, which really is more like a paragraph than a name, is The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. The album overall does not disappoint but I feel the lullaby softness couple with an anthem fierceness of “Every Single Night” is definitely the stand out.
“The Stand” by Mother Mother off their newest release Eureka is fun and poppy. Also totally ridiculous. I described it once as a song about having a low grade panic attack. But, you know, the kind of panic that is kind of exhilarating. I don’t know what they meant the song to be about, but for me it’s like standing in the center of a crowded rock show and being both terrified and elated at the same time. Just listen to it.
Just about everyone got Avett Brothers fever earlier this year when the band headlined at the Alaska State Fair. The new album is hit or miss for me but their single “Live and Die”, (which I unfortunately heard for the first time in a GAP commercial) was on heavy rotation on my iPod for most of the summer. The song in heavy rotation now is a beautiful and moving song from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ new albume The Heist. “Same Love” gets huge brownie points for being a hip hop song about marriage equality and having a music video that made me cry the first four times I watched it. Check that out here.
The rest of this mix is a jumble of songs you’re probably burnt out on if you listen to local radio (looking at you “Home” by Phillip Phillips) and darlings of obscure fringe genre’s that only people like my friend Katie and Pitchfork Magazine seem to know about. (To be fair Katie and Pitchfork are probably both cooler than me, so check out “Oblivion” by Grimes.)