Music has always been important to me and it has increasingly become close to an obsession to want to listen to everything. I'm thankful for the internet for providing me with all sorts of music and the ability to delve into different genres I never knew I'd enjoy. And I've discovered and rediscovered so much this year, so I thought I'd share some of the albums that I couldn't get enough of and at one point were constantly on repeat.
So without further ado, here are my top 12 albums of 2012 in no particular order:
1. Fantasea Mixtape by Azealia Banks
I love Azealia. I've been planning on dedicating a whole post on her a long time ago because of how much I love her but obviously I haven't made one because of totally legit (not really), very serious (stupid) reasons (excuses). She's a 21 year old rapper from Harlem who is lewd, rude and a female with attitude (which we all love). If you're expecting her to sound like Nicki Minaj then nope not at all (which is a wonderful thing!) The album is mermaid themed and the music varies in each song and my personal favourite is "Paradiso" because her lyrics fits so well with the music and the rhythm and I can just visualize a video for that in an instant. The album is so on point and I keep coming back to this one. I love it.
2. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
Aaaahhh, the lovely R&B singer, Christopher Breaux of Odd Future. I expected so much from Channel Orange because I was completely in love with Nostalgia/Ultra. I didn't know how he could top his first album but somehow this mastermind did just that. Now, it took me a few listens to finally grasp and grow on this album. His voice, his lyrics, his music are perfectly made and stitched together.
3. The Notorious xx by wait what
I downloaded this album back in 2010 but I wasn't all over it. It wasn't until May this year that I remembered about this and gave it a listen again. I enjoyed it right away and wondered why I didn't feel the same way before. It's basically a mash up of the xx's self titled album and Biggie's songs from various albums. The contrast of dream pop and hip hop is different than anything I've ever listened to and for some reason each song is mashed so well and erases any doubts you've probably had.
4. SBTRKT - SBTRKT
Hate to say it but I only heard of SBTRKT while streaming Coachella this year. I will forever remember listening to this album as I suffered from post-coachella (I WASN'T EVEN THERE) depression and the thought of not being able to attend any music festivals/concerts/gigs unless a gigantic bag of money magically appears by my side. I also remember listening to this a lot in school when I'm eating lunch or walking to classes, or roaming around the school - all of which I do alone and it gets quiet and lonely after a while, so, thank you Aaron Jerome.
5. goblins problems by teen suicide
I like teen suicide as a band name. I also like teen suicide's music (they're lo-fi/pop punk/ noise). Goblin problems is more upbeat and has the kind of songs that would be perfect to blast in your car whether alone or with friends. Enjoyment increases if you sing along. And it's available to download for free! Yay!
6. bad vibes forever by teen suicide
Bad vibes forever describes what it actually is -- bad vibes forever. Again, it's lo-fi/pop punk/ noise but more glum and just low and it exudes bad vibes but in a good way. Listen to this when you're despondent, or if it's raining and dark outside or whenever you want to; I'm not the boss of you! The titles are ace too, like "stay inside forever", "no fun", "i feel like dying", "i don't care" which all stick to the 'bad vibes' theme. It's available for free download at their bandcamp.
7. Camp by Childish Gambino
If you don't know, Childish Gambino is really good at word play and rhyming. In Camp, he mostly talks about racism and being bullied when he was younger but there's also ones related to heartbreak and relationships. If you are familiar with his character as Troy from Community then you wouldn't really expect this from him. A lot of people say that they don't like the way he raps but I'm fine with it. It's a matter of preference anyway.
8. The Year Of Hibernation by Youth Lagoon
I listened to this a lot at the end of last year and rediscovered it again mid-2012. I was always collaging late in the night and this album would be my companion. It's dream pop/ lo-fi and is not too loud and not too quiet. It's not upbeat enough to keep me awake yet not too slow to make me fall asleep. There are a lot of piano sounds in the songs which goes well with the unclear and muffled singing voice. "17" is one of my favourite tracks with the lyrics, 'when I was 17 my mother said to me don't stop imagining. The day that you do is the day that you die' and so I keep on imagining every day. Yeah it's cheesy but whatever.
9. The Only Place by Best Coast
Not as beachy surfy summery as Crazy For You but still as good. "How They Want Me To Be" is my faaaavourite track from here. I recommended this to a friend and she liked it a lot and I liked it too and I remember a lot was happening around that time and I had an identity crisis and I felt so disconnected from my peers that I didn't know who to be. It was like the perfect soundtrack to my life then and I would sing this in the shower every single day because I was so sure that Bethany was singing about me.
10. Coexist by The xx
I didn't like this at first listen because I thought it was very identical to their first album. But it grew on me and it's perfect to listen to late at night when everything is for some reason 10 times louder. It's unreal in a way that the music is so soft, delicate and angelic but eerie almost to the point where it's like they're not playing anything, which you can hear in "Angels". The vocals are so soothing too.
11. Albumin by heRobust
If you like glitchy, electronic, hip hop, head bopping beats all wrapped into one album then you'll LOVE this. It's so different yet not so different. It's just beats, but it has so much GLITCH and little details that just make the experience a wonderful time. It's like it doesn't belong to any genre but some people have described it as future-garage, glitch-soul, experimental, ambient, wonky beats, etc. We all don't know, to be honest. No one knows!!! And that's the best part. However, if I could describe it in a picture it would most definitely be the album cover. Listen to this and be prepared to fall in love, it's called "Grief Case" and it's one that I listen to the most. "Chewy Bakka" is my least favourite because it's just the sound of someone chewing throughout the whole song. Actually I wouldn't know because I usually skip it within 3 SECONDS into the song. I can't stand chewing sounds. I hate it. With a passion. You can listen to the whole album here for free or download it... with a price.
12. Aloha Moon by Magic Wands
But I'll just repeat what I said. "Teenage Love" was instant love for me. Majority of the songs are synth-ey and reverby. I especially like Treasures because it has that angelic kind of effect and just overall gives off an ethereal vibe. I'm always reminded of the Lisbon sisters of The Virgin Suicides and if they were in the 2012 this would be playing in their room 24/7. However, songs like "Warrior" and "Black Magic" are more upbeat and they're great for shaking your tail feather in the car seat. This also takes me back to the times when I'd spend my alone time at school. GOOD TIMES.
Let me know what your top albums, songs, or favourite musicians were this year!