Thursday, 27 December 2012

2012 : Personal Best

Cutting the past 365 days of music down into the highlights has been a tough one, not only because there has been a wealth to pick from, but because despite hearing hundreds upon hundreds of new releases, I've tried to cut it down to a small amount of records that kept me coming back again and again. Some I was lucky enough to work on and so got fully immersed in, and others just found their way onto my record player month after month and will always hold memories of special times.

Usually I have trouble picking a number one, but this year it's been easy. I kind of glossed over them back at the beginning of the summer as I couldn't spare the time to give them the write-up they deserve, but Pond win it fair and square. The Great Escape was a feast of new music (as usual), but catching them by chance for a spectacularly warm midday set in the Republic Of Music courtyard was the luckiest find. I hadn't gotten around to checking the record out, but as soon as they launched into their opening song, it was like seeing a favourite band for the first time; totally uninhibited, loose and loud, blasting away the hangovers of the bleary onlookers as though it was a headline set, rather than a matinee performance to a crowd of twenty. We all caught them again in the evening, and ended up catching them in London the week after, too, and Beard, Wives, Denim and their earlier record Frond were my go-to records for the rest of the year. 

As always, this list will be a bit patchy as memories fade in and out of view, but here's a quick rundown...

Noteworthy Albums:

Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim
Grass Widow - Internal Logic 
Sauna Youth - Dreamlands 
Cold Pumas - Persistent Malaise
Talk Normal - Sunshine
Disappears - Pre Language
The Soft Pack - Strapped
Chain And The Gang - In Cool Blood
Prinzhorn Dance School - Clay Class
Lotus Plaza - Spooky Action at a Distance
Martha Wainwright - Come Home To Mama
Bos Angeles - Taking Out The Trash
Grimes - Visions
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber
The Men - Open Your Heart
Dinosaur Jr - I Bet On Sky
John Talabot - fIN
Tamaryn - Tender New Signs
Moon Duo - Circles
Slowcoaches - We're So Heavy EP
Stealing Sheep - Into The Diamond Sun
Kindness - World, You Need A Change Of Mind

Noteworthy Songs:

Corin Tucker - Groundhog Day
Novella - Mary's Gun
Mazes - Bodies
Tamaryn - I'm Gone
Deptford Goth - Life After Defo
Areca Grove - Colour Test
Keel Her - Riot Grrrl
Lana Del Rey - Video Games
TOY - Left Myself Behind

New Finds:

Keel Her
Vision Fortune
Dark Times
Milk Music
The Soft Walls
Edible Arrangements
Royal Limp

The Best of 2012:

Setting up One Beat Digital PR
The (kind of) return of Bikini Kill, with Bikini Kill Records
John Talabot, The Men, Mudhoney, Bleached, Wild Beasts & more at Primavera Sound
Wanda Jackson at Latitude
Chain And The Gang at the Blind Tiger, Brighton in November
Trip to Berlin to see Maren
Getting FEATURE off the ground
The Sauna Youth & Cold Pumas' tour
Mission of Burma at Birthdays
Psychedelic Psyblings' blog
Patti Schemel at the ICA
Day out in Whitby
Visits to the Daytrotter studio
FINALLY finding Live Through This on vinyl for cheap!

Looking forward to in 2013:

Playing a show with Verity Susman
Mazes' album
The Julie Ruin
Dinosaur Jr live in London
Deerhunter ATP (and seeing The Breeders for the first time!)
More travelling


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