Best Albums of the Year: Picked by the Artists

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

Amidst all of the year-end viewer/reader/listener polls, we thought it would be nice to find out how the nominees felt. Throughout the past few weeks, we've asked bands and artists what their favorite albums released in 2012 were. We gave very little direction - some went a little more in depth than others. Everyone seemed to be fans of Father John Misty's Fear Fun, and his list (at the bottom) is one you do not want to miss. Here are the results:


Selections provided by Gus Unger-Hamilton.

1. Polica - Give You The Ghost
"This for me is a quintessential "headphones album" - my favourite way to listen to music is while I'm walking around somewhere. Polica's album, with its beautiful vocals and production, has been a constant companion in 2012."

2. Django Django - Django Django
"We played at a lot of the same festivals as Django Django this year, so the way I first heard their music was live. However, this took me to the album, which I have learned to love as much as their stage show."

3. Romare - Meditations on Afrocentrism EP
"This guy is one half of a band we knew in Leeds, The Peppermint Lounge. The band has since split, but both members continue to make music on their own. This was Archie (AKA Romare)'s debut release, a 4-track EP of footwork, dubstep, world and house that I think is truly original."

4. The Lumineers - The Lumineers
"I discovered this album while touring the states this autumn - I am a folk music lover at heart, and this is a very strong album."

5. Oberhofer - Time Capsules II
"I know little about this band, but my friend in San Francisco got me into them via the track HEART. It's a varied and intriguing record that I've been listening to more and more."

6. The Maccabbees - Given To The Wild
"I've loved this band since I first heard a demo of theirs on late-night BBC Radio 1 some time in the mid noughties, when I was a teenage. Each subsequent album of theirs has represented a musical maturation for the band, and their third offering is no different. Another headphones record!"

7. Metronomy - LateNightTales compilation
"The first LateNightTales compilation I got was The Cinematic Orchestra's, a few years ago. Since then, I've been addicted to this series. Metronomy [AKA Joseph Mount and co.] are one of my favourite bands (their third album was my "record of 2011"), and this is a great mix by one of the most daring and visionary musicians working in Britain today."

8. The Cribs - In The Belly of the Brazen Bull
"No Cribs album has ever disappointed me, from their eponymous debut almost 10 years ago, to this, their fifth studio album. I'll always be interested in what this band is doing."

9. Cave Painting - Votive Life
"We toured with this band in May around the time of our album release. They'd finished their debut record, but hadn't released it yet, so I got a chance to get to know it both through their live set, and an advance copy they gave me. Whilst I think they convey more live, this is still a really good collection of songs, thoughtfully written and produced."

10. Stealing Sheep - Into The Diamond Sun
"Another band which has supported us this year - a female three-piece from Liverpool. Folky harmonies sung over psychedelic instrumentals, and a genuine sense of magic, make this a perfect album for me."

First Aid Kit

- Father John Misty - Fear Fun

"This is our absolute favorite record of the year and definitely the one we've listened to the most. It was instant love from the first time we heard "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings." It reminds us a lot of Gram Parsons' music. It's witty, funny and touching all at the same time. Josh Tillman has an effortless way of writing lyrics that is very inspiring. Jonathan Wilson's production is never demanding, but always beautiful, soulful and fun. And that voice - oh my!"

- Dylan LeBlanc - Cast The Same Old Shadow
- Jack White - Blunderbuss
- The Mynabirds - Generals
- Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur

Of Monsters and Men

Each member in the group provided their favorite.

Nanna: Lianne La Havas - Forget
Raggi: Moses Hightower - onnur moses bok
Kiddi: Grizzly Bear - Shields
Arnar: Grizzly Bear - Shields
Brynjar: Jack White - Blunderbuss

Ra Ra Riot

Provided by violinist Rebecca Zeller

Hot Chip - In Our Heads
Chairlift - Something
Niki & The Dove - Instinct
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Delicate Steve - Positive Force

Local Natives

1. Tame Impala - Lonerism *favorite of the year
2. Grizzly Bear - Shields
3. Father John Misty - Fear Fun
4. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
5. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan

White Rabbits

Stephen Patterson's Top 10 List:

1. Beak> - >>
2. Geoff Barrow / Ben Salisbury - Drokk
3. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
4. Mac Demarco - 2
5. Liars - WIXIW
6. El-P - Cancer 4 Cure
7. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
8. Tig Notaro - Live
9. Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits
10. Royal Trux - Accelerator (reissue but whatever it's an all-time favorite)

Patrick Watson

Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love
James Blake - James Blake
Barr Brothers - Barr Brothers
Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself

Ben Schneider of Lord Huron

Ahmad Zahir - The King of 70's Afghan Pop!
Brian Eno - Lux
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp

Father John Misty

"Top Ten Albums Of The Year As Selected By Josh Tillman"

10. Prez P. A. U. L. - A. C. R. O. N. Y. M. S. 2055
9. Blood Diamond - Vague Geometric Shapes
8. Assorted Bears - Debts
7. Skyler No and Terror Maze - Electric's Grid
6. Holy Matrimony - Retrograde Flux
5. Lil' Cleopatra $a$$ - Intro-deucing: Return of The 2nd Queen: Reloaded (Pink Edition)
4. NOVUS - ^^^
3. Girl Camp - Beach Cat
2. Tierro and Dempsey - CEEEiling FrEEEquencies
1. Groupthink - S/T


Selections provided by Brian King.

Thee Oh Sees: Putrifiers ll
Chain And The Gang: In Cool Blood
Dirty Three: Towards The Low Sun
Ladyhawk: No Can Do
Swans: The Seer


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