Our Essential Listening 2012 series concludes today with The Albums.
From the ‘cohesion through experimentation’ of Tame Impala’s ‘Lonerism, through the ‘muscular power ballads, stirring, keyboard-led harmonies and call-and-response choruses’ that inform The Killers’ return with ‘Battle Born’, to the ‘sheer magnetism and unwavering belief’ which made ‘Blunderbuss’ such a successful solo debut for Jack White, we feel this rundown highlights some of the year’s truly outstanding releases that everyone should make an effort to check out.
And don’t forget, there’s only room for one place each on our Essential Listening Series, so if your favourite artist of the year isn’t included in this particular rundown, make sure you check through our previous lists to see if they’ve made an appearance elsewhere. And after that, if they’re still nowhere to be seen, maybe you should leave a comment below to let us know about it.
Summer 2012. We’ve just had the wettest June on record, the festival season has been fractured by a series of cancellations, and album sales have fallen in their millions.
And yet, for every music fan, there’ still reasons to be cheerful.
The Stone Roses have just completed – with no major hiccups – the fastest selling weekend of live music in UK history, Blur have deemed us worthy to sample the fruits of their studio labours, some faith in humanity was restored when The Voice had its live tour pulled and, most importantly, for seven months now artists both new and established have been releasing a steady stream of truly impressive albums, proving once again that, if you’re prepared to look hard enough, quality is still out there in abundance.
So, take a look through just some of those releases we’ve pulled together for our latest Essential Listening rundown, and maybe you’ll spot something which will soon occupy a prominent place in your own record collection for the remainder of the year. And when you’ve been through the list, why not do the same for us by leaving a comment below highlighting your own favourites of 2012…so far.
OFF! just unleashed a new video for “Cracked” via Noisey, the first in an episodic trilogy of music videos from their debut self-titled full length that dropped this May.
From the unchecked aggression of its three-chord primitivism to its inherently anti-historical aspirations, the genre as a whole has continuously relied upon a certain wild-eyed ideology that only the raw energy of youth seems to provide.
So it would appear nearly impossible that a band fronted by a guy who holds a considerably closer proximity to senior citizen discounts than the legal drinking age – not to mention the three middle-aged fathers who back him – would be capable of injecting life into a sound that has long since lost its sense of urgency. But that is exactly what Los Angeles supergroup OFF! managed to do with the release of 2010’s ‘First Four‘ EPs, a compilation of angry, airtight tunes that didn’t so much redefine the belligerent zeal of early-80’s hardcore as it did masterfully re-appropriate it.
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