This year, the job and family kept me from being too adventurous in seeking out new music, I tended to stick to what I knew (so I'm looking fwd to digging into these other mixes). I did try and see a bunch of live shows to make up for it though. But what ended up getting played most was almost pop music, maybe not the most challenging stuff but stuff I just liked.
1. I Found You - Alabama Shakes. Love the retro sound and energy, especially that last 30 seconds where she gives a nod to Otis Redding's "Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)"
2. Wild - Beach House. They didn't break new ground, but this album was just as good as their last one, and it always makes me feel like summer in Blade Runner land.
3. Shut It Down - Sarah Jaffe. 2011 I was obsessed with Sarah Jaffe, she started mostly as a quiet acoustic songwriter but now moved away into almost dance pop. Love this cover of a Drake song, something about a well placed F bomb helps it along too.
4. Ruin - Cat Power. Cat Power pulled a Sarah Jaffe this year - ditch the mopey acoustic for dance pop, but man I played this to death for about 2 weeks straight.
5. No Transmission - Guided By Voices. Still enjoying the GBV reunion even if I finally can't keep up with Bob Pollard and company. They released THREE reunion LPs in 2012 alone (not counting Pollard's solo albums). This one is a killer
6. Apartment - Young the Giant. Just a great catchy pop song, never got tired of it no matter how much I played it.
7. No Fear - New Multitudes (Will Johnson, Jay Farrar, Jim James, Anders Johnson). Love that Will Johnson took a Woody Guthrie lyric, a man suffering and seeing death coming for him, and made it into something inspiring, welcoming death instead of cowering from it. This year for me was all about digging into Will Johnson's prolific career - his band Centromatic, dreamier side project South San Gabriel, his stark solo acoustic stuff. he blew me away at a house show, and also seems a really funny normal guy.
8. Give it Up Turn It Loose - James Brown. I dug a bit deeper this year into JB than just the Star Time box set, and this one, what a SOUND. Locked in groove, I love the break about 5:15 into the song too. I could listen to them play this same groove 10 more times.
9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five - Paul Mccartney. I'm a big Beatles fan who never dug too deep into their solo careers past their greatest hits. Took my daughter to see Sir Paul this year, he played this song, and it stuck in my head for weeks tip I finally checked it out. Paul can knock these out like nothing, just super simple catchy rockers.
10. True Love WIll Find You in the End - Jeff Mangum. I fulfilled a dream of mine with my brother this year, getting to see Jeff Mangum live. In The Aeroplane is by far my favorite album, to finally see the guy, hear those songs, hear him sound so great, was unbelievable. He played a cover of Daniel Johnston's True Love Will Find You that seems a perfect epitaph for Jeff, if he never writes another song, it just seemed a perfect way to go out.