Dec 31st, 2012

2012 – Year in Review: Music

By Nick Robison

2012 wasn’t a huge year for me with music. I tend to buy almost all of my albums on physical CDs or Vinyl and with traveling that wasn’t really feasible. Still, my iTunes shows 514 new songs over 68 artists and 79 albums. Looking at my last.fm account (still going strong!) you can see my top artists:

2012TopArtists

Sufjan strong! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I have 20 of his albums. Looking at my top tracks:

2012TopTracks

I’m not really proud of this list. Reveals a darker, club-like side of myself with a little too much Pop country. Still, no hating on Sia. These stats are a little incomplete as I did a huge chunk of my listening on my phone, which doesn’t scrobble.

New Artists:

Tim Christensen and the Damn Crystals – http://www.lydtapet.net/

My host parents took me to see these guys in concert when I first got to Denmark. They’re a pretty great rock band and one of the most famous in the Danish music scene. Their new album just came out and it’s pretty great.

Dansk pop to the max! Aura is fierce, loud, and awesome. You couldn’t go into a club or store without hearing some Aura on the radio. Looking forward to her making a splash in the states.

A friend of mine turned me on to this guy. I wasn’t prepared to like him as much as I do. Really chill folk, mixed with some rock and a little bit of hip-hop. Indiana native now transplanted to Oregon (almost cool). Even more awesome is the fact that he’s a solid Christian with a great faith and testimony. And to top it all off, he released his latest album for free in FLAC format, I like this guy.

Paper Route – blog.hegreaterthani.com

Late to the game on this one, I ‘discovered’ these guys based on the playlist of my old high school government/AP US history teacher on last.fm. Their new album is awesome and has become my go-to bus soundtrack.

Top 5 Albums:

  1. The Peace of Wild Things – Paper Route
hypebot.com

Over the past few months I’ve been constantly listening to this album while on the bus. Sounds like Neon Trees mixed with M83. My favorite tracks are probably ‘Glass Heart Hymn’ and ‘Love Letters’, overall a killer soundtrack to a day.

  1. Thou/Art – The Opiate Mass
theopiatemass.org

Progressive Sacred Music for Cathedral. ‘nuf said. I’ve listened to this album probably hundreds of times since it dropped. Favorite tracks include ‘Sanctissma’, ‘Pax’, and ‘Paschal Troparion’.

  1. Love & War & The Sea In-Between – Josh Garrels
amazon.com

Grabbed this album when it was free on his website. The opening track ‘White Owl’ set me up for another Alexi Murdoch style guitar ballad. Not a bad thing, but not really original; however, ‘Farther Along’ totally threw that out the window and ‘The Resistance’ made for an extremely diverse track list, almost like Lady GaGa’s first album, only less Autotune and less suck. Favorite tracks: ‘The Resistance’, ‘Rise’, ‘Farther Along’.

  1. The Rest Liturgy 2 – Andrew Booth
amazon.com

My close friend, and mentor, Andrew Booth released his 4th album at the end of 2011 and it may be his best so far (tied with the 1st Rest Liturgy). Some mornings in Denmark I would wake up really stressed or done with the whole undergrad thing and I’d put Andy’s album on and just rest in the spirit. I’d come out the other side rejuvenated and ready for another day, everytime, without fail. Hard to recommend top tracks, just put the album on and listen all the way through, it’s worth it. The mix is fantastic, and the musical content is outstanding, highly, highly recommended.

  1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
behance.vo.llnwd.net

Wake up, get on train, drink tea, listen to Bon Iver, fall asleep. Get on train, put on Bon Iver, set alarm exactly 1 hour after leaving the station, fall asleep. Leave the house at 11pm, queue up Bon Iver, walk around campus, walk to the harbor, look out over the water. By far the most listened to album of 2012 (despite what last.fm says), absolutely beautiful, invigorating, yet peaceful. This album reminds me of adventure, and winter. I spent a lot of time in winter, a scene this album fits perfectly. Top tracks, all of them, but especially ‘Holocene’, ‘Michicant’, ‘Calgary’, and ‘Beth/Rest’.

So that’s my year in music. Looking forward to new things in 2013, any recommendations?