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Best music of 2012 – honorable mention

December 26, 2012

With so much great music out there this year, and an endless supply of opinions about it – just try working your way through all of the music lists collected on the essential blog, LargeHearted Boy – I’m realizing there are several records I neglected to include on my list.  I could easily switch a few out and some of these in, but I figured by giving them their own post I’m giving them the attention they deserve:

Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams

Like other reviewers have said, this is a fall-in-love-at-first-listen record.  Put it in the Americana category if that helps, and throw in Fleet Foxes or even Grizzly Bear too.  But there is also an openness and richness of texture I didn’t expect and keep appreciating further with each listen.

Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer – Seed of a Pine

Talk about love and music – there is a love that shines through these glorious and tender melodies, and a richness of folk music styles resulting in a cd I listened to more times that I remembered.  How could I not?  Dave and Mandy’s voices and lyrics and guitars pull me in with a warmth that wraps its arms around a growing audience of faithful followers.  I’m looking forward to hearing whatever these two do next.

White Manna – s/t

Ok, so the jump from chill tunes to space-rock distortion isn’t a natural one, but in my record collection they all share the pile on the front seat together.  I have a soft spot for this sort of riffing-Stooges-Hawkwind-Wooden Shjips-guitar madness and these guys do it justice with this killer set of tunes.

Neneh Cherry & The Thing – The Cherry Thing

I had no idea what to expect when I read this was in the pipeline.  But once I started thinking about Don Cherry’s daughter pairing up with Mats Gustaffson’s saxophone, Nilssen-Love’s drums and Ingebright Haker-Flaten’ double bass, I realized it just might be weird enough to work.  After all, these were three of my free-jazz heroes whose work will always find its way into my collection, and Cherry’s vocals and previous work always rode that odder edge.  The result is a record I kept thinking it was so cool to even have been imagined, let alone executed so masterfully.  Surprises around every corner…

DIIV – Oshin

This time, spacey-reverby takes on a more gentle meaning with guitar and washy vocals creating a feeling of being surrounded by their sound and floating on its touch-of-80’s mix towards a world of grooviness.


That’s all for now – soon I’ll catch up with all of the jazz, Brazilian, Reggae, Soul / R&B, and everything else I’ve been spinning!

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