Megan's Favorite Releases of 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012 by Blake

Disclaimer: I spent 2012 listening to mostly French punk and synth wave from the ’70s and ’80s, so I’m not exactly an authority on ‘2012 in Music’. But I did listen to some of this year’s releases, and even loved some of them. Not in any particular order!

Mac DeMarco – Rock and Roll Night Club – Captured Tracks
Montreal-based slacker rocker released this gem of a debut full-length early this year. I dig the fake radio DJ snippets sprinkled throughout. Check out the title track and ‘She’s Really All I Need’.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes – 4AD
While I admit I regret shelling almost 20 bucks to see Ariel & co for the third time in September, as I don’t believe he’ll ever surpass the first performance of his I saw back in 2010, I like this album, because, duh, Ariel is a genius. On the bright side, Dam-Funk was a great, great opener that night. Warning: includes mature themes. Listen to ‘Symphony of the Nymph’ and ‘Live It Up’.

John Maus – A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material – Ribbon Music
My favorite Minnesotan decided to make life as a John Maus snob more difficult with this album of tunes recorded from 1999-2010. Thanks man. At least you recorded a drop for my show, Haircut Meganomics, during MFNW this year. I’m sure my listeners have grown tired of it by now. Peep ‘No Title (Molly)’ and ‘Fish with Broken Dreams’.

Daughn Gibson – All Hell – White Denim
Former trucker from Pennsylvania turned broody crooner. This is a darkly great solo debut complete with dope beats and a spooky monologue about a baby with an incurable disease screaming for their Grandma to tell them about Jesus. Listen to ‘Ray’ and ‘Lookin’ Back on ’99’.

Chris Cohen – Overgrown Path – Captured Tracks
Former Deerhoof guitarist released this 9 tracker of chill, sunny jams. His voice is sweet, like melted butter you’d pour over a nice toasted waffle. When I saw him live at Holocene in October he sang all of his songs while drumming, a skill which never fails to impress me. Check out ‘Rollercoaster Rider’ and ‘Don’t Look Today’.

Weed – Gun Control EP – Cruising USA / Green Burrito
4 tracks of raw garage sludge pop from Vancouver, BC’s Will Anderson, released on cassette and vinyl. Weed plays exclusively all ages shows, usually in PDX at houses or at Reed college, so keep an eye out for their next tour down the coast! Because they’re great. Listen to all the songs. There are only four. But especially ‘Ben’s Tour’.

Death Grips – The Money Store – Epic
Before going rogue and subsequently being dropped by Epic, Death Grips released this crazy album. Is No Love Deep Web good as well? Probably! But The Money Store is the one I listened to. I’VE SEEN FOOTAGE. Listen to ‘Hacker’ and ‘Get Got’.

Onuinu – Mirror Gazer – Bladen County Records
I have seen Onuinu live this year more times than I can count. Probably because Dorian Duvall is my housemate (#namedropping) but also because I love his funky music. ‘Always Awkward’ is my absolutely favorite tune to get psyched to on the bus to school. Try not to dance or smile, or both. ‘A Step In The Right Direction’ is another gem.


Merchandise – Children of Desire – Katorga Works
I can’t remember how I heard about Merchandise, sometime in early 2012, but I’m so glad I did. These Tampa, Florida rockers don’t have a drummer, and they don’t need one. Their pretty guitar and vocal melodies cut brightly through the noisy fuzz, resulting in 6 dreamy tracks (2 of which are over 10 minutes long) which combine the best elements of shoegaze, post-punk and krautrock. They offer this album FREE to download from their website, along with most of the rest of their discography. GO NOW. Listen to ‘Roser Park’ if you’re in the mood for 12 minutes of epic or ‘Time’ if you can’t afford to zone out.

Nomen Novum – If You Look For It, It’s There – Broad Beauty Tapes
Nomen Novum is another band I can’t remember discovering, but am so grateful to have done so. Atlanta’s David Norbery is the man behind the eclectic, poppy magic of Nomen Novum, and his latest full-length is his most polished and shimmering to date. Listen to ‘Anita, Korea’ and ‘I Tore Your Wall Down’.