REDD KROSS - Researching the Blues
1. REDD KROSS - Researching the Blues
After a hiatus of more than a decade, Hawthorne, California's second-most famous sons returned with an album that stand up to, then surpasses, their earlier work.
2. METZ - METZ
The aural equivalent of being shaken for 40 minutes, yet catchy in a way a lot of noise-punk ain't.
3. BEACHWOOD SPARKS - The Tarnished Gold
Beautiful space-country from a band that should be far more popular. Also, Sparks Fly Again might be the best song a band has written about themselves since (Theme from) The Monkees.
4. LIGHTSHIPS - Electric Cables
Teenage Fanclub's Gerard Love sings songs that sound like a perfect summer day, when the sky is blue and there's just enough breeze. Maybe the opposite of the METZ album.
5. TOY - Toy
The musical brethren of the Horrors and Tame Impala: lots of guitars and, often, a kosmiche musik beat that's undeniable.
6. TAME IMPALA - Lonerism
Psychedelic wonkiness that harkens to the past while sounding like the future.
7. ALLO DARLIN' - Europe
Richer and, dare I say it, more mature than Allo Darlin's previous releases, Europe can still be best described as happy, wistful pop.
8. LAMBCHOP - Mr. M
Slow, smart and time-consuming, Mr. M is just Lambchop doing what they do best: tell vivid stories that manage to keep you guessing over sumptuous arrangements.
9. LAETITIA SADIER - Silencio
Politics and pretty melodies. Who said the revolution has to be ugly?
10. MUSIC TAPES - Mary's Voice
2012 was a banner year for Merge Records, and this magical album by Julian Koster and friends sounds like a carnival. Can't wait to see their next tour, which will find them playing in a handmade circus tent.