‘Tis the season to be thankful to all of you for welcoming me to the blog this Fall. Scouring the interwebs for tunes to share has been so rewarding. You’ve tweeted and liked and–one can only hope–played, downloaded, and supported the artists responsible for your aural pleasure. ‘Tis also the season for giving. The artists we’ve featured have been sharing their gifts with us all year, and while it is the thought that counts, the free music doesn’t hurt either. Now I present to you my top five EPs/LPs of two-thousand twelve, by DIYers representing three different countries. Imagine that these came in homemade wrapping paper.
5// Toumrakata by Téhessé (Lyon, France)
Sexy and quirky Toumrakata was one of the first EPs to get me really excited as a new Dingus staffer. Téhessé is a promising trio experimenting with a blend of trip-hop and soulful vocals, daring to explore the edges of acceptable synth behavior in their first outing.
4// In Basements by The Sea Life (Washington D.C.)
There are a lot of talented people uploading their audio creations to the internet, but I try to be as discerning as possible when bestowing the Best New Music title. There was no question, though, that In Basements deserved it. Whether through lyric driven tracks or songs where vocals are sparse, this release speaks to me.
3// Heavily Spaced by Each Other (Montréal, Canada)
Heavily Spaced is the most dynamic, yet cohesive release I covered on the blog this year. A lot of bands I come across in the discovery process, even ones I like a lot, don’t have a cultivated sound. Each Other sounds like Each Other. Identity is a quality that’s taken for granted, but one that is very necessary for any band to become your favorite. Unless your favorite band is Radiohead.
2// Wolf Like a Stray Dog by Norwegian Arms (Philadelphia, PA)
Wolf Like a Stray Dog lands in the sweet spot of notes acoustic, electronic, and organic making it another obvious choice for Best New Music. Norwegian Arms’ progressive approach to Folk is revitalizing, heightening a listener’s energy and awareness. They are on tour for the rest of 2012 so check the dates and try to catch them on the road. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them live yet, but something tells me this duo puts on a great show.
1//Go Into The Light Smiling by Quiet Loudly (Brooklyn, NY)
Go into the Light Smiling dropped in July, before I started at the blog. I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Quiet Loudly for the first time in November in Brooklyn, NY. All of the passion and energy in their recordings is brought to the stage ten-fold in their live performance. The CD the band submitted that night permanently lines my disc tray at work and I return to it throughout the day. Sure, I could just stream from the bandcamp, but with songs so substantive, playing off of a physical object just feels so much more right. @AshleyCanino