Last year I published a list of what I thought were the Best Indie Folk Albums of 2011. Seeing how people were keen to know more about this, I prepared a top 10 of my favorite indie folk albums from this year.
Behold, my take on the best indie folk/alt-folk albums of 2012:
1. The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
The Tallest Man On Earth became more melodic and a bit more produced with this record. There’s a lot less screaming and angry singing going on but those melodies he got us hooked on are still deep in there, guiding us towards the light. Definitely my top favorite folk rock record of the year!
2. Grizzly Bear – Shields
Grizzly Bear manage to pull off what many indie folk bands cannot in this day and age: to keep you focused on the music, to make you stop and listen carefully to the beauty of detail, to notice the importance of texture. Complex yet entertaining.
3. Amanda Palmer – Theatre Is Evil
Extremely selfish, rock your head off, Amanda Fucking Palmer.
4. M. Ward – A Wasteland Companion
This record has not received the appreciation it deserves. M. Ward is probably one of the most noticeable and unique indie folk singer/songwriters out there today. A Wasteland Companion sounds exactly how you would expect it to from this man. A soulful and all around strong record with hints of pop and glamour.
5. Bowerbirds – The Clearing
Heartfelt and melodic songs on the eeriest of subjects. Beautiful arrangements and strong songwriting that will keep you listening for weeks on end.
6. Cat Power – Sun
Definitely not the best of Cat Power on this record, but it is a release that is convincing enough and good enough to make it one of the best releases of 2012.
7. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Nothing matters anymore. There is a lot of talk about Lana Del Rey but the fact remains: she has an incredible voice and a persona to match. We got to know her because of one song, but there’s a lot more where that came from.
8. Bon Iver – iTunes Session
Bon Iver tries to recreate some of the feeling of the live shows but is definitely not a substitute for the live experience. Great songs on here, important milestones for indie music and music in general. A must have!
9. Mac DeMarco – 2
Mac DeMarco is both fresh and familiar. His approach to songwriting and his overall sound is instantly recognizable.
10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Nocturama
A respectable release. Or, as Pitchfork so elegantly puts it: career-besting.