Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012 So Far: Five LPs You Should Be Consuming

By @ronbronson

The downside to "best of" lists is the fact that if you blog at the end of the year, it's hard to remember what you really enjoyed earlier in the year. Given our diverse tastes over here, I'm sure everyone who did this would have a different opinion of what qualifies as best-of material for this part of the year, but I thought it might be worthwhile to share a few albums to put on your radar whether you want to list now or wait until December when I bring them up again.

Tennis - Young & Old
A husband/wife duo from Denver, who released an album less than two years ago are back with another lo-fi pop ball of wax. It's engaging from start to finish. Energetic and almost bubbly, it's certainly acquired taste music. If you don't like sweet throwback jams that might harken to a time when cell phones were the size of bricks, Young & Old might not be to your taste. But give it a try anyway.

Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory

Sometimes, you just want to rock out. Cloud Nothings are a band that I knew nothing about prior to stumbling upon this album. But it didn't take me long to be glad I found it. With a twinge of grunge, pop-punk styling and hard rock veneer; Attack On Memory is straight-forward in its approach. The sell is the lyricism and the instrumentals melded together. It's a cohesive album, which seems to be a theme this year.

Delta Spirit - Delta Spirit

This explains my feelings on said album. Basically, it's good. If you find yourself a more traditional rock and roll fan with less fills, this album will please you above the others. Delta Spirit don't remind me immediately of any kind of mainstream act. Arcade Fire with less pomp and less French-Canadian? I dunno. Just listen to it.

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
The song I've embedded for you below is called "Magic Chords" and if there's a better song that's been released this year, I've yet to hear it. It's haunting, sparse and resonating. It's a duet with Zach Condon of Beirut. Van Etten is a powerful singer, but not in the vein of an Amy Winehouse or Adele. She's far more understated, but no less gripping. Tramp is decidedly mood music, but it's absolutely the kind of music you want to have available should you need it.

Now, Now - Threads

Hailing from Minnesota, the band used to be called Now Now, Every Children is just Now, Now. Which makes searching for them sort of annoying if you don't know where to look. Another band that I can thank streaming services for helping me discover, this album conjures all sorts of comparisons. I think the most apt is Tegan and Sara meets First Aid Kit meets Silversun Pickups. (Yeah, try making sense of that in your head.) Of the albums I've listed, it's the most "indie" of the five. It just has all of the elements necessary which make this album the most pleasing, least offensive or mood-necessary to cue up. It might seem sleepy at first, but it grows on you.


  1. Really good finds, Ron. Young & Old and Delta Spirit have been a couple recent finds for me as well...recent favorites, too.

  2. Thanks for this post, Ron. The Cloud Nothings album has been one of my favorites so far in 2012. It doesn't quite make my top 10, but it's good. I gave Sharon Van Etten a try but just couldn't connect with it. Now I'm going to have to find Delta Spirit.

    Stay tuned for my own top 5, coming soon to a blog near you.