We’ve already given you 50 to 41 and 40 to 31, so who’s made the Top 30? Here’s 30 to 21 of DIY’s Albums of 2012.
30. The xx - CoexistFollowing their Mercury Prize gaining debut - The xx returned earlier this year, with their sophomore effort ‘Coexist’. In the wake of the release, the South-London cohorts sporadically dropped a handful of tracks, making their way onto the Internet and into the ears of many. Tracks such as the critically acclaimed album opener ‘Angels’ and the remix-friendly ‘Swept Away’. Although the album hasn’t witnessed a considerable departure in sound, it’s comforting to know that the band’s hazy bouts of melancholia are still ever present, as they take baby steps towards creating a game-changing dance record. (Jonathan Hatchman)
29. DZ Deathrays - BloodstreamsThe leather clad lovechild of Death From Above 1979 and Pulled Apart By Horses, DZ Deathrays are the band every house party playlist has been crying out for. With riffs jutting out angularly in every direction and shout-along choruses ‘Bloodstreams’ is a relentless stomp of an album but songs such as the excellent ‘Cops Capacity’ highlight just how cleverly orchestrated the chaos is. The next time an uninvited guest is throwing the tiles of your roof, ‘Bloodstreams’ will have already demanded its role as the perfect soundtrack. (Matthew Davies)
Read our interview with DZ Deathrays here.
28. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan‘Swing Lo Magellan’ is just like any other Dirty Projectors effort in that you’re required to listen with a dictionary open on one side, while the other hand strokes your chin as you attempt to appreciate its ‘cultural significance’ and other such nonsense. Except that’s not the case here: Dave Longstreth still dazzles with his one-of-a-kind songwriting, but he’s offering simple love songs at the same time. Yes, they border on the very limits of twee and “that’s rad, man!” cult spiritualism, but these songs are sweet, direct and often brilliant. (Jamie Milton)
27. NZCA/LINES - NZCA/LINESOf all the superlatives worthy of being slumped on this album’s doorstep in a heap of hyperbolic gratitude, those beginning with ‘s’ seem most suitable: Sleek, slick, sumptuous and most notable of all - simple. For amongst all of Michael Lovett’s unique and snappy pop R&B fusion, there’s a soul that’s only got its heart set on delivering smart and basic pop melodies. Lovett places these delicious concoctions in a chamber of futuristic pop roboticness, as his monotonous voice glides over these melody-infused tracks like an emotionless glaze. Plastic pop with an inner beauty. (Jamie Milton)
Read our NZCA/LINES interview here.
26. Tall Ships - Everything Touching2012 saw more than a few outstanding debut albums; Django Django, Polica, Jessie Ware. And then there was that triangle band - they were pretty good. With such a diverse selection of critically acclaimed new artists exploding in to magazines, blogs and even the charts, standing out was no easy task. Despite the competition though, Tall Ships more than lived up to the challenge. ‘Everything Touching’ was applauded across the board for its intelligent approach to rock ‘n’ roll. (Sam Bolton)
25. Wild Nothing - NocturneSo, a guy makes music by himself. He works under a title that mirrors his sonic ability to dabble between the overstated and understated. In the end, he crafts something that could only be like ‘Nocturne’. On a record that’s a proud pastiche of every 1980s genre that ended in ‘pop,’ Wild Nothing exposes himself completely. His songs reflect the art he loves and the way he feels and the things he sees. It’s so natural, so earnest, that Nocturne comes off as a voyeuristic look at a world – Jack Tatum’s world: You’ll want to sing (alone) and dance (together). You’ll come away inspired, enlightened, and itching to experience a love like paradise. (Kyle Forward)
Read our interview with Wild Nothing here.
24. And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Lost SongsLast year’s ‘Tao Of The Dead’ may have been rougher and more visceral than ‘Century Of Self’, but ‘Lost Songs’ is the album that finally sees the band that made ‘Source Tags & Codes’ return - a fact that will surely delight many hardcore fans. Full disclosure: the ambitiousness of ‘Tao Of The Dead’, sonic experimentation and sheer audacity in writing a two-song punk rock album still makes it the high watermark of their career, but it’s still hard to find fault. Simply and gleefully, a brilliant rock record; all of the things that …Trail Of Dead fans know and love combine to make something both special and highly listenable. (Alex Lynham)
23. Hot Chip - In Our Heads‘In Our Heads’ showcases Hot Chip’s most compelling work to date, with the band’s penchant for emotionally-charged lyrics and catchy synth hooks failing to wane over time, despite this being the band’s fifth album. From the soul-saving sentiments of ‘How Do You Do?’ to the positive prognosis of ‘Don’t Deny Your Heart’, HC delve musically deeper to create an album that is less radio-friendly than previous work, but packs more of a punch. By the third listen, you’ll have fallen in love with this record. (Wendy Davies)
22. John Talabot - FinIn what has been an exceptionally good year for electronic music, Spanish producer extraordinaire John Talabot’s debut album stands out head and shoulders over the rest. There is something incredibly enticing about ’Fin’s’ slinky Balearic grooves and nostalgia-tinged echoes of dance music’s past. This is an album that is far from a collection of mindless club bangers. Equally as hypnotic as it is euphoric, ‘Fin’ is an electronic record to stimulate mind, body and soul. (Martyn Young)
21. Purity Ring - ShrinesIf there’s ever been a year it’s become in vogue to make – and indeed, to be a fan of – cute bubblegum electro-pop, it’s been this one. Corin Roddick’s production injects depth and sleekness into a sound where it’s often found lacking via trademark synth-depleting drum kicks and pulses. Sit atop Megan James’ addictive pitch-shifting vocals, and a dizzying concoction is conceived. Capable in equal measures of engaging purist electronic music geeks and casual pop modernists, ‘Shrines’ is an incredible achievement. (Ian Paterson)
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow to find out who’s made the Top 20!