- Angel Haze – “On The Edge”
Angel Haze and Azealia Banks got into a Twitter spat yesterday prompting one of the age old traditions in rap- the diss track. Angel Haze’s diss is expertly produced and her flow is both jaw-dropping and fantastic, especially when compared to the weak retort from Banks. Game, Set, Match- Angel Haze.
- Skrillex – “Leaving”
Anyone who thinks Grammy Award winning producer Skrillex is one note has got ot check out his new track off his quietly released new EP. “Leaving” isn’t the massive “drop”-laden work of his past, rather a Burial influenced dubstep track with haunted vocals and airy atmospherics.
- Waxahatchee – “Noccalula”
When 90’s inspired emo rockers P.S. Elliot broke up, the twins Allison and Katie Crutchfield started their own projects. Alison has her amazing band Swearin’, while Katie toned down the bombast for her solo release as Waxahatchee. The lo-fi record American Weekend is one of the best of last year especially the closing track “Noccalula” which like the album is a catchy airing of Katie’s dirty laundry.
- Marvin Gaye – “Masochistic Beauty”
New Marvin Gaye. NEW MARVIN GAYE. Rather, Marvin Gaye from recordings that are way rare. Still, let that sink in for a minute. Marvin getting both funky and kinky and very abusive. Why aren’t you digging on this yet?
- Berliner Philahrmoniker – “Un Bal”
Not my favorite of their recordings, but the Berliner Philahrmoniker absolutely kills Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique movement “Un bal.” Sir Simon Rattle is very good, but Willem van Otterloo’s cut is absolutely bangin’, and in the public domain. Yeah, I said bangin’, wanna make something of it?
- Kyle Kinane – “Unsliced Pizza”
Kyle Kinane is a comedian you should listen to because he’s funny, funnier than most of the stuff you think is funny even though it’s just tired references. I’m not embarrassed I wrote such a boring sentence, since it’s the simplest and most direct way to convey that information. Say it plain, as it were. He’s like a folksy cross between Patton Oswalt and Louie CK, but telling updated Mitch Hedberg jokes. Get his albums Whiskey Icarus, and Death of the Party right now if not sooner, and laugh until you feel your laughter constitutes a full ab workout.
So now that the new year is here, I’m realizing just how much 2012 music I meant to check out, but didn’t ever make time for. I’m currently sifting through about 150 albums so I can eventually make a list of “Best 2012 Albums,” which at this point, will probably be finalized sometime this summer. Anyhoo, these are a few songs that I feel like I’m way behind on loving, but have just come around to.
- Andrew Bird – “Near Death Experience Experience”
In the mid-to-late 2000s, there were too many singer-songwriter types to my liking. I hitched my cart to Sufjan Stevens, ignoring artists like Bon Iver and Andrew Bird. Well, I just finished listening to my first album from Bird, Break Yourself, and holy crap was I foolish. What a beautiful, folky sound that doesn’t get too twee, like similar artists can sometimes do. “Near Death Experience Experience” is the song that finally showed me the light.
- TNGHT – “Goooo”
I knew little to nothing about TNGHT, except when I listened to the LP in my car, I thought I was being honked at by every car in my vicinity. However their self-titled release, at less than 16 minutes long, is some of the most dance-worthy tracks to come out of 2012. The track that has really stood out to me is “Goooo,” which builds, then drops, then blows the hell out of the beat in a way that makes it surprising, but at the same time predictable in just the right amount.
- Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”
Like Andrew Bird, I can’t believe I had never checked out Sharon Van Etten. When I learned that her album “Tramp” featured members of Wye Oak, The Walkmen and The National, I put it at the top of my ‘must check out’ list. When I got to “Serpents,” I realized I may have found my favorite song of last year. There’s such an uncertainty to Etten in the song, unlike any other on the album, where she disregards a abusive lover quite brutally, then in the end it’s very unclear if she may take him back or not. It’s one of the most powerful, layered and fascinating songs I’ve heard from the last year, if not my favorite song of 2012.
- Ka – “Decisions”
Ka’s “Grief Pedigree” album really blew up the applecart of my end-of-year list, just as it was coming together. I had been meaning to listen to this for a month or so, finally got to it, and…Holy lyricism, Gritty Drug Rap Batman! If you like Freddie Gibbs but wish his beat selection veered more toward the sparse and ghostly than the predictable tick-bump, you’ll dig this album. This is drug rap verité, and every bullshit kingpin anthem from YMCMB et al should have to go home and reevaluate it’s existence after hearing this album. “Decisions” is the most upbeat-sounding and most lyrically accessible cut on the record.
- Bob Dylan – “Idiot Wind”
Shut up, I know this isn’t new, cool, or remotely bumpin. But my day job involves paying attention to Congress and political news, and this past week has been unusually idiotic, even for the country’s most vapid institutions.
- Future Of The Left – “Arming Eritrea”
See above. Congress are assholes. I’ve been mad lately. This song actually does wreck ass, though, if you didn’t know.