26 December 2012

2012:: Favorite Artist of the Year


Continuing through my year-end shenanigans, I'm continuing the fun-for-me tradition of the past few years and awarding an artist or band the "of the year" honors. Typically this goes to a musical act that's captured my attention over the course of the year more than any other.

Past winners:

This year there were three artists that fit the bill. The two "runners up" are
  • Andrew Bird who released a top-ten album for me, a wonderful companion EP and whom I got to see twice in very special, intimate settings: in March at the tiny Greene Space for a WNYC taping and then at the Riverside Church last month
  • Heartless Bastards who kicked my ass live on two separate occasions (captured by NYCTaper here and here) and had one of my favorite albums of the year in Arrow. 
But in the end, the artist of my year and many others' I'm sure was Tame Impala who, like the other two, put out one of my favorite albums of the year and who blew me away live on two separate occasions spread out over 2012.

What puts these guys over the top was the "side project" aspect. Pond, a kinda Tame Imapala cousin, with many overlapping members, had another top-ten album for me with "Beard, Wives, Denim" which was produced by TI's Kevin Parker. One of my great regrets of 2012 was missing Pond play live when they were in NYC, listening to and falling in love with the album literally a week after they were here. Finally, Parker also produced (and appears on) the fantastic Melody's Echo Chamber album. 

All told, Kevin Parker and Tame Impala were my soundtrack to 2012. A dreamy, groovy brand of psychedelic rock that worked just as well in my earphones as it did on the stage. This was music that got into my brain so that everything else I listened to and every other show I saw was affected one way or another and always for the better.

My reviews of the two Tame Impala shows I saw this year: here and here.

Album streams:

No comments: