Tuesday, December 18, 2012
North Texas’ top 5 albums of 2012
What a 2012 we had for music.
This year’s list of North Texas’ best albums from 2012 didn’t spare any genre, ranging from Southern or experimental rock to soulful pop. They’re the kind of records you have to listen to the whole way through, without skipping a track – which reminds us of the days when we bought CDs instead of cherry-picking singles off of iTunes.
The albums and the bands behind them are worth celebrating this season.
Somebody’s Darling – Jank City Shakedown
Country-fried Southern rock is what Somebody's Darling is serving up – the kind that’s so bad for you that you can’t stop. The local rockers released their sophomore album, Jank City Shakedown, in September to roaring reviews. We love the raw grit and unapologetic vulnerability in front woman Amber Farris’ chords; think Janis Joplin without the wandering, high-pitched solos and drinking problem. Everything just clicks on the record, from the precise guitar whines at just the right moment to the bluesy mood pianist Michael Tralley puts down. We can’t wait to hear what’s next from these guys.
Larry g(EE) – Weekends
With as much soul as a gospel choir on Sunday morning, Larry g(EE) swoons his way through his debut EP Weekends with doo-wop gusto. Even though Weekends came out in December of 2011, we had to add it to this year’s list because it was just too good to miss. The singer is paired with a 10+ member band, including a spirited horn section that gives the record the full-body taste soul music demands. He just made headlines for an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live that will undoubtedly expand his fanbase. His swag and infectious attitude show that this 4-track EP is just the beginning.
St. Vincent and David Byrne – Love This Giant
This epic pairing introduced yet another angular, ever-changing personality for the Talking Heads front man David Byrne – quite a challenge for someone who’s had such a lengthy career. Although Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, delivers more of her fancy guitar work than anything else on the record, you can feel her quirky, off-the-cuff style making its way through each song at a steady pace. Her soft soprano hits your ears on tracks like “Strange Overtones” and “Who,” adding a sweetness to Byrne’s unwavering, signature tone. You’ll be treated to a cultured perspective rarely heard in today’s pop music.
Oil Boom – Gold Yeller
One part Black Keys, one part Kings of Leon, and two parts Southern Comfort with a twist of Jack White: That’s the recipe that Oil Boom cooks up on their sophomore album, Gold Yeller. The six-song EP packs an auditory punch to the ears and leaves you dazed at the classic rock swagger these guys hold. Their debut album, Black Waxy, was a noteworthy introduction to the Dallas music scene, but Gold Yeller is the perfect follow-up that has made the modern Southern rockers a band worth seeing and shaking to every time they take the stage.
Sarah Jaffe – The Body Wins
No music-related best of list in DFW would be complete without Sarah Jaffe and her most musically mature album to date, The Body Wins. Changing direction from her usual stripped down method, Jaffe takes a chance by moving away from the typical singer-songwriter combination of vocals and guitar. On The Body Wins, Jaffe opens her musical catalog to strings, piano, woodwinds, the harp, and electronic sounds. She even went as far as to teach herself how to play bass and drums so she could expand her knowledge of the medium. While the album has a well-rounded sound that some could say is more radio friendly, Jaffe has exposed herself as an artist completely. She has matured, explored, and grown. Jaffe is on the cusp of something big, and it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world falls in love with her like we have.
Click here to read about our top 5 artists of 2012.