Friday Thinks... With Luke Winkie - Thanks to the Artists Who Made 2012 Awesome (and Are Not Grimes)By Luke Winkie
Goddamn, a lot of records come out every year. It’s a sentiment that has been repeated since the very beginning of music writing, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Pitchfork published five different reviews for five different albums every weekday, and even they couldn’t come close to talking about it all. As we publish our distinguished lists, there’s an unspoken acknowledgement that we’re limited to the stuff we actually heard, which will always be hopelessly incomplete. So we circle around the obvious titans; Kendrick, Frank, Grizzly Bear, Grimes, Death Grips—all important, deserved artists in their own right—but we always tend to ignore the stuff that fell through the cracks between those talking points. The following thank you notes are to the records that graciously took up small fragments of my 2012. Stuff that I might not live with forever, but certainly deserve another nod before we eternally take them for granted.
Thank you, Tamaryn, for releasing the fuzzy, flirty shoegaze pop album I needed in the middle of last semester. Your songwriting is muddled and completely indistinguishable, but Tender New Signs is a gorgeous blur that seems forensically programmed to tell a brain to calm down.
Thank you, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen, for releasing weird records. You’ve all verged on goofy irrelevance over the last few years, but 2012 proved you’re still capable of thinking about difficult things.
Thank you, Screaming Females. Ugly makes nothing hurt.
Thank you, Kevin Barnes, for putting out a new of Montreal album. I know it might be hard when it seems the entire human population has forgotten about your existence, despite the undeniable fact that Paralytic Stalks is truly an epic album.
Thank you, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, because the world finally needed to know that they were marginalizing ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead.
Thank you, members of Black Hippy not named Kendrick Lamar. good kid, m.A.A.d city is still much better than anything you did this year, but your output in 2012 proved that the affiliated crew is not worth forgetting.
Thank you, Daughn Gibson, because although your circulation was far too brief, All Hell remains one of the spookiest things in the world. Every time I hear it, I wonder why we’re not still talking about it.
Thank you, Pop. 1280, for making The Horror. It’s the most undeniably boyish album ever released, and will forever live as the burnt CD that got stuck in my disc drive that one time.
Thank you, the Antlers, for following an underrated record with an even more underrated EP. Underwater remains sublime; I want to bob in its amniotic ocean 'til I can’t feel my toes.
Thank you, Saint Vitus, for reminding me how much I like Black Sabbath. I’m not sure how I forgot how much I like Black Sabbath, because that is an incredibly stupid thing to forget. Lillie F-65 made me want to break things in slow-motion. It’s good to know you have my back.
Thank you, Angel Haze, for putting out the kind of EP I was hoping Azealia Banks would put out.
Thank you, Chromatics, for putting out the best album of the year. It’s not going to appear number 1 on any list-by-committee, but holy shit is Kill For Love one of the most impeccably crafted things to ever exist.
Thank you, Lambchop, for being consistently the world’s funniest indie rock band.
Thank you, Aesop Rock, for being a professional rapper. Skelethon is the epitome of veteran’s swagger. I miss the Def Jux features, but you haven’t changed a bit. I hope you continue to be undervalued, so I can write a big retrospective on how you were, at several times, the best rapper alive.
Thank you, Rustie. The BBC Essentials mix still bangs, and it will bang forever.
Thank you, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, the Fresh and Onlys, the Alla-Las, and any other California garage band that put out an album this year. It seemed any time I needed something to vibe with, there was another batch of picturesque, delightfully sloppy rock ‘n' roll to fill my brain. Also Ty, we look freakishly alike, and one time that helped me talk to a girl at a festival. Thanks, man.
Can you really blame her?
Luke Winkie takes things from his brain and puts them here - @luke_winkie
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