Top 50 Albums of the 2012 Part 1 of 5: Pop

It’s that time of year once again. The time where everyone questions the best albums that have come out this year. This is an extremely opinionated discussion as everyone’s musical taste is different. Anyways I enjoy putting my top 50 albums up in different categories at first, then we’ll reveal our top 20 in a couple of days. So let us start the top 50 albums of this year with one of my favorite categories… Pop. This list is in alphabetical order.

Animal Collective – Centipede HZ

Applesauce by Animal Collective on Grooveshark

It is always a great year when we get to hear fresh new Animal Collective and this album does not disappoint. I really enjoy their psychedelic freak-pop that they bring out in this album. Centipede Hz is another solid album that you should wrap your ears around.

The Antlers – Undersea

I feel like this EP Undersea has not gotten enough attention this year. The Antlers have some of the best song writing and vocals out in the indie pop world. That is why we recognize this EP in our top 50 albums this year.

Baby Island – Baby Island

Here is a band that is called Baby Island. This album is so freakin’ catchy in it’s simplicity. Seriously some of the best song writing and whimsical pop that I have heard in some time. Each song is like, oh yeah this one is really good too. Listen up and buy their cassette tape here.

Beach House – Bloom

Brainstorm – Heat Waves

This local Portland band deserves a lot of credit for this album. Brainstorm is great to see live and they bring their live energy to this album. It is great to get up and dance to.

Cemeteries – The Wilderness

Cemeteries is an artist out of Buffalo, NY that has many influences in his album The Wilderness. It has a great sound like Beach House and Youth Lagoon and some Teen Daze all up in there. Though what Cemeteries does with his sound is give optimism and hope in some of his more darkened sounds.

Dana Buoy – Summer Bodies

Another local Portland artist to crack our top 50. Dana Buoy has some fresh beats that take on an almost romantic feeling during his songs. Give it a listen here and you’ll be singing along to it in no time.

Exitmusic – Passage

This powerful duo from Brooklyn is nothing but pure epic pop music. Passage is the perfect playlist for the gloomy days of winter and fall. I would say that Exitmusic’s sound is hardcore pop music. They have great build ups and break downs, and Aleksa Palladino’s voice is tragically beautiful.

The Holiday Friends – Chicks

This cool band from Astoria, OR has some really great tunes on their debut full length Chicks. They encompass all kinds of pop music in their sound. Every song is extremely catchy and has my repeat button on fire. You can find the whole album streaming here.

Night Moves – Colored Emotions

This pop-rock band bends a little to the alt-country side of the spectrum. They remind me of early MGMT with their twangy falsetto vocals. Those two songs are my favorite from the album.

Pure Bathing Culture – Pure Bathing Culture

This local Portland band has been the talk of the town this past year. Named one of the best new artists this year by Willamette Week, their debut EP is nothing short of spectacular chillness.

The Raveonettes – Observator

Young and Cold by The Raveonettes on Grooveshark

Observator is one of the more diverse albums that I’ve heard this year. Anything from noise-rock to dream pop, this album moves you through a lot of different emotions. You can listen to it all right here.

Seapony – Falling

Another great Northwest band that teeters on the edge of dream pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Seapony has great guitar riffs put together with breathy female vocals makes a very pleasant record to listen to.

Social Studies – Developer

This San Francisco five piece is another great pop-rock band that has some incredible vocals. This second full length album has great songs throughout the whole piece.

Tennis – Young & Old

Young & Old is one of my favorite albums that has come out this year. Tennis has an amazing sound that everyone can get down on. The great thing about this album is the replay value, clocking in at 33 minutes, you can listen to it all day and not tire from it.

Brainstorm + Soccer Babes

Hey everyone, got some more new music for your face holes today. Starting with Portland’s duo/ trio Brainstorm. Their new full length album, Heat Waves, came out yesterday. This is a great album from these guys/girl. Really catchy drum beats with jangly guitars and cool harmonization make up the sound, there is some tuba in there as well. Heat Waves is like listening to a hot island song that quickly melts an ice cold heart. I bet if you listen to it, you’ll find your new favorite song. Whether it’s “Flat Earth,” “Forms Without A Frame,” or “Maybe A Memory.” This is a really great album and you should buy it from our friends at Tender Loving Empire.

Next up is Eugene, OR post-punk trio, Soccer Babes. These guys have a really great sound, that gives a fresh take on post-punk pop. If you like Surfer Blood and Japandroids, you will like Soccer Babes. With great drumming skills and shredding guitars, it’s very hard not to head bang to their latest EP titled EP II. So take a minute to listen to them below. My favorite track is “Island Mana.”

Brainstorm + PS I Love You

These two bands are going to be at the wonderful Music Fest NW. Brainstorm is a high energy, two-man pop-rock group from Portland, OR. Their newest single release is called “Flat Earth” and if you don’t get instantly hooked on it, well then we have different musical taste. Check out all their stuff here.

PS I Love You is another two man group coming from Kingston, Ontario. Though instead using the minimalist view of Brainstorm they use guitar loops like nobody’s business. Awesome guitar riffs mixed with huge solos make for that great indie-rock sound. Check out the vid below and their Facebook here.