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.

Top 50 Albums of 2011 Part 3 of 5: Misc. Category

This miscellaneous category contains everything from hip-hop to instrument and contains all the year’s best EPs. Once again this list is alphabetical according to artist.

Das Racist – Relax

Das Racist – Girl by flyergoodness

Delicate Steve – Wondervisions

Delicate Steve – Sugar Splash by MOORWORKS

Exitmusic – From Silence

Exitmusic — The Hours by DOJAGSC

Peaking Lights – 936

Amazing and Wonderful by Peaking Lights

People Get Ready – People Get Ready

People Get Ready: “Uncanny” by Brassland

Phantogram – Nightlife

Phantogram – Don’t Move by vibetothis

Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

Shabazz Palaces – Swerve… by subpop

Starfawn – Starfawn

Dark Touch by Starfawn

Nothing Dead by Starfawn

Surfer Blood – Tarot Classics

Surfer Blood – I’m Not Ready by Chris Topher Dawe

Toro Y Moi – Freaking Out

Toro Y Moi – Saturday Love by Carpark Records

Typhoon – A New Kind Of House

Typhoon – The Honest Truth by tender-loving-empire

Pyschedelectronica A.K.A. Elcetrodelica

Exitmusic is a really cool band that has a new EP out called From Silence. The synths are quite dramatic combined with the amazing vocals makes for some epic music. Check out some of their tracks here and then go out to buy this EP because it is awesome.
Now more on this Pyschedelectronica/Electrodelica front of music; Peaking Lights is a great new band that I just came across. I highly recommend their album 936. This is such an awesome spacey yet really well constructed album. The closest comparison I can make is something like Panda Bear meets a California beach maybe some Gold Panda as well. Listen to it here and have a great trip.
Star Slinger is a catchy band that I would personally put under the category of new-disco. Their latest album is called Volume 1 and it reminds me of Passion Pit with really good sampling. Check out their collection hereand scroll down to find the album. Also watch the cool vid of “Mornin'” (720p highly recommended).

Last is going a totally different direction with Thieving Irons. Their debut album is called This Midnight Hum. I have to say that I would really like to here these guys on the radio. Their rock ‘n’ roll is unique enough to distinguish themselves into the public eye. Their latest single “So Long” has actually been featured on KEXP a great Seattle based radio station that focuses on independent music. Check it out here.