As we exit winter with gusto and enter the finale of 2012, it’s time to look back at the year we have had in music. Some of the greatest tours we’ve seen have gone down, as well as countless releases from scores of the world’s most celebrated musicians, our very own Hermitude being one of them. Having earlier this year released HyperParadise, the electro-hip hop partnership put their heads together, then put some pen to paper as to which albums have stood out for them this year. Take a look at the list below, check out which favourite artists you share with the dudes, and which you should probably look into.
Frank ocean – Channel Orange: It’s all about Frank’s vocals on this record. The production is great but very minimal. After a few listens, I found that it was more his subjects and skill as a songwriter and vocalist that really drew me into Channel Orange. Favourite songs would have to be Thinkin Bout You, Super Rich Kids, and the beautiful Bad Religion.
Jack White – Blunderbus: I really like the sound of this record. Recorded all at Jack’s own Studio, it’s got a raw energy that isn’t found in too many records these days. Sixteen Saltines just makes you wanna jump around like you were 15 and drunk on Goon.
The Presets – Pacifica: They flipped up their sound in such a great way on this record, and of course their songwriting skills are top notch once again. The vocals and lyrics give this record so much integrity, and one song that stands out to me is A.O., which is about the city of Sydney and its grizzly background matched with a kind of colonial drum line and minimal backing track. Fantastic.
Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe: This is the return of Bobby Womack! It is produced with Damon Albarn and Richard Russell at the Helm. This is his 27th studio album and his voice sounds like it. There is a strange mix of sounds on this record, but after a few listens I was well into it.
Oddisee – People Hear What They See. Oddisee is such a diverse producer. His beats are amazing and his vocals are just as tight. This is an artist who is staying true to hip hop, keeping all the right elements of the golden era but not sounding dated in the slightest.
Sigor Ros – Viltari: This record is so peaceful and soothing. The haunting vocal melodies and beautiful chord progressions on the piano are beautiful to listen to.
Tnght – Tnght This is straight up bangin’ 808 trap-type shit. Big drums, big horns, tweaked-out vocals and simple arrangements make this EP hype as shit! Higher Ground and Gooo are killa beats.
Clark – Iradelphic: There are some really interesting sounds on this record. There is a bit of an acoustic overtone to the whole thing and some nice analog squelchyness too. There’s also some really nice vocals on there, blended in and treated in quite a unique way.
Miike Snow – Happy to You: This is quite a poppy record, but the sounds are really interesting and there are lots of little production subtleties that make this a really engaging album. There are some great arrangement ideas that keep it different as well. Pretender is a stand-out.
Jai Paul – Jasmine: It’s not an album, it’s a single, but this has to go on the list ’cause it’s just so damn good. With its galloping bass pushing the whole track forward and then the fantastic guitar chords fading in, I was instantly hooked. His vocal is smooth and intriguing, and taking influence from Prince and singers like D’Angelo just tops it off. This got bumped in my 94 Barina for months.
Hermitude are playing the Parklife festival which kicks off in Sydney and Brisbane this weekend.