Top 10 of 2012: Albums You Absolutely Haven't Heard
As TheVine hurtles towards 2013 and the holiday season, we've asked our critics to give us their Top 10 best music "things" from over the past year -- whatever the hell they may be and in whatever haphazard fashion they so declare.
Well, perhaps not absolutely. But I’d be willing to a wager that most, if not all, of these records have flown under your radar. Many of them are free. Some are not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell your mother’s kidneys to get your hands on them, if necessary.
10. Deniro Farrar and Shady Blaze
Kill or Be Killed
I think I read somewhere that Charlotte’s Deniro Farrar and Oakland-native Shady Blaze haven’t actually met. Which would be bizarre because they’ve emerged as one of the strongest vocal pairings in rap music this year. I was only put onto Kill or Be Killed very late in the piece, but I barely had time to recap anything else on this list – or indeed review any other new music this week – as I played it over and over. A dark, hard-edged and enthralling mixtape.
9. The Outfit, TX
Starships & Rockets: Cooly Fooly Space Age Funk
Imagine the Dungeon Family and OutKast screwed towards oblivion and you have something that approximates Houston’s The Outfit. It’s like A.Dd+, but on some psychedelic hydro bent rather than the usual back-of-the-barn green finger stuff. If you’re not convinced, watch this totally baffling, totally uneventful, but totally great promo.
8. Faux Pas
As of last week, Faux Pas is no more. I dunno, it’s understandable. Melbourne's Tim Shiel does now now spend most his life reclining on airport lounges sniffing Wally De Backer’s feet (Shiel is in Gotye's touring band), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a total fucking shame. Thankfully, he saved some of his best for last. Remixes is a phenomenal LP, dicing and slicing a bunch of mostly local tunes until they barely resemble their origins. His mix of Caitlin Park’s ‘Baby Teeth’ in particular gets me every time. It’s free, by the way – what are you still reading this for?
--7. Regal Degal
Veritable Who’s Who
You know something’s up when a band moves from indie-epicentre Brooklyn to the supposed cultural slums of L.A.. But Regal Degal illustrate the gradual shift that’s taking place in the States as folks realise that California’s – y’know – actually pretty awesome. This is kind of what I wished Yeasayer had ended up sounding like, but way more fun.
Everybody loves the Weeknd. What you may not know, however, is that Jeremy ‘Zodiac’ Rose had a hand in creating the bugged-out sound that drives the Toronto-based R&B singer’s penthouse-problems persona. That’s what he says, anyway. All I know is that this EP is one of the best of the year, making up for what it lacks in pop perfection with an engaging organic approach. It’s more a record of ideas than actual songs, but if you find the Weeknd too embarrassing, this might be the record for you.
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