Well, it’s that time. We all fight over lists, frantically remember what came out this year and, in my case, try like the plague to avoid anything Frank Ocean related.

After posting on our favorite EPs / 7″s and our top 100+ photos, the album list is always the most fun to do. From punk, pipe organs, dusty death folk and heydey perfect 80s radio rock to proggy longhair homespuns, a broken hand and an epic, two hour long follow-up, The Holloweyed is pleased to offer up our 50 favorite longplayers.

Stay tuned, as the last of our Year in Review coverage drops this week- it’s a massive compilation of Top 10 lists from our friends, industry family and favorite bands of the year a few of which are also below, hint hint. 

See you in 2013.

THE HOLLOWEYED’S TOP 50 LPS OF 2012

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50.  Beach House- Bloom (Sub Pop)

Dreamy indie royalty follow up their Teen Dreams and again give so many college kids hip playlist points after the dance party gets too drunk.

BUY

 

49. Leisure Birds- Globe Master (Moon Glyph) 

Minnesota spaced-out trippers make a concept record about a “Silver Runner” and according to the label, the journey of an “unknown entity from the outermost dimensions of the galaxy to its eventual fall & transcendence to Earth.” Woo.

BUY

 



48. Eraas- S/T (Felte)

Brooklyn pair (ex Aspe) make dreary and limp, electronic-boned silk for the brand new Felte Imprint.

BUY

 



47. The Soft Moon- Zeros (Captured Tracks)

Luis Vasquez returns with his claustrophobic post punk slink of (largely) instrumental gloom.

BUY

 



46. Play Tonto – No Earth / New Planets (The Horse We Want to Hang)

Mexican producer, artist and designer David Cornejo makes a VHS-warped, lo-fi take on the retro Detroit or acid house dashed sound with some sort of magick weirdism.

BUY

 



45. Horror Vacai- In Darkness You Will Feel Alright (Avant!)

Italian / U.K. death rock peace punks get issued in the U.S. and make a damn-fun gothy record to sing along with.

BUY

 



44. Tussle- Tempest (Smalltown Supersound)

San Francisco alternative disco journeymen return with their first LP since 2008 for Lindstrøm’s Smalltown Supersound imprint.

BUY

 



43. CFCF- Exercises (Paper Bag / Dummy)

Canadian electronic producer Michael Silver puts his piano upfront for his second longplayer.

BUY

 



42. Observer Drift- Corridors (Self Released)

The homespun Minnesota musician Collin Ward reflects on childhood with this dream pop lull.

FREE DOWNLOAD / BUY

 



41. Grimes- Visions (4AD) 

Electronic gazing, playful Canadian pop weirdo follows her lovely under-the-rader Halfaxa with one of the biggest records of the year and gets loads of girls to dye their hair and wear platform sneakers again. Brooke Candy is now a thing.

BUY

 

40. Sensations Fix – Music Is Painting In The Air (1974 – 1977) (RVNG)

A collection of new mixes and unheard tunes from a four year span from this Italian-born progressive wandering, home-recorder. Shows, like RVNG’s Harald Grosskopf reissue last year, just how much things come full circle.

BUY

 



39. Matthew Dear- Beams (Ghostly)

Ghostly Records’ head honcho does a dark-dance, techno pop-up, its sophisticated boundaries vast.

BUY

 



38. Le1f – Dark York (Self Released / Green Head / Camp&Street)

Challenging the token hip hop identity by smothering it in a day-glo, raved-up, bass-soaked cosmos. Free download too.

FREE DOWNLOAD

 



37. TOPS- Tender Opposites (Arbutus) 

Sprightly and funk-lite, this Montreal quartet induce a spell for their Arbutus debut.

BUY

36. Peaking Lights- Lucifer (Mexican Summer) 

A lulling dub trip from this husband and wife duo made about the birth of their son, Mikko- he’s got a guest “vocal” spot on “Lo Hi.”

BUY

 



35. King Dude- Burning Daylight (Dais) 

Dusty death folk campfire sing-alongs from Seattle’s man in black.

BUY



34. Spiritualized- Sweet Heart, Sweet Light  (Double Six / Fat Possum)

J. Spaceman, nee Jason Pierce makes a beautiful, orchestral sweep about coming to terms with death (he’s done that before), his family and the afterlife.

BUY

 



33. Yung Life – Yung Life (Self Released)

This Knoxville, TN. quartet make jovial, retro pop glitzy with 80s/90s romance. Plenty of radio-pop favorites: Hints of Hall of Oats, Thompson Twins, John Cusack soundtracks and driving off into the night, dream-girl under your arm. Awe.

BUY

 



32. Sigur Ros – Valtari (Parlophone)

One of Iceland’s most lauded musical exports deliver yet another drifting beauty.

BUY

 



31. Scott Walker- Bish Bosch (4AD) 

Left, way left field pop auteur continues his recent trilogy (Tilt, The Drift) with this, his longest, career-ever album. Best thing is that we’ve probably got a few more years to figure it out before something else drops.

BUY

 



30. Cat Power- Sun (Matador)

The return of Chan Marshall! Her life-changing Cat Power record complete with a new haircut.

BUY

 



29. SpaceGhostPurrp- Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp (4AD)

Miami, FL. rapper makes the phonk catatonic and slanted for this, his first-ever commercially available release.

BUY

 


28. Evian Christ- Kings and Them (Tri Angle)

A young UK producer that mixed hip hop and dreamy R&B for no one but himself and a few friends until he uploaded it to YouTube and the interweb descended. Free download too.

FREE DOWNLOAD / BUY LP

 



27. Black Marble- A Different Arrangement (Hardly Art)

Slinky and half-asleep post punk from this New York pair. Give it some time.

BUY

 


26. Secrets of the Moon- Seven Bells (Prophecy)

German black metal act release a epic, seven-song journey.

BUY

 



25. The Orwells- Remember When (Autumn Tone)

These teenage Chicago power punks spent their summer vacation playing festivals and getting interviewed by magazines. What’d you do? Expect big things here.

BUY

 

24. Silent Servant- Negative Fascination (Hospital Productions)

Sandwell District founder Juan Mendez hooks up with Dominick Fernow’s (Prurient) Hospital Productions imprint to release a blistering, post-punk inspired techno wallop.

BUY

 

23. Symmetry- Themes for an Imaginary Film (Italians Do It Better)

Johnny Jewel spent three years in between Chromatics and Glass Candy and others compiling this two-and-a-half-hour set of filmic space. He says it’s made for, “Painters, Writers, Photographers, Designers, Cruisers, Night Walkers & Dreamers.”

BUY

 

22. Ty Segall- Twins (Drag City)

This California-bred garage rock savant released three more records this year. Dude is a machine. While Slaughterhouse takes a further spot on our list, the meandering conceptual Twins is well worth the space.

BUY

 


21. Black Breath- Sentenced to Life (Southern Lord)

Blackened and thrashy hardcore, this Seattle band’s second LP was produced by Kurt Ballou (Godcity; Converge) and, like the cover, packs quite the blow.

BUY

 



20. Clinic- Free Reign (Domino)

The criminally underrated U.K. rock experimenters go down the rabbit hole on this, their seventh release.

BUY

 

19. Royal Baths- Better Luck Next Time (Kanine)

San Francisco-bred, now Brooklyn-based act turn down both the lights and morale on this, their second release. Discomforting flower pop songs of dispair, murder and self-loathing, Luck is filled with bone-soaked twisted lullabies, blackened humor and glassy-eyed intoxication of the best kind- play it for your parents at Christmas time, see how long it lasts.

BUY

 


18. Frankie Rose- Interstellar (Slumberland)

Managing to jump two of music’s biggest hurdles: the sophomore slump and the solo career obliviousness in one powerful leap, Frankie Rose (ex. Dum Dum Girls / Crystal Stilts / Vivian Girls drummer) dropped her Outs, opened her palette and fell all over a sonic set of celestial pop delicacy spread to a degree like that of its cover- trying to uncover its succulent fade into oblivion is one of its best, most engaging features.

BUY

 

17. John Talabot- ƒIN (Permanent Vacation)

This Spanish producer mixes house, balearic and disco to one dreamy, danceable wash on this, his solid debut.

BUY

 

16. Godspeed You! Black Emperor- ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)

Canadian post rock gods return after a decade-long album hiatus to release this mammoth set. Was anyone expecting anything less? I saw them play on that reunion tour and it was like three hours long.

BUY

 

15. Cold Showers- Love and Regret (Dais)

Los Angeles love-lost post punks popsters deliver a solid, memorable set.

BUY

 

14. Holy Other- Held (Tri Angle)

This U.K. producer finally unveils his debut set of nocturnal fine-spun delicate electronic dub detail.

BUY

 


13. Bersarin Quartett- II (Denovali)

The second longplayer from this German composer of elegant, electronic and classical ambience that feels almost too perfect it just needs to be a film score.

BUY

 

12. Wild Nothing- Nocturne (Captured Tracks)

Jack Tatum continues his dream pop advancement with this, a crushingly solid set for Captured Tracks.

BUY

 

11. Swans- The Seer (Young God)

Michael Gira claims the two-hour long droning Seer set is the culmination of every Swans record up till now and while after teasing elements of this “new” sound with 2010′s My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky, what we have here blows open the doors on his band’s already epic catalog into making it, well, even more epic. The title track alone is 32-minutes long.

BUY

 

- TOP 10 -

10. Chromatics- Kill for Love (Italians Do it Better)

What a year Italians Do It Better and Johnny Jewel had, with his handful of bands. A world tour, festival slots and the live soundtrack to a Chanel Paris Fashion Week show, Chromatics’ mega, concept release Kill, deserves most all of the praise it swept in.

BUY

 

9. Anna Von Hausswolff- Ceremony (Kning Disk)

Another epic here. Swedish player von Hausswolff takes her key work with a pipe organ and builds a veritable feast of sound with this, her second effort. Now, a U.S. vinyl release pretty please?

BUY

 


8. Converge- All We Love, We Leave Behind (Epitaph / Deathwish)

Longtime hardcore heroes Converge take a freer approach to their eighth studio effort- Devoid of collaborators, artificial distortion or triggers and recorded with a live-like sound in mind, the band prove that they are indeed one of the most exciting and outright blistering bands around.

BUY

 


7. Fort Romaeu- Kingdoms (100% Silk)

Smoothed-out electronic house thump, the work of U.K. producer Mike Norris feels a welcome breath to weirder-leaning L.A. imprint 100% Silk.

BUY

 

6. Andy Stott- Luxury Problems (Modern Love)

An incredibly layered sense of movement and tension, this experimental U.K. techno producer stuns with his third release.

BUY

 


5. Ty Segall Band- Slaughterhouse (Drag City)

Guitars blazing, Segall makes this, our favorite of his three releases this year, alongside his live band in studio rather than the all-instruments-played-by-me approach of Twins.

BUY

 


4. DIIV- Oshin (Captured Tracks)

Moody Brooklyn guitar skimmers release an absolutely wonderful set for Captured Tracks after changing their name from the spelled-right version. Drummer dates a rising photographer and singer wears pretty much the same baggy outfit all three times we see them this year (in separate states no less).

BUY

 


3. Nils Frahm- Screws (Self Released / Erased Tapes)

Breaking your hand would likely be crippling accident for most professional piano players, but for this Berlin-based composer, after falling from a bunk bed and having his hand in a cast (title comes from the screws inserted to stabilize the break) the Durton Studio founder set up a microphone and recorded each night before he fell asleep, playing with his available nine fingers. He then called it Screws and released the digital version for free.

FREE DOWNLOAD / BUY LP

 


2. Trust- TRST (Arts & Crafts)

Responsible for a very fun, dark-dance, EBM-spiced clubby set, Canadian musician Robert Alfons (and drummer Maya Postepski of Austra who I haven’t seen on stage in a while) made our second favorite release of the year. Bonus points because of the cover.

BUY

 


1. White Lung- Sorry (Deranged)

Oh Canada! Vancouver punks White Lung release a downright storming sophomore drop. Complete with ringing guitars, singer Mish Way’s reckoning vocals and a general sense of total threat, these 10 songs are perfect in every way. I feel like a teenager when “Bag” comes on and I like it.

BUY

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

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d’Eon- LP (Hippos in Tanks)
Kendrick Lamar- good kid, m.A.A.d. City (Top Dawg / Aftermath / Interscope)
El Perro Del Mar- Pale Fire (The Control Group)
Mirel Wagner- S/T (Friendly Fire)
Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship (Secretly Canadian)
Night Sins- New Grave (Avant!)
V/A – Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984 (Chocolate Industries)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard- 12 Bar Bruise (Flightless)
Daughn Gibson- All Hell (White Denim)
Whirr- Pipe Dreams (Tee Pee)
Neil Young and Crazy Horse- Psychedelic Pill (Warner Bros.)
Tod Dockstader- Electronic Vol. 1 (Mordant Music)
Mungolian Jetset- Mungodelics (Smalltown Supersound)
Lee Hazlewood- The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes and Backsides (1968 – 1971) (Light in the Attic)
You’ll Never Get to Heaven – S/T (Divorce)