Friday, June 22nd, 2012
A Quick Mid-Year List…
Frank YangI’m not really one for the mid-year list, but when the good folks at Hype Machine and BBC 6Music ask you nicely to round up your top artists of 2012 for just such a status report, you can’t really say no. And they specified “artist” and not “album”, otherwise this would be mostly wrong. Anyways.
1. The Afghan Whigs – Yeah, they’ve only released one piece of music this year – and a cover, no less – but they’re the big American alt.rock reunion band of 2012. And despite having gone through high school/college when they were in their prime, I never gave them a passing listen until this year and so, making up for lost time, each of Gentlemen, Black Love, and 1965 have been in heavier rotation in 2012 than pretty much anything else. I guess you need to be of a certain age to properly appreciate where they’re coming from.
2. Allo Darlin’ – The Aussie-fronted Brits released their second album Europe this Spring and a finer collection of indie-pop you’re not likely to find this year. Its got heart, hooks, and Go-Betweens references; anyone who assumes from surface appearances that it’s twee or slight or doesn’t contain a depth of emotion just isn’t listening.
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “Capricornia”
3. Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – Even though I didn’t write about this Montreal art collective/project until I explained why they found their way onto my Polaris Prize ballot with their debut YT//ST, they’ve been spending a lot of this year convincing me to overcome my skepticism at their high-concept blend of metal/prog/jazz/opera and accept that it is, in fact, as original, interesting, and out and out rocking as they intend it to be. And don’t get me started on the live show.