Best Albums Of 2012

The votes are in. Here's our list of the twenty best albums of the year selected by our writers, irrespective of their original scores. Some of them are growers, some of them we knew were classics as soon as we heard them and some of them we missed all together first time round (although Godspeed did spring theirs on us quite unexpectedly...)

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse (In The Red)

Crackle said: "in every break-neck beat, every feral howl of raw primal sexuality, and in every soaring vocal harmony, there’s something oddly familiar – more importantly though, with all that also comes an enormous dose of the new thinking"

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)

Crackle says: "Others may have taken on the post-rock mantle, but there’s only one Godspeed and their recorded return in 2012 was a genuine surprise to many (including us). The fact that it’s a masterpiece is just an added bonus"

Cate Le Bon - CYRK (Turnstile)

Crackle said: "Cate Le Bon is still an eccentric, an outcast and is possibly the saviour of modern British folk music"

Imperial Teen - Feel The Sound (Merge)

Crackle said: "In an ideal world this album would be held aloft as a shining example in the craft of effortless pop music, unfortunately we are not living in an ideal world and historically this mantle has been bestowed upon The Ting Tings and other such tripe. There are no threadbare gimmicks on show here, just a simple approach to song writing which really works"

The Wave Pictures - Long Black Cars (Moshi Moshi)

Crackle said: "Loveable they are, ones to champion to anyone who’ll care to listen...and with Long Black Cars they do not disappoint"

Tame Impala - Lonerism (Modular)

Crackle said: "In terms of musical brethren, Tame Impala’s mindful efforts remind one of the delightful trips that The Flaming Lips are so skilled at conjuring. There are so many moments to lose oneself in"

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch (4AD)

Crackle says: "Complex, avant garde instrumentation? Check. Impenetrable lyrical content? Check. Mid song fart noises? Check. Bish Bosch is no Scott 2 but is a prime slice of latter-day Walker"

Field Music - Plumb (Memphis Industries)

Crackle says: "a scatterbrain odyssey of epic proportions, like Pink Floyd on the dole. It's a future classic"

Bobby Conn - Macaroni (Fire)

Crackle said: "what it does do is provide further proof that Bobby Conn continues to be one of the most musically schizophrenic and entertaining artists out there"

Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin - Instrumental Tourist (Mexican Summer)

Crackle said: "Hecker and Lopatin favour improvisation in the studio and, rather than seeking to complement each other’s ideas all of the time, they embrace the moments when their thoughts diverge"

Earth - Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II (Southern Lord)

Crackle says: "More solemn, meditative instrumental guitar-based drone rock from these pioneers"

Actress - R.I.P (Honest Jon's)

Crackle says: "Actress unveils his deftest sonic mining yet, creating a breathtaking spread of electronic oddities and rhythmic pacing"

Voices From The Lake - Voices From The Lake (Prologue)

Crackle says: "An icy splash of techno propelled by hypnotic beats and bubbling atmospherics; a refreshing travel companion"


Dead Mellotron - Glitter (Sonic Cathedral)

Crackle said: "A psychedelic, repetitive, droney haze of feedback and melody which leaves you on a high, safe in the knowledge that you can play the album again, even in the shortest window of opportunity. A mini masterpiece"

Kathryn Williams - Presents... The Pond (One Little Indian)

Crackle said: "There’s a confidence on show that elevates what might otherwise have resulted in an experimental cross-over album into something else, something fully embraced and committed-to... a 40 minute journey through time and culture"

The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know (Fat Cat)

Crackle said: "Attempting to replace sledgehammer guitar noise with glacial synth is in no way detrimental to this album... an album which contrasts well with its predecessors and shows refreshing imagination"

Paul Buchanan - Mid Air (Newsroom)

Crackle says: "A record which makes time stand still. 8 years since the last Blue Nile record. Worth the wait? A resounding yes. Perfect"

Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic (Rock Action)

Crackle said: "Despite the reliance on synth and nods to both the early-80s and like minded spirits such as Justice, this is a warmly human record and something that shows a band slowly hitting the peak of their powers"

Beach House - Bloom (Bella Union)

Crackle says: "This group's spectral swish slides through in nearly every track, stirring up haunting, dreamy vocals and warm, delicate instrumentation"

Neil Halstead - Palindrome Hunches (Sonic Cathedral)

Crackle said: "Whilst his previous albums were hardly a wall of sound, the instrumentation this time around has been pared back even further to produce a record that sounds intimate and surprisingly rich"