Sleigh Bells’ first release was a big favorite of mine, so I had high hopes for their sophomore debut. When NPR had an early preview of it, I had to listen to it immediately. My metal self was immediately sated with True Shred Guitar and the latter Demons. But the catchiness of Crush and Road To Hell was what kept me coming back. The mixture of Alexis’ breathy vocals with Derek’s abrasive guitar hooks, makes for an band that I can love for years.
The Devin Townsend Project returns with Epicloud, a progressive metal album that tends to evoke a feeling of goodness and love. Sounds kinda’ strange for a metal album, right? Fortunately, with Hevy Devy at the helm, each track offers the variety that you should come to expect in a Devin Townsend Project album. Liberation rocks me like an Andrew W.K. song would. The way that Effervescent transitions into True North made me continue to appreciate what Devin Townsend decides to do for each album, evoking positivity into the world of metal. I vote this album “feel good metal album of the year.”
Everyone who remotely knows me understands that I have a deep passion for video games, so it should come to no surprise that I’d throw a game soundtrack on the list. Disasterpeace’s Fez soundtrack is how I love chip tune music composed. Each track evokes the emotion of the environment that I’d expect in this 2-D meets 3-D world. Although I’m not a huge fan of Disasterpeace’s other music, this album is well worth buying. If you remotely like chip tune music, I think you’ll cherish this album in your collection. I’ve also heard that the music you download has hidden secrets within it, but I’ll let you search that out on your own.
Bear in Heaven’s album I Love You, It’s Cool was one of those albums that came out of nowhere. After seeing a review on Consequence of Sound, I decided to give them a listen on Spotify. Since that first listen, I’ve repeated I Love You, It’s Cool many times over. The songs all remind me of The Smiths meets Depeche Mode if you gave it more of a contemporary synth-pop sound. It’s one of those albums that I found too catchy to let go of and it’s definitely stuck with me throughout 2012. If you had to check out two tracks off the album, I’d go with The Reflection Of You and Sinful Nature.
Grimes’ album Visions was another one of those that I arrived a little late to the party, but which hooked me right away. As soon as Genesis began playing, I felt the great combination of her pop vocals with the whimsical nature of the instrumentals. Circumambient shows a difference in vocal styling that definitely doesn’t lead you to believe that you’re going to hear a similar song, track-by-track. This was one of those albums and artists that I have recommended to people all year long and have had no complaints from those I’ve given the recommendations to.