Perfect Sound Forever

PSF's 2012 Writers' Poll
Our favorite things

Left to right: Last Harbour, Gypsyphonic, Cleaners From Venus, D'Angelo, Kelly Hogan

In a digital age, it's heartening to see that despite predictions otherwise, the album isn't dead. Below, we have over 20 PSF writers who prove it, sharing around twenty of their favorite records of this past year. See if you agree or disagree and as always, maybe you'll find out about something interesting that you didn't even know about (as this editor did!).


Miles Bowe

After writing about Scott Walker earlier this year for PSF, it was amazing that the album was released at the end of this year. It is as monolithic as expected, though Walker's dark sense of humor was a welcome surprise.

It's an interesting coincidence then that Bish Bosch sits right below YYU's fragile, little album. TimeTimeTime&Time managed to fuse Chicago footwork drum programming, Dave Longstreth-style guitar work, and an atmosphere evocative of James Blake or Burial...all in barely 20 minutes. It was on of the best folk, electronic, and instrumental hip-hop albums of the year all compressed into one. It was an odd album, even on the vaporwave obsessed label, Beer on the Rug, which has made oddity it's business. Obsessively intimate, YYU made connections between electronica and folk music that had always seemed superficial in the past and blurs them until they are one in the same.

Tim Broun

Peter Crigler

Jorge Luis Fernandez


Michael Freerix

Jack Gold-Molina

Poddy Grant

Jason Gross

Also, see my full list of fave 2012 albums at Ye Wei blog

Dr Elwood Mole

Richard Haslop

Billy Hell

This year I was lucky enough to experience Killing Joke ignite ten fine Gatherings and White Hills bring their psychedelic whirlwind to five English towns. I also found great joy in the four Mission of Burma gigs I witnessed, as well as four Mugstar gigs, and was honoured to hear Uzeda play on three occasions. I saw all these fine bands twice: The Ex, Nomeansno, Shellac, Kogumaza, Acid Mothers Temple, Boris, Subhumans, Nightingales and the Stranglers. I also enjoyed great gigs from the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Arbouretum, Mark Stewart, Pelican, Ministry, Lee Ranaldo, Glenn Jones, Helmet, Stephen Malkmus, That Fucking Tank, Bilge Pump, Ty Segall, Hookworms, Nope, Cowtown, XXL, The Necks, Konk Pack, James Blackshaw, TV Smith, Charles Hayward, Teeth of the Sea, Carlton Melton, Suzuki Junzo, Barn Owl, Ken Vandermark, Buzzcocks (with Howard Devoto), Hugh Cornwell and the Jim Jones Revue, amongst too many others to mention. The Manchester music scene was at its strongest for years, with so many great bands providing the only solid reason to live here. Here's to even greater rock action next year from Easter, Warm Widow, Day for Airstrikes, Yossarians, Desmadrados de Soldados Ventura, Plank!, Burnst, NASDAQ / FTSE 100, Bratan, Wode, Queer'd Science, Gnod, Last Harbour, Klaus Kinski, Irma Vep, Sex Hands, Hammers and the many other musicians who keep this city rockin'. (correction: I left out a couple of great gigs and actually saw Mugstar 5 times)

Left to right: William Basinski, Maccabees, Appaloosa, Charles Mingus, Acid Mother

Jesse Jarnow

Brent Jensen

Nate Katz

Christopher Laramee

Left to right: Satin Chaps, The Meteors, Toadies, White Hills, Ry Cooder

Domenic Maltempi

Robert Pally

Jack Partain

Combined lyrics from my five favorite records of 2012.It was the tail end of the summer,
and the heat washed in with the breeze,
and you were searching for something to sing to,
So I packed up my things and I faced up my doubts,
You know I think I will let my hair grow out,
Do you believe in past lives?
Haven't I met you before?
When they love you and they will,
Tell them all that it's love in my shadow,
And if they try to slow you down,
Tell them all to go to hell!
It's been such a long time,
Since we loved each other and our hearts were true,
One time, for one brief day,
I was the man for you.
With your hands around my neck
I felt the pounding of your heart.
If It's me and you, then we'll get through.
We'll get through.

Marc Phillips

Hector Ramos

2012 was a year for the elders. Michael Gira's reconstituted SWANS gave us The Seer (the most remarkable (and draining!) document they've offered since reemerging in 2010) and Scott Walker Bish Bosch, the third of his increasingly bleak late-career visions of Armageddon. The two artists have a great deal in common, including an appreciation of music's power to terrify, exorcise, and transform. Most importantly, they're committed to following their new visions wherever they may lead, unworried about whether the capricious outside world that has alternately indulged and ignored them will be prepared to follow them. Long may they conquer (and soon may they collaborate)!

Kurt Wildermuth

Mike Wood

Left to right: Laurel Halo, Yair Yona, Melody Echo, Little Black Egg, Maccabees

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