Top 89 Staff Picks: Jon Schober, Local Music Assistant/Music Assistant

Top 89 of 2012
Top 89 of 2012 (MPR Graphic)


Songs


1. Lower Dens — "Brains"


I haven't listened to a song as many times as I have with this one. Jana Hunter is one the most overlooked artists out there, and her band Lower Dens is continuing to make slow and steady strides in visibility.

2. Beach House — "Lazuli"


One of the strongest songs Beach House has made since their earlier, lo-fi days.

3. FIDLAR — "Cheap Beer"


This two-minute diddy is totally unabashed and some of the best punk to come out in a long while. I can't necessarily talk about the content of this song... you'll have to listen to find out.

4. HAIM — "Don't Save Me"


This trio of sisters out of L.A. has been making huge strides in the UK after tours with Mumford and Sons and Florence and The Machine. "Don't Save Me" was the breakout single — they've since been signed to a major label in the States.

5. Lana Del Rey — "Ride"


Don't knock Lana just yet. Her new "Paradise EP" is a more mature continuation of the polarizing debut "Born To Die." The lead single "Ride" has had few critics, as many have praised the new direction and honest lyrics.

6. Solange — "Losing You"


I wouldn't be surprised if Solange (Beyonce's sister) becomes the new critical darling that fails to break out substantially in both indie and commercial radio. Reminds me a lot of the route Frank Ocean has taken.

7. Melody's Echo Chamber — "Endless Shore"


An incredible album that sounds like much-missed Broadcast thanks to Melody Prochet's voice and the production talents of Tame Impala's Kevin Parker.

8. Thee Oh Sees — "Lupine Dominus"


This band will never ever, ever fail. Ever.

9. Tame Impala — "Elephant"


Whereas Innerspeaker was blissed out '60s psych, the new album Lonerism moves into '70s glam rock. When the band yells "YEAH" in "Elephant," music just makes sense.

10. The Soft Moon — "Die Life"


If winter's got you down, leave it to Luiz Vasquez of The Soft Moon to make you even gloomier. The Soft Moon is so far into its own genre that many can't describe what it sounds like. It sure is good though.

Albums

1. Beach House — Bloom


From the day I first heard Beach House five years ago, I knew that our relationship would be a long one. While Bloom is the slickest produced of their albums so far, it also contains songs that give their self-titled debut and Devotion a run for their money.

2. Lower Dens — Nootropics


In my opinion, there wasn't an album in 2012 that can match the unabashed experimentalism that Lower Dens embarked on for their sophomore album. It's a gorgeous effort, extremely atmospheric and bass-heavy. This one's got accolades across the board for end-of-year lists by critics, and their tour with Grizzly Bear this fall only helps their cause.

3. Melody's Echo Chamber — Melody's Echo Chamber


It came out of left field with a Tame Impala stamp of approval. This import from Paris takes influence from Stereolab and Broadcast.

4. The Soft Pack — Strapped


It's hard to believe The Soft Pack's debut only came out in 2010, but it feels like YEARS between that and the release of Strapped. Sunny, west-coast garage rock. "Tallboy" is a must-listen.

5. Allah-Las — Allah-Las


I first heard the Allah-Las on a Mondo Boys mixtape several years ago. Since then, the west-coast quartet have been working with Nick Waterhouse (who also put out a fantastic album this year) to prep their debut. It was exactly what we expected: '60s mod pop, and a gorgeous start for this young group.

6. Lana Del Rey — Paradise EP


While Born To Die only contained a handful of songs I enjoyed, the Paradise EP sounds like Lana is finally comfortable with what she's doing. The collection here is darker, more emotional and just plain catchier. Advance reviews have promptly shut up many of the initial critics.

7. Frank Ocean — Channel Orange


Listening to this album as one song is how you need to do it. Powerful, raw and hits about every genre in the book.

8. Ty Segall — All three albums


The dude's prolific and one of the best musicians out in the Bay Area right now. Three albums in 2012 alone — one solo, one with a backing band and one with White Fence — all had hits, all were great. Funny to see that it's taken him so many records to get the attention he deserves.

9. Dirty Projectors — Swing Lo Magellan


This is the first album I have ever liked from this band. Less spastic, more jams.

10. San Cisco — Awkward EP


This EP doesn't actually contain some of San Cisco's best songs due to their stateside signing and re-release, but either way, these kids have made a major splash in Australia and their performance at the Turf was off the hook. Don't knock 'em if you don't like "Awkward" — much of their material sounds extremely different.

More Top 89

Polls


Top 89 songs of 2012

Top 89 albums of 2012

Staff Picks

Mark Wheat, Host

Mary Lucia, Host

Barb Abney, Host

Steve Seel, Host

Jill Riley, Host

Bill DeVille, Host

Jim McGuinn, Program Director

Jade Tittle, Assistant Producer & Host

David Safar, Music Director

Mac Wilson, Host

Jacquie Fuller, Host

Derrick Stevens, Production Manager

Lindsay Kimball, Assistant Program Director

Jon Schober, Local Music Assistant/Music Assistant

Brett Baldwin, Managing Digital Producer

Leah Garaas, Intern

Nate Ryan, Associate Web Producer, Multimedia

Jake Rudh, Host

Matt Perkins, Marketing Manager

Scott Olstad, Associate Web Producer

Peter Valelly, Associate Web Producer

Andrea Swensson, Local Current blogger