I haven't kept my friendship with the music blog Let Your Ears Decide a secret. I get way too much great music sent my way from curator Emily Poncetta to ignore it. I wrote about her blog in the Source this summer and routinely credit her in BENT posts.
One of the great things about music lovers is, when it comes to year end lists, there is truly no right or wrong way to do them. Just look at the 2012 top ten album lists from KEXP DJ's and you'll see there are an infinite number of ways to parse out the year in music.
To that end, I've invited Ms. Poncetta to share with my readers her take on how the best of 2012 shaped up. Check out her top 10 list below as well as a Spotify playlist she put together.
1. Halcyon- Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding’s sophomore release Halcyon is the album that took the cake for my Best-of-2012-list. Halcyon is much more than a follow-up to her 2010 debut Lights. Delivering a form of art-pop that’s crafted in a variety of ways with whoosing synth-riffs and hard-hitting drumbeats. Her songwriting has developed immensely and Halcyon is a giant step forward for Goulding’s career. Personal experiences have exhilarated the writing process for Halcyon & as we’ve been warned since early 2011, this album is a dark one. Songs like “My Blood” & “Figure 8” were ones I felt immediately drawn to although it’s best to start with the opener “Don’t Say A Word” and let the album unfold itself properly. A haunting cover of Active Child’s “Hanging On” is nestled in between “Joy” and “Explosions” — two stripped down slow tracks that zero in on Goulding's vocal capabilities. Halcyon is an emotional journey based on heartbreak that oozes with the struggle of picking yourself back up and establishing a sense of hope. It will be interesting to see where Goulding goes from here.
2. Devotion- Jessie Ware
3. Shrines- Purity Ring
4. An Awesome Wave- alt-J
5. Tramp- Sharon Van Etten
6. Celebration Rock- Japandroids
7. Lonerism- Tame Impala
8. Bloom- Beach House
9. Kill for Love- Chromatics
10. Given To The Wild- The Maccabees
(and since Jessie Ware's album isn't on Spotify, Poncetta included a song from an album that just missed the top 10, A Thing Called Divine Fits, by Divine Fits)