favorites of 2012: albums

We’ve been just terrible the last few years about getting out a favorites list to you (2011’s is still sitting half-finished in our drafts, sad but true). There’s been a ton of good music this year, and we here at M|H hope to eventually crank out a complete list, but for now we give you what we know in our hearts: our top three albums of the year.

***

Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Sub Pop – 05.01.12 

Usually we don’t rank our favorites, but Fear Fun is hands-down our favorite album of the year and near the top of the list for our all-time best. It’s musically compelling, the lyrics are funny and smart, and the entire Misty persona drips with charisma. We can’t say enough good things about this record or Josh Tillman so just trust us and listen to the record if you haven’t become irrevocably obsessed with it already.

Our review: I’ve Got Smoke in My Lungs and a Past Life in My Trunk

***

Zulu Pearls – No Heroes No Honeymoons
Cantora Records – 09.18.12

We rarely get to spend the amount of time with an album as we’d like, but No Heroes No Honeymoons is one that found itself on repeat. There’s a cool confidence and ease that comes to Zulu Pearls and listening to the record is the easiest way to get close to that. There’s something very real about what Zulu Pearls is doing; these songs would be playing in the car, on the jukebox, soundtracking your life. 

Our review: I Like the Feel of Silver, But Now I Want the Gold

***

Reptar – Body Faucet
Vagrant Records – 05.01.12

If you’ve ever wondered what unadulterated happiness feels like, go see Reptar live. It’s impossible for us to divorce the live show from the album and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Reptar is a weird, weird band but the joy they exude while making music endows them with relatability. Body Faucet‘s quirky tunes will dance their way into your heart and mind and you’ll never stop wanting to move.

Our review: Edge of Low Verses, They Blew My Mind

i like the feel of silver but now i want the gold

Finally, finally, finally a band has come along and put out a record that is gritty and minimalist but gratefully not under-produced. That band is Zulu Pearls. Songwriter Zach Van Hoozer and producer Nick Anderson may have saved indie from itself by moving out the back rooms and basements while artfully dodging pop music’s sheen.

It’s rare to get super-swooney for a record on first listen, but No Heroes No Honeymoons does it. There’s a thread of genuineness that runs throughout; a soundtrack to our lives that doesn’t feel market-researched and manipulated to swell at just the right moment.

The blissed-out thrum of “Honeyland” smacks of late-night pool parties and top-down drives, and Zulu Pearls keeps things sexy on “Two Thousand Whatever” – the slink of the Sharks do-si-dos with the twist of the Jets as Van Hoozer croons, “I waste my breath on rock and roll and ain’t nobody gonna save my soul.”

“Hard and Young” is a solid cut, and the title-track closer pulls out the feeling beat by deliberate beat. “No Heroes No Honeymoons” tugs at the heart without bumming out –  it gives the same feeling of sudden nostalgia a person experiences when doing something that makes them so happy that they begin to mourn its passing before it’s even done.

No Heroes No Honeymoons drops 09.18.12.
Click here to download the title track.
Visit the band’s official website here.