The nights are getting longer, the evenings are drawing in. It’s raining so much outside, the neighbours are building themselves an ark. The air is thick with half-year lists of the “best this” and the “worst that”. Not to be outdone, the TD staff have compiled a fashionably late list of the albums that have been keeping their spirits up as they struggle through the Irish summer.
The selection below is just a sampler of the records spin the most, not any sort of an attempt at being empirical, hence they are in no particular order. We expect all of these will still be hanging around when it comes to end-of-year time, but don’t hold us to that.
Totally Dublin’s 10 Favourite Albums of 2012 (So Far):
Nina Kraviz – Nina Kraviz
She may have failed to take orbit from her stratospheric amounts of hype in the live stakes (her Twisted Pepper show was an unexpectedly naive, poker-flat affair), but don’t write Kraviz’s album off as anything other than the most sumptuous electronic release of the year. We compared it favourably to the subtlety and craft of Nicolas Jaar before – as slow-burners go, this hasn’t melted even halfway down the wick yet.
Alexander Tucker – Third Mouth
Emerging out of the fog and noise of his previous albums, Tucker’s fifth solo full-length drips with evocations of a wild earth; dangerous, mysterious and stunning. Tucker conjures a dream world, an alternate vision of the ancient British landscape where the animal side of human nature reigns. Intense, beautiful and epic in scope Third Mouth is the finest example to date of one of British song-writing’s leading talents.
Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
The kind of intellect-heavy rap music that engenders critical acclaim without sacrificing its hard edge, R.A.P. Music is one long accusation. Over weighty, electronic El-P production, Atlanta vet Killer Mike takes America apart in various ways without it getting tiresome. Simultaneously ‘important’ and neck-snappingly enjoyable, it’s a rare type of album.
Carter Tutti Void – Transverse
Few releases this year have made my pulse race like this one. Transverse is just a pulse, swathed in the sounds of mutilated synthesizers and the flailing of torn violin bows on the strings of an electric guitar. At the centre remains the heartbeat, the throb of bass that propels the madness forward. Recorded live, Transverse captures three incredible musicians at their most uncompromisingly brilliant.
Katie Kim – Cover & Flood
As subtle as the wind rippling the surface of a lake, Cover & Flood rarely leaves the shadowy corners where its melodies are draped in silk and gilded in silver. Sometimes noisy and cluttered, sometimes stark, the hugely ambitious double LP is the most fully-realised example of the Waterford-native’s heart-breaking emotional vision. Such intense power has rarely been found in melodies so reclusive, breaking through once or twice in each song to devastating effect. Music to soothe the soul on a quiet evening, best served with a fine red wine.
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