Thursday
Dec202012

2012: The Albums That Made Us Wet Our Pants

Below are the albums that stuck with us throughout 2012. They are Owlempire's Best of 2012 list, that made our pants a wee little bit wet because we are so excited about them.

Dan Davis Co-Founders Picks of 2012.

I’m an electronic fiend so I’m pretty picky when it comes to picking (pun intended) my favourite electronic music. This year has been a great year for records and at the same time some horrible releases. Some really outstanding bands have emerged, some bands have stepped out of their comfort zones and experimented, which to me is applaudable. Trying something different for the hell of trying something different sometimes works out pretty awesome... and sometimes not so much awesome. That’s probably the vaguest sentence I have ever said. I’ll stop typing now and you can read the list.

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles iii

Another self titled hit by Alice Glass and Ethan Kath, the dynamic duo of electronic awesomeness. The main (and obvious) difference between iii and i, ii albums is that this time round Crystal Castles decided to leave the records producing entirely in the trusting hands of Ethan Kath. The grit of the album is evident throughout all the tracks. A sense of the song being not quite... polished, yet in a way where it doesn’t bother you but intrigues you. Ambient vocals by Alice Glass provide screechy, soft and banshee-like tones. In an interview Alice Glass mentions her lyrics reflect heavily on today’s society and the atrocities we wreak upon each other. A much darker album indeed.

Hook Track: Insulin, Kerosene, Mercenary

Listen on: 

Ultraísta - Ultraísta

Most Radiohead fanbois would say “basically had me at Nigel Godrich” who is well known for his producing work for Radiohead. But needless to say, Ultraista isn’t all hype... This band oozes cool, chilled beats.  Nigel Godrich’s sample and MIDI finesse coupled with Laura Bettinson’s soft, soothing and intricately layered vocals creates an electronic cocktail that most definitely ticks all the boxes. With only one album released, Ultraista are already solidifying their position in my head as one of my favourite electronic bands. Artwork, live acts and videos are all also worthy of a mention - colourful and vivid. Ultraista are definitely on a path to great success!

Hook Track: Bad Insect, Smalltalk, Our Song, Easier
Listen on: 

Deadmau5 - >Album title goes here<

Want dubstep without the shitness? Want dance music without the shitty glowstick connotation? Well this record is basically everything that. Deadmau5’s record, with it’s interesting and ambiguous title, draws in the techno, dance, trance and dubstep lovers. It’s a weird mix of all the good parts and none of the bad. P.s. You can use glowsticks if you wanna.

Hook Track: Superliminal, Channel 42, The Velt 
Listen on: 

>Trent Howard Co-Founders Picks of 2012.

Another rollercoaster year for music. Some albums that I was really excited for turned out really crappy. Most actually came out of nowhere to be fantastic. I was heavily into the (Aussie) hip-hop scene with some fantastic releases. Others didn’t make the list. My criteria for picking albums was simple, it was the albums I constantly came back to when I couldn’t think of what to listen to. 

Bring on 2013.

>Dylan Joel - Kid Illin

 

The EP from melbourne boy Dylan Joel was sick. Highly relatable to suburban Aussies, it talks about ghost drops, dragon balls z and how life is mostly about having a laugh and taking the piss. Some awesome lyrical spin such as this great line “They think they are doing what dudes do, treating chicks like wheat bix, how many do you do?”  
I will be keeping a close eye on this guy as he gears up for what hopefully will be a stellar debut album next year.
Hook Track: Good As

Listen on:

 

>Japandroids - Celebration Rock

 

The Garage rock outfit from Vancouver dished up their second full length album that is gritty and a perfect example of anthem air fist pumping indie rock done well. While the parts of this album have been done a thousand times over on different rock and indie albums, it is the combination, the atmosphere to use a wanky word that makes it so damn good.
Hook Track: The House That Heaven Built

Listen on:

 

 

>Hilltop Hoods - Drinking From The Sun

 

The titans of Aussie Hip Hop delivered another outstanding album. The Calling introduced the idea that Australian hip hop could not only be good, it could be relatable. This is the best Hilltop release since The Hard Road and it shows. 
Hook Track: I Love it (feat Sia)

Listen on:

 

 

>Ultraísta - Ultraísta

When pop electronica shines, it is silky smooth. The unofficial fifth member of Radiohead, producer Nigel Godrich has gone out on his own to create the electronic album of the year. his debut album is accessible, the beats are as slick as butter and the loops mind numbing in the same way a few beers makes your toes numb.


Hook Track: Static Light
Listen on:

 

>Gus Terry Co-Founders Picks of 2012.

My music year was funny. A few album releases really disappointed me and for most of the year I kept going back through my old favorites, sheltering myself in a cocoon of musical familiarity. Because of that isolation I thought i'd struggle to think of any 2012 albums that really stood out, but once I started going through the pile I realised the situation was clearly the opposite.

>The Shins - Port of Morrow

Foot tapping fun. Love it. Always loved their stuff but Port of Morrow really stood out for me this year. Another friend discovered this album with me which always makes the experience a little more special. Really looking forward to hearing what they do next. Hook Track: The Rifle’s Spiral
Listen on: 

>Japandroids - Celebration Rock

I’m still not really sure what I pulls me into this album. I like it alot. I think it feels like a mix of my old  favorite grungy/punk rock mixed with my current favorite alternative rock, and I think the album is a little revolutionary because of that. It feels like home. Love it.
Hook Track: Younger Us (hard choice, I like all the tracks).
Listen on: 

>The Bleeding Knees Club - Nothing To Do

I first heard these guys on Triple J one morning on the way to work and instantly felt 15 years younger, and wanted to buy a new skateboard. Really cool. Two person gig, drummer is lead vocal, and they are Aussie. Really cool. Reminded me a lot of the feeling I got when I first heard The Ramones.
Hook Track: Nothing To Do
Listen on: 

>Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

A very unique album, really surprised me when I first heard it. Its very easy listening, but still has a good beat. I could go to sleep to all of these songs, but I could also run to them all. Its wierd. My only problem with An Awesome Wave is its been shockingly overplayed.
Hook Track: Breezeblocks, Interlude 1, Tessellate
Listen on: 

>Alpine - A Is For Alpine

This album has chilled me out so many times this year. Very easy listening. Another album I discovered with a friend.
Hook Track: Seeing Red
Listen on: 

 

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