Merry Year-End List Season! Spin, NME, New York and Stereogum Share Their Favorites From 2012

by (@zaragolden)


The end of the year is upon us, which means: List Season! Many of our favorite publications and websites are rounding-up their favorite albums and songs and comebacks and etc. from throughout the year and putting them in one place for our revealing. These lists are always interesting because they make space to celebrate artists whose names maybe weren’t atop the Billboard/iTunes/YouTube charts all year, or whose music is less amendable to constant radio play than, say, Maroon 5‘s “Payphone,” and they are a fun way to look back at what you loved from the year past and to discover what you might of missed (that’s what 2013′s list is for). Of course we’ve got all sorts of lists of our own coming down the pipe, but before then we thought we would share what some of our fellow music loving sites are saying.

Today in year-end lists: Spin, NME, New York Magazine and Stereogum share their favorites; Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Jessie Ware, Miguel, Chairlift, Japandroids and Cloud Nothings get a lot of love.


New York Magazine kicked-off this twelfth month with an issue dedicated to celebrating “The Year in Culture 2012.” They’ve got their favorite films and their favorite kids on television listed, the 10 best reads and top 10 art exhibitions, and of course: a rundown of the year in music. They ranked musical comebacks (D’Angelo, not so much; Fiona Apple, never leave us) and crowned Sky Ferriera’s dreamy “Everything Is Embarassing” as song of the year; and their resident music man, Nitsuh Abede, annotated a list of his top ten albums of the year. They are as follows:

1. Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid, m.A.A.d. city:
2. Chairlift, Something
3. Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
4. Death Grips, The Money Store
5. Jessie Ware, Devotion
6. Mount Eerie, Clear Moon and Ocean Roar
7. Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music
8. Evans the Death, Evans the Death
9. Elle Varner, Perfectly Imperfect
10. Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory

Indie-leaning, New York based music blog Stereogum’s Top 50 Albums of 2012 ran the gamut, including records so diverse as Rick Ross’ Rich Forever (#47) to How To Dress Well’s Total Loss (#33) and Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream (#12) to Taylor Swift’s Red (#19) to Screaming Females Ugly (#21). Their top ten rounds out like this:

10. Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan
9. Chairlift, Something
8. The Walkmen, Heaven
7. Japandroids, Celebration Rock
6. Cloud Nothings, Attack On Memory
5. Jessie Ware, Devotion
4. Swans, The Seer
3. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. City
2. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
1. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel

Spin magazine’s list is similarly diverse, finding space for Taylor Swift and Chicago footwork star DJ Rashad alike. Their top 10 looks like this:

10. Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe
9. Ty Segall, Twins
8.  Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music
7. Swans, The Seer
6. Bat For Lashes, The Haunted Man
5. Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
4. DJ Rashad, Teklife Vol. 1 – Welcome to the Chi
3. Japandroids, Celebration Rock
2. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city
1. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Across the pond, the fine folks are NME are driving on the left side of the road but still playing the same “Best Of” game. They have rounded up the 50 Best Tracks of 2012 (Blur’s “Under The Westway,” MIA’s “Bad Girls” and Palma Violets’ “Best of Friends” take the top three), as well as the 50 Best Albums of 2012. Their top ten:

10. Django Django, Django Django
9. Jake Bugg, Jake Bugg
8. The Cribs, In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull
7. Pond, Beard Wives Denim
6. The Maccabees, Given To The Wild
5. Alt-J, An Awesome Wave
4. Crystal Castles, (III)
3. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
2. Grimes, Visions
1. Tame Impala, Lonerism