1. Oberhofer … Time Capsules II … 2012

    Catchy, honest, emotional pop with a simplicity that builds into epic orchestral melodies. Oberhofer’s got a big sound for just one dude.

     
     
  2. The Men … Open Your Heart … 2012

    Vintage punk.

     
     
  3. Yellow Ostrich … Strange Land … 2012

    Bombastic, brilliant. Swerving and confusing, mildly electric, looped and overdubbed into oblivion, yet so freaking clear and understandable. Yellow Ostrich is all about rhythm and melody (as is all music?) but the energy and the emotion here have an undeniable clarity and vision, a prowess. This mostly one-man-band is slowly transitioning from funny pop to serious and complex rock, and I couldn’t be happier.

     
     
  4. Ben Howard … Old Pine … 2012

    Quietly brilliant acoustic music in the vein of Damien Rice or Nick Drake, with a little Jose Gonzalez picking thrown in. He mumbled like Bon Iver but the soaring, brilliant harmonies are all his own. Devour this EP then go find his already re-cased full length!

     
     
  5. Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny … Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose … 2012

    Cool and almost ghostly female vocals (think a creepier Imogen Heap) over clean alt rock with classical and tribal influences. Recommended.