1. A Genuine Freakshow … Oftentimes … OK! GOOD Records 2012

    Slightly androgynous, glamorous pop rock. “Our Bodies” kicks ass - it makes you sway with its blatantly catchy hooks. His multi-tracked vocals hover over the synthesized instrumentation like an intercom system in a pristine, high-end shopping mall.

     
     
  2. 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.

     
     
  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. 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.

     
     
  5. FUN. … Some Nights … 2012

    I have a love/hate relationship with this band; Nate Reuss’ lyrics have always been thoroughly self-indulgent, the music behind him has always been glam/punk frustration, the combination is often infuriating. But it’s always so fucking well done, all energy and doubt and pure humanity. Even though they sold out for top 40 stardom this time and autotuned Nate’s voice it’s still worth a listen. Just wait til after dark cuz all the best songs have a few choice words.