My Favorite Full-Length Albums from TX in 2012
I thought I’d make my first non-photo posts be about some of the albums and artists I enjoyed in 2012. I’m going to start with full-length albums and then move to shorter releases and EPs before circling back around to artists as a whole. I’m focusing on TX music because I’ve been so immersed in the local scene that I really didn’t do much outside that this year. I’m no critic, just a fan, so there won’t be hugely in depth analysis.
1. 2 by RTB2
Admittedly, I’ve become a HUGE fan of Ryan Thomas Becker and all over his varied projects, so expect to see them showing up all over my lists. Still, 2 was my favorite album of 2012. The album is relatively short, but it still manages to run a large gamut of tempos and styles, making it a great listen from start to finish. In fact, it often feels over too soon, drawing you back in for another listen.
Favorite Songs: Wire to the Walls, Hands Where Words Cannot Go, Brownstar
This album only dropped in December, but I’ve already put a fair number of plays through it. I can’t wait for the vinyl release. I love this duo (now trio?) and the sheer energy that shines through their faster paced songs. They always seem to manage to mix tight drumming and memorable guitar riffs with innovative backing tracks. Daniel’s distinctive voice is among my favorite. It seems like you hear something new every time.
Favorite Songs: Father Abraham, Hagia Sophia, Bumper Sticker Patriotism
A folk band with an edge? This is an intriguing project featuring a mixture of traditional songs and songs written primarily by George Neal. Notably, every band member sings for the band (though not necessarily on this album). To me, they are at their best when singing Neal’s exceptional songs as he has the uncanny ability to almost perfectly match song to singer (see: Wasted, Matilda Jones).
Favorite Songs: Wasted, Matty Groves, Matilda Jones
Primarily violin driven pop music isn’t exceptionally common, but I really love this. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Daniel Hart has a fantastic voice and a great backing band. As the album title suggests, there is a lot of oriental influence on the sound of this album mainly from Daniel’s superb violin playing (which I can really respect as a former viola player).
Favorite Songs: Van Gogh Sher Gil, Black Licorice, God of Small Things
5. Apologies by David Ramirez
David Ramirez is an amazing singer/songwriter from Austin. His songs are, as he will freely admit, depressing. When he sings them, it’s almost as if you can feel your heart breaking with every word because you can hear the pain reflected in his voice. This talented artist is a must hear.
Favorite Songs: An Introduction, Find The Light, Stick Around