2012 Top Ten List Spotlight: Kevin Cole

For the rest of the year, we’ll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2012, leading up to our 2012 Top Album Countdown, as voted on by our listeners! Voting ends on Friday, December 21st, so let us know your favorites now, and tune in on Friday, December 28th to hear if your picks made the list!

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on KEXP, 07/20/11

Macklemore x Ryan Lewis on The Afternoon Show on KEXP, 07/20/11
// photo credit: Jim Bennett (more photos)

rank artist album label
10 THEESatisfaction awE naturalE Sub Pop
9 Tame Impala Lonerism Modular Records
8 Japandroids Celebration Rock Polyvinyl Records
7 Kishi Bashi 151a Joyful Noise
6 Alabama Shakes Boys & Girls ATO
5 First Aid Kit The Lion’s Roar Wichita
4 Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan Domino
3 Grimes Visions 4AD
2 Alt-J An Awesome Wave Infectious/Canvasback
1 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist Self-Released

1. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The Heist (self-released)
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s The Heist gets my top nod for 2012 Album Of The Year. Topical and timely, it hit the spot in 2012, fearlessly addressing issues with heartfelt honesty or shrewd humor, all behind Ryan Lewis’s wickedly diverse mix of music tracks. One moment making us cry (“Same Love”), the next making us laugh (“Thrift Shop”), The Heist takes listeners through the emotional wringer. Cathartic, uplifting, and motivating — a great soundtrack for pre-election stress and anxiety and post election joy and relief. On top of the album being great, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis get bonus points for all the effort and ambition realized while maintaining their musical independence and artistic integrity, making incredibly engaging and entertaining high-end looking videos on a limited budget, powerful emotionally charged live performances, and for representing the 206 and making Seattle proud!

2. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave (Infectious/Canvasback)
Any other year, Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave could have taken my top slot. They did the darn near impossible — releasing a fully-formed debut as a rock band that doesn’t sound like anyone else.

3. Grimes – Visions (4AD)
An invigorating and impressive mix of art, experimentation, technology, and pop—all at the same time.

More 2012 Goodness to Discover and Enjoy:

Bob Mould, Silver Age
Deep Sea Diver, History Speaks
Hammock, Departure Songs
Ásgeir Trausti, Dyrd i daudathogn
Purity Ring, Shrines
The Tallest Man On Earth, There’s No Leaving Now
Rah Rah, The Poets Dead
Patti Smith, Banga
Bill Fay, Life Is People
Allo Darlin’, Europe
Pinback, Information Retrieved
Redd Kross, Researching The Blues
Sigur Ros, Valtari

Kevin Cole is the host of The Afternoon Show, on the air Monday through Friday from 2-6PM.

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