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!
DJ Shannon’s 2012 Top Ten Albums
1. Alt-J - An Awesome Wave (Infectious/Canvasback)
Little did I know when I debuted Alt-J on KEXP last December, they would become my favourite band and go onto such success so quickly. I became obsessed, flying to England to see them play The Great Escape Festival back in May, and never looking back. They’ve since won England’s Mercury Prize for Best Album this year, played a couple KEXP live sessions, opened for Grouplove at the Moore and now a sold out show on December 17th at the Crocodile. Don’t fret though. They’ll be back April 6th at the Neptune Theatre. Get your tickets now.
2. Tame Impala - Lonerism (Modular)
3. Pond - Beard, Wives & Denim (Modular)
Pond from Australia came out with their new album early in the year and it’s explosive. I listened to it non-stop for months and still holds up at year-end. Tame Impala, who are labelmates and share bandmates with Pond, outdid themselves on Lonerism. “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” is one of my fave songs of the year. No Seattle tour planned and this makes me very sad.
4. The Helio Sequence - Negotiations (Sub Pop)
5. Yppah - Eighty One (Ninja Tune)
6. Shovels & Rope - O’ Be Joyful (Dualtone)
7. Cody ChestnuTT - Landing On A Hundred (Self-Released)
One of the biggest highlights of the year was Cody ChestnuTT live on KEXP from Union Square Ballroom in NYC during CMJ. We had just received his album but I hadn’t explored it yet. I didn’t know what to expect. His performance was transforming. Stripped-down, solo acoustic set that is quite different from the album. I laughed, cried, snapped, and sang backup during his amazing live set.
8. Dry the River - Shallow Bed (Sony)
When Dry the River from London played live at the Cutting Room Studios, I immediately stopped what I was doing and just listened. Their live version of “Weights & Measures” is mind-numbing. I’m a sucker for when bands stand at the front of the stage, instruments at their sides, harmonizing their hearts out.
9. The Invisible - Rispah (Ninja Tune)
10. Tamaryn - Tender New Signs (Mexican Summer)
Honorable mentions: Lucy Rose, Deep Sea Diver, Rose Windows, Beat Connection, Live at KEXP Volume 8, Alabama Shakes, First Aid Kit, to name a few.
Check out my latest Music That Matters podcast on December 14th for my top artists of 2013 including Savages who are my latest obsession.
DJ Shannon is on the air every Thursday from 9PM-1AM.