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The YDP 2012 Top 10 Album List!!

28 Dec

Play Me The Hits!

Another year in the can, and with the uneventful pass of the Mayan Apocalypse (which was of course just the end of their long-count calendar), we here at Yuppie Dance Party have come out of our long hiatus to do the kind of thing we’ve long dreamed of: a giant YEAR END COLLABO!

Even in our break from the blog, we’ve done our best to stay hooked into the year’s hottest releases, including some of those that may have slipped under the radar.  Together, we felt that this year’s offerings, whether artist debuts or follow-ups, was a strong year in music.  2013 will have a LOT to live up to.  It wasn’t easy to pare down, to so few.  To satisfy our own sensibilities, and provide you with more delicious tastes of the year, we’re also tacking on an abbreviated list of honorable mentions.  But let’s get to the good stuff.  Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our top 10 albums of the year!


1. Twin Shadow, Confess

Confess is a record I gush about to everybody I meet. Drenched in synth, big 80’s guitars, and beautiful vocals, this is an new (and incredible) album full of old sounds. I loved the debut Forget when it came out in 2010, but this album is much more pop – in a good way. Let’s just say if you took Prince, the Top Gun soundtrack and the The Lost Boys soundtrack, shook them up in some sound machine and listened to the product – you’d have Confess.  –TKSama

2. Fiona Apple, The Idler’s Wheel…

My only regret is that I didn’t come across Apple’s latest offering until early December. The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do,  is a mouthful of a title, but is comprised of relatively minimal instrumentation. This simply allows Apple’s strengths as a songwriter and vocalist to stand out. Her raw, bluesy voice runs the gamut of emotional tones, culminating in a rousing duet with her lesser known but very talented sister.  Apple proves her staying power once again. -Lord_B

3. Heartless Bastards, Arrow

The Heartless Bastards make incredible bluesy indie rock. Arrow is their latest and strongest effort to date. Erika Wennerstrom’s vocals are given enough free reign to deliver some wonderfully poetic lines while being properly balanced by pure rock n’ roll. If the American Rock revival actually existed, these guys would be riding the wave. -TKSama

4. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die

Perhaps one of the most polarizing albums of the year, the newly fabricated Lana Del Rey (stage name, persona and affectations) had an early misstep with a less-than-stellar SNL performance.  If that was your first encounter with her, the good news is that she more than redeemed herself.  This album grows on you with each successive listen, exposing you to a soulful and retro, albeit highly produced, piece of spectacle that garners more than a few plays in the process. -Lord_B

5. Beach House, Bloom

Listening to Beach House is like going on an aural journey in a fantasy land. Victoria Legrand’s vocals dance effortlessly across a synthy dreamscape and you’re absolutely certain that something magical could happen at a moment’s notice. This album is more than a worthy successor to Teen Dream (2010) and one that I think everyone should own. -TKSama

6. Four Tet, Pink

Four Tet’s follow-up to 2011’s There is Love in You is no less of a good time.  Looping and mixing elements of funk, acid jazz and electronic beats together in new and exciting ways, Tet time and again builds impressive and complex layers of sound.  This album offers an excellent listening experience – let the music guide you through one of 2012’s best offerings. –Lord_B

7. Japandroids, Celebration Rock

Please drop what you’re doing and turn on “The House that Heaven Built.” Crank that bitch to 11 and let it shake you in the loins. If it doesn’t move you, it’s not loud enough. This is Celebration Rock. This is the Japandroids’ sophomore “slump.” This is 8 tracks of raw emotion and energy buttoned with lyrics that move beyond hollow sounds for fans to sing back at live shows. Is this the greatest album of all time? No, but who cares. This is rock n’ roll. -TKSama

8. Grizzly Bear, Shields

A true evolution from their debut album, Shields shows us what happens when you smooth out the rougher edges of their indie sound.  This is a sonically adventurous lineup of rock-riffs meeting orchestral swells, invested with a chorus of simple, hopeful lyrics.  –Lord_B

9. Tanlines, Mixed Emotions

Perhaps I’m more smitten by this record because I’ve seen these guys live and the music just pops that much more. Or maybe with Twin Shadow I’m assembling the greatest contemporary 80s soundtrack for a nonexistent John Hughes flick. Whatever it is this album has me shakin’. Yes, Mixed Emotions is another danceable synth pop release in the vein of YACHT and many other DFA releases (though Tanlines is not from DFA). But that’s not a knock. This is a damn good record.  –TKSama

10. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Wow…this is the best new rap album to come out in some time. Young Kendrick, mentored by Dr. Dre, and no doubt influenced by the good Dr’s timeless portrayals of South Central, brings a depth of compelling, inner city storytelling to bear with an interesting vocal style. Can it be that the West Coast is once again the best coast? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but it certainly marks one of the more important shifts to the genre: a change in tone of today’s popular rap, that has become less about describing the struggles of youth and poverty, and become bombastic treaties on opulence, materialism, and la dolce vita.  This is a must listen.  -Lord_B


Honorable Mentions

On a list filled close to bursting, here are 10 more of our favs of 2012!

  1. Poolside, Pacific Standard Time
  2. Miike Snow, Happy to You
  3. A$AP Rocky, LiveLoveA$AP
  4. Passion Pit, Gossamer
  5. Calvin Harris, 18 Months
  6. Tame Impala, Lonerism
  7. Black Moth Super Rainbow, Cobra Juicy
  8. El-P, Cancer 4 Cure
  9. First Aid Kit, The Lion’s Roar
  10. Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan

The Shoes – Time To Dance

12 Mar

There’s a new video out for The Shoes – “Time to Dance”

 

It’s glorious.

 

Dance the Kung Fu

24 May

FOSTER THE PEOPLE keeps banging out the hits that nobody seems to be listening to.

12 May

I’ve been pimping Foster the People to everybody I meet. Not because I owe them anything, but because they make infectiously good music that I think should blanket the airwaves. As it stands, PUMPED UP KICKS is all over KROQ and I’m cool with that.  It beats listening to more Mumford and Sons (c’mon that album came out in 2009 and Little Lion Man is on rotation like it’s a new single).

There’s no album yet, but with the way these guys are pumping out tracks I have to imagine it’s nearly complete. This new track is called “CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT” and I dont know why but all I can’t think of is “December, 1963 (Oh what a night)” by the Four Seasons. Craaaazy.

Just another day…

20 Oct

Enjoy this classic cover of Radiohead’s “JUST” performed by Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet fame (mixed by Mark Ronson)

Ivan Ives – “All My Life”

5 Oct

Ivan is a white boy with some flow. He’s been around for a few years now and gaining steam with an underground following in the vein of Murs. I like you Ivan, keep on making music.

Ivan Ives – “All My Life” official video

Ivan Ives – “Got It” from Iconoclast (2007)

Mumford & Sons (Bookshop Sessions)

5 Oct

Hey you guys. I know what you’re going to say. I’m sorry. We’ve been away far too long. But we’re back. Yuppie Dance Party…is back. Start the slow clap. NOW!

Mumford & Sons – “Little Lion Man”

At this point i’m convinced everybody and their mother has heard Mumford & Sons’ debut record “Sigh No More.” That’s cool, thanks for the invite to the party, assholes. Whatever I meant to be late.

If you’re like me, and you tend to disappear into dark spaces in your apartment for months at a time playing Civilization writing badass-punch-you-in-the-ovaries lyrics, then you might be scratching your ass wondering who the hell this band is. Well fear not, I’ve got you covered:

BOOM! CLICK HERE

I kid, I grabbed the info for you already: M&S is an English Folk Rock band made up of four wonderfully talented musicians who have crafted a beautiful debut record. “Sigh No More” is a well constructed folk record and I think this record will be an instant classic on many listeners shelves for years to come. There is some grit to the music, but for the most part it is very easy listening. Who do they sound like? Well I’d say take early Avett Brothers and Kings of Leon, unplug the instruments and shovel on the Fleet Foxes.

Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

El Guincho – “Bombay” NSFW!

3 Oct

EL GUINCHO | Bombay from MGdM | Marc Gómez del Moral on Vimeo.

El Guincho – “Bombay”

This is the opening track from El Guincho’s new album Pop Negro. If you like this track I promise you’ll love the rest of the album. The music really fits in to that washed out summer sound that Beach House and Best coast have made us really comfortable with. But, if you like the music go get the album, this isn’t even the best song, I just dig the music video…

The Velvet Underground – “Sunday Morning”

6 Jun

Go for a walk. Feel the sunshine (or rain) on your face. Enjoy your day!

Jonsi – “Animal Arithmetic”

31 Mar

A track from Jonsi’s (Sigur Ros) new album. I haven’t had a chance to hear the whole album yet, but I like what i’m hearing so far.

Michael Buble being stalked by a Velociraptor

26 Mar

It’s kind of relevant. Here is a link to the image site.

Here are a few of my favorites. Good work to whoever put these together.

Hanging out in the halls waiting for Zac Efron

Chillaxing and waiting for Zac Efron to come hang out

Almost as disruptive as Courtney Love

Almost as disruptive as Courney Love

HAWT!

We LOVE Michael Buble here.

Thoughts on Congratulations, the new MGMT album

22 Mar

Cat surfing.

YDP line: This is a spectacular album, but if you like MGMT because of “Kids” or “Time to Pretend” you won’t find much of what you’re looking for. Remember all those songs in between on Orracular Spectacular? Yeah, that’s this album.

Given the timeline of MGMT’s rise to stardom (The Time to Pretend EP was released in 2005 and an early version of “Kids” appeared on a 2004 EP) its clear that, while they had fun writing songs like “Time to Pretend” and “Kids,” by the time Orracular Spectacularwas released their musical tastes had moved beyond the childishly simple (albeit wonderfully fun) to a more psychedelic late 60’s sound. Congratulations simply dives deeper into that sound. There are no poppy electronic singles on this album, but you will find a tight mix of great music.

There are no classic singles on this album, a very daring move given the mainstream success that the duo found with their first release. The track “I Found a Whistle” is perhaps the closest thing to a catchy single off this album and plays similarly to the slower music on Orracular Spectacular. My favorite track is the “Siberian Breaks” that seems like no fewer than 3 songs mashed together in one wandering ballad.

I applaud MGMT for trying to escape from the shadow of their debut, Orracular Spectacular. The runaway success of the album behind the three singles “Kids,” “Time to Pretend,” and “Electric Feel” could scare any band into thinking they needed to deliver more singles for the masses to keep everybody happy. In fact it seems as though MGMT is doing the exact opposite by letting everybody stream the whole album and eschewing the release of any singles (something I believe they would still do even if there were another “Kids” on here). Bravo.

Looking for influences, I believe Jefferson Airplane and The Peanut Butter Conspiracy are two bands that come to mind when breaking down Congratulations. Also, given what Van Wyngarden and Goldwasser have been saying about the album and the whole space-rock angle, I’m convinced that the 5th dimension’s single “Aquarius/Love Shine in” definitely played a part.

But really, this tracks sums up the overall feeling of Congratulations…hmm but maybe i’m reaching…

YDP gives Congratulations 4 Ascots / 5

For the next 3 weeks (until the album releases) you can stream MGMT’s album on their site.

Why Yuppie Dance Party?

20 Mar

…because home taping is killing music