{PART 2} {PART 3}

King Tuff – King Tuff {Rock}

RIYL: The Kinks, Big John Bates, T. Rex, Sam Roberts

Top albums of 2012

This bearded beast of a man with a high pitched voice came out of nowhere for us, but his self-titled album is hands-down one of our favourites of the year. From the poppy “Keep on Movin'” to the folky “Break the Rules” or the rockabilly-ish “Stranger,” no genre goes uncovered on this epic release.

Full album stream:

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Trouble {Electronic/Dance}

RIYL: Cut Copy, LCD Soundsystem, Digitalism

Top albums of 2012

It was love at first sight soon as we saw Orlando Higginbottom sporting a giant feathery costume in the “Tapes & Money” music video, but after listening to his album it’s evident that this dude is a force to be reckoned with. He is a son of an Oxford professor and only 26 years old, but he’s been a prominent member of the English electronic scene for some time now thanks to his impressive producing/DJing skills.

Chairlift – Something {Electropop}

RIYL: Yeasayer, Secret Machines

Top albums of 2012

All you bloggers out there who have been leaving this album out of your year-end lists should be ashamed of yourselves. The album is packed full of all sorts of gems (like “Sidewalk Safari,” “Wrong Opinion” and “Frigid Spring,” just to name a few) but the duo has easily become one of the most talked about groups of the year thanks to the release of the interactive music video for “Met Before,” and a Japanese version of their track “I Belong in Your Arms.”

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar {Folk/Bluegrass}

RIYL: Alison Krauss, Punch Brothers, Joni Mitchell

Top albums of 2012

This sisterly duo is living proof that the Swedes can pull off a better Americana than most American musicians. The duo first caught our attention with the almighty “Sailor Song” but their latest album (which was produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes) proves that there should be a lot more to come from the young Swedish sisters.

Passion Pit – Gossamer {Electropop/Experimental}

RIYL: Cut Copy, Hot Chip, Queen

Top albums of 2012

It’s clear that the group’s primary songwriter (Michael Angelakos) has channeled his bipolar condition into one epic album, because Gossamer is pretty much one big theatrical performance. The album is pretty much a 2012 version of Tommy because all of the tracks could easily be made into a Broadway musical.


The Babies – Our House on the Hill {Rock}

RIYL: Pixies, Tapes ‘n Tapes

Top albums of 2012

Deliciously raw around the edges (because that’s how we like it here at RMD), The Babies quickly became one of our favs this past year thanks to this release. With hints of surf/garage rock and hit tracks like “Moonlight Mile,” “On My Team” and “Get Lost” (plus the Meg White-ish “See the Country”), this album is easily one of the best (and underrated) rock albums of 2012.  

Liars – WIXIW {Experimental Rock/Electronic}

RIYL: The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails

Top albums of 2012

Even though we’re not a huge fan of the entire album, no 2012 list would be complete without a mention of WIXIW (which is somehow pronounced as “Wish You”). With constant electronic drones and heavy vocals, the album is complex, fascinating, unique and strange. Plus we’re a sucker for the mullet.

 Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city {Hip Hop/Rap}

RIYL: Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown

Top albums of 2012

We haven’t come across many hip hop fans who aren’t a fan of Kendrick Lamar’s latest release. And even though he’s been releasing music independently for the majority of his career, good kid, m.A.A.d city was the first to be picked up by not one, but three different labels (Top Dawg, Aftermath and Interscope).

Animal Collective – Centipede Hz {Psych Rock}

RIYL: The Flaming Lips, Ween, Panda Bear

Top albums of 2012

We’re not going to lie, a lot of the tracks off this album are nearly un-listenable, but the Ween lover in us can’t help but drink the delicious Animal Collective kool-aid. Not only do they know how to mix up a crapton of genres, they also know how to test musical boundaries and explore new sounds. Plus the songs that are good are really fucking good, like the experimental “Wide Eyed” or the mind-blowing single “Today’s Supernatural.”

The Dandy Warhols – This Machine {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Brian Jonestown Massacre

Top albums of 2012

Realistically This Machine is no different than any of the group’s previous releases, which means that if you’re a hardcore Dandy Warhol fan like we are you’re probably going to like the album from start to finish. But of course with any release that is nearly identical to the previous one you’re going to see some bad reviews from critics. Doesn’t mean we have to listen to them though.

Deftones – Koi No Yokan {Grunge/Rock}

RIYL: Alice in Chains, Tool, Black Sabbath

Top albums of 2012

Is anyone as shocked as we are that the Deftones are still making awesome music? They’ve been around since 1988, and despite the fact that a lot of rocker fans are claiming that grunge is an “aged” music genre, Deftones are living proof that grunge can still be cool even if Kurt Cobain is dead and plaid shirts went out of style ten years ago.

Frankie Rose – Interstellar {New Wave}

RIYL: Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast

Top albums of 2012

Frankie rises from the Vivian/Dum Dum Girls ashes and proves herself as a solo artist with this brand new release. The leading track off the album (“Know Me”) should be familiar to a lot of you music nerds out there, but other awesome tracks off the album include the 60s style “Candy” as well as our personal favourite “Night Swim.” The only thing missing is her epic cover of The Strokes’ “Soma” (as heard on the Stroked covers album).

Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory {Punk/Garage Rock}

RIYL: Ramones, The Strokes

Top albums of 2012

Cloud Nothings have proven themselves as one of the hottest punk bands in the music scene today. Songs like “Cut You” and “Fall In” really show off the band’s songwriting talents, but other favourites include the Bleach-ish “No Sentiment,” the instrumental “Separation,” and let’s not forget the hit single “Stay Useless” (which also comes with an epic music video). To stream Attack on Memory via Soundcloud click here.

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant {Experimental Funk}

RIYL: Talking Heads

Top albums of 2012

Pitchfork joked that David Byrne would collaborate with anyone for a bag of Doritos, and even though he’s already worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Arcade Fire and Paul Simon, his collaboration album with St. Vincent proves that this is some of his best collaborative work yet. You have to give credit to two completely different sounding artist who can sit down and write an entire album together, but if it wasn’t for the fact that they are both big stars this album may have slipped under the radar.

Grizzly Bear – Shields {Alternative Rock}

RIYL: Deerhoof, Caribou

Top albums of 2012

Easily one of the most talked about albums of 2012, Shields has been ranted and raved about left and right in the music blogosphere. After receiving lukewarm reviews for their previous releases (Horn of Plenty, Yellow House and Veckatimest), it’s nice to see that the band is finally getting the credit they rightfully deserve.

Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE {R&B/Soul}

RIYL: Drake, Kid Cudi, Pharrell Williams

Top albums of 2012

2012 has been a big year for Frank Ocean. Not only has his debut album received rave reviews in the press, he also recently admitted on his Tumblr blog that he had fallen in love with another man when he was 19 years old, making him one of the first big African-American hip hop artists to come out as being bisexual.

Sharon Van Etten – Tramp {Soul/Baroque Pop}

RIYL: Cat Power, Fiona Apple

Top albums of 2012

Bordering on the baroque pop, folk, and soul genres, Sharon Van Etten’s latest release has caused a massive stir in the music community. Although many of the songs are a little too mellow for our tastes, Van Etten’s voice takes center stage and proves that she should be considered one of the best female vocalists of our generation.

Tame Impala – Lonerism {Alternative/Psych Rock}

RIYL: The Beatles, Pink Floyd

Top albums of 2012

Everyone got their panties in a bunch when NME listed Lonerism as #1 for their year-end top album list. But we’re going to let you in on a little secret:  The reason why is because, and only because of the legendary track “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” which could easily be one of the best tracks we’ve ever heard in our lifetime.

Beat Connection – The Palace Garden {Tropical Pop/Rock}

RIYL: Vampire Weekend, LCD Soundsystem

Perhaps we’re a little biased because their band name references an LCD Soundsystem track, or maybe it’s because we got into this album while lounging on the beach, but Beat Connection is truly one of the most underrated bands of 2012. The album showcases tropical pop at its finest, which makes it even harder to believe that the band is based out of wet and dreary Pacific Northwest.

Grimes – Visions {Electronic/Experimental}

RIYL: Björk, Austra, The Knife

Top albums of 2012

Everyone knows that leaving Visions out of any end-of-year list would be a true crime. Originally from Vancouver (but now based in Montreal), Claire Boucher came out of nowhere for a lot of people in 2012, and there’s no denying the impact she’s had on the electronica music scene this past year.

{PART 2} {PART 3}

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