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Dec

The best albums of 2012

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

10. FIRST AID KIT – THE LION’S ROAR (buy)
No Swedish duo have made such sweet music together since Ulrika and Sven in season 2002/03. Getting to track 3 represents a challenge in itself due to the impossible-not-to-hit-repeat quality of opening salvo The Lion’s Roar and Emmylou. In tribute to the former, Stockholm schoolchildren have taken to yelling “I’M A GODDAMN COWARD, BUT THEN AGAIN SO ARE YOU” at each other.
First Aid KitThe Lion’s RoarThe Lion’s Roar

Rachel Sermanni - Under Mountains

9. RACHEL SERMANNI – UNDER MOUNTAINS (buy)
Hippy folk from the puppy-eyed Italian stallion from the Highlands with an obsession for drawing nude ladies. Although regarded as the Nicest Person On Earth, the Sermanni has an evil streak, with her name and album title an intentional anagram of MR SANTA IS UNREAL, CHILDREN.
Rachel SermanniBreathe EasyBreathe Easy

Olympic Swimmers - No Flags Will Fly

8. OLYMPIC SWIMMERS – NO FLAGS WILL FLY (buy)
Definitely almost entirely an awesome album (don’t ask me about tracks 5 and 7). However, being the most handsome band in Glasgow comes at a price for Olympic Swimmers who often run late for their own live appearances due to extended Mirror Time backstage. Rumoured to have celebrated wildly when Open Swimmer split up.
Olympic SwimmersApples And PearsApples And Pears

Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

7. ALT-J – AN AWESOME WAVE (buy)
Monk-rock quartet who bury their pop sounds under as many weird instruments as they can get their hands on to ensure working-class people don’t even think of attending their gigs. Notorious for their in-jokes, Alt-J have refused to deny that all of the lyrics in their Mercury Prize-winning album are about ladybits.
Alt-JSomething GoodSomething Good

Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg

6. JAKE BUGG – JAKE BUGG (buy)
Deliberately marketed to look like a cast-off from The Coral to maximise the number of twats who purchase his records and concert tickets. Despite several drug references in his “edgy” lyrics, friends of the 18-year-old Englishboy swear he has never touched anything stronger than Paracetamol. The investigation into how someone who looks like Jake Bugg writes such fantastic songs goes on.
Jake BuggSeen It AllSeen It All

Sigur Ros - Valtari

5. SIGUR RÓS – VALTARI (buy)
Band made up of shape-shifting aliens who have taken homosapien form (see also: Derren Brown, Usain Bolt), which explains Sigur Rós’ ability to create music programmed to trigger and manipulate human emotions, e.g. Swoon. Cry. This Make Me Feel Spiritual Yet I’m An Atheist. Yes, Yes, That’s The Nature Documentary For Me.
Sigur RósDantalognDantalogn

Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts In Snow

4. ADMIRAL FALLOW – TREE BURSTS IN SNOW (buy)
A not-at-all disappointing follow-up to Admiral Fallow’s award-winning debut Boots Met My Face despite the potential complications and awkwardness of inter-band coitus. Louis Abbott’s tribute to “the best bar in Glasgow”, Guest Of The Government, is almost certainly the first song ever written about Vodka Wodka in Ashton Lane.
Admiral FallowOld FoolsOld Fools

We Are Augustines - Rise Ye Sunken Ships

3. WE ARE AUGUSTINES – RISE YE SUNKEN SHIPS (buy)
Although this album was heard by you, me and everyone else in 2011, its official UK release in 2012 makes this eligible so don’t give me your shit. We Are Augustines are under pressure to preserve iconic status by splitting up now instead of bringing out inevitably inferior follow-up albums. Similar pleas ignored by Vampire Weekend, Franz Ferdinand, Stereophonics.
We Are AugustinesAugustineAugustine

Of Monsters And Men - My Head Is An Animal

2. OF MONSTERS AND MEN – MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL (buy)
Of Monsters And Men’s apparent fondness for unusual words and phrases in their non-native language is rooted in the group’s dependence on Google Translate to convert everything they write from Icelandic to English. Album title should actually read My Head Is Expensive (since “dýr” in Icelandic has a double meaning) but correction deemed unnecessary by their record company due to band members regularly being in a hallucinogenic state, occasionally convinced they are Arcade Fire.
Of Monsters And MenKing And LionheartKing And Lionheart

Meursault - Something For The Weakened

1. MEURSAULTSOMETHING FOR THE WEAKENED (buy)
Come-of-age third album sees the Edinburgh band trade in lo-fi for lush accessibility but, just as significant, hairless hero Neil Pennycook tones down his penchant for Mariah Carey-style oversinging, letting a melodic, pop heart beats through this record’s core. His language is also absolutely filthy. Album of the year it is!
MeursaultDull SparkDull Spark

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The Pop Cop: Alrighty, Neil Pennycook. How does Something For The Weakened compare to Meursault’s previous records for you?
Neil: “Well, this album has 10 songs whereas the last one had 11, so it’s a very different beast. Less importantly, this one is a lot more orchestrated and is much more of a group effort compared to previous stuff.”

Many people have said that it’s Meursault’s most accessible album – is that something you agree with and, if so, was it something you consciously strived for when writing and/or recording it?
Neil: “I couldn’t tell you. It’s nice if that equates to more people hearing the songs, but no, it’s not something that factors much in terms of how they’re written.”

How does it feel to put swear words in songs? Cathartic? Do you feel any Malcolm Tucker-esque pressure to swear in style?
Neil: “I swear in casual conversation so it’s not something I give a lot of thought. #cuntfuckbastardshitehawk”

Something For The Weakened has been met with widespread acclaim – is that something you take heart in? Does it offer any sort of validation in terms of the quality of music Meursault make?
Neil: “Yes. Yes it does.”

How does it feel to win The Pop Cop’s Best Album of 2012 award?
Neil: “The same, but slightly different at the same time. This changes everything.”

Meursault Neil Pennycook, The Pop Cop album of the year award 2012

Meursault’s Neil Pennycook; Photo by Erica Lennie

2 Responses to “The best albums of 2012”

  1. Jane Says:

    December 19th, 2012 at 02:18

    I am completely mystified how you can include Jake Bugg and ignore the Twilight Sad. Are you deaf?


  2. Ed Says:

    December 22nd, 2012 at 11:09

    Totally agree with Meursault taking top spot. However I do agree with Jane, it’s a shame.


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