Last year, being still pretty new at blogging for MFT, I think I went a little overboard in trying to wrap up a great year of Indiana music with an epic two-part series (1 here; 2 here) in which I asked tons of local musicians and music-lovers to each give me a year-end list. It was fun, but it was a bit much, and a lot of us just loved the same things, so the end result had something of an echo-chamber effect...
Anyway, this time around, I want to put the emphasis on the music, so MFT is finishing 2012 with a massive playlist (located here) to help spread love for 50 releases that caught my ear this year. Sure, lots of them are digital-only, and some are EPs or 7-inch releases, but they’re all worth your time. I apologize in advance for all the good stuff that I may have forgotten or never heard... I definitely don’t claim to know about every album that came out this year; these are just the ones about which I feel the strongest. A few of these aren’t even “on MFT” - I had to ask the bands if we could add their songs!
Also, please let us know about your favorite local releases (especially if I forgot to include them on my list) in the comments section below.
2012 was another strong year for Indiana music in terms of showcasing the wide variety of sounds coming out of our state. Punky garage-psych acts like Vacation Club and Apache Dropout continue to impress the world beyond Indiana; Fountain Square’s psych/kraut/drone rock scene spread like an intoxicating fungus, enveloping entire areas of town; Gloryhole Records seems to be getting heavier with releases from Humans, Three Man Band, and Devil to Pay; and Bloomington indie rockers like Sleeping Bag and She Does Is Magic released some of the most solid and brilliantly minimal rock albums in the entire country. Not to mention all the superb hip hop and electronic releases to come out of the Hoosier state this year (Oreo Jones, New Terrors, Galaxy Class)!
Anyway, one of my goals is to keep this year-end blog post to a reasonable length, so I’m not going to comment on every single album I liked, just list them. I’m also not going to rank them in any kind of order, because I think it’s both counterproductive (Just be sure to check out any of the artists you’ve never heard!) and mind-numbingly difficult (How would I rank 50 things I really like from best to “least best?” How is that even possible?!). I did sort them by “LPs” and “EPs, cassettes, 7-inches, and digital releases” though, just to help clarify what type of release each one is.
I encourage you to listen with full attention, to really give every song a chance, and to spend some time with this mix if you’re willing. If you like a particular song, definitely check out more from that band. Read about them at MFT. Go to their shows. Buy their freaking albums! Everybody loves to “shop local” these days, but we still treat local musicians like they’re just scenery and noise pollution. These guys and gals are your neighbors, your bartenders and sandwich deliverers, young professionals and partiers (and maybe a few professional partiers) who work hard to make this a more culturally rich place to live. As I’ve made it my point to exclaim all year, there’s really great music here - you just have to be willing to find it!
So, here are my Top 50 Indiana-related albums of 2012. The accompanying playlist pretty much includes a song from every album listed below (some bands aren't on the playlist because they haven't gotten back to me yet about using their track; some have two tracks because two of their albums made the list). Where appropriate, I included a link to a MFT blog post about the band or album. Elsewhere, I linked to an external review if I could find one. I’ve also spent plenty of time linking to the record label websites, so make sure you pay them a visit too. Thanks for reading and listening. Keep on spreading Indiana music! See you in 2013!