Since I spent much of my last few weeks focusing on the best stuff I’d heard during the past year, I wasn’t able to listen to too much new music.
But as I often do in January, I checked out several of the albums that I’d seen on others’ end-of-the-year lists but were totally foreign to me.
Here are three more bands who put out an above-average disc last year.
DIIV is the brainchild of Zachary Cole Smith, a member of Beach Fossils who decided to try his hand at the whole solo thing.
Originally named Dive, this Brooklyn-based outfit takes very dream-pop sound of Beach Fossils and covers it in a heavy, dark shade of gloss. The songs on the 2012 debut, Oshin, are shoegaze with an electro twinge.
I’ve only listened to the self-titled album once, so I’m not totally sold on TOY. This London-based quintet fills its songs with distortion, but it doesn’t drown out the solid vocals or instrumentation.
Combining the best of shoegaze and psychedelia, TOY churns out some very droning, hypnotic tunes that are likely to put you to sleep.
The alter ego of Seattle resident Mike Hadreas, Perfume Genius is basically, at its core, just a dude and his piano. But Hadreas’ voice is so beautiful and he adds enough other layers that the music never gets boring.
Hadreas started recording songs after moving from New York to Washington, and he posted his work on MySpace. He was soon discovered by the British band Los Campesinos! and signed to their label.
Since then, Perfume Genius has released two albums — 2010’s Learning and last year’s Put Your Back N 2 It, the latter receiving plenty of critical praise.