Top LPs of 2012
If you type almost any song into YouTube, the results will stand thus:
20%: The song you’re looking for.
10%: Inexplicable Family Guy montages.
70%: Cover versions of the song you’re looking for, usually being played by a sorrowful bald man with a beard or a girl with long hair in a Bohemian bedsit.
Despite the fact that they seem to clutter the search results like miracle impotency cures in an unfiltered inbox, they’re sometimes worth your time. Case in point? Case in mother-fudging point? Back when Fleet Foxes’ first LP came out, I searched for it and came across a video of two teenage sisters playing a cover of ‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’ in the woods near their house in Sweden. As annoyed as I get with people who use the cliché of “I knew this was something special”, it bloody was. Their harmonies were spine-tingling, their voices at once earthy and celestial and I remember thinking “I really hope I see more of those two.” And I did.
Apparently I wasn’t the only person who saw that video. After an EP and a debut album, ‘The Lion’s Roar’ marks the moment where this pair of singer/songwriters moved from “Very good” to “Sodding magnificent”. Hitting an effortless stride, this LP sees them finding a sound that is completely their own – their lyrics would be beautiful, honest and astute even if English was their first language (which it isn’t) or barely out of adolescence (which they are). Take ‘This Old Routine’, which depicts a quietly depressing and uneventful marriage so poignantly you’d think they had lived it. Ultimately, even if the glorious rush that this pair’s harmonies bring dies down (which, after a year, it really hasn’t) they’ve got such good songs to fall back on that they run no risk of being a passing of-the-moment fad.
-Joe Anthony Hill