It's not quite December yet, but the frenzy that is music journalism's year-end list-making has already begun. Paste today released their list of The 50 Best Albums of 2012, with a nod to Damien Jurado's Maraqopa (which was also named Seattle Weekly's Best Album of the Past 12 Months) at #46:
Damien Jurado wasn't kidding when he told fans that his new release was going to be unlike anything they'd heard from him before. Fifteen years and 10 albums into his career, the Seattle singer-songwriter seems to have found his ideal collaborator in producer Richard Swift, who worked with Jurado on 2010's excellent Saint Bartlett. Where once there was stripped down folk, country and pop rock, Swift has helped Jurado flesh out his sound with breezy bossa nova ("This Time Next Year"), a spooky children's choir ("Life Away From the Garden") and some '70s organ work ("So On, Nevada"). Jurado's smooth-like-butter voice, acoustic guitar and world-weary dissatisfaction remain at the album's center, supplemented by everything from seriously funky shredding on "Nothing Is the News" to seasick Spector psych on "Reel to Reel." If this all sounds a little schizophrenic, never fear; Maraqopa's experimentations aren't those of a young musician set loose in a studio full of new toys. Rather, with this newest release, Jurado demonstrates that, at this late date in his career, he may just be hitting his stride.Paste's list also includes the Sub Pop releases King Tuff's King Tuff (#35), Beach House's Bloom (#9), and Father John Misty's Fear Fun (#2).
Seattle also popped up on MOJO's list of the Top 20 Albums of 2012, which ranks Mark Lanegan's Blues Funeral up there at #17.
Decibel's metal-centric list of the Top 40 Albums of 2012 included Samothrace's sophomore record Reverence To Stone at #35.
We'll keep you updated on the local artists recognized on year-end lists to come. And Seattle Weekly's own list of the top local albums of 2012 will be available in the December 19th issue of Reverb Monthly.