Best Albums Of 2012... So Far

2 July 2012 | 1:08 pm | Staff Writer

As July dawns, marking the mid-year, we look back at the first-half of 2012. Here's 40 albums that we think have made the year bearable so far. Can they survive to make the year-end best-of list?

As July dawns, marking the mid-year, we look back at the first-half of 2012. Here's 40 albums that we think have made the year bearable so far. Can they survive to make the year-end best-of list?

The Hives - Lex Hives
There are many pretenders out there. The Hives are not one, and have showed everyone how it's done after a few years off. Still our new favourite band.

Grimes - Visions
With all the good quality wonky electronica to be released over the last 12 months, for Grimes to stand out is proof alone that it's one of the year's best so far.

Hunx - Hairdresser Blues
Will the second-half of 2012 provide better queer garage rock than this?

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Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim
World-recognised psych from Perth.

Polica - Give You The Ghost
Polica's record is full of incredible hooks and every song on the record is relevant (both musically and lyrically). And the lead vocalist's voice is just woah.

Children Collide - Monument
Melbourne trio deliver a post-grunge triumph with the help of Woody Anninson, surely ready to be ranked as one of Australia's finest producers now.

Beach House - Bloom
Some people may see Beach House as background music - but every song here has a purpose. Yes, each song is similar, but the subtleties within each is what brings the listener closer to the music.

Sigur Ros - Valturi
Doesn't really need a reason, does it? Just brilliant.

2 Bears - Be Strong
This Hot Chip side project made for the year's freshest disco and house so far.

Ned Collette + Wirewalker - 2
The dude just rules.

Die Antwoord - Tension
South African rave hop outfit prove they are not one-idea wonders.

Perth - Babes, Water, Waves
Band from Perth called Perth, WA's answer to Animal Collective and Panda Bear (if we're applying lazy descriptors, which we are).

Jonathan Boulet - We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart
Energetic choral chanting and rollicking percussion make this an incredibly good time in Jonathan Boulet's garage.

God Bows To Math - God Bows To Math
The pick of an amazing NZ punk scene at the moment.

Bombay RoyaleYou Me Bullets Love
Bollyfunk'n'soul straight outta Melbourne.

Father John Misty - Fear Fun
Former Fleet Fox makes joyful folk sounds.

Saint Etienne - Words And Music
Pop love as a concept.

Bleeding Knees Club - Nothing To Do
Surf garage pop leaders from Queensland.

Bobby WomackThe Bravest Man In The Universe
Heritage R&B from a soul veteran, aided by Damon Albarn.

Hardcore supergroup making super hardcore.

Amadou & Mariam - Folila
Mali duo making true world music.

Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
Simply beautiful country soul that will be the best of any year it's released.

Neil Young - Americana
What is says on the pack.

Ceremony - Zoo
One of the best new punk records in years.

Lil' Band O' Gold - Plays Fats
Fats Domino classics done Louisiana swamp pop style.

Dr John - Locked Down
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach reinvents the 71-year-old legend of boogie-woogie, psychedelia, jazz, rock and blues.

The Men - Open Your Heart
Bringing MC5 rock into a post-punk indie fuzz world.

Bowerbirds - The Clearing
Folk album of the year (so far). Lyrically, it tackles topics of death, cheating death and those tough moments in life but musically it is beautiful, delicate, rich and full of gorgeous textures.

Young Magic - Melt
A million cultural influences squished into a one album - kinda avant-garde but tied seamlessly together with some fabulous electronic production.

Chairlift - Something
From the lead single Amanaemonesia to Sidewalk Safari, it's explosive and energetic. Caroline Polachek has a crazy vocal range and they deliver music that carries a very loveable personality.

Hot Chip In Our Heads
And though they tackle a mainstream genre the Hot Chip charm really makes it unique and makes them stand out of the crowd.

Various - Trevor Jackson Presents Metal Dance
UK rare groover mixes up '80s industrial rarities and makes sounds of today.

Bearhug - Bill, Dance, Shiner
Unpretensious post-slacker rock from Sydney.

John Talabot - Fin
John Talabot is the new nu-disco; deeper, darker and smoother, start to finish this is a winner.

Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
The modfather is still on fire.

Nite Jewel - One Second Of Love
While every other indie act jumped on the wonky disco wagon, the leaders have already gone post-disco.

Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar
Tortured torch songs from the year's most unexpected comeback.

Quakers - Quakers
Can Geoff Barrow do no wrong? Can our Katalyst do no wrong? This is an epic hip hop outing.

Chet Faker - Thinking In Textures
Belongs in 2012's year end best for his electro-troubador reading of No Diggity alone.

Take a listen to the albums below: