Whistler musicians' top albums of the 2012 

See picks by everyone from Ali Milner to Animal Nation

click to enlarge TOP PICKS - Local muscians share their favourite albums of the year. Photo submitted
  • TOP PICKS - Local muscians share their favourite albums of the year. Photo submitted

Whistler might not have a record store, but that doesn't stop its musicians from discovering new music that falls outside of their own scenes.

Because the Internet, newspapers and magazines are brimming with gloriously nerdy lists of 2012's top albums, we decided to put the question to some local musicians as well. We encouraged them to explain their choice and include their favourite album's standout track.

The results were surprisingly diverse, covering country, classic rock, hip hop and indie rock. Check 'em out, give 'em a spin and enjoy.

Ali Milner, songstress who blends R&B, rock and jazz

Top album of 2012: Tennis, Young & Old

File under: Indie rock

Why it rocked: "Young & Old provided the perfect soundtrack to one of my favourite summers yet with a blend of nostalgia, romance, spangle-y throwback guitars, and twinkly piano parts. It's a husband and wife duo and each song they've created is its own special bundle of low-key loveliness. It's perfect for throwing on during a road trip, walking the dog, or soaking up the sun with friends. 2012 produced a lot of incredible albums (Plants and Animals' The End of That, The Shins' Port of Morrow), but Tennis' Young & Old will forever transport me right back to the sunny, smiley summer of 2012." 

Standout track: "Petition"

Chad Oliver, singer/songwriter, Ruckus Deluxe frontman

Top album of 2012: Eric Church, Chief

File under: Country

Why it rocked: "I'd say it's the best record I've heard in the last 10 years. It's super fresh. A lot of times country gets homogenous. Everything sounds similar. It's really nice when someone in one of those very popular genres comes up with something that sounds completely different from everything else. It's almost how Taylor Swift brings pop to country, he brings rock. Every song is awesome."

Standout track: "Springsteen"

George Skoupas, lead guitarist for acoustic rock band Brother Twang

Top albums of 2012: (Note: he couldn't pick just one record, so we let him have two.) Rush, Clockwork Angels and High on Fire, De Vermis Mysteriis

File under: Classic Rock and metal

Why they rocked: On Rush, "Because after 40 years of being Canada's top rock/ progressive band, they keep putting out legit, forward-thinking albums, an album that even FINALLY got them inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame."

On High on Fire, "Because if you've given these guys a chance, they've bludgeoned you over the head and you asked for more!"

Standout tracks: Rush's "Headlong Flight." As for High on Fire, "It would be impossible to pick just one."

Garnet Clare, experimental hip hop group, Animal Nation

Top album of 2012: El-P, Cancer 4 Cure

File under: Hip hop

Why it rocked: "The overdriven bomb-squad style break-beats and pulsing manic synths and samples found throughout make this the perfect soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic Brooklyn, and a very abrasive 49 minutes. However, if you can make it through, the payoff is well worth it. The music is so layered and densely packed that at over 100 listens I'm still discovering new intricacies and learning new production techniques. El-P should be studied and dissected, or simply turned up loud enough to blow the bass drivers right out of your headphones."

Standout track: "Drones Over BKLYN"

Mike Armitage, experimental hip hop group, Animal Nation

Top album of 2012: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Heist

File under: Hip hop

Why it rocked: "Macklemore has been one of my favourite emcees for the last few years and, up until recently, has been flying under the radar. You can tell that his lyrics are honest and based on personal experiences, whether it be positive or negative and he, unlike most rappers, actually has something to say. He touches on issues such as addiction, love, loss and even his opinion on homosexuality and if you listen closely to the lyrics, he is able to get his point across with different styles of rapping in every song. The production is all done by Ryan Lewis, who is from my hometown of Bellingham, Washington. The beats have a lot of different transitions that are seamlessly layered and constantly keep you guessing what will come next. The two are a great combo and have really raised the bar in hip hop with The Heist, both instrumentally and lyrically. It's good to crank up and get your neck snapping at a party or to throw in your headphones to really listen to Macklemore's points of view with regards to the complicated and misunderstood world we all live in."

Standout tracks: "Same Love," "Starting Over," "Ten Thousand Hours"

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