Obscure Sound: Best of November 2012


Before kicking off our Best Albums of 2012 feature, here’s a compilation of artists that made November one to remember. Since this will be the last of these compilations published in 2012, I must remind readers that ALL our compilations are accessible here. There you can download every Obscure Sound compilation in existence, spanning from March 2007 to November 2012. People often ask why we don’t do a Best Songs feature at the end of every year. While that may occur in the future, I find the compilation archives to be more efficient. Hundreds of great songs from this year are inside, and ranking them seems like an unnecessary task (as much as people love lists). With November’s compilation, there’s something for everyone. The leading track may be a bit unconventional as far as these go, as it takes a lot for a remix to wow me. But Love Thy Brother’s remix of Swim Deep’s “Honey” provides the sort of swelling, dance-laden excitement that defines youthful exuberance to a tee. Other electro-minded songs include Pojke’s colorfully glitchy “Black Eye”, Emotional’s suavely dark “Sonneta De Convertable”, and FKJ’s “Lying Together”, which will have the words “oh baby” stuck in your head all day.

Rock and pop certainly make their presences known here, as well.  Both Carroll and Haven’s Gateway Drugs don’t revolutionize a genre, per say, but their exceptional songwriting makes standouts like “Sticks” and “Highway Hypnosis” highly deserving of the spotlight. The twangy nonchalance of Carroll reminds of Wilco crossed with The Veils, slow-chugging rock with bursts of folk-induced excitement. Heaven’s Gateway Drugs brings us garage-rock and ferocious power-pop in a convenient package, the guitar-heavy harmonics and sweeping backing vocals showing shades of Teenage Fanclub. As for others — Cass McCombs fans need to check out Chris Cohen, and fans of instantaneously accessible pop anthems should seek out Everything Everything’s “Kemosabe”. It’s one of the most addictive tracks I’ve heard this year. Anyway, I’ll let you dig into the rest of the compilation yourself. I hope you enjoyed these each month this year. I look forward to continuing them in 2013.

01. Swim Deep – “Honey” (Love Thy Brother remix) (post)
02. Carroll – “Sticks” (post)
03. Heaven’s Gateway Drugs – “Highway Hypnosis” (post)
04. Pojke – “Black Eye” (post)
05. Chris Cohen – “Caller No.99” (post)
06. Emotional – “Sonneta De Convertable” (post)
07. Everything Everything – “Kemosabe” (post)
08. FKJ – “Lying Together” (post)
09. Mumblr – “Father’s Day” (post)
10. Bell Gardens – “Bobby” (post)
11. Umu – “Quake” (post)
12. J’lectroniq – “Blamegame” (post)
13. Grubby Little Hands – “Uneek” (post)
14. Garage Voice – “The Messenger” (post)
15. Blackmilk – “Rattle the Cage” (post)
16. Family Photo – “Better Now” (post)
17. Steve Vibes – “Highland Park” (post)
18. Discoverer – “Circular Motherboard” (post)

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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