Virtual Festivals’ top albums of 2012

Alt-J at End Of The Road Festival 2012 by Burak Cingi
Alt-J at End Of The Road Festival 2012 by Burak Cingi

It's the month for more than just mistletoe, mulled wine and good merriment, it's the month for the building of lists; good, bad, long and short - we need lists!

With that in mind we set a challenge for the VF team. After a year traveling the country to bring you the best festival coverage in town we now find out which records our writers have nominated for the best of 2012.

Virtual Festivals’ top three:

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave

When our ‘Ones to Watch‘ Alt-J spoke to us in Hoxton Bar & Grill back in December they seemed a slightly anxious and ill-prepared bunch. Still only recognisable through a small pocket of demo recordings, their uncoming musical triumph was firmly under wraps. Come May though the world had their hands on one of the best debut records of the year, if not the decade, ‘An Awesome Wave’. Musically rich with ideas, at times unconventional and juxtaposed to create unexpectedly beautiful results, it showed a band capable of reaching far beyond their years and included some obscure literary references to works such as Where the Wild Things Are and Last Exit to Brooklyn.

Deftones – Koi No Yokan

If ‘Diamond Eyes’ was heralded as a return to form for Deftones then ‘Koi No Yokan’ was the cementing of that status in the form book. A more sonically diverse and at times daring record than its predecessor, it’s nonetheless a Deftones record, with all the trademark guitar grooves and signature Cunningham beats. Delivered at the back end of 2012, the record still has some healthy legs and both the band and fans are sure to continue to spread the love into 2013 with new tour dates and festival shows expected.

Sharon van Etten – Tramp

American singer-songwriter Sharon van Etten had laid some fine groundwork ahead of the recording of her third record, ‘Tramp’. Featuring an ensemble cast of musicians the record is her most concise and sharp exercise in poetic folk-rock to date, mixing the acoustic balladry of her debut with the electronic experimentation of follow-up ‘Epic’.

The writers top five albums:

Jamie Barker

1) The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past
2) Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
3) Apologies, I Have None – London
4) Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It
5) Grimes – Visions

John Bownas

1) Levellers – Static on the Airwaves
2) Jack White – Blunderbus
3) The Cult – Choice of Weapon
4) Gallows – Gallows
5) Paloma Faith – Fall to Grace

Chris Eustace

1) Keaton Henson – Dear
2) Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
3) Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
4) Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
5) Passion Pit – Gossamer

Alex Fahey

1) Goat – World Music
2) Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
3) Sharon van Etten – Tramp
4) Dr John –Locked Down
5) The Futureheads – Rant

Hollie Garraway

1. Deftones – Koi No Yokan
2. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
3. Jack White – Blunderbuss
4. Soundgarden – King Animal
5. The Mars Volta – Noctourniquet

Jack Gunner

1) Ryan Bingham – Tomorrowland
2) Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
3) Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
4) Marilyn Manson – Born Villain
5) Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania

David Hillier

1) Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
2) Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
3) Low Cut Connie – Call Me Sylvia
4) Foxygen – Take the Kids Off Broadway
5) Yeasayer – Fragrant World

Graeme Johnston

1) Lost In The Trees – A Church That Fits Our Needs
2) If These Trees Could Talk – Red Forest
3) Gallows – Gallows
4) Sigur Ros – Valtari
5) La Coka Nostra – Masters of the Dark Arts

Howard Jones

1)  Kendrick Lamarr – good kid, m.A.A.d City
2)  Deftones – Koi No Yakan
3)  Liars – WIXIW
4)  Killer Mike – R.A.P Music
5)  The Chromatics – Kill for love

Dannii Leivers

1) Deftones – Koi No Yokan
2) Purity Ring – Shrines
3) Django Django
4) Alt J – An Awesome Wave
5) Jake Bugg

Rebecca Laurence

1) Grizzly Bear – Shields
2) Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
3) Orbital – Wonky
4) Jessie Ware – Devotion
5) Hot Chip – In Our Heads

Gavin McInally

1) Amenra – Mass V
2) Deftones – Koi No Yokan
3) Blacklisters – BLKLSTERS
4) O’Brother – Garden Window
5) Alcest – Les Voyages de L’ame

Ali Ryland

1) Eluveitie – Helvetios
2) Levellers – Static On The Airwaves
3) Easy Star All Stars – Thrillah
4) Tame Impala – Lonerism
5) Wintersun – Time I

Rachel Speed

1) Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
2) Jack White – Blunderbuss
3) Tribes – Baby
4) Emile Sande – Out Version Of Events
5) Kanye West and Jay Z – Watch The Throne

Chris Swindells

1) Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
2) Deftones – Koi No Yokan
3) Orbital – Wonky
4) Grimes – Visions
5) Swans – The Seer

Francis Whittaker
1) Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
2) Grimes – Visions
3) Japandroids – Celebration Rock
4) Orbital – Wonky
5) Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

So there you have it. Virtual Festivals’ top albums of 2012 – now we want to know, who would make your top five?