Trevor de Brauw’s (Pelican, Chord) Top 10 Things of 2012
Trevor de Brauw @ Lincoln Hall in June (more by Zach Pollack)
Pelican // Chord guitarist Trevor de Brauw has told us his top 10 favorite things of 2012. As we near the end (of the year, NOT the world), Trevor delivers a list that includes albums, songs, live shows, and major life experiences. Check out his favorite things of 2012 after the jump, but first, a message from the man himself…
There was a fucking ton of good music this year and anyone who claims the contrary needs to stop being a cynic and get on the party train. I feel like almost every one of my favorite bands/musicians made new albums this year, many of which were career highlights. Additionally great new bands are popping up at a rate that’s difficult for semi-old-timer’s like myself to fathom. For this year’s top ten I reluctantly decided it was unfair to include clients from my PR career (difficult because I did press for so many great records, including, but not limited to, OM, Zammuto, OFF!, Codeine, William Basinski, Mono, Hundred Waters, EL-P, etc) – in part because they have the unfair advantage of me automatically obsessing over their albums, but also because it feels weird ranking them against one another. Fuck it, they’re all great. But as for things I have less difficulty ranking, here’s a small sample of my 2012 obsessions:
Trevor de Bruaw of Pelican // Chord, Top 10 Things of 2012
1) Becoming a father – I realize this affirming life event has a propensity for stoking one’s sense of sentimentality, but I can truly say that becoming a parent has been fulfilling on a level I couldn’t have predicted – surpassing the closest obvious parallels of marriage and putting out our first album by a long shot.
2) Swans “The Seer” – holy smokes. The prevailing wisdom is that a band this far into their existence has no business making the best album of their career, but that’s exactly what Swans did. Not just the best album of the year, this is an eternal source of inspiration to get better with age.
3) Mount Eerie “Clear Moon” – I live under a rock, so I hadn’t heard anything more than Mount Eerie’s name until this year. This record is such a beautiful and affecting synthesis of different styles conjuring mood so thick it’s veritably palpable. I heard it at a friend’s just as the weather began to turn colder (perfect timing for this music) and have had the hooks in deep ever since.
4) Scott Walker “Bish Bosch” – still unpacking this album, but it’s not too early to tell I’ll be doing so for years to come. Walker’s albums always have the feel of an event- they’re long in coming, and when they arrive they are dense and imposing on a scale that is hard to fathom. I actually find this to be his most accessible since 83’s Climate of Hunter, which might be this idiosyncratic album’s only true blood brother, but that doesn’t change that fact that it is probably the year’s most brutal album.
5) Sleep @ Roadburn festival – pummeling and hypnotic. Pelican’s tour routing called for us to leave the UK at 6am in order to make our load in time at Roadburn, so by the time Sleep took the stage late that night I rendered semi-cognitive by blissful state sleep deprivation, allowing me to sink fully into the enveloping waves of sound.
6) Chairlift “I Belong in Your Arms (Japanese version)” – this whole album is great, but the reason I keep coming back to it is the undeniable pop force of this Aha-indebted song. When I heard the Japanese version it clicked into double gear. This year’s most perfect pop moment in a nutshell (sorry,Taylor Swift!)
7) Propagandhi “Failed States” – 2012 might go down as the year the old timers showed they had something to prove (see Swans above and Converge elsewhere). Somewhere around the 25 year mark of their career, Propagandhi are only speeding up with age. Here they continue the winning streak they started three albums ago on Potemkin City Limits, which has seen them grow progressively angrier, thrashier, and prog-ier with each entry. More metalheads need to get on board with this band.
8) Forgetters “s/t” – I’ve made no mystery about being a huge Blake Schwartzenbach fan. As with all his albums since Jawbreaker’s “Dear You” this one seemed like a disappointment on the surface, but continues to open up and infect every waking moment of my consciousness with each repeated play. Simply perfect in its subtlety. I have no idea why this record is flying under the press radar.
9) Pelican playing Istanbul/meeting Rob Halford – now that we’ve bailed on trying to make a living off of our music, we have the luxury of approaching the band as a fun hobby (in addition to creative outlet, obviously). The universe has responded in turn by giving us opportunities we’d never have expected, like being invited to play a show in Istanbul at the end of our European tour (the show was fucking awesome and the fans in attendance made us promise to spread the word to other bands – bands, go to Turkey!) or having Rob Halford drop by our show at Casbah in San Diego to see our set (!) just hours after we were watching Judas Priest videos in the van. Thanks, weird and wonderful world!
10) Radar Eyes “s/t” – delivering on the promise of their casette releases, Radar Eyes made a killer debut LP this year. From day one it was obvious that they had a melodic sensibility that rose above their garage rock peers and had one foot in the shoegaze world. But Radar Eyes succeed where the new wave of shoegazers fail because this is an album of great rock songs first and foremost, where reverb is just lending atmosphere rather than an essential element of the sound. They’re on a creative tear with two 7″s around the corner- very stoked to see where they go next.
Pelican – “Glimmer”
Pelican – “Ataraxia”
Pelican – “Lathe Biosas”
Pelican – “The Creeper”