By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Did you know that if you took all the music released by St. Louisans in 2012, put it on rolls of casette tape and laid it all out end-to-end, it would stretch the entire length of the path taken by Lewis and Clark? Now, that may not be an actual fact, but we'd bet it's close. There was a truly incredible amount of music created this year in St. Louis.
In November we asked the musicians of this city to vote for their three favorite local releases of 2012. We got more than 100 submissions, and the 300-odd votes represented a staggering diversity and quantity of music. There was, however, a consensus that emerged for about 50 albums. We gave our own panel of experts a vote to break some ties toward the end and feel confident that we've arrived at an essential assortment of St. Louis' 2012 musical efforts. We also gave the option for musicians to write about why they voted the way they did — a couple of our favorite arguments are in this section, and many more can be found online at rftmusic.com. The releases are listed here in reverse alphabetical order by artist.
If Demonlover had actually put out something, they would definitely be on this list as well. I would petition for a fourth spot, just for that purpose. Black James has opened up her own stargate with that latest tape. Maximum Effort (with whom we do share members) makes me want to hang out with Dan Aykroyd and discuss Greys and infiltrate the CIA. And, Kisser. Goddamn, I don't think I've felt this high since the first time I listened to Warhammer 48k's Ethereal Oracle while watching Kurosawa films on mute. This city is stupid talented. I'm excited to see what all these bands put out next.—Pat Grosch of Bug Chaser
I'm gay for Totally Gay Cop, especially Juice.
I want to overdose to Overdoser.
Spelling Bee is cute, especially Joe.
Why didn't anyone vote for Pink Sock?
—Nate of Pink Sock
We've experienced each of these bands and their respective releases in very different ways. We saw Née before Finches was released performing at Cicero's earlier this year. The energy level and confidence of the band really shone through and engaged the audience. When the EP was released, it just confirmed that this band can write some seriously catchy songs. Our band, Golden Curls, opened for Spectator at Lemmons over the summer, and we couldn't have asked for nicer people to share the stage with. Their tunes were dreamy and captivating, and Megan Rooney's vocals truly stole the show. As for Savage Sister, we found Michael Tenzer's music online and have been desperately hoping he will perform live one of these days. Although he moved to Chicago, we'll still follow him and look forward to future releases.
—Sarah Downen of Golden Curls
Yowie, Damning With Faint Praise
Water Liars, Phantom Limb
Various Artists, Tower Groove Records Compilation, Volume One
The Union Electric, Time Is Gold
Trauma Harness, The Way You Press on Harder...
Theresa Payne, The Moment
Tef Poe, War Machine 2
Suzie Cue, 11 Years of Lo-Fi
Spelling Bee, Caterwaul
Spectator, In the Brick
So Many Dynamos, So Many Dynamos EP
The Skekses, Curse My Name
Ryan Wasoba, Music for No Reason
Rough Shop, Beneath the South Side Bridge
Rockwell Knuckles, Take Me to Your Leader
Raglani, Real Colors of the Physical World
Pillow Talk, Demo 2012
Parisian, Those Emotions Ran High
Overdoser, Demo Two
Ou Où, Rhythm & Blues No. 1
Middle Class Fashion, Girl Talk
Medical Tourists, Medical Tourists
Maximum Effort, Tears of Rage
The Lion's Daughter, Shame on Us All
Lantern Lights, Lantern Lights
Kisser, Black and Red
Karate Bikini, Sauce of the Apple Horse
Jump Starts, What Hides Inside
Hearskra-Z, FreeDumb Chronicles
The Haddonfields, The Skin Is the Best Part
The Great Grandfathers, St. Anthony's Fire
Fister, The Infernal Paramount
Burrowss, Don't Take It Slow
Bug Chaser, Billy Saw a Pear
Bruiser Queen, Swears
Brothers Lazaroff, Science Won
The Brainstems, Stryofoam
Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost, Born There
Bo Dean, #MashUp
Black James, im A mirAcle
AtM, A Night Like This
Arthur and the Librarian, Reverend Whitepigeon Speaks on Love and the End of the World
Aquitaine, American Pulverizer Part 1
Adult Fur, RAN
18andCounting, Unstrumental Raps
12to6 Movement, Titties Out