Nobody has ever accused Skeleton Crew Quarterly’s Top 20 Albums list of being a deduction in populist opinion. But as five years of scouring the ever-changing landscape of indie music’s expanses can attest to, these year-end proceedings have certainly distanced themselves from the top-tier names one might expect. That is, if anyone has any idea of what to expect anymore. How does one measure fame when buzz-bands fall in and out of favour so rapidly? How does one express loyalty when we’re constantly on the fringe of something new, something else? Five years ago I worried about sharing too many favourite album picks with the likes of Pitchfork; now that’s just a funny memory.
I can’t condemn the accelerated accessibility of new music nowadays, especially since many of the artists who appear on this year’s list were introduced via that perpetual online frenzy. Still the virtue of loyalty plays just as significant a role in this year’s decisions – not intentionally, just as matters of talent insisted. Included are bands I’d pretty much closed chapters on, albums I'd never planned on listening to and, in one instance, a recreation of music that was written nearly 300 years ago! Unlike some of my colleagues’ exclamations, I don’t personally think 2012 was an exceptional year in music. But it was a great year, like the rest.
With the utmost pleasure, I present Skeleton Crew Quarterly’s Top Twenty Albums of 2012. Enjoy and Happy New Year!