I could put together lists for the top albums and songs of 2012, but compiling these kinds of rankings is a task better suited to a group of people. Specifically, people who know what they're talking about. I got in touch with some Boulder and Denver bands to find out what their favorites were this year. Here's what we got back.
Scott Lane, The Congress
Rocky Mountain News, by Science Partner
Tyler Despres is likely my favorite songwriter in Denver, and for this record he teamed up with some of my favorite musicians in town (Maria Kohler, Jess DeNicola, Carl Sorensen, Charley Hine, Luke Mossman) and made a really killer record. I think he and Charley did all or most the recording themselves in their apartment above the Meadowlark. Great folks, really amazing record.
Dominic Lalli, Big Gigantic
One of my favorite albums of 2012 was Kendrick Lamar's new album good kid, m.A.A.d city. Loved how he delivered a fresh mix of hip hop, rap and sample-based music in general into his own sound.
Nate Cook, The Yawpers
Patti Fiasco, Eldren, In The Whale and Hindershot.
Julian Church, Air Dubai
"Heavy," CJ Trillo: Trillo is absolutely my favorite secret. He just put out his third mixtape this year of his "trilogy." The title track "Heavy" is very aptly titled. Huge track.
"Disparate Youth," Santigold: I was mostly disappointed by indie music this year. Santigold held it down.
"Original Don" (Flosstradamus remix), Major Lazer: While this track technically came out last year, it didn't get its proper dues until this year when trap music took off with the "hoodie boyz" along with it.
"Forrest Gump," Frank Ocean: This song was more than just an incredible track, it was a step in the right direction against homophobia in hip hop. Beautifully done.
"The Come Down," Skizzy Mars & Conner Youngblood: Skizzy is the next big thing, mark my words. He only releases a new song every three to four months, but every track is 100. This one is no exception.
"Adorn," Miguel: Miguel is easily my favorite artist right now. His career kind of got off on the wrong foot when only the rap stations were playing him, but he more than made up for it this year with a trio of EPs followed by an incredible sophomore (release).
"Climax," Usher & Diplo: Diplo took it to a new level this year; he's the hardest working person in the music industry hands-down. Climax was a masterpiece.
"Goldie," A$AP Rocky: A$AP definitely had a huge year, but the real winner on this track is producer Hit Boy, who quite literally made "hits" for everyone from Kendrick (Lamar) to (Justin) Bieber this year.
"Clique," G.O.O.D. Music: Three of the biggest rappers doing three of their best raps over easily the dopest beat of year.
"Harlem Shake," Baauer: 2012 was the year of trap music, and Harlem Shake was the anthem.
Believe, Justin Bieber: Top-notch production and songwriting aside, Bieber did his fucking thing this year. With assistance from Diplo, Hit Boy and the Messengers, Believe was an insane record.
Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel: This album is by no means better than 2010's All I Want Is You, but Miguel is a true musical visionary and anything he makes is in my "best of" list out of principle.
TNGHT EP, TNGHT: Hudson Mohawke had a huge year regardless, but this collab with Lunice was nothing short of brilliant. Perfectly matched.
Master of My Make-Believe, Santigold: Santigold's latest record was completely slept on in my opinion, which is a shame, because there is not a single bad song on the whole album.
channel, ORANGE, Frank Ocean: This is a given. Boy can sing.