ALARM's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

ALARM’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Another year, another torrential downpour of albums across our desks. As always, we encountered way too much amazing music, from Meshuggah to The Mars Volta, Converge, Killer Mike, P.O.S, and many more.

Lymbyc Systym

Review: Lymbyc Systym’s Symbolyst

Lymbyc Systym: SymbolystLymbyc Systym: Symbolyst (Western Vinyl, 9/18/12)

“Prairie School”

Lymbyc Systym: “Prairie School”

Despite spending much of the past three years on separate continents, brothers Jared and Michael Bell have written and recorded their third full-length as Lymbyc Systym — a feat that’s made at least a bit easier thanks to 20 years of playing together. And somehow, Symbolyst is among the duo’s most accomplished to date, with harmonies as rich and melodies as infectious as ever.

50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

In just one more trip around the sun, another swarm of immensely talented but under-recognized musicians has harnessed its collective talents and discharged its creations into the void. This list is but one fraction of those dedicated individuals who caught our ears with some serious jams.

Secret Cities

Pop Addict: Secret Cities’ Strange Hearts

Every Thursday, Pop Addict presents infectious tunes from contemporary musicians across indie rock, pop, folk, electronica, and more.

Secret Cities: Strange HeartsSecret Cities: Strange Hearts (Western Vinyl, 3/29/11)

Secret Cities: “Love Crime”

[audio:|titles=Secret Cities: “Love Crime”]

The economic landscape is a desolate, lonely terrain these days. Throughout the country, there have been bailouts, bankruptcies, bank failures, and business closings. There is, however, always a bright side to things. Thanks (oddly enough) to the down economy, Fargo, North Dakota-based trio Secret Cities was able to craft a gem of a record with this year’s Strange Hearts.

With a seemingly firm resolution to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump, the band occupied the basement of a recently abandoned bank in Kansas City, Missouri, to record its follow-up record. Serving as the band’s makeshift studio, the deserted space (equipped with bulletproof glass and a gigantic vacant vault) helped the members — Charlie Gokey, Marie Parker, and Alex Abnos — to hone in on their creativity, focus their efforts, and play to their many musical strengths.