Guest Best Of: Sam Sherwood (Mittenfields)

Y'all know that my Best Of 2012 is a ways away, but to keep you in the end of year mentality, I thought I'd ask a few musician friends for their picks for the best records of last year. I'm also nosy/curious, and just wanted to see what they'd choose. A person's record selections say a lot about who they are as a person, I believe...

Oscar Wilde once opined that nothing succeeds like excess. I couldn't agree more. Excess can be great, especially when it comes to guitars. Just ask Mittenfields, DC's own three-headed guitar monster. I cornered one of the three, Mister Sam Sherwood, for his take on all things 2012. Below, Sam's pick of the litter.

Honeyslide - Honeyslide EP
Really great lo-fi shoegaze from the UK. Just 5 songs, and the only physical version available is a cassette tape run of 100, now sold out. Points for playing hard to get, I guess?

Metz - Metz
Metz does one thing, which is sounding like a twice as loud Jesus Lizard playing covers of Nirvana B-sides. But they do it really, really well.

Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral
Dark, whiskey-fueled, feedback-soaked ruminations from the man behind Screaming Trees. A hell of a lot more relevant than anything anyone else from the early 90s Seattle scene has done recently (coughSoundgardencough).

Jesse Ruins - Inner Ambient
Beautiful up-tempo ambient ear candy.

The Sun Aesthetic - Thicker Threads
Beautiful mid-tempo ambient ear candy.

The Men - Open Your Heart
Sometimes these guys don't know when to stop riding the same riff, but at best it can take on the same quality as that old SNL skit where Will Ferrell stabs a guy with a trident five times and it's really funny, then 15 more times and it stops being funny, and finally 15 more times and it's hyperventilatingly hilarious.

Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
There's a certain workmanlike quality to the whole enterprise, but hey, it's Spiritualized, so that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not sure the world really needs another "Cop Shoot Cop"-esque meltdown from these guys, and if they want to keep making orchestral pop in the vein of "Too Late" I will not object.

Jason Lytle - Department of Disappearance
Sounds like Grandaddy recorded another album with The Besnard Lakes as the backing band, which is pretty much my definition of headphone heaven.

Japandroids - Celebration Rock
A good reminder that we should probably stop overthinking this whole rock and roll things and pump our fists in the air.

Beach House - Bloom
I have nothing to say about this record that hasn't already been said, except that if you had told me in 2006 that these guys wouldn't even be close to running out of things to do with their sound after four full-length records I would never have believed you.


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