The Best Albums Flavorpill Staffers Heard in 2012

U.S. Girls — GEM

It wasn’t my #1 album of the year, but (since it received so little press) it is the album I’ve been most enthusiastically evangelizing in the past few months. The project of Meghan Remy, U.S. Girls make music that sounds the way those Marilyn Minter paintings of mud-encrusted feet in high-end heels look — glamorous with an edge of grime. GEM is a 21st-century glam-rock record energized by ’60s girl-group choruses and heard through the long, echoing tunnel of lo-fi production. Luckily for those who haven’t heard it yet, winter may well be the best time to absorb its icy pleasures. — Judy Berman, Deputy Editor