Yo, I hate this time of year. Fuckin' hate it. At the same time, I am thankful that I don't have much family, or that they're all far enough away that I can avoid the kind of awkward emotional terror I used to have to enjoy every year around this time. Now I just watch other people's families and wonder how they got to be so normal. But if I still had to anticipate screaming matches, arrests and painful revelations every Christmas, I know I'd be a lot deeper into drugs than I am, and I couldn't imagine a better soundtrack to have piped surreptitiously through my earbuds than the oceanic melancholy of Blue Sky Black Death. This Seattle/SF production team have had a busy year working with Nacho Picasso and a host of others, making videos and generally advancing the cause of "Seattle Suicidal Shoe Gaze Thug Wave" as Twitter user @skip_class termed it. They have ended the year of our dark lord 2012 AD with a quick flurry of new music.

Deniro Farrar is a rapper from Charlotte, NC who's been making tapes and appearances for some time now—I had only first paid attention to him on Kill Or Be Killed, his collaborative tape with GreenOva's Shady Blaze from earlier this year, though I didn't think too much of it. However, his EP-length collaboration with BSBD, Cliff Of Death, is hard and striking like a stepfather's quick fists:

Skull & Bones are the Seattle-based duo of Caz Greez and Bolo Nef, who take rap misanthropy to levels previously unseen around these parts. Apocalypse to this.

It's not all doom-and-gloom, though:

BSBD beats have a couple times now brought out the gutter optimist Little Rock rapper Pepperboy, who takes this time to tell you that he loves his life. You can, too. Love the folks you're with, too, if you get a chance.