I won't make a classic top 20 singles or albums of this year- I will just highlight and talk about some of the artists I have been listening to in 2012.
Ben Howard- I've been hearing about him a lot, especially during spring and festival season, so I decided to give him a try and boy, am I glad I did, because his songs are simple, sweet, and calming. His "Only Love" is still one of my favorites and I listen to it frequently.
Daughter- still new on the music scene, this family band is the quiet, mystical type, but their tunes are worth a listen. I usually go for "Candles" or "Love"
Florence and the Machine- miss Welch and her lovely band are a little bit special to me. Not only do I love them and their music very much, but they were also responsible for introducing me to The Maccabees, and I will always remember the connection between them (incidentally, the two bands are best friends in real life and have toured together). "Ceremonials", the late 2011 release, is a fantastic album, full of amazing lyrics and grandiose music, my favorites being "What the water gave", "Leave my body", "No light, no light", "Only if for a night" and "Shake it out".
Bombay Bicycle Club- another indie love, these young Brits have a wonderful, clear and eerie sound, folksy and sweet- they were my go to music during my dissertation writing sessions. Top BBC: "Lights out, words gone", "You already know", "The hill" and "Motel Blues"
Jeff Buckley- I forgot how I actually discovered him, but I am so happy I did, he is definitely one of my favorites this year and it's too bad his life was too short. There used to be a time when I would obsessively listen to "Lover, you should've come over" and "Everybody here wants you"
Frank Ocean- A critics darling and a chart topper, Frank Ocean got under my skin, too, especially with "Thinkin' about you"
Spector- I listened to a lot of Spector during my Spotify era (when it was free and I still lived in UK). My top songs were: "True Love (for now)", "Celestine", "Chevy Thunder"
Bastille- I first saw them on a BBC program during one Brit music festival and they immediately got my attention- indie electronic with a sentimental feel and lovely vocals. On my playlist: "Bad blood", "Overjoyed", "Flaws"
Jessie Ware- Because of the Maccabees, I found out about Jessie Ware, a childhood friend, whose soulful voice is now loved by many, all over the world. Her album can be seen on most Top Albums lists, and I am no exception. Current favorites: "Wildest moments (acoustic)", "Night light", "110%"
The Vaccines- for me, their music is quite punk, but I like it and it's pretty cool to dance to. The first album had some great songs on it ("If you wanna", "Post break-up sex"), but their new one is also cool. My picks: "Always knew", "Teenage Icon"
And now we get to the band taking the top honors, and if you follow my blog and/or Twitter, you know who it is:
The Maccabees- I discovered this amazing band in February/March, I think, after watching a video of Florence and the Machine dancing like crazy at their NME awards performance of "Pelican". I thought the song was catchy, they looked hot, so I checked them out and have been "slightly obsessed" with them ever since then. I simply love almost everything about them and I think they are a talented band, one that continues to grow and evolve its sound with every album. Most call them Indie, but with their latest effort, "Given to the wild", they have gone into deeper, more complex sounds and they are great. The album was nominated for a Mercury and it, too, appears on a lot of Top Albums of 2012 lists. Please give it a try and listen to "Pelican", "Go", "Child", "Went away", and from previous records, check out "First love", "Lego", "William Powers", "Love you better", "Wall of arms".
Now that 2012 is finished, it's time to look into the future, but also discover classics. In 2013, I want to listen more of:
- The Smiths
- Bob Dylan
- The Beatles
- The Clash
- Joni Mitchell
Any suggestions for me?
Also, what have you been listening to this year?