Best of 2012...Music

Y'all know me and my love of listing, so naturally, I REALLY get into all of the end of the year recaps and best of lists that come out on NPR, Vulture, and Slate (to name just a few.) I'm always amazed by the amount of things that have slipped by me during the year, that I hadn't gotten a chance to see/hear/read, but it's also a great way to discover new favorites. I'm pretty obsessive about music, so I decided to start off with my favorite albums and songs of the year.

// Disclaimer // I 100% get that listmaking is totally subjective and really an incredibly personal thing, my list for example, clearly is biased towards folky singer/songwriters with an occasional dance jam in there, but that's just me. As I said before, I love lists for their ability to introduce things that I might have missed, or never heard of, not their ability to recite the Billboard Top 100 lists, (though I'm not knocking on it at all, I will jam to a Beiber song with the rest of 'em.) This list simply consists of those artists that I kept hitting repeat, the ones that I'm forcing you to listen to in the car because of this lyric or this verse, the ones who I'd listen to their entire album, start to finish. These are the people who I love and am dying for you to love too, just so we can sit around and talk about how awesome they are...because that's what music is about, the connection.

That being said, this list comes to you in no particular order, because I've never really figured how we can rate music on a #'s system when they're all so unique. I've attached videos for most of the artists so that you can get a taste for them, (and I know, this makes this post ridiculously long, but hey, it's full of kick ass music, so really, you're welcome :) I'd love to hear about yours, please leave comments, suggestions, or links to your own best of lists below!

Boys and Girls // Alabama Shakes -I've waxed poetic before on this blog about my love for the Shakes, and I'm gonna do it again. I'm a pretty obsessive blues fan, so this band is right in my wheelhouse, with just the right of old-school soul, emotion, and jam sessions to speak to my bluesy heart. (Do yourself a favor and buy this album on vinyl, it's PERFECTION in the form.)
The Lion's Roar // First Aid Kit- I want to grow up and be this band. Not only is their ability to harmonize impeccably, (something that the choir kid inside me dies for,) but they write a beautiful lyric each and every time and then goes out and performs the bejesus out of it. Emmylou might be the most beautiful love song ever. Gah. I don't have enough words. LOVE.
There's No Leaving Now // The Tallest Man on Earth- Between the aforementioned band and Kristian (aka, the Tallest Man On Earth,) Sweden is getting some serious music cred from me. This was probably one of my favorite performances while at Newport Folk Fest, you've gotta really love an artist to stand in the pouring rain while listening, and all I have to say is he's SO worth it. This song makes me cry in the best way.  
The Carpenter // The Avett Brothers- Lyrically, I think that the Avett Brothers may be the most talented band out there right now, and I'm pretty sure that this is my favorite of theirs so far. I love it when you're listening to a song and a lyric reaches out and grabs you, when it rings so true to the moment you're in, when you immediately think, Holy Buckets, I wish I'd written that. This song did that to me... "...if I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die..." I want this on a bumper sticker.  
Blunderbuss // Jack White- Okay seriously y'all, I am in love with Jack White. I think he's pretty much a genius, and arguably one of the greatest guitar plays around. (I also really enjoy that he sorta always looks like he stepped out a Tim Burton movie.) Did you watch It Might Get Loud? The man builds an electric guitar out of some string and a plank of wood then plays it with a freaking coke bottle. It's on Netflix. Watch it.) I love this album. A lot. It's somehow immediately recognizable as a Jack White album but incredibly experimental, bluesy rock at it's finest. I love you Jack. Always and Forever.
Magic Hour // Scissor Sisters- I've loved the Scissor Sisters for YEARS, but this had definitely been on of the albums that made me fall in love with them all over again. There is seriously nothing more fun than being out with your boys and having a serious Scissor Sisters Dance Party. This is instant happiness music.Let's Have a Kiki.
Channel Orange // Frank Ocean- I completely owe my knowledge of this album to an afternoon on the beach with my gal Khalilah. She was jamming out and began to tell me Frank Ocean's story, which is amazing, and then I listened to it and was basically BLOWN away. I'm really excited for what Frank has in store for music.
The Heist // Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- I've shared a few of their videos before, but have only recently delved into the entire album, surprise y'all, it's pretty dope. (Yeah I just said dope.) With a mix of witty, heartfelt and thought provoking lyrics there's really something for everyone. I'm loving discovering new and old songs alike from this rapper/producer duo.
The Idler Wheel... // Fiona Apple- I won't even lie that I was sorta shocked that Fiona Apple was still releasing albums when I'd heard about the Idler Wheel, but I am SO glad she did. In no way is this the EASIEST album, it's kind of a tornado of emotions at times, but clearly a labor of intense love on her part. I'm kinda obsessed.
Hurray for the Riff Raff // Look Out Mama- I love love love the New Orleans music scene, from Big Freedia's sissy bounce, to the delta blues, and have completely fallen in love with the New Orleans folk group Hurray for the Riff Raff, best know as the band that plays outside the coffee shop in the HBO series Treme. This is the kind of jam that just makes me so happy. I want them to be famous.  
More Artists I'm Excited to Get to Know (based on other lists)
 Beach House // Bloom
Alt-J // An Awesome Wave
Japandroids // Celebration Rock
Best Coast // The Only Place


  1. Oh my gosh, love it all! Can you make an 8 Track playlist with these songs for us?? I don't know how to do that!

    1. Definitely Hadley! I'll put it in tomorrow's What's Making Me Happy Post :)

  2. Great list! I am so so so in love with that Jack White album.