Falling in love with new music is one life’s simple pleasures and 2012 was a fantastic year of discovery for me. I’ve already featured a few of my new favorites this year, including Bright Moments, HAERTS, Porcelain Raft, and Vacationer (just to name a few), and today i’d like to highlight a few more. But first I need to give credit where credit is due. If it weren’t for the following music outlets, my music repertoire would be far less exciting. Big thanks to All Songs Considered, Big Hassle, EARMILK, Girlie Action, Head Underwater, A Heart Is A Spade, The Hype Machine Radio Show, Largehearted Boy, KCRW, Nialler 9, No Fear Of Pop, The Noise Pop Podcast, Oh So Fresh! Music, Paste Magazine, Pigeons & Planes, Planetary Group, PORTALS, Treble in Trouble, Winnie Cooper, yvynyl, and the one and only, Ethel Sale. Now without further ado, please enjoy a small sample of my favorite discoveries of 2012.
CHVRCHES are a Scottish electro pop band based in Glasgow. The trio has been generating quite a bit of buzz on the blogosphere and I expect a big 2013 for them.
Desert Stars is a 5-piece band from Brooklyn. Built on the creative output, and impressive lead vocals, of Janelle Best, the band dispatches a very dreamy/shoegaze/lo-fi sound. The band just finished recording it’s debut with a Spring release expected.
Drop Electric is an experimental rock band based in Washington D.C. and NYC. As All Songs Considered puts it, “a ‘Sigur Ros-ian’ band with an epic sound.
Goldroom is Los Angeles-based producer Josh Legg. “Fifteen” is the perfect Summer song — great production, soothing synths, and dreamy vocals, courtesy of Australian singer Chela.
London producer Sam Howard, aka Halls, released his debut album Ark this year. “White Chalk” is quite possibly be the most beautiful song of 2012. Definitely a favorite of mine, easily in my top 10 tracks of the year. I’ve listened to “What Chalk” more than any other track this couple of months. The production, along with the vocals and classical piano chords, are superb. I especially love what Howard writes in the liner notes of Ark — “I hope you find a source of positivity from within the themes of isolation and death found on the album.”
“The Minneapolis trio Now, Now has mastered the art of magnification: It takes small moments and invests them with larger meaning.” – NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012
Pacific Air is an indie pop band, consisting of brothers brothers Ryan and Taylor Lawhon. After changing their name from KO KO, the duo released their debut EP LONG LIVE KOKO this last Fall. Leadoff track “Float” is one of the most infectious and catchy dream pop tracks of 2012.
Patrick Watson is a Canadian singer-songwriter who’s been making music for over a decade. This is one of those discoveries I wish would’ve happened years ago.
“Over the last few years, I’ve realized that my experiences are not singular. I’m writing for people, not just me.” – Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) via A Heart Is A Spade
“Simple in structure and free of flash, it’s the style that has us craving more. They blend a punkish retro vibe with a head-nodding new energy and a pop sensibility.” – Pigeons & Planes
Power-pop garage rock from Passion Pit’s Ayad Al Adhamy. I live 3 miles from the beach and I go maybe once a year, which makes this song fitting.
“‘Mtn Tune’ is the ideal summer anthem. Complimentary vocals, dancy synths and a guitar/drum combination that reminds one of The Neighbourhood — this song has it all. Be it on a beach or in your back yard, let Trails and Ways guide your dance in the sun, and inhale the blissful existence of summer.” – EARMILK
Like most American’s this holiday season, I want to buy a diamond ring from Zales because of retro-esque pop ballad.