Thursday, 3 January 2013

Musical Year in Review: 2012

Now that 2013 is here my inner Virgo gets a bit obsessed with new starts, organisation, making lists & clearing out the clutter. It is nice though, to sometimes look over little aspects of the past year & collate things you have enjoyed. So I thought I'd write a little about some of the music I discovered in 2012.

I first heard about Sucré by reading Elsie Larson's blog, A Beautiful Mess, as her husband is a member of the band. The first thing I heard of theirs was 'When We Were Young' & I was instantly smitten. The album, A Minor Bird, was definitely one of my favourites of the year, possibly only coming in runner up to Lana Del Rey's Born To Die. Their musical sound is completely fresh & ethereal, and the vocals are lush & magical.

Lana Del Rey was more of a 2011 discovery, but she still counts for 2012 because it was when her album was released in 2012 that I really fell in love. It was by far my favourite album of last year, and possibly of all time, which is not a claim I make lightly. I just LOVE everything about her sound & aesthetic vision, and her music videos are both achingly sad & beautiful at the same time.

Just watch this video. I mean come on. It is exquisite & one of the most visually fantastic things my eyes feasted on last year. It makes me wish the apocalypse had happened in December so I could form some kind of post-apocalyptic cyber-punk girl gang & raise hell in a deserted wastelend somewhere. Not only that, but this song is so perfect I listened to it on repeat for about a week in the summer & I'm still not sick of it. Her sound has an electronic dreamscape vibe & her angelic, breathy voice makes you feel like you're floating. Visions is such a good album too, with not one single dud track. Circumambient & Skin, off the album, are both major musical high points.

First Aid Kit have been around for a while, & have been somewhat on my radar, but it wasn't until I heard 'Emmylou' that I realised how brilliant they were & hunted out all their albums. I love their country-folk crossed sound & their harmonised vocals vibe from twee cutesy to haunting noir-folk. They write great melodies that really get under your skin & round your brain & have a bunch of amazing videos too.

Manifest! by Friends was the sound of my summer & I got really obsessive about this song, Friend Crush, after I heard it playing in River Island one day & went home to Google the lyrics. They have a kind of modern, indie-funk sound that I seem powerless to resist dancing round my flat to when I am doing the dusting (yes my life is just that glamorous). If you have 'Mind Control' or 'Va Fan Gör Du' on your party playlist then I promise you people will have a good time- scientific fact carried out by my own kitchen-dancing research.

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