New music comes out all the time. Some of it is good, some of it is not so good, but some of it is absolutely fantastic. Here we take a look at eight of the best albums so far in 2012, covering everything from dream pop of Beach House and Grimes, to Frank Ocean’s R&B and neo soul, all the way through to the passionate rock of Cloud Nothings. Play 2012 new music Bingo by counting how many of these acts you have already heard of…
Jack White – Blunderbuss
The debut album by Jack White, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Detroit, Michigan, was released in April 2012. It received 5 out of 5 stars from the Guardian.
Although he’s probably most famous for The White Stripes, Jack White has also recorded as part of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.
Beach House – Bloom
The dream pop duo from Baltimore released Bloom in May 2012, debuting at number 7 on the Billboard 200. It received 10/10 from online magazine PopMatters, calling the album “absolutely golden from end to end”, and sold 41,000 copies during its first week of release.
Beach House consists of just two members, Victoria LeGrand on lead vocals and keyboards and Alex Scally on guitar, bass, keyboards and backing vocals.
Grimes – Visions
Also released in January 2012, the third album by Grimes was recorded in just three weeks. Music website Pitchfork Media gave it 8.5 out of 10, describing it as “compulsively listenable” and “pop music for ambient fans”.
Although some of the music does sound a bit strange, there are some beautiful moments here, such as the lush melodies of second track Genesis or the beautiful understated chords and poppy vocals of “Vowels = Space and Time”.
Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
Released in January 2012, Attack on Memory is the second studio album by Cloud Nothings. It received 4.5 out of 5 stars from music website Consequence of Sound, with reviewer Michael Roffman saying it both moved him and made him want to go and buy a guitar.
Some of the songs are fast, some are at a steadier pace, but all are guitar driven and full of real feeling and passion.
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey’s debut album was released at the start of 2012 to mixed reviews. The guardian awarded it 4 out of 5 stars, describing it as “beautifully turned pop music”. The Independent’s Andy Gill only gave it 2 out of 5 stars, saying it was “not just irritating but almost morally objectionable”. However, the online Slant Magazine gave it 4 out of 5 stars, calling it “close to pop perfection”.
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
The second album from Canadian rock duo Japandroids was released in June 2012, receiving 9 out of 10 from Consequence of Sound, who said it was better than their first album Post-Nothing. Music magazine Spin also gave it 9 out of 10, describing it as “top-shelf bursts of searing feedback, blitzkrieg-bop tempos, and an open-hearted need to connect”.
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Young singer-songwriter and rapper Frank Ocean’s debut album was released in July 2012, receiving a 5 star rating from the Guardian. Alexis Petridis called Ocean a “wildly original talent” and the album “brilliant, beautiful”.
Ocean has a wide range, being able to easily go from low rapping, to mid-range singing, and then all the way up to stratospheric high notes. Regardless of whether this is your kind of music you have to admit there is a lot of talent on display here.
Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
Over the course of her career, singer-songwriter Fiona Apple has gone from one extreme to the other in terms of album titles. Her first one was simply called Tidal, and now her fourth album’s title has 23 words.
Don’t let that long title distract you though, as the album received 5 out of 5 stars from the Los Angeles Times, who called it “an exquisitely rendered work” and “essential 2012 listening”.
So there you have it, the best albums of 2012 to date have covered a wide range of music genres and there has been an album suitable for almost every music taste!
If you have heard of most of these artists and new albums then you seem to have your ear to the street and win 2012 new music Bingo!
This article was provided on behalf of Chat Magazine, the home of Chat Magazine Bingo