Discussion: Our Favorite Music Of The Year (So Far)

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1 hr 11 min 56 sec
 
Clockwise from upper left: Kishi Bashi, Simone White, Bobby Womack, Aleksa Palladino of Exitmusic, Sinead O'Connor.

Clockwise from upper left: Kishi Bashi, Simone White, Bobby Womack, Aleksa Palladino of Exitmusic, Sinead O'Connor. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artists

This week on All Songs Considered, co-hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers to take a step back, catch their breaths and consider the past six months of music. They share their favorite new artists, biggest surprises and favorite albums and songs from the first half of 2012. The biggest surprise of the year? Bob is into a Swedish pop song with the line, "You're from the '70s / but I'm a '90s b——."

Second to Bob's unexpected pop pick: the heated discussion of Carly Rae Jepsen's sugary song of the summer, "Call Me Maybe." This week's show features a batch of poptimistic, feel-good songs, as well as a few tracks better heard alone in a dark, quiet room. These favorite songs of the year aren't necessarily delicately crafted; particularly awesome is Japandroids' rebellious "Fire's Highway," with a shout-to-the-heavens chorus and brash guitar and drums. Bob and Robin's favorite new artist of the year so far, Kishi Bashi, uses layers and loops to create a radiant, uplifting soundscape in "Bright Whites."

Another theme of the year seemed to be artists who've been around for a while, like Sinead O'Connor and Bobby Womack, as well as triumphant comeback albums like Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel...

You can hear the entire discussion above and check out full versions of each track discussed below.

Discussion: Our Favorite Music Of The Year (So Far)

Cover for 151A

Kishi Bashi

  • Album: 151A
  • Song: Bright Whites

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Song
Bright Whites
Album
151A
Artist
Kishi Bashi
Label
Joyful Noise
Released
2012

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Cover for Threads

Now, Now

  • Album: Threads
  • Song: Thread

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Song
Thread
Album
Threads
Artist
Now, Now
Label
TRANS RECORDS
Released
2012

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Cover for Look Out Mama

Hurray For The Riff Raff

  • Album: Look Out Mama
  • Song: Born to Win (Part One)
Cover for Celebration Rock

Japandroids

  • Album: Celebration Rock
  • Song: Fire's Highway

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Song
Fire's Highway
Album
Celebration Rock
Artist
Japandroids
Label
Polyvinyl
Released
2012

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Cover for How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?

Sinead O'Connor

  • Album: How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
  • Song: I Had A Baby

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Song
I Had A Baby
Album
How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
Artist
Sinead O'Connor
Label
One Little Indian
Released
2012

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Cover for The Idler Wheel...

Fiona Apple

  • Artist: Fiona Apple
  • Album: The Idler Wheel...
  • Song: Hot Knife

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Song
Hot Knife
Album
The Idler Wheel...
Artist
Fiona Apple
Label
Epic
Released
2012

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Cover for I Love It (Single)

Icona Pop

  • Album: I Love It (Single)
  • Song: I Love It
Cover for Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Spiritualized

  • Album: Sweet Heart Sweet Light
  • Song: Hey Jane

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Song
Hey Jane
Album
Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Artist
Spiritualized
Label
FAT POSSUM RECORDS
Released
2012

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Cover for Passage

Exitmusic

  • Album: Passage
  • Song: City

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Song
City
Album
Passage
Artist
Exitmusic
Label
Secretly Canadian
Released
2012

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Cover for What We Saw From The Cheap Seats

Regina Spektor

  • Album: What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
  • Song: Small Town Moon

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Song
Small Town Moon
Album
What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
Artist
Regina Spektor
Label
Sire/WEA
Released
2012

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Cover for The Bravest Man In The Universe

Bobby Womack

  • Album: The Bravest Man In The Universe
  • Song: Please Forgive My Heart

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Song
Please Forgive My Heart
Album
The Bravest Man In The Universe
Artist
Bobby Womack
Label
XL Recordings
Released
2012

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Cover for Call Me Maybe [Single]

Carly Rae Jepsen

  • Album: Call Me Maybe [Single]
  • Song: Call Me Maybe

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Song
Call Me Maybe
Album
Call Me Maybe [Single]
Artist
Carly Rae Jepsen
Label
Interscope
Released
2012

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YouTube
Cover for Adventures In Your Own Backyard

Patrick Watson

  • Album: Adventures In Your Own Backyard
  • Song: Adventures In Your Own Backyard

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Song
Adventures In Your Own Backyard
Album
Adventures In Your Own Backyard
Artist
Patrick Watson
Label
Domino
Released
2012

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Cover for Silver Silver

Simone White

  • Album: Silver Silver
  • Song: Big Dreams and the Headlines

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Song
Big Dreams and the Headlines
Album
Silver Silver
Artist
Simone White
Label
Honest Jon's
Released
2012

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Cover for The Only Place

Best Coast

  • Album: The Only Place
  • Song: The Only Place

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Song
The Only Place
Album
The Only Place
Artist
Best Coast
Label
Mexican Summer
Released
2012

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What We Saw From The Cheap Seats

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What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
Artist
Regina Spektor
Label
Sire/WEA
Released
2012

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Sweet Heart Sweet Light

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Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Artist
Spiritualized
Label
FAT POSSUM RECORDS
Released
2012

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Threads

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Threads
Artist
Now, Now
Label
TRANS RECORDS
Released
2012

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151A

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Album
151A
Artist
Kishi Bashi
Label
Joyful Noise
Released
2012

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The Idler Wheel...

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Album
The Idler Wheel...
Artist
Fiona Apple
Label
Epic
Released
2012

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Passage

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Album
Passage
Artist
Exitmusic
Label
Secretly Canadian
Released
2012

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