Discussion: The Year In Music, 2012

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1 hr 13 min 23 sec
 
Clockwise from upper left: Cat Power, Frank Ocean, Kishi Bashi, Best Coast and Miguel — just a few of our favorite artists of 2012.

Clockwise from upper left: Cat Power, Frank Ocean, Kishi Bashi, Best Coast and Miguel — just a few of our favorite artists of 2012. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artists

This has been a phenomenal year for music. Veterans Neil Young and Crazy Horse released not one but two ambitious and ingenious albums. New artists such as Kishi Bashi and Alt-J appeared with exciting and unusual records. Plenty of other surprises popped up along the way: Cat Power returned from a six-year hiatus with the best album she's ever made. Ty Segall, already a prolific artist, released three stellar garage-rock records in 2012 (three!), while the first-ever studio album from Macklemore, a rapper with little name recognition outside his native Seattle, made his debut at No. 1 on iTunes and No. 2 on Billboard. Meanwhile, R&B artists Miguel and Frank Ocean both released records that were unconventional but wildly popular.

That's just some of the wonderful, unpredictable and endlessly fascinating music of 2012.

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton chat with NPR Music critic Ann Powers and editor Stephen Thompson about the music that mattered most to them in 2012, including their:

Favorite Discoveries:

Kishi Bashi
The Do
Lianne La Havas
Kacey Musgraves

Biggest Surprises:

Neil Young
The Sea And Cake
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Cloud Nothings

Favorite Albums:

Cat Power's Sun
Alt-J's An Awesome Wave
Frank Ocean's Channel Orange
Japandroids' Celebration Rock

Favorite Songs:

Dirty Projectors: "Offspring Are Blank"
Best Coast: "The Only Place"
Miguel: "Adorn"
Ty Segall: "Thank God For Sinners"

Tell us what you think. Vote now for your favorite albums of 2012.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for 151A

Kishi Bashi

  • Album: 151A
  • Song: Bright Whites

Purchase Featured Music

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

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Cover for Is Your Love Big Enough?

Lianne La Havas

  • Album: Is Your Love Big Enough?
  • Song: Lost & Found

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Lost & Found
Album
Is Your Love Big Enough?
Artist
Lianne La Havas
Label
Nonesuch
Released
2012

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Cover for Both Ways Open Jaws Extended

The Dø

  • Album: Both Ways Open Jaws Extended
  • Song: The Wicked & the Blind

Purchase Featured Music

Song
The Wicked & the Blind
Album
Both Ways Open Jaws Extended
Artist
The Dø
Label
Six Degrees
Released
2011

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Cover for Merry Go 'Round

Kacey Musgraves

  • Album: Merry Go 'Round
  • Song: "Merry Go 'Round"

Purchase Featured Music

Song
"Merry Go 'Round"
Album
Merry Go 'Round
Artist
Kacey Musgraves
Label
Mercury Nashville
Released
2012

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Cover for Psychedelic Pill

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

  • Album: Psychedelic Pill
  • Song: Walk Like a Giant

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Walk Like a Giant
Album
Psychedelic Pill
Artist
Neil Young And Crazy Horse
Released
2012

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YouTube
Cover for The Heist

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

  • Album:
  • Song: Thrift Shop

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Thrift Shop
Album
The Heist
Artist
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Label
ADA
Released
2012

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Cover for Attack on Memory

Cloud Nothings

  • Album: Attack on Memory
  • Song: Stay Useless

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Stay Useless
Album
Attack On Memory
Artist
Cloud Nothings
Label
Carpark Records
Released
2012

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Cover for Runner

The Sea and Cake

  • Album: Runner
  • Song: On And On

Purchase Featured Music

Song
On And On
Album
Runner
Artist
The Sea and Cake
Label
Thrill Jockey
Released
2012

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Cover for An Awesome Wave

Alt-J

  • Album:
  • Song: Tessellate

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Tessellate
Album
An Awesome Wave
Artist
Alt-J
Label
Infectious
Released
2012

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Cover for Sun

Cat Power

  • Album: Sun
  • Song: Sun

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Sun
Album
Sun
Artist
Cat Power
Label
Matador
Released
2012

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Cover for Channel Orange

Frank Ocean

  • Album: Channel Orange
  • Song: Lost

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Lost
Album
Channel Orange
Artist
Frank Ocean
Label
Def Jam
Released
2012

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Cover for Celebration Rock

Japandroids

  • Album: Celebration Rock
  • Song: The House That Heaven Built

Purchase Featured Music

Song
The House That Heaven Built
Album
Celebration Rock
Artist
Japandroids
Label
Polyvinyl
Released
2012

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Cover for Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors

  • Album: Swing Lo Magellan
  • Song: Offspring Are Blank

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Song
Offspring Are Blank
Album
Swing Lo Magellan
Artist
Dirty Projectors
Label
Domino
Released
2012

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Cover for The Only Place

Best Coast

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

Purchase Featured Music

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

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cover
courtesy of the artist

Miguel

  • Album: Kaleidoscope Dream
  • Song: Adorn

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Adorn
Album
Kaleidoscope Dream
Artist
Miguel
Label
RCA
Released
2012

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Cover for Twins

Ty Segall

  • Album: Twins
  • Song: Thank God For Sinners

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Thank God For Sinners
Album
Twins
Artist
Ty Segall
Released
2012

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Comments

 

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