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Discussion: The Year In Music, 2012

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Discussion: The Year In Music, 2012

Discussion: The Year In Music, 2012

Discussion: The Year In Music, 2012

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/166475079/166506013" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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

toggle 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

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Bright Whites

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Kishi Bashi

  • Song: Bright Whites
  • from 151A

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

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Cover for Is Your Love Big Enough?

Lost & Found

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Lianne La Havas

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

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Song
Is Your Love Big Enough?
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 Wicked & the Blind

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The Dø

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

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Song
Both Ways Open Jaws Extended
Album
Both Ways Open Jaws Extended
Artist
The Dø
Label
Six Degrees
Released
2011

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"Merry Go 'Round"

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Kacey Musgraves

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

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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

  • Song: Walk Like a Giant
  • from Psychedelic Pill
YouTube

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Song
Psychedelic Pill
Album
Psychedelic Pill
Artist
Neil Young And Crazy Horse
Released
2012

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Cover for The Heist

Thrift Shop

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

  • Song: Thrift Shop
  • from

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

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Cover for Attack on Memory

Stay Useless

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Cloud Nothings

  • Song: Stay Useless
  • from Attack on Memory

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Song
Attack On Memory
Album
Attack On Memory
Artist
Cloud Nothings
Released
2012

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Cover for Runner

On And On

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The Sea and Cake

  • Song: On And On
  • from Runner

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

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Cover for An Awesome Wave

Tessellate

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Alt-J

  • Song: Tessellate
  • from

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

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Cover for Sun

Sun

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Cat Power

  • Song: Sun
  • from Sun

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Song
Sun
Album
Sun
Artist
Cat Power
Label
Matador
Released
2012

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Cover for Channel Orange

Lost

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Frank Ocean

  • Song: Lost
  • from Channel Orange

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

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Cover for Celebration Rock

The House That Heaven Built

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Japandroids

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

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Song
Celebration Rock
Album
Celebration Rock
Artist
Japandroids
Label
Polyvinyl
Released
2012

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Swing Lo Magellan

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Dirty Projectors

  • Song: Offspring Are Blank
  • from Swing Lo Magellan

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Song
Swing Lo Magellan
Album
Swing Lo Magellan
Artist
Dirty Projectors
Released
2012

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Cover for The Only Place

The Only Place

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Best Coast

  • Song: The Only Place
  • from 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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cover
courtesy of the artist

Adorn

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Miguel

  • Song: Adorn
  • from Kaleidoscope Dream

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Song
Kaleidoscope Dream
Album
Kaleidoscope Dream
Artist
Miguel
Label
RCA
Released
2012

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Cover for Twins

Thank God For Sinners

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Ty Segall

  • Song: Thank God For Sinners
  • from Twins

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Song
Twins
Album
Twins
Artist
Ty Segall
Released
2012

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