I’ve been talking a lot about the best music that’s come out so far this year. That’s what both hour of the radio show last week was all about (heard right HERE). I appreciate the feedback on who enjoyed what and what tracks stood out the most.
I get music from artists who send in stuff each week. It’s a lot of music to dine on, sift through, and select what is really tasty and put away what isn’t. Believe it or not, there was a lot of selective process that went into who was picked for this Best of list and some really talented and great artists whose recent releases weren’t included. I say all of that to highlight those who were included, and to further indicate that there were some great artists, ones I really like a lot, that didn’t make it to Best of. It’s not a knock against them, but it does give credence to those who did.
So why did I pick the artists/songs I did? I want to post here a small explanation of what caught my ear on these albums and songs and ask for your feedback on it too.
First, Marketa Irglova is a fantastic songwriter and her work with Glen Hansard in The Swell Season is some of my favorite stuff. I also love the backing vocals she’s added to Iron & Wine’s tour and work on NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts. While in a backup role there, when I heard her new music on Anar, I was hooked. The melody, the feel and the movement of the song had me on the first line.
Another new album that caught me ear right away was Edie Brickwell’s The Gaddabouts. I love the jazz feel of their music and how there’s an infusion in slight ways of different types of music and styles that make their songs come alive. Look Out Now! was a hard album to pick one song from to represent the release. House on Fire was one of my favorite songs I’d played on the show thus far and that was why it was selected.
I’ve written extensively on why Springsteen‘s Wrecking Ball was such a great album. That doesn’t have to be retold here. Kate Miller-Heidke‘s Nightflight album was just released and I love her sound and style. Her voice is superb and what she brings to each of her songs in original songwriting as well as creative melody makes it easy to return for more.
The same is true with Matisyahu‘s latest Spark Seeker. I admit to not being a huge fan of Reggae. Most of what gets released in that genre sounds a lot like people still trying to do exactly what Bob Marley has already given the world. But Matisyahu did what P.O.D. succeeded in by taking the genre and adding some alternative rock seasonings along with really powerful lyrics and song dynamics that focused the music on something greater, dealing with love in a powerful and enrapturing way that someone from any background is drawn to.
Speaking of P.O.D., their new album will be a feature in our upcoming show. More on that later this week.
As you may know, I’ve been doing a lot of updating and working to put our Program Archive online so that you can enjoy any of our previous 460+ programs anytime you want. In the process of assembling all that audio content, I’ve been re-listening to a lot of stuff that we’ve heard this year. It got me thinking about what I feel is some of the best music thus far. So I wanted to just post a few categories and see what you had to say about it. So, comment and let me know what tracks are you favorites at this point in 2012 from what has been featured on the show. And if I’ve missed something that you feel deserves credit, or be included in this list, let me know.
Best Unknown Bands
Fleur Jack & The Jandals
Band Of Heathens
The Young Romans
Jenny & Tyler
Matthew Perryman Jones
Peter Bradley Adams
Good Old War
Best Alternative Rock/Punk
Dry The River
Face To Face
The Natural Shocks
The Lighthouse and the Whaler
Driftless Pony Club
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds