GregHorrorShow: The Music Of 2012

NikiDove

2012 has been a pretty stellar year for music and a wealth of new bands have broken through. With streaming on Spotify (among others) blossoming, there has never been an easier way to uncover great, new music.

Here’s my pick of the best albums from 2012:

  • M.Ward – ‘A Wasteland Companion’
  • Lana Del Rey – ‘Born To Die’
  • Jake Bugg – ‘Jake Bugg’
  • Frank Ocean – ‘Channel Orange’
  • Ellie Goulding – ‘Halcyon’
  • Of Monsters And Men – ‘My Head Is An Animal’
  • Niki And The Dove – ‘Instinct’
  • Ladyhawke – ‘Anxiety’
  • Citizens! – ‘Here We Are’
  • Gaggle – ‘From The Mouth Of The Cave’

I don’t think I could pick one favourite if I’m honest. M.Ward ‘A Wasteland Companion’ is a truly superb piece of work. Of Monsters And Men delivered a great set of tracks with an album that grabs you immediately.

Channel Orange‘, for me, is the best R&B album in years – this was one of the albums that soundtracked my summer in 2012. For something totally fresh and out of leftfield give the Gaggle album a spin. I saw them live earlier in the year and it was a great gig. The album does it’s best to convey that ‘live’ vibe and it’s a cool bunch of tracks.

JakeBugg

Many have said it’s over-produced but I loved the Lana Del Rey album, it’s pure pop and very well written. Jake Bugg is a stunning talent and still so young. He is getting the recognition he deserves and his album is one you should definitely check out.

Albums that didn’t make the top ten but deserve an honorable mention would be Django Django‘s ‘Django Django’ (wonderful Hot Chip-esque pop), The Maccabees ‘Given To The Wild’, Cast Of Cheers ‘Family’, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs ‘Trouble’ (worth checking out even if you don’t like electronic stuff), 2:54 ‘2:54’, ‘Give You Ghost’ Policia, Theme Park ‘Theme Park’ (I dare you to listen to this and not wish it was summer!), Two Door Cinema Club ‘Beacon’, Soundgarden ‘Been Away Too Long’ (a real return to form in my opinion) and Kindness ‘Kindness’ (barring a poor cover choice of ‘Anyone Can Fall In Love’ this is great).

It would be remiss of me, given the gaming content on this blog, not to mention a couple of outstanding game scores from 2012. I would highly recommend checking out Health‘s ‘Max Payne 3’ score (here) and also the awesome ‘Drive’-inspired ‘Hotline Miami‘ soundtrack (here). High quality stuff.

Spotify

Once again I’ve collated my favourite tracks into a Spotify playlist which can be found here if you’re interested:

GregHorrorShow: The Music Of 2012

My tracks of 2012 (in no order) are as follows:

  • ‘Family’ – Cast Of Cheers
  • ‘National Anthem’ – Lana Del Rey
  • ‘Black, White and Blue’ – Ladyhawke
  • ‘True Romance’ – Citizens!
  • ‘To Be The Best’ – Tenacious D
  • ‘Lightning Bolt’ – Jake Bugg
  • ‘Me and My Shadow’ – M.Ward
  • ‘Little Talks’ – Of Monsters and Men
  • ‘Somebody’ – Niki And The Dove
  • ‘American Dream Pt II’ – Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
  • ‘Boy’ (Hostage Remix) – Nina Nesbitt
  • ‘Default’ – Django Django
  • ‘Dark Star’ – Policia
  • ‘Super Rich Kids’ – Frank Ocean
  • ‘Jamaica’ – Theme Park
  • ‘Lovers Of The Light’ – Mumford And Sons
  • ‘Sleep Alone’ – Two Door Cinema Club
  • ‘Figure 8’ – Ellie Goulding
  • ‘House Of Balloons’ – Weeknd
  • ‘212’ – Azealia Banks
  • ‘Pickup Truck’ – Willy Mason

It’s even more difficult to pick your favourite track than it is album but the one that has bought me the most joy this year is definitely ‘Me and My Shadow‘ by M.Ward. It’s just such a great song – nice structure and the introduction of the female vocal in the chorus is a great touch.

MWard

I saw some really good gigs this year. I already mentioned Gaggle above and I was lucky enough to see Nina Nesbitt at Dingwall’s in Camden, I suspect she’ll have a big year ahead in 2013.

Some of my other favourites were Of Monsters And Men at Scala, which was brilliantly intimate and M.Ward who had a great, tight band with him and put on a great show at Koko.

I enjoyed Michael Kiwanuka at Sheperd’s Bush Empire but that night was stolen by support act Jake Bugg, who was the best artist I saw live in 2012. The sheer effortlessness of Bugg’s performance was insane as he rocketed his way the set. Amazing stuff.

So there we go – check out the playlist (link here again) and let me know what you think – and what you’ve been listening to/loving in 2012 – in the comments below.

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GregHorrorShow: The Music of 2010

So it’s time for the musical instalment of my look back at the year.

I’ve broken this down into tracks and albums, with recommendations for each – in no particular order:

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ALBUMS

 

  • Ellie Goulding – ‘Lights’
  • Laura Marling – ‘I Speak Because I Can’
  • Kanye West – ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’
  • The Courteeners – ‘Falcon’
  • Johnny Flynn – ‘Been Listening’
  • Red Dead Redemption OST
  • Mumford And Sons – ‘Sigh No More’
  • Detroit Social Club – ‘Existence’

Lots of great albums this year, with Laura Marling and Ellie Goulding being stand outs for me – along of course with the Red Dead Redemption soundtrack. Kanye West makes a late appearance with what could be, in my opinion, his best album yet ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.’ The Courteeners and Detroit Social Club bring a little UK swagger to proceedings, it’s been a great year for UK music overall.

 

TRACKS

 

  • Katy B – ‘Katy On A Mission’
  • Eminem Feat. Pink – ‘Won’t Back Down’
  • Jose Gonzalez – ‘Far Away’
  • B.o.B Feat. Hayley Williams – ‘Airplanes’
  • Blood Red Shoes – ‘Don’t Ask’
  • Ellie Goulding – ‘Starry Eyed’ (Jakwob Remix)
  • Taio Cruz – ‘Dynamite’
  • Jamie Woon – ‘Night Air’
  • Metric – ‘Help, I’m Alive’
  • Mumford And Sons – ‘Little Lion Man’
  • Fan Death – ‘Phantom Sensation’
  • Interpol – ‘Barricade’
  • Crystal Castles Feat. Robert Smith – ‘Not In Love’
  • Johnny Flynn – ‘Barnacled Warship’
  • Chase and Status Feat. Liam Bailey – ‘Blind Faith’
  • Detroit Social Club – ‘Kiss The Sun’ 

Again some great stuff out this year but my track of the year has to be Katy B ‘Katy On A Mission.’ Totally reminds me of my younger days listening to dance music and this track presses all the right buttons for me. I’m a Paramore fan anyway so with Hayley Williams featuring on B.o.B’s ‘Airplanes‘ I was always likely to give that a spin.

Eminem was back on form and his track ‘Won’t Back Down’ with Pink was the highlight of his album for me.

Best remix has to go to Jakwob for his huge mix on Ellie Goulding’s ‘Starry Eyed.’ Incidentally Ellie was the best gig I’ve seen this year – at Shepherd’s Bush Empire she put on a great show.

Taio Cruz wouldn’t normally be my first choice but ‘Dynamite’ is a great tune. I know I’m late on Metric as that was last year but I heard it in 2010 and if you haven’t heard any of their stuff check them out – a vastly underated band.

Fan Death could be one to watch, ‘Phantom Sensation’ is a brilliant little track. A touch of genius from Crystal Cstles to get Robert Smith involved – consequently ‘Not In Love’ comes off as a stunning tune.

‘Blind Faith’ by Chase and Status, with the vocal talents of Liam Bailey, is a haunting track with a great sound and likewise ‘Night Air’ by Jamie Woon delivers something different.

Overall a strong mix of genres and tracks have meant 2010 has been another brilliant year for music.

I’ve put together as many of these tracks as possible on Spotify, so if you have that then head over HERE to have a listen through.

Roll on 2011!

So there we go some tunes for you to check out, as usual throw any recommendations you have my way in the comments.

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