40)Disclosure – Control (Featuring Ria Ritchie)
Thanks to the Huddersfield electronic music scene growing exponentially throughout 2012 (thanks mainly to my coursemates and co’s Floorplan Club Night), I’ve managed to dip my toe into the more techly world of music. Whilst this might be a little more mainstream than what my coursemates have in mind, Disclosure’s Control echoes the early noughties garage I grew up on, whilst still maintaining a new and youthful edge in it’s choppy, reverbed vocals. This may in part be due to the fact that Disclosure is in fact made up of two teenage brothers, putting me slightly to shame in the ‘what have I achieved with my life’ stakes. Even so, it sure beats dancing to Justin Bieber.
Key Lyric: 'Staring In Your Eyes/I Felt My Desire/You Can't Take Control/Of The Love We Fight'
39)Eugene McGuinness – Shotgun
A song as sharp and straightforward as his choice of tailoring, Shotgun by Eugene McGuinness is not as lyrically provocative as it’s predecessor Lion, but carries enough James Bond bravado that is ay as well have been the soundtrack to Skyfall. Quite the departure from his straightforward singer-songwirter past, it marks his development into a proper popstar, complete with iconoclastic black and white video. He may have toured as his opening act, but Eugene is already the artist that Miles Kane dreams of being.
Key Lyric: 'Every time I dance/Every time I dance with you/I'll stagger out the nightclub black and blue, battered and bruised'
38)Lana Del Rey – National Anthem
At the turn of the year, it seemed Miss Del Rey was going to be THE artist of 2012. Whilst her debut album didn’t quite match up to the simplistic brilliance of Video Games, she is still an artist to watch, skilled as she is in subverting American conventions with a knowing smile. National Anthem does this perfectly, a subtle bump n grind beat toughening up the saccharine lyrics, making her a far more interesting prospect than the Jessie J’s of this world.
Key Lyric: 'You said to "be cool" but/I'm already coolest/You said to "get real"/Don't you know who you're dealing with?'
37)Tame Impala – Elephant
Tame Impala’s Lonerism is many critics album of the year, but I’ll be honest and say I haven’t had time to give it the full attention it so clearly deserves. Nonetheless, I am told that Elephant is a good indicator of what lies within the record, and I must admit that it’s stomping 70’s drive is pretty damn imminent. A bigger, more mature brother of Kasabian’s Shoot The Runner, it pulls off subtle pyshedelia without coming off as a complete throwback, likely to be a hit with The Black Keys fans of this world. On the new years resolutions list – listen to this record properly.
Key Lyric: ‘He pulled the mirrors off his Cadillac/Cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back’
36)2:54 – Creeping
In a year where The XX’s return went somewhat undercover, it appeared there was a gap in the market for a new set of ubercool doom-mongerers. 2:54 filled this gap perfectly, managing to produce dark but sexy shoegaze, all leather and red lipstick. Creeping is the highlights of the sisterly duo’s debut album, building to an epic web of guitarwork that exemplifies why Wild Beasts have named them one of their favourite bands.
Key Lyric: ‘You pause/ I turn/You pull/ I part/I can't afford to stop now‘
35) Pulled Apart By Horses – V.E.N.O.M
From writing this list it’s becoming clear to me that the trend of 2012 was to make a second album that was ‘grown up’ or somehow more ‘deep and meaningful’ that your debut. I’m looking at you, Two Door Cinema Club. Luckily for us fans of high octane rock, Leeds favourites Pulled Apart By Horses didn’t succumb to this, delivering Tough Love, a record every bit at ferocious as their self titled debut (albeit a little more straightforward). It’s an obvious choice, but V.E.N.O.M is my favourite, following the same song structure that made I Punched A Lion In The Throat such a modern classic.
Key Lyric: ‘V.E.N.O.M., V.E.N.O.M., V.E.N.O.M…’ you get the drift.
34)Alunageorge – You Know You Like It
Another trend of 2012 was the hipster critics acceptance of pop music. GOOD pop music. This a theme I shall be revisiting in the higher echelons of this countdown but for now, newcomers Alunageorge strike the balance between uber cool garage and mainstream appeal with You Know You Like It. Boasting a vocal from Aluna that Sugabbes circa 2003 would have been proud of, it’s the soundtrack to a laid back ibizan terrace just as easily as it is a party banger.
Key Lyric: 'Some people want me to be heads or tails/I say no way try again another day'
33)Peace – California Daze
Embodying the cheeky scallywag spirit of The Metros (remember them?) and The Libertines, brummie boys Peace are NME’s natural heirs to the indie rock throne, delivering ramshackle odes to being young, wide eyed and reckless. California Daze is their most introspective track to date, elements of The Beatles running through its backing vocals. With the music press going as far as to name it this generations ‘A Certain Romance’, I’m not sure Arctic Monkeys have anything to worry about, but they’ve certainly gained some apprentices.
Key Lyric: ‘she tastes like sunlight and she's always gonna be there in the back of your mind/is there time to rewind?/were you born to live or born to die?'
32)Kwes – Igoyh
Having properly discovered electronic music this year, I have come to realise that my adversion to it was that everything I had been exposed to before, I considered it soulless. I couldn’t see how any sort of warmth or heartfelt message could be conveyed through something that was made via a computer, but Kwes has proved me entirely wrong. Attacking electronic music with a traditional pop song writing sensibility, Igoyh is about as emotional as it comes, his smooth vocal the calm within the gentle storm of instruments that swathe around him to create a twinkly, dewy eyed ode to a loved one.When his live ability matches up to his producing prowess, he is set to be a big star.
Key Lyric: ‘I mean when I say, you're beautiful/Don't waste your tears, on those images/You have too many years ahead of you’
31) Plan B – Ill Manors
More than a few nana’s would have been shocked when Plan B turned from soulful crooner back to a more pg version of his original, ferocious tongued self. A tirade against the british economy from one of britains biggest pop stars sounds horrific on paper, but it actually proved to be one of his smartest songs yet. Proof that swearing doesn’t always equate to impact in rap, this radio friendly yet damning track made just the right amount of impact. Whilst it may not change the world, that cathy little chorus will keep it’s message in the head of pop fans for months.
Key Lyric: ‘What’s politics, ain’t it all/smoke and mirrors, April fools/All year round, all in all/just another brick in the wall’