The 2012 artists of the year range from urgent political punk and hip-hop challenging the establishment -- whether political or economic -- to the rise of a new generation of pop divas and forward-looking indie and R&B.
In the past few days, Uncut, Mojo, and Paste have released their Album of the Year lists, and AllMusic is dropping theirs throughout the week. Some quick analysis shows that it's pretty obvious what the #1 record of the year is going to be for a lot of publications...
A weekend full of live music including performances by Neko Case, Aesop Rock, Major Lazer, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Twin Shadow, Youth Lagoon, Thee Oh Sees, Doomtree, Father John Misty, John Maus, Porcelain Raft, Spaceghostpurrp, King Tuff, Blood Diamonds and more.
Grimes's Claire Boucher is the indie heroine of the year, which makes it all the more interesting that she's using her newfound celebrity to subtly challenge what we expect of women in the entertainment industry.
Vestigial organs like industrial music and the radio dial proved vital in 2011, while house and dubstep were invaded by hordes of uninvited outsiders, proving once again that electronic and plugged-in music is at the vanguard of change throughout the world.
The year ahead looks to be an exciting one with the emergence of wealth of great new music waiting in the wings. Will Alabama Shakes be the toast of 2012? Will 2012 be a banner year for forward-thinking hip-hop and R&B? And let's not forget all the great new bands expected to break big in 2012.