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6 Music Albums of the Year 2012

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Matt Everitt - 6 Music News | 08:15 UK time, Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 seemed to be a fractured year for albums, there were no overriding genres or styles that dominated the end of year lists. Likewise few of the big established bands came up with career-defining records. However this did give new styles and artists a chance to flourish and grow through the cracks into popular taste.  And when we compiled the 6 Music Top 15 Albums Of The Year List (Top 10s are so passé and a Top 5 just doesn’t cut it) it became very obvious how diverse people's tastes had been this year.

The presenters and staff put forward their top five albums, the list was compiled, an album was revealed on air each weekday for three weeks, and we chatted to a load of the musicians about how their songs came about.

6 Music DJs and Staff with their albums of the year


First up the surprises – no Paul Weller and no Richard Hawley. Maybe we’re just over familiar with the names, but both made strong records that didn’t make the 15. Most surprisingly for me, was Joe Goddard’s band The 2 Bears getting to number 14 while his day job Hot Chip didn’t make the cut. Also odd was Tame Impala’s Lonerism just scraping into the list at 15. For such a critically heralded piece of work, I expected a higher placing.

Toy did well, hitting number 10, beating off competition from big hitters Jack White and Lana Del Rey and It was good to see so many new artists in the Top 10 – and so many debuts – whether this means we value the freshness of ‘The New’ when it comes to these lists, but Jessie Ware, Poliça, Frank Ocean, Django Django all got listed for their first musical outings. All great albums, with oddly very little in common.

In the end our winner was Alt-J (who also won a Mercury Prize let’s not forget) with an album that managed to be both original and smart, as well as being easily enjoyable and accessible – for me their single Tessellate alone was enough to warrant their inclusion on any end of year list.

It’ll be interesting to see how so many of these artists can follow up the acclaim of their debuts (The xx managed a placing of 11 for their *ahem* sophomore effort).  There’s a lot of coverage of a lot of bands out there, and the concept of slowly developing over several years before being seized upon is long dead.  But conversely artists are being forced to look further afield for influences and break more rules in order to get noticed - and it fair to say that the potential shown in the 6 Music Top 15 could result in an increasingly multi-faceted and interesting 2013.

Here’s the complete Top 15:

15. Tame Impala - Lonerism
14. The 2 Bears - Be Strong
13. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
12. Jack White - Blunderbuss
11. The xx - Coexist
10. TOY - TOY
9. Jessie Ware - Devotion
8. Grimes - Visions
7. Beach House - Bloom
6. Poliça - Give You The Ghost
5. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
4. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
3. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
2. Django Django - Django Django
1. Alt J - An Awesome Wave


  • Comment number 1.

    Why isn't 'Your Truly, Cellophane Nose' by Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny not on that list? I'd thought for sure it'd be on that list.

  • Comment number 2.

    Alabama shakes was a 2011 album!!!! Everyone knows that !!!, as was er lana Del rey , come on folks ,do it again and please do it properly this time and include GOAT and GRIZZLY BEAR ...gods sakes!!!!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Shame not to see Bill Faye on the list

  • Comment number 4.

    some great albume here but where are: Leanne Le Havas? Michael Kiwanuka? Grizzly bear? Jesca Hoop? Field Music? Bobby Womack? So many great albums missing from this and you have Frank Ocean and Lana Del Rey????? disappointing

  • Comment number 5.

    Personally, my top 5 would have been

    1. Maccabees - Given to the Wild
    2. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
    3. Jack White - Blunderbuss
    4. Hot Chip - In Our Heads
    5. Grimes - Visions

    I suppose 1 out of 5 ain't that bad!

  • Comment number 6.

    Damn, I meant 2...

  • Comment number 7.

    Bon Iver's s/t was released in 2011

  • Comment number 8.

    My top 3:
    1) Django Django - Django Django
    2) Beach House - Bloom
    3) Of Monsters & Men - My Head is An Animal

    Rounding out my Top 15 in alphabetical order:
    Band of Horses – Mirage Rock
    Best Coast – The Only Place
    Bloc Party – Four
    Cribs – In the Belly of the Brazen Bull
    First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
    Grimes – Visions
    Maximo Park – Undercurrents
    School of Seven Bells – Ghostory
    Shins – Port of Morrow
    Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
    XX – Coexist
    Zulu Winter – Language

  • Comment number 9.

    I am surprised that alot of the albums mentioned are heavily promoted and quite commercial. For a music station that is supposed to be promoting new and interesting music I thought there would be more exciting and perhaps less well known bands on the list. that way i would be tempted to have a listen to them. Having said that we are talking 'albums of the year' and maybe for some not the most musically accomplished or favourite albums of the year.


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