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My top 5 recommended albums of 2012

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5. Purity Ring ‘Shrines’ (July, 2012)

The debut album, ‘Shrines’ from Canadian electronic duo, Purity Ring, is at number 5 on my list of recommended albums of 2012.

Formed in 2010, the band consists of Megan James on lead vocals and Corin Roddick providing the instrumentals and backing vocals. The sound of Purity Ring has been described as ghost or witchwave, which is essentially dream pop fused with modern hip hop and vivid lyrical imagery which wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack to a European art-house horror film. If Purity Ring were a film, they would definitely be an 18 certificate; something beautiful to look at, yet terrifying in its execution and subsequent recurring nightmares.


4. Ellie Goulding ‘Halcyon’ (October, 2012)

Ellie Goulding‘s second album ‘Halcyon’ is at number 4.

Goulding is my favourite recipient to date of the BBC‘s annual Sound of… poll and Brit Awards’ Critics’ Choice. She won both awards in 2010 and has continued to grow and develop in to a diverse, visually-exciting and critically-respected artist.

It was Goulding’s 2010 cover of Elton John‘s ‘Your Song’, which sparked the current trend of using acoustic power ballad covers of well known songs to accompany seasonal or big brand tv advertisements, recent examples being Slow Moving Millie‘s ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ and Gabrielle Aplin‘s ‘The Power of Love’.

‘Anything Could Happen’ was the first single to be released from the album and is one of my favourite tracks of this year. Goulding likes to experiment and is a creative risk-taker, as trendsetters commonly are. I think that she will be around for many years to come.


3. Miike Snow ‘Happy To You’ (March, 2012)

The second album, ‘Happy To You’, from Swedish indie-electronic band Miike Snow is at number 3.

The band’s debut, self-titled album was my favourite album of 2010 and I have been a huge fan of this quirky, multi-talented trio ever since. ‘Paddling Out’ and ‘The Wave’ have been released as singles so far, but my favourite tracks from the album would be ‘Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)’, ‘God Help This Divorce’ and ‘Pretender’. The 10-track album is full-bodied and frenetic with its mix of wandering synths and quivering beats, interspersed with trademark Snow double entendres. Some critics felt that this album didn’t quite live up to the hype created after the success of their first record, but fans generally and heartily disagree. ‘Happy To You’ is Miike Snow at their best, showcasing exactly what got them to where they are today and what sets them apart from the rest. Which is a lot.


2. Marina and the Diamonds ‘Electra Heart’ (April, 2012)

Marina and the Diamonds’ second album, ‘Electra Heart’ is at number 2 on my list and it was quite a close call.

Marina came second to Ellie Goulding on the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll and has enjoyed an equal level of success since. ‘Electra Heart’ was the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2010’s ‘The Family Jewels’, and highlighted a marked shift on Marina’s part towards a more heavily electronic sound. The album tracks are based around the character of Electra Heart, who chronologically demonstrates Marina’s own take on the many facets of the female personality; the primadonna, the homewrecker and the teen idol. The musical creativity and writing on this album are stunning; both qualities being a factor in the album’s easy slide in to the number one position on the UK Album Chart on its release. ‘Electra Heart’ is cheeky and catchy whilst also being socially-conscious – not easy to pull off, but Marina manages to do it in style whilst conserving her substance.


1. Lana Del Rey ‘Born To Die’ (January, 2012)

Lana Del Rey‘s debut album, ‘Born To Die’, holds the number 1 spot on my list and at the moment, on my in-car stereo too.

Del Rey’s sound has a cinematic quality to it – each track makes you the lead in your own independent film, be it a roadtrip along the Pacific coast with regular stops at 50s-inspired diners and vintage clothes stores or a weekend with the upper echelon in East Hampton. I literally cannot get enough of this album. I want to sound like Del Rey. I want to look like Del Rey. I want to be Del Rey. I trust that this clarifies matters.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

December 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

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