2012 Discoveries

What new artists or music are you discovering in 2012 ?
I am always searching for new leads here and elsewhere.
Harry Manx may not be new to you but he is to me and I recently bought his album 'In Good we Trust' -- a great musical discovery to start the year with!
My wife made me take her to see the George Clooney movie "The Descendants" and while I'm not a big movie fan I absolutely loved the music in it. The movie is set in Hawaii and all the music is Hawaiian songs that already existed rather than new. The soundtrack is a great intro to slack key guitar music as well as vocalists. It is not new music, but new to me and beautiful to listen to.
Harry Manx is excellent. I recommend "Road Ragas" which is an older live cd. When he plays the Indian moganveeda (sp?), it is magic. The instrument is basically a 21 string sitar underneath a 6 string guitar you play on your lap. When Manx hits a chord, there is a complex wall of sound. Very interesting acoustic music.

This is the kind of post I like to see because I love to find out what others are listening to and check it out. Too bad there have been so few responses so far.

Maybe my copy of the latest Stereophile is missing some pages but it has a grand total of ONE record review.
Lana del Rey -- Video Games

A voice and songs that will remain in your head (as will the vision of her). Don't believe all the garbage you read about her SNL performance. It was dreamy, like her music (and looks). I defy anyone to hear Video Games and not have it echoing in his/her head for days thereafter. In her case, all they hype is justified.


That's very interesting! My latest copy of Stereophile (February) has a total of 59 record reviews. I'll just bet you that some audiophile in your neighborhood intercepted your magazine and ripped out this year's "Records To Die For" section beginning on Pg. 66!
First Aid Kit 'The Lions roar' - Some really sweet chick driven Americana, like this one a lot. I have their 2010 release, The Big Black & The Blue and although I do enjoy it, this new record is a major step forward. Highly recommended.

Neal - I have to agree, Lana del Rey is a sexy beast, wow. Don't have the record you mention, just a short self titled EP. After I read your post I did a quick video/pic Google, chick sure does have a look.
Amelia Curran sounds interesting. Listened to Hunter, Hunter which I think I will order. She is also new to me.
First Aid Kit sounds great. Like what I hear on The Lions Roar.
IMHO, Amelia Curran (who I believe I learned of from Richard) is tickling genius. She has a bit of that Dylanesque, "I don't know what that means but it's moving," goofiness in her lyrics. And a wrenching, "old soul," voice, which is quite lovely (thus ending the comparison to Dylan) I play both "Hunter, Hunter" and "War Brides" to death; they are GwG classics, and can't wait for more.

Another really nice one that was new to me in '11 is Caroline Herring, "Golden Apples of the Sun." I tried a couple of her earlier records, and they're less good, but "Golden Apples" is awfully nice.

Just ordered both of the Amelia Curran discs - thanx for the heads up.
MayMay "MayMay EP" [Flau]

This is a very quiet, pretty yet interesting 5 song EP, her only release I believe. Highly recommended. http://www.flau.jp/releases/24_jp.html

It's released on Flau, a small independent label out of Tokyo that puts out some incredibly beautiful music. Artists like Henning Schmiedt, modern classical piano and Part Timer which is very hard to explain.

While on the subject of Part Timer, he's another worth mentioning in this thread. Three releases in particular, Reel to Reel on Lost Tribe Sound, Undead on Hibernate and Scissors and Sellotape (another Part Timer moniker) on Fracture. I can't really explain it, along the lines of The Caretaker/Leyland Kirby, sort of atmospheric folk ambient classical haze but I think many of you would appreciate it. Wonderful records.
It's not from 2012, but I've just started listening to Beirut. If you're a fan of Devotchka, you might like this band. It's a unique fusion of Eastern European and Gypsy influences, through the talents of a 20-something crooner from Santa Fe, NM, Zach Condon. I recently saw a very good documentary film that he'd done the music score for, called Bombay Beach. Also highly recommended if you like documentaries.
Jeez, I really HATE this new system - does everyone have to log in several times to post, or to access various aspects of the forums? There also seems to be no access to private message fellow members. I sent a criticism to A'gon who were asking for as much, and heard not one word back. Anyway, looks like I can't edit or delete my post so just wanted to provide a link to the IMDB page for Bombay Beach, for film fans.
A Marco sighting! Yo my brother. Yes, you must navigate a series of strategically placed obstacles in order to execute any function in the new and fresh Audiogon world. New World Order. Glad I met you a ways back because we never would have been able to connect here and now. All jokes aside, I truly feel sad for the young members and those yet to get here for that very reason. I have made some damn good friends in the community that was, that ain't gonna happen now as you must be a skilled hacker to find another members email address. Noticeable lack of traffic here and in the marketplace...insert blowing tumbleweed here.

Back on topic, thanks for the suggestions. I will seek out the film for sure. I've tried to dig Beirut but could not connect in past attempts. I need to revisit him, your not the first person I respect to recommend his newest album.

Good to see you around these parts. Keep the suggestions coming. The way I read this, it doesn't have to be from 2012, just a new discovery. Sending you a pic from Elvis....
Got the pic of the old geezer with his birthday bone! Thanks, my friend. Yeah, I agree, I've made some great friends over the years here and this is a serious turn away from giving the enjoyment of the hobby the same social possibilities the site once had. Very sad, indeed. In spite of logging in twice already and asking the site to "remember me" I will still have to log in in order to post this. I'd have to log in yet again to view my forum threads. The selling interface appears to be going in the direction of eBay. Not good IMO. Tumbleweeds indeed.

Anyway, Beirut - I have two, one I like (The Flying Club Cup), and one just doesn't get to me yet (The Rip Tide). Per my email, I like Ryan Adams new one, Ashes and Fire (more like Heartbreaker, even more mellow still, than any of his others). Disappointed by Lioness/Winehouse. Don't think there may be that many fans of early music here, but a favorite Xmas gift from my in-laws was Jordi Savall's third recording of, El Cant de la Sibil La. The second version is stunning, and this one more than holds its own in that company (I don't particularly like the first one). This newest version has a mostly male choir which gives it a much weightier tone to the piece, while the second version is more light and angelic. I love both.
Mutemath "Odd Soul" is a new discovery for me= liking it so far......
Last week i discovered a group of Italian guys, Il volo. Amazing voices.

Perfume Genius "Put Your Back N 2 It"

Don't let the title fool you, it's not a dance record. It's more a quiet, cloudy, atmospheric lofi singer/songwriter thing. I immediately thought of Antony & the Johnsons when I heard it, not just for the gender similarities but the tone and pace is very Antony like. Parts also remind me of Sufjan Stevens and Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), both some of my favorite artists. I really like this record and will be headed off to buy his first in hopes it is similar. This is one of the better records I have heard in quite some time.
Picked up the First Aid Kit and have been listening all afternoon. Thanks for this great lead, Richard. Similarities to Neko Case and a little of Emmylou Harris. The tunes are great and I like the expansive silvery feel to the sound. I really like Neko but find it fatigueing for more than about 30mins and some songs seem to be fill ins with weak tunes in places. The Lion Roar does not do that to me.
Shoff, you're absolutely right. I should have said reviews of new releases. I do save all R2D4 issues and find them to be a great resource for exploring unfamiliar territory.
I'm not sure I'm going to be able to drink the First Aid Kit koolaid, after a few listens. I found them to be unnervingly like 60's folk-rock, say Peter Paul and Mary. IMHO, of course.

Bizango, you may want to check out the great Tone Audio online magazine, it has TONS of current music reviews.
Amelia Curran is excellent. Thanks for the recommendation and accurate description.
...and I would add that the recording is outstanding.
Alabama Shakes - debut album Boys and Girls. Very soulful stuff. Single "Hold on" is getting some radio time.
That audiogon people care more about gear then must. Alot more
I too really like the Alabama Shakes!A breath of fresh air!
Alabama Shakes didn't impress me at all. They sound just like a thousand other bands trying to make it in the music business. Just my opinion, you know, different strokes for different folks.
Mike , have you heard Damien Jurado's new album called Maraqopa? It's a masterpiece IMO. It's a concept album of a dream he had. Best to listen to it in its entirety if you can. I would call the style of music for this album to be psychedelic folk.
Have not heard it but will try it when i get the chance.
my recent discoveries are dated, but there are no rules on the internet, so:
1. cotton mather, kon tiki (2012 reissue of 1997 cd)--quite brilliant power pop with monster hooks and unusual depth. alternatively elvis costello-ish or beatlesque, but not slavishly so. in a parallel universe the lead guy would be a superstar.
2. dylan: a biography (book) by bob spitz)--i'm digging this; it's really well written and incisive. seems to have garnered a lot of negative reviews, who find it mean-spirited or a hack job, but i disagree--it seems balanced and gets inside the guy's head. according to this book, dylan's tested iq was a very average 106, which suprised me.
Try a copy of the new release from Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead drummer)new band The Mickey Hart Band "Mysterium Tremendum" Its very nice and strong and will take your speakers and system for a ride...give it a listen
Yes, another vote for Mickey Hart's new cd. It is his best one in my opinion.
Just got a copy of War Brides and it is also great. Thanks again for the Amelia Curran lead.
Try Terri Hendrix's album The Ring. Light acoustic americano from 2002.
Tall Firs "Out Of It And Into It"

Richard, have ou heard Damien Jurado's new album called Maraqopa?
If you like Perfume Genius and Sparklehorse you will LOVE Maraqopa !
I am a big fan of Sparklehorse and love Perfumes' new album.
Have you had listened yet Mike?
Damien was superb live too.
Todd - Yes, I do have Maraqopa. I have to admit that I have not listened to it that much. The times I did play it I did not find it overly engaging, although I don't dislike it by any means. I prefer his quieter moments so that album was less appealing than some of his older recordings. Still, I do think he is incredibly talented in all areas and under-appreciated...but I would not put him in the same class as Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), may he rest in peace.
Beach House -- Bloom

Hypnotic and dreamy.
Mark Linkous/ Sparklehorse left us way too soon. Sparklehorse should be 2012 find for anyone in the dark about this fine talent.
One of my favorite songs is Shade and Honey off the FANTASTIC album called "Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of A Mountain".
and another off this fine album:
Another masterpiece that Mark helped create and write with Danger Mouse, is "Dark Night of the Soul" This compilation includes artist such as Iggy Pop, Flaming Lips, James Mercer and Susanne Vega.
Here is Revenge from Dark Night of the Soul:
and, Dark Night of The Soul:
Alt-J 'An Awesome Wave' (LP). Trippy, funky, harmonious. From the UK .
I just discovered the Cave Singers a couple of months ago. Their new album The Witch is EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is a few fine cuts off of this album :
Gifts and The Rafts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmzdVxTC2pA&feature=related
Swim Club http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoKzyr4zMNE
and a rocker: Black Leaf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3nzDVF1dEY&feature=related
The Cave Singers' other two studio albums are equally as impressive if not better. 2009's Welcome Joy and Invitation Songs , from 2007.
Enjoy the Music!!
and a cool video from Invitation Songs
Never had much interest till I heard this dreamy compilation.
Loch Lomond "Little me Will Start a Storm" I discovered this in
2012,not sure of release date.Also, Nitin Sawhney "London Undersound"
Harris Eisenstadt
With Joyful Lips "Oneironautic"

Fennesz "AUN"

Tropic Of Cancer "Permissions Of Love"

Aidan Baker + Tim Hecker "Fantasma Parastasie"
So this is not actually a discovery for me, been a fan of
his since I first heard his Nostalgia Ultra mixtape but I
thought this thread was the best place to post this.

Frank Ocean is just special. I'm not that big of an R+B fan
in general so it's surprising that this album struck me as
much as it did. With his first true full length, channel
ORANGE, Ocean has left us with a classic for a generation.
He's a brilliant songwriter/composer with a voice echoing
Stevie (when I first heard "Sweet Life" I thought it was
Stevie!). He's got his Odd Future swag but can also command
a stage in front of an orchestra as he did on Fallon a
couple nights ago (see clips on Youtube). The production on
the record is nothing short of brilliant seamlessly moving
from sweeping strings to hard progressive jazz breaks to
radio static background to strip club groove to metal
guitar...but at it's core it's soulful swag R+B and a very
special record.

So....discover Frank Ocean "channel ORANGE"
Caught In The Wake Forever "Against A Simple Wooden

I've been listening to a pre-release copy of this album from
Hibernate, a label that can do no wrong these days when it
comes to ambient/drone/modern classical music. I had not
heard Caught In The Wake Forever until I heard this new
album and I immediately began looking at other releases.
It's a beautiful album mixed with field recordings,
electric/acoustic guitar, piano and ambient soundscapes.
Highly recommended.


You can download a free 2 track album collaboration with
Caught In A Wake, Karina ESP and Sheepdog on his Bandcamp
page (flac or whatever format you select) called Sadness &
Static. It's a nice intro to his style although I would
describe the new record as having more song structure and it
also has some vocal tracks (beautiful too).
Richard, you may like this one.

Btw, I'm still searching for that tune linked to the Edmund Fitzgerald video.
Angus Stone's album Broken Bells. Try out this recommendation! Brand new excellent Australian folk album which will not disappoint.