2012 has been such a brilliant year we’ve had a fantastic Olympic Games which I’m proud to say I was a part of, we’ve seen Boris Johnson hanging helplessly from a zip-wire and we’ve also had the infamous #susanalbumparty. The music industry has gone from strength to strength in 2012 and we’ve seen some truly amazing songs, albums and music videos hit the market. In this Jam of the Week special I’m looking back at 12 of my favourite 2012 releases.
12. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
We’re going all the way back to January for the first track on my list, Lana Del Rey released her début album Born to Die. The album’s title track has been one of my favourites all year and I’m already looking forward to what the future holds for Lana.
11. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
Not putting this track from the gorgeous Canadian that is Carly Rae Jepsen on my list probably would have been some kind of crime. It’s an awful track but fantastically brilliant at the same time. I’d often catch myself humming the ridiculously catchy rhythm or be singing along to the song on the radio in the car. In fact I even took the whole Call Me Maybe thing one step further this year and recorded a cover called Vote Me Maybe to support my Ravensbourne Students’ Union presidential election campaign… you can probably guess how that turned out. Nevertheless here’s Call Me Maybe.
10. Alt-J – Tessellate
My number 10 track comes from An Awesome Wave, one of my favourite albums this year. I am of course talking about Tessellate by Alt-J. I just love how the melody and vocals come together on this track to form one of the best chill-out tracks of the year.
9. Robbie Williams – Candy
First appearing as a Jam of the Week on my blog back in November Candy makes it to number 9 on my list. This track is pop genius and the video featuring Kaya Scodelario (best known for playing Effy in Skins) is one of the best I’ve seen this year. Robbie went on to play 3 nights at London’s O2 Arena this year. I was there working every night and I think Robbie’s shows quite easily rank as the best I’ve ever seen in the arena.
8. Mikill Pane – Dirty Rider
I first featured Dirty Rider as a Jam of the Week in November, a song which I said made me wish it was summer again so that I could cycle through South London without a care in the world. If anything listening to the track now is getting me extremely hyped up for next summer. So here’s to Summer 2013 and Mikill making it to number 8 on my list!
7. Wiley – Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya)
Another track I’ve featured as a Jam of the Week now, this time from Wiley, Ms D, Skepta and JME. Back in my original blog post I proclaimed this as one of the biggest tracks to grace the music industry that quarter, and I wasn’t wrong. Can You Hear Me made it to number 3 in the UK singles chart (not quite the number 1 I tipped it for) but nonetheless a brilliant performance for a brilliant track.
6. The XX – Angels
I absolutely adore this track which comes from a band where everything they seem to record turns out to be pure gold. Coexist the follow up to The XX’s début album XX was one of the most eagerly anticipated releases this year and boy it turned out to be brilliant. Angels was the first single from the album and first appeared on my blog in July.
5. Bastille – Flaws
In to my top 5 now and my fifth place track comes from Bastille and first appeared on my blog in October. Bastille fronted by singer/songwriter/producer Dan Smith have been around since 2010 and this year released Flaws and a fantastic video to go with it.
4. Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
I love Iceland. No I’m not talking about the single mother and student food store I am of course talking about the country that brought us my fourth favourite jam of 2012. Little Talks comes off the band’s debut album My Head is an Animal and peaked at number 3 in the UK singles chart. Although strictly speaking this track first appeared in 2011 My Head is an Animal didn’t make it to the UK market until April 2012. Little Talks was my second ever Jam of the Week after I started the format in September.
3. Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait
Now who doesn’t love a bit of Mumford? Formed in London the band this year released their second studio album titled Babel the eagerly anticipated follow-up to their début album Sigh No More. I Will Wait turned out to be one of the best songs of the year and makes it to number 3 in my list of the top 10 jams of 2012.
2. Florence Welch + Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing
This list just wouldn’t be right without some Florence Welch on it, and after the success of her second album Ceremonials and her partnership with Calvin Harris to produce a remix of Spectrum, Florence and Calvin once again teamed up this year to produce my second favourite track of the year Sweet Nothing. Florence’s fantastic vocals coupled with Calvin’s production ensured that this would be one of the biggest tracks of 2012, and sure this track made it everywhere from nightclubs to TV. If you ever get the opportunity to see Florence perform live this is definitely one of the stand out tracks from her live set. Hearing this performed acoustically without Calvin’s raving backing track was one of my best memories of 2012. I certainly won’t be surprised to see these two working together again in 2013 to produce yet another special record. Sweet nothing first made it on to my blog in September.
1. PSY – Gangnam Style
Slightly controversial me picking this as my favourite jam of 2012 yes but it just had to be. PSY’s equestrian dance took the internet by storm this year. The track has 1,091,105,040 views on YouTube at the time of writing after being released on the internet in July. I don’t think I need to explain any further why this was the biggest hit of 2012 and why I’ve picked it as my favourite Jam of the year. The man is a legend and this song will be remembered for years to come.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and watching my 12 favourite jams from 2012. As I said at the start of this post it’s been an incredible year for the record industry and there are so many artists that could have made it on to this list but there just wasn’t the space for them. I’ll be back next week with my usual Jam of the Week blog post but for now I’ll leave you with this tweet from The Beat.
Record singles sales in the UK this week (5.6m). The no.200 song in this week’s chart would have been no.23 in 2005 with the same sales!
— the beat (@beatonthebeeb) December 30, 2012