2011 was a wonderful year for music with each month seeing a new, exciting release, each more hyped-up than the last. I myself stretched my student loan to the limit with pre-orders of Laura Marling, The Horrors, Bon Iver, Tom Waits, Jeffrey Lewis, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Wombats, The Vaccines, Fleet Foxes, Wild Beasts and unfortunately for me and my weekly budget, quite a few more. It was an incredibly memorable year for music; aside from new releases, 2011 gave us LabelLove after the London riots, the death of Amy Winehouse, Beyonce headlining Glastonbury and the unstoppable monster of Rebecca Black’s Friday. 2012, therefore, has a lot to live up to.
It does, however, look like it’s going to give it a go. Only one month in to 2012 and already we have been given The Maccabees’ long-awaited third album, Given to the Wild, which cements them as one of the best British bands around today. With the mixture of deal-breaking second albums and established, experimental records, this year is one that will define careers and assure a variety of releases. Indie-pop duo The Ting Tings are set to release their second studio album Sounds From Nowheresville, a follow up to their 2008 record We Started Nothing which is due for release at the end of March. The second Mumford and Sons album has been discussed, rumoured and dreamed about since they stormed the festival season last year; and after rumours of its 2011 release, the product will hopefully do credit to the build up. Another artist that people have been constantly nudging and pestering for details of a release is the new folk starlet Lucy Rose, who is meant to begin recording her album early this year after her two singles Middle of the Bed and Scar propelled her into the limelight last year. With the new releases and many tricky second albums coming out, it will undoubtedly be a year dominated by new names and musical directions.
…the biggest comeback of the year will come from The Beach Boys. The harmonious surf-rock that our parents grew up with is coming back for their 50 year anniversary tour…
But if all this new music isn’t your kind of thing, then 2012 also has a lot of big names throwing out new classics and with 2011 bringing the comebacks of seemingly lost artists like The Stone Roses, Pulp, The Strokes and Tom Waits, their work has inspired many others to re-emerge in 2012. After releasing their first album for five years, and co-headlining Reading, The Strokes are set to cement their comeback by releasing their fifth studio album, which they began work on immediately following the success of Angles last year. It is set to be released sometime mid-2012 to keep the old and new-found Strokes fans appeased. Morrissey, too, is looking to resurface and, despite the struggles to find a new label, is set to release his tenth solo album after Years of Refusal in 2009, if he can find a way to get it in the shops. Though without a doubt, the biggest comeback of this year will come from The Beach Boys. The harmonious surf-rock that our parents grew up with and we slowly became aware of through Christmas compilation CDs and school discos is coming back for their 50 year anniversary tour, coupled with their twenty-ninth studio album; it promises to be a good year with an album from the only band to challenge The Beatles.
2012 really does have something for everyone, and will no doubt be a year to contend with. The end of the world will at least come with a good soundtrack.