2012 has been a good year for music, there’s no doubt about that.

We’ve had albums from legends such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Beach Boys, an inspiring surge of new brands of pop from the likes of Lana Del Rey, Tame Impala, Alt-J and Django Django, and brilliant reminders of greatness from bands like The Cribs, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Bellowhead and The XX. Anyone compiling a list of the best albums of 2012 certainly has their work cut out for them with the choice, new and old, powerful and beautiful, that has come out of the last 12 months.

So I’m not going to do a best of 2012 list, because it would simply be too long. But with all the talk of what a great year it has been, and the tower of 2012 CDs fully listened to, it’s time to start thinking about 2013. There are a few reasons why I am personally looking forward to next year, the main one being that there is a new Noah and the Whale album on the way. The quintet, known for their wildly differing styles between albums, have given us an acoustic folk album, an electric ballad, break-up album and an Americana rock album, and with their fourth release, which frontman Charlie Fink has promised will return to English roots, whilst still retaining their new electric-pop sound, they will have a back catalogue which is sure to have something for everyone.

…bands promising releases that will be hotly anticipated…

Though 2013 cannot promise as many big names releasing their 30-something-th album as this year, there are still bands promising releases that will be hotly anticipated within the next few months. Arcade Fire are set to release their follow-up to The Suburbs at some point during the new year, and with former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy working alongside them as producer hopefully we will get another album as good as The Suburbs and Funeral. Fellow American alternative rock group Kings of Leon are also set to come back with their sixth studio album on an unreleased date in the year. After having to cancel their last US tour and announcing their hiatus at the end of 2011, it is certainly good news to hear they will be back on form in 2013.

Back in Britain, Scottish rock is set to make a big impact on 2013 and the spearheads of this takeover are Glaswegian depress-rock band Frightened Rabbit and close neighbours Biffy Clyro. Frightened Rabbit are set for a February release date for their album Pedestrian Verse, which, if the lyrical mastery of their last EP State Hospital is anything to go by (the title-track being included on their upcoming album), is set to be their best yet. And as if that wasn’t early enough for some Scot-rock, then Biffy Clyro’s next release Opposites will be out on January 28, and it is sure to kick off the year with some of the great passionate alternative rock that they specialise in.

…jam packed with innumerable big releases…

Just like 2012 was full of just too many great albums to list, 2013 is going to be jam packed with innumerable big releases, including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Johnny Marr in February, Foals’ new funk album, Depeche Mode’s 13th album, The Strokes follow-up Angles and, my personal biggest cause for excitement, Johnny Flynn’s third album and follow-up to his Bag Of Hammers film-score which was recently released on the 10th of December.

So if you thought 2012 was a good year, then 2013 is definitely out to prove you wrong, and if you are ever having the new year blues, then there sure is a lot on the way to cheer you up.

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