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Music: Who are your favourite acts of 2012 so far?

 

I love this quote – and it’s so very true. Music has the ability to move you, to touch you, to transport you. It’s amazing how lyrics, written by someone you’ve never met, can echo your own experiences; how a tune can get stuck in your head for days, weeks, or forever; how you can be reminded of a person, place, moment, as soon as a track comes on.

Music unites, excites and motivates. Most of my favourite memories have a soundtrack of some kind – whether it was a CD playing in the car on a roadtrip, a live band at a festival with friends, or euphoric beats on a Balearic beach. Music punctuates, and life would be so dull without it.

So this week, when I was asked to take part in 6 Musics Zeitgeist project, I couldn’t wait to get involved. They asked me to choose my favourite 3 artists from 2012 so far…a piece of cake, right? WRONG. This year has been fantastic musically, with some cracking releases from such a great range of artists in all genres, choosing 3 is hard.

Scanning back through my Spotify playlists has been interesting. Of course, not everything I have been listening to is brand new. I’m hooked on Little Dragon’s Ritual Union from 2011. I’m also in love with some of Birdy‘s work, and listen to her debut album almost religiously in the car, as her beautiful voice calms me from road rage. I adore Ed Sheeran, like Lianne La Havas, am a fan of Yasmin, play Paloma Faith’s Fall To Grace on repeat and love Gloss Drop by Battles. Add SBTRKT, Alex Clare, SatellitesThe Maccabees and Fujiya & Miyagi into the mix and I start getting a little eclectic. New artists Friends and Beaux Saunders also make my ears very happy indeed.

But my favourites so far in 2012? Well. It’s been challenging, but I think I’ve got them. Drumroll please…

Ben Howard

I was first introduced to Ben Howard by a friend, who played me “Keep Your Head Up” when I was having a particularly hard time, and fell in love with both his sound and lyrics immediately. Signed to Island Records, Folky Singer-Songwriter Ben’s debut album Every Kingdom has done well (reaching number 6) and after a sell-out UK tour, big success is coming. I can feel it in my waters. Nice.

 

Jessie Ware

I first came across Jessie through her sessions as a guest vocalist for SBTRKT – although I didn’t know who she was back then. I love her crystal clear voice, and she’s putting out some amazing music in her own right now. LOVE. Can’t wait for the album, which is set to be released in August.

Frank Ocean

He’s a bit naughty, is Frank, having stolen The Eagles entire Hotel California track without permission, but he’s forgiven in my eyes (although possibly not theirs). Frank (real name Christopher Breaux, don’t you know) had everyone clamouring for tickets for his gig at XOYO earlier in the year – I didn’t get to go but those I know who did said he was phenomenal live. He’s already had a Grammy nomination this year, and should probably start clearing a shelf for a trophy or two…they’re sure to be coming.

So there you go, that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth! What about you? Do you have a view on any of these artists, or know of someone we should be listening out for? Please comment below, am always looking for new songs to fall in love with…

The BBC 6 Music/Hype Machine 2012 Music Blog Zeitgeist Countdown Show will be live this Sunday between 6pm – 8pm, so you can hear who has made the top 25 – and tweet along using the hashtag #Blog6Music. I’ll be tweeting my thoughts on the acts that have made it (and be sobbing into my roast dinner if none of my favourites get a mention) so would be great to have you as part of the conversation as well.

This has possibly been my favourite ever blog post to write, as I’ve spent the entire time listening to great music and smiling like a madwoman.

What a lovely way to spend part of your day.

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