Yesterday's Soundtrack of 2012 focused on a handful of the best Irish tunes of the past twelve months. In today's edition, though, we'll be casting our net a bit further afield and taking a look at a few of the songs from foreign shores which made an impact on us over the last year. There was a vast array of interesting music released this year, from a number of different genres. Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean received high praise for their R&B work, Jack White and Dr. John once again showed off their rootsy skills with two of the best albums of the year and Alt-J delighted just about everyone with their outstanding debut LP An Awesome Wave. Here's a closer look at a few...
Jack White's debut solo LP Blunderbuss this year filled the huge gap in the music landscape left by the breakup of The White Stripes a year prior. It was always fairly apparent that White would be moving into the solo realm, as well as maintaining his part time duties with The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, but just how good his album would be was open to debate. We needn't have worried, however, as Blunderbuss is every bit as good as anything he did in a past life.
English band Alt-J were one of the buzz bands of 2012, but what stands them apart from some other bands who've been awarded similar titles over the years is that they really, really deserve it (in our eyes/ears at least). An Awesome Wave was five years in the making. This can either mean a band is carefully sculpting a masterpiece, or that the record has become painfully overwrought, overdone and ultimately a waste of time. Thankfully, in the case of Alt-J, it was the former and it was deserving of its Mercury Prize accolade for best album of the year.
Dr. John has been making music longer than most of us have been alive but his career shows no signs of petering out. His latest album Locked Down was produced by Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and this collaboration seems like a perfect meeting of the minds, fusing Dr John's seasoned abilities with Auerbach's production flair and their yield was one of the best records of the year.
Django Django have fit comfortably into the shoes once worn by The Beta Band. Both bands have Scottish roots and a similar displaced sense of rhythm to their music. Oh, and one of Django Django's brothers was actually IN The Beta Band, so there's also that. Whichever way you look at it, and whether or not you agree with the assessment, we're pretty confident that you'll approve of the above track.