Mayer’s Picks: The Best of 2012, So Far (The Albums)

You’ve got to love a year where this list is made up of so many young and emerging artists. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites from 2012.


Barchords, Bahamas

BARCHORDS, BAHAMAS

Canadian singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen unleashes a pop album that is simply sublime. The production has a textured feel anchored by the nuanced confidence of Jurvanen’s guitar-playing. And he even manages to give the songs a subtle Caribbean feel.

For a special treat, see Bahamas live when the group passes through your town. The touring group of three vocalists, guitar and drums is enthralling.

Key Tracks: Caught Me Thinking, Lost in the Light, Okay Alright I’m Alive, Your Sweet Touch

Audio Stream: Bahamas, “Caught Me Thinking”

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Additional Twangville coverage on Bahamas: SXSW 2012: The Sounds, Part 1 and Mayer’s Playlist for January 2012


The Great Despiser, Joe Pug

THE GREAT DESPISER, JOE PUG

Pug continues to mature as a artist. His latest is more of a band affair, yet it is still imbued with the rich songwriting – infectious melodies coupled with intelligent lyrics — that we’ve come to expect from him.

Key Tracks: Deep Dark Wells, Silver Harps and Violins, Stronger Than the World, The Great Despiser

Audio Stream: Joe Pug, “The Great Despiser”

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Additional Twangville coverage on Joe Pug here.


The Lumineers, The Lumineers

THE LUMINEERS, THE LUMINEERS

Denver’s Lumineers strike gold with their self-titled debut release. The album is filled with forlorn songs that have an uplifting air about them. Truly refreshing.

Key Tracks: Big Parade, Classy Girls, Dead Sea, Ho Hey, Slow It Down, Stubborn Love

Audio Download: The Lumineers, “Ho Hey”

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Additional Twangville coverage of the Lumineers: Mayer’s Playlist for Spring, Part 3 and SXSW 2012: The Sounds, Part 1


Bear Creek, Brandi Carlile

BEAR CREEK, BRANDI CARLILE

After having worked with some of the finest producers in the music business, Carlile took the reigns on her latest release. The result is a resounding success, a song cycle that is powerful in emotion and relaxed in feel.

Key Tracks: Hard Way Home, A Promise to Keep, Rise Again, That Wasn’t Me

Audio Stream: Brandi Carlile, “That Wasn’t Me”

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Additional Twangville coverage of Brandi Carlile: Mayer’s Playlist for June 2012


Great Ideas In Action, Archie Powell and the Exports

GREAT IDEAS IN ACTION, ARCHIE POWELL AND THE EXPORTS

My fave rock album so far this year – a sonic blast from start to finish.

Key Tracks: All the Same, Crazy Pills, Metronome, Shooting Spree, I Need Supervision

Audio Download: Archie Powell and the Exports, “Shooting Spree”

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Additional Twangville coverage of Archie Powell and the Exports here: Mayer’s Playlist for Spring, Part 3


Riverboat, Tim Gearan

RIVERBOAT, TIM GEARAN

I haven’t given this one a proper review (coming this month) but it has been in heavy rotation since its May release. This album fits like a classic coat, weathered enough to have lots of character and so comfortable that you wear it every chance that you get.

Key Tracks: Get a Gun, Out In the Jungle, Riverboat, So Familiar

Audio Download: Tim Gearan, “So Familiar”

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About the author:  Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.


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  • ANK

    Love it!! Fell in love with every artist, every song!

  • Doug

    Sight it “twangville”, so I expect this to contain twang. Pretty disappointed.

  • Mayer

    I like to think that there is a little twang in all music.  Who is on your list, Doug?