Ten Musical Discoveries of 2012

ace of spades

Looking back on the year’s musical discoveries some were just waiting to happen – I only had to spend time with The Libertines and The White Stripes, while others pounced on me in places like Disney World.  But I never expected my favourite musical moment of the year to be found in a Finnish sauna with four naked men.  But you never can tell…

10 What Katie Did – The Libertines

It was only a matter of time before I succumbed to The Libertines which I did in March this year.  And not just the one album, but as much of their short but wonderful collection as I could.  And from all of that, I fell for What Katie Did (which isn’t about Kate Moss before you ask).

9 It’s a Small World – Walt Disney

Despite our fortnight in Florida, a week with Disney never made a serious appearance in no81bob’s world so this standard from a classic ride will probably come as  a surprise.  But like everyone else who has ever done this ride we came to live with this song for the rest of the year (and maybe will for the rest of our lives).  It’s a relationship of love and hate, but maybe it’s that extra frisson that makes it so special.

8 Wiyathul – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

Probably the only international rock star out there bearing the name Geoffrey, the Aussie one kicked off my world music January and proved the great surprise as his unearthly voice crept in and stayed for the year.  He’s been back on the playlist this month so must have done something right.

7  Next to me – Emeli Sande

As everyone else in the world seems to be acclaiming our Emeli I might as well join in.  Courtesy of M we’ve lived with Our Version of Events since April and not tired yet despite a double-dose at the Olympics and more airtime than anyone should really be allowed to have.  We’ll be catching our Emeli live next year so she may make a brief re-appearance.

6 Hoppipola – Sigur Ros

Not that Hoppipola was actually a discovery in itself.  We’ve all known this song (or certainly the first 60 seconds) for many years now – no, seriously you do know it.  It’s just that I had that “Aaah, it’s Sigur Ros” moment accompanied by the revelation that the song is about splashing about in puddles.  Which has been appropriate given the weather this year.

5 Lazuli – Beach House

Deep deep down I still really miss the Cocteau Twins, so my heart skips a beat (in a sort of shoe gazing way of course) whenever anyone resurrects part of their spirit.  Beach House are very much their own thing but I love them for both that and recalling that sound of my past.  And the video for Lazuli shows what can’t be done on a limited budget.

4 Harder than you think – Public Enemy

This is all about the Paralympics to be honest.  We had our brief moment of reflected athletics glory in the Olympics stadium at the end of August and promptly fell in love with the whole Paralympics thing including this song, Channel 4’s theme for the games.  The horn section borrows extensively from a Shirley Bassey number, so that’s got to be pretty cool as well.

3 The hardest button to button – The White Stripes

Where has Elephant been all my life?  The definitive White Stripes album was a musical delight from start to finish and difficult to pull out any one track that stands above the other.  So the hardest button to button makes it there just on the basis I like the video.  Again, not a huge budget spent here, but it’s the music that counts.

2 Shake It Out – Florence and the Machine

Now Florence played for months on the no81bob turntable (metaphorically speaking, of course – haven’t put something on a turntable since way back now) and rightly.  The spirit of Kate Bush mingled with other traces of madness lurk throughout the brilliant Ceremonials album.  This surreal party number video lays on the madness a-plenty as did her appearance at the Brits.  Go Flo.  Go.

1 Ace of Spades – Porkka Playboys (in a sauna)

I would never have expected to declare some Finnish buskers/ street band as the musical discovery of the year.  They popped up for their brilliant cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody performed in a VW Polo as one of my 30 day song challenge.  But it was the revelation in the accompanying comments that has swept them to the top of this list.

“they also do Ace of Spades in a sauna!”

So they do.


Happy New Year everyone, wherever you may spend it.  A Finnish sauna.  An icelandic lake.  A Disney theme park.  Or with friends and several bottles of Prosecco.

Cheers and here’s to more musical discovery in 2013.