We sifted through the noise to bring you the MP3s, EPs, LPs, breakout singers, and live sets that rocked our 2012.
Best Downer and Upper
Often there is beauty in pain. “Lord Knows,” by Dum Dum Girls, takes us back to some so-bitter-it’s-sweet heartbreak with a side order of closure. Have a taste at DailyCandy Jams v.71.
Cat Power rises up against her personal struggles in Sun. Hear the title track on our Fall 2012 Indie Music Playlist.
Best Way to Rock Out
Canadian duo (one on guitar, one on drums, both sing) Japandroids released a thundering album, Celebration Rock, on which every song sounds like it’s backed by a full band.
Best Musical Score
Just the right dose of nostalgia (we wish we’d kept our New Order cassettes), the sound track to The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a satisfying trip down memory lane.
Best Guest-Curated Jams
The L.A.-based husband-and-wife team that is Peaking Lights sparked an ambient, hypnotic just-for-DailyCandy playlist that sent us mind over meme.
Best New Festivals
The inaugural Firefly fest in Dover, Delaware, charmed us with white picket fences, a vineyard-themed drinking garden, hot air balloon rides, and one kick-ass indie lineup (Cults, Young the Giant). The 2013 presale is already sold out.
To rev us up, we hit CounterPoint on Atlanta’s Chattahoochee Riverside grounds for extreme sports, electronic dance parties, and sets from Skrillex, Avicii, and M83.
Best Kindie Rock
A Potluck, by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, has indie pop styling for you and age-appropriate themes for them. Hear “Lemonade Stand” on our Carpool Playlist.
Best New Way to Listen
Young artists continually reinvent the music scene. As cool sounding as it was eye-catching, a tiny cube player was the only way to hear Nicolas Jaar’s Don’t Break My Love.
The Best Is Yet to Come
New Yorker (by way of South Carolina) Frances Cone will release her folksy, indie pop album early in the new year. Our interview with the songbird might just rattle your heart.
Cool kids/siblings Wild Belle brought their brand of reggae-inflected psychedelic pop to Treasure Island Music Festival. With just three released tracks (our fave is “Keep You”) and an album due in March, it’s a taste of what 2013 will bring.
Bulk up your playlist with more tunes from our weekly DailyCandy Jams.
Photos: Shaun Regan for DailyCandy; John Bramley / Courtesy of Summit Entertainment; Victoria Wall Harris / Courtesy of Frances Cone