I thought it would be fun to start a spin-off thread where we can post the 5 albums from 2012 which changed our lives. This isn't necesarily the 5 best albums of 2012 but rather the 5 albums (from any genre reasonably close to Americana) that had the biggest impact on our lives this year.
Here are mine:
1. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
Remarkable album chock full of musical magic and lyrical insights. This album stuck with me throughout most of the year with a profound depth rarely seen in artists this young.
2. Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisted II
Steve Hackett clearly has a deep fondness for Genesis songs from the mid 1970's and crafted a remarkable achievement with this album. He somehow managed to maintain the character of the old material yet still reinvigorate the material with modern touches full of energy. An astounding achievement by perhaps the most underrated guitarist of the past few decades.
3. Karine Polwart - Traces
Few have heard this album as of yet which I hope will change over time. The songs are reminiscent of early Suzanne Vega, Mary Black, and Nanci Griffith combined with an angst of loss as this remarkable artist explores the depths of grief.
4. Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal
So much emotion and so many spine-tingling moments throughout this songs. They remind me a lot of the Seattle band The Head & The Heart with their combination of harmonic male/female vocals over acoustic instrumentation. Each of this song takes on new levels of meaning and power with each listen.
5. Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made
Their most consistently strong album since their masterpiece album Brave. There is so much depth and passion on this album from the delicate piano pieces ("Sky Above The Rain"), straightforward rock ("Power"), or tour-de-force epics ("Gaza" or "Montreal"). There are many musical moments on this album that have stuck with me since my first listen.