The best music of 2012

channel Frank Ocean

Channel Orange, £5.00, HMV

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Channel Orange is the debut album from Frank Ocean that has topped the polls and ‘best of’ lists for the last year voted for by  the likes of The Guardian, The Times, NME and more. The soul star has brought a fresh new vibe to hip hop with his understated yet expressive vocals.

HMV music manager, John Hirst said:

“There’s a certain Stevie Wonder quality about him, and aside from having released a truly wonderful debut album, Frank has also earned a great deal of credit in the way he has challenged Hip Hop stereotypes.  I think we’re going to hear a lot more from him in future.”

Best song on album: Lost

altAlt- J

An Awesome Wave, £5.99, Amazon

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Winners of the Mercury prize, An Awesome Wave is a delightful mix of folk-infected pop mixed with alternative rock. The fine line between experimentation and catchiness has seen the band become a regular on Radio 1’s playlist.



Best song on album: Breezeblocks

xxThe XX

Coexist, £5.99, iTunes

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Former Mercury award winners with their album ‘XX’, the minimalism of their music coupled with beautifully written lyrics has seen them appear on ‘best album’  lists again this year with their newest creation ‘Co-exist’- easy listening at its finest .



Best song on album: Angels

jessieJessie Ware

Devotion, £8.22,

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After a string of appearances on tracks from Sbtrkt, Jack Pentate and Man Like me, Jessie Ware presented us this year with her debut album, Devotion. Nominate for the Mercury prize

The Guardian say: “Its almost unfathomable how such lightness of touch and sparsity could produce such an absolute banger. Ware brought disparate fragments together to make something almost seamless. In doing so she made a record that was both classy but accessible.”

Best song on album: Wildest Moments


Vision, £6.97, Amazon

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Grimes is a hard artist to explain, she is often likened to various artists, including Björkand was described by Tastemakers Magazine as an “alien love-child of Aphex Twin and ABBA. So we suggest you listen to her yourself and make up your own mind.

Her debut album made it to number 2 on The Guardian’s ‘Best Album of the Year’ list.

NME say  “It’s like skipping through a thousand excellent tracks on your iPod shuffle and isolating 13 perfect moments.”

Best song on album: Skin