2012 was the year YouTube became more important than the radio. The year’s two most ubiquitous songs, Psy's “Gangnam Style” and Carly Rae Jepsen's “Call Me Maybe” spread mostly through the video site. It was also the year that the “indie” title became as meaningless as “alternative.”—many people are now hearing “indie” bands during a car commercial.
These aren’t bad things. Bands are reaching audiences they wouldn’t have been able to in the past. And there was still good music in 2012, some of which started out on YouTube or can be heard during a commercial break.
5. Pink - The Truth About Love
This is Pink’s strongest album in years. After over a decade, she’s still releasing catchy dance-pop that’s relevant. Maybe it's her sincerity that sets her apart from her peers. All of these songs sound as honest as ever, and it never feels like Pink is trying to impress you or reach a bigger audience. She’s just herself, and it seems like she’s living her anthems like “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and “Try.”
4. The xx - Coexist
One of my friends thinks that this is the future of electronic music. Sound-wise he may be correct, but I doubt there will be many other indie rock bands who play music that sounds like electronic trance music. The xx eschew the excesses of both indie rock and electronica by keeping the songs short. The result of what’s left is the best part of electronica, minus the boring parts.
3. The Lumineers - The Lumineers
The Lumineers' country-tinged folk-rock is not a new sound by any stretch of the imagination. However, this is the most well-crafted album of the year. Every part of every song is in the exact right place and everything is meticulously executed.