We cannot recall a single year that measured up to 2012 when looking at the impressive and eclectic array of indie artists that surfaced with their debut albums. Any nominee in this category could easily be recognized for delivering the album of the year, let alone debut.
The nominees are listed below in their respective order along with a chunk of each album's Baeblemusic review. Thanks for voting!
BEST DEBUT LP:
1. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
"Boys & Girls is centered around the voice of Brittany Howard, so soulfully worn that it seems impossible that she's only 23 years old. Her vocals are reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Janis Joplin, with a performing style that's happily familiar to Otis Redding. Her voice is the crucial ingredient in the band that makes these tried and true chord progressions and melodies new again - it makes you rock, swoon, and cry, leaving your vital organs like putty in her hands." Read the full review.
2. Father John Misty - Fear Fun
"While we regret losing any part of the formula that made Fleet Foxes so successful, Tillman's debut solo album, Fear Fun, is such an affecting and haunting record that we understand why he may have wanted to leave the nest. For anyone expecting his first album as Father John Misty to be Fleet Foxes-lite, rest assured that Tillman has struck his own path as an artist though still finding the beauty (in occasional dark corners) that Fleet Foxes fans love." Read the full review.
3. Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
"It's hard to pinpoint a favorite aspect of the oddities, but the tightness of the vocal arrangements really strike me the most. Alt-J seems to understand that the human voice is simultaneously the most versatile and underused musical instrument available, and in a world full of instrumental exploration both acoustic and electric, the voice still affords an opportunity to make something new. On An Awesome Wave, they capitalize on this theory in a big way. Which is why it's perhaps the most uniquely new music to be released this year." Read the full review.
"The fear with a debut album this good, this personal, and this autobiographical is that the artist had been building to it his whole life. Everything he experienced in the past was fueled into an amazingly stark collection of songs. But the next time around, is he going to have anything left? It's clear that Kendrick Lamar threw a good deal of himself into good kid, m.A.A.d. city, so that question certainly applies. But with such an all-around strong album with such a powerful message, it doesn't really matter what the answer to that question ends up being. good kid, m.A.A.d. city is by far good enough. Besides, if Kendrick Lamar can reproduce half of the magic he captured on this album, he'll be just fine." Read the full review.
5. Kishi Bashi - 151a
"That's all well and good, but Kishi Bashi's debut album 151a is a humble reminder that the best music demands our full attention. And the rewards for the avid listener are substantial. If you let it, the album can be as immersive as a 3D movie or as imaginative as any Disney theme park, in its own unimposing, quietly brilliant way. Kishi Bashi steadily crafts a fantasy world as vivid and palpable as anything Pixar can do. With subtle complexities and deftly textured soundscapes, this album elegantly conveys the full range of human emotions. Read the full review.