Music Review - Artists to Watch Out for in 2012
In the upcoming year, we’ll probably be deluged with coverage of Lady GaGa since her Born This Way tour will be traveling around the country. It’s very likely we’ll be hearing a lot about Adele if 21 does as well (or not as well) as it’s anticipated to do at the Grammys. And, unfortunately, we’ll probably be forced to hear more about Justin Bieber. Here are two amazing singer/songwriters to watch out for in 2012, even if the media and radio don’t cover them as much as they deserve.
You’ve probably heard Ingrid Michaelson before, since her music has been featured on a wide range of commercials and in the background of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scrubs. Even though that’s about as close to chart-topping as Michaelson has gotten, a devoted indie fan base continues to love her music. With a style that primarily utilizes simple instrumentation and quirky lyrics, Michaelson’s songs encompass charming and sentimental. Upbeat tracks like “Far Away” and “Be Ok” are fun for a summer pool party, “Keep Breathing” and “Men of Snow” for sadder times. “Sort Of” and “Turn to Stone” have pretty piano parts, while “Soldier” and “You and I” highlight Michaelson’s ukulele skills. There’s an element of humor in many of her songs too-- in “The Way I Am” she tells her boyfriend, “I’ll buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.” This is just one of many classic lines from Ingrid Michaelson’s songbook, and be on the lookout for her newest album, Human Again, on January 24.
Tracks to Download: “Keep Breathing,” “Sort Of,” “Solider”
It’s very hard to describe Regina Spektor in a paragraph because her music is quirky, intellectual, and poetic all together. She’s had a notable place in several movies—her song “Us” was featured in the opening credits of (500) Days of Summer and “The Call” at the end of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. However, like Michaelson, her following is primarily through an enthusiastic fan base. Songs like “Laughing With” and “Ode to Divorce” have strong messages, while others like “Fidelity” and “Music Box” are more unexpected and fun. “Us” is an all-encompassing song with a beautiful piano and string part that’s entrancing from the very first second.
Many of Spektor’s songs include literary references, even a nod to her native Russia in a Russian passage of a poem within “Apres Moi.” Some of my favorites are her covers of “Real Love” by The Beatles and “No Surprises” by Radiohead. With “No Surprises,” Spektor gives a traditional rock song a lovely piano edge. Her next album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, is scheduled to release in May.
Tracks to Download: “Laughing With,” “Us,” “No Surprises”