If 2011 was the year I dove headlong into local music, then 2012 was the year that I really began to dissect and discern the artists and the community that create the music (or at least I hope that’s something of the impression that I’ve been leaving on the pages of this blog). Among the multitude of reasons I continue to do this, lying near the top, is watching local artists develop and grow (or in many cases, regress)—the choices they make, the strategies they employ, the trends they embrace. It’s a fascinating slice of human theater and I’m honored to be able to play whatever miniscule role I can in this crazy, beautiful, inspiring scene our city manages to spawn year after year.
But this is a music blog and songs are why it exists. 2012 brought us a slew of interesting story lines and band-related drama, but, more importantly, it brought us crates full of excellent music. And while the outside world may have Atlanta pegged exclusively as a hip-hop mecca, our scene is unquestionably as diverse and forward-thinking as they come. Even a cursory examination of this year’s list reveals a wide-range of musical styles and varied genres—everything from bruising metal and hardcore to pensive folk to atmospheric soundscapes and experimental pop and prog. Oh yeah, and there’s some hip-hop bangers in there, too.
So dust off your speakers or grab your headphones, pour yourself a drink and/or spark up a blizz, and click on the next page to hear the best the local Atlanta music scene had to offer in 2012.