Between our list of top EPs, albums, and songs of 2012 this list is at risk to become repetitive. With that said, being a Minneapolis based music collective, we feel it’s still important to highlight the artists that keep our state rockin’. Here’s a list of Minnesota artists who released some mighty good tunes in 2012. Click on the cover art to listen to the albums. If you like what you hear, go out and support the artist – buy an album, concert ticket, t-shirt, or whatever. Just do it.
P.O.S. – We Don’t Even Live Here
P.O.S. has been one of the most featured artists on the site in 2012 so it seems fitting to list him first on this list. We had the honor of seeing him at his only show for quite a while. Stef (P.O.S.) is in need of a kidney transplant and will hopefully be able to get one in the near future. We wish him the best of luck and hope to see him back out on the road soon. If that doesn’t make you want to support him financially, I don’t know what will.
Actual Wolf – Lightning & the Wolf
Actual Wolf is one of the few artists on this last that I haven’t had the opportunity to see live. There really is no excuse, he has been touring the Minnesota area heavily the past couple weeks. He’s got a folky, alternative country sound to him and is set to release his first full length album in 2013.
The Tribe and Big Cats – Space
Space is by far the most complete work that TTxBC has put together to date. Personally, this was a very highly anticipated album for 2012. A long album coming in at fifteen songs, there’s a few tracks that don’t get me head noddin’ but tracks like “La Policia”, “Pills”, and “Dopeness” will make it worth your while to listen. This is definitely an addition you need to make to your iTunes library if it’s not yet in there.
Trampled By Turtles – Stars & Satellites
Some saw this album as a regression, I saw it as maturation. This album lacked the popular upbeat tracks of the past like “Codeine” or “Wait So Long” but I still found a satisfaction throughout the album. I thought the entire group fused together nicely creating a pleasant folk/bluegrass sound. Trampled has kind of taken the reins in representing the entire state as far as music goes. They’ve been a staple at festivals across the country the past couple years. Their live show is a spectacle in itself so be sure to check them out if you ever get the chance.
Brother Ali – Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color
Don’t be surprised when you see this album pop up on MTIB’s best albums of the year list. I don’t think it will ever be possible for Brother Ali to match the greatness of Shadows on the Sun and The Undisputed Truth but this album definitely makes a solid run at it. The album starts out dark and almost angry but slowly transitions to a more positive outlook on things before it comes to and end.
Prof – Kaiser Von Powderhorn 3
There hasn’t been a bigger force to reckon with in the Twin Cities hip-hop scene the past two years than Prof. His often vulgar and offensive lyrics mixed with a rowdy stage presence has made him one popular dude. He offers most of hs mixtapes/albums free to download so do a quick web search for his tunes if you like what you hear.
Solid Gold – Eat Your Young
Four years since their last release, Solid Gold is back with Eat Your Young. Their disappearance from the local music scene had fans wondering if the band had broken up. But, alas, they are back in full force with a collection of different styled tunes that many are calling their best work yet.
Big Cats – For My Mother
After losing his mother to ovarian cancer, Minneapolis producer Big Cats released the tribute album For My Mother. At times it’s almost hard to listen to because I can feel the emotion pouring right out of the music and I’m able to tell how hard it hit him. Big Cats is also the second half of The Tribe and Big Cats. If you like what you hear, check them out on tour. Big Cats has been doing part of his solo work during the TTxBC shows as well.
More Than Lights – Sights & Sounds
More Than Lights was one of my favorite local acts to see. Their energy radiated off the stage and became infectious as they put their groovy rock/hip-hop on display. There wasn’t a single person in the crowd that wasn’t jumping as high as they could and singing along. Unfortunately, as of November, Zach Combs and Reuben Rodriguez are no longer with the band. One has to think that this will be a big hit to the group. Zach is a prominent figure in Twin Cities hip-hop and was originally how I found out about the group. Fortunately, they’ve left us two albums to date that we can still get down to.
Communist Daughter – Lions and Lambs EP
Lions & Lambs was featured on my Top EPs of 2012 as well so I’ll be brief. If you like good music, you’ll like this EP. It’s full of lyrics of addiction, recovery, love, and love lost. Check it out.