I loved 2012 in music, and 2013 so far has been pretty off the wall as well. Popular publications, though, seem to be catching up with a lot of stuff - I love A$AP Rocky's new album, but it's gotten a lot of press. The new Tegan & Sara is interesting, and Trent Reznor's first full album with How To Destroy Angels is excellent. So if you're looking for something a little different or a little overlooked that's new to this year, check some of these out:
* Veronica Falls - Waiting for Something to Happen: An enjoyable indie pop album with some really catchy melodies. Sounds like a Bell & Sebastian-eqsue album straight out of the 60s in a lot of ways, while still having that same modern flavor with some of the trendy reverb going on with it. I've listened to this album perhaps too much in the last few months.
* eels - Wonderful, Glorious: People of a certain age will remember the alt-rock hit "Novocaine for the Soul," and perhaps haven't noticed that they put anything of consequence out in quite some time. I didn't love the last few eels albums, but the new one, Wonderful, Glorious, is both. It has a number of really catchy songs, the deluxe edition is far from extra padding, it's become a favorite so far.
* Harper Simon - Division Street: Harper Simon is the son of Paul Simon, of Simon and Garfunkel. His music is much more straightforward indie folk rock than the world music his father has dabbled in as of late, and his first album was good, but nothing significant. The new album, though, shows a significant amount of growth with a lot of memorable tunes, most notable "'99." Definitely worth a listen.
* Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Ripely Pine: Yes, her stage name is incredibly embarassing, but Ripely Pine is an easy frontrunner for album of the year for me. It's raw and intricate, with some different things going on throughout while remaining accessable. At merely 23, with some strong (and strange) albums in her back catalog, I did not expect to love this as much as I do, and I've gotten countless people hooked on it as well. Check out "You Are the Apple" in particular for some great songbuilding.