Entries in Top Ambient Albums of 2012 (1)


Best Ambient Albums of 2012

Rachel Evans (Motion Sickness of Time Travel)
Does the word "ambient" mean anything to you in 2012?

It seems as though its usage becomes more and more scarce as the years go by. One might even call it out of fashion. Artists and journalists seem to be slightly squicked out by it. "Drone," a vaguer and less informative term, is more favored by the newer generation of artists and listeners. But despite these apparent trends against the A-word, the music itself is probably as big and as fascinating as it's ever been. In 2012 artists like Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker and Julianna Barwick stayed busy with press, festivals, touring, and recording—they essentially became indie household names. Blog darling Julia Holter has continued to put ambient pieces in her experimental indie pop records. Meanwhile Brian Eno, the man who coined the term "ambient" and arguably invented the genre, recorded his first solo ambient effort in two decades.

This list highly personal, but I believe it represents a large scope of an ever-splintering genre—from the noisy, to the lush and melodic, to the in-vogue lo-fi tape hum of recent years, to more folk and classical-leaning disciplines. Please enjoy, and watch the AiMT 2012 tag for more lists.

Full list after the jump.

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