Hello, 2013! I am very much looking forward to much merriment, positive energy and, of course, local music awesomeness in the coming weeks and months.

And so with happy thoughts of this new year dancing ’round my head, I take a happy look back at 2012.

Surely I am going to kick myself later for missing acts on this list. But know this: I am thankful for every single musician in Maine who is passionate about his or her music.

I am thankful for every musician who tirelessly plays shows, often for not much money, for every musician who raises funds to record and release music, for every musician who puts pen to paper to write songs.

I am thankful for the radio stations that play local music and for the coffeehouses, clubs and assorted other venues that book local acts.

I am also quite thankful to live in a place where just about every musical genre is represented. People who are into hip-hop can get their hip-hop, people into hard rock can get their hard rock, people into folk can get their folk, people into jazz and big band can get their jazz and big band, and the list goes on and on.

So yeah, this is a partial list — a sampling, if you will — of some of the music released by local acts that made my year better. Some are full-length, some are EPs and one’s a single. It’s all really great stuff, and I encourage you to investigate these bands on your own.

Here are (at least some of) my favorite local releases of 2012, in completely random order:

Post Provost, “Ancient Open Allegory Oratorio”

Samuel James, “And for the Dark Road Ahead”

Sara Hallie Richardson, “Restless”

Zach Jones, “Things Were Better”

Sontiago with Therese Workman, “Muscle Car”

Dark Hollow Bottling Company, “American Ghosts”

Darien Brahms, “Dogwood”

Andi Fawcett with Doubting Gravity, self-titled EP

The Reverie Machine, “Not By Blood”

Anna & The Diggs, “River Girl”

Builder of the House, “I Am a Tidal Wave”

Heather Pierson, “The Open Road”

Vanessa Torres, “Without Sight”

If none of this spins your spurs, that’s OK, because there’s tons of more local music out there, and I know you’ll find something to love. Get out there. Hit places like Blue, Empire Dine & Dance, Space Gallery, One Longfellow Square, Geno’s, The Big Easy, Mayo Street Arts, Asylum, The Oak and the Ax, Slainte, Ginkgo Blue and Andy’s Old Port Pub, to name a few.

Poet Henry David Thoreau said it best: “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.”

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

[email protected]