Part two of our best albums of 2012 countdown
Gigwise
15:36 11th December 2012

Every day this week we are counting down our favourite albums of 2012. Thinking of our top listens from the past 12 months isn't so tough - but putting them in order really is!

Today, we count down from numbers 40 to 31 and our countdown includes two of the biggest females on the UK music scene, an New York trendsetter, an album about outdoor swimming pools, an indie band who bounced back from the loss of a key member with one of the best records of their career and more.

Yesterday we counted down from 50 to 41. Check out our first collection right here.

We are also asking you, the Gigwise reader to vote for your favourite albums of 2012 in our Album Of The Year poll. Click here to cast your vote.

Check out our albums of the year, numbers 40 to 31 below. Scroll through the collection with the 'next' button.

  • 40. Ellie Goulding - Halcyon: US dubstep producer Skrillex may have seemed like a strange boyfriend for the Hereford singer who once soundtracked a John Lewis Christmas advert - but boy, did it pay off on album number two. Ditching the sweet, pastoral sounds of debut album Lights, Halcyon saw Goulding stake a claim on the pop world with a fiercely confident collection of squealing pop anthems. A brave collection after such an MOR debut, Halcyon was the sound of a singer finding her identity - and relishing in her newfound identity as an electropop goddess. Standout track: 'Figure Eight'

  • 39. Santigold - Master of My Make Believe: Long-awaited and undeniably energetic, Santigold's second album is contemporary pop at it's very best. Slightly more subdued than many expected, but that is certainly no bad thing as it's infectious Caribbean pop fusion was worth the four-year wait. Standout track: 'Disparate Youth'

  • 38. Darren Hayman - Lido: It is undertandable that many might stifle a snigger on discovering an album written entirely about London Lidos. But Darren Hayman's instrumental album is one of the most delightful pieces of music not just of this year, but ever. It's incredibly simple and precise in its execution, and feels like an album made more to entertain the creator's whims and fancies than for the listener. It has a remarkably emotive effect and its sincerity and innocence immediately endear this record to those fortunate to have experienced it. Standout Track: 'London Fields' or 'Parliament Hill'

  • 37. The Cribs - In the Belly of the Brazen Bull: Johnny Marr's departure from the band early in 2012 gave way to the solidest album attempt from The Cribs yet. Scuzzy riffs, noise and general self-deprecating genius marks the album as a fusion of the best parts of each of the Leeds trio's previous albums. Songs like 'Come on, Be a No-one'and 'Glitters Like Gold' remind us that The Cribs are still experts on how to write an anthemic chorus. Standout track: 'Glitters Like Gold.'

  • 36. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes: To call Ariel Pink whimsical would be to underestimate him, and yet there is without doubt a sense of the whimsy around everything he does. A modern day Puck, Pink gives the impression through his nonsensical lyrics and jangling melodies that it all happened entirely by accident - and yet try to deconstruct one of the songs and it'll leave you baffled. Pink takes everything that was lacklustre about previous release Before Today and essentially ups the contrast, resulting in music with a heightened sense of weird. Mature Themes undoubtedly sees Ariel Pink at his best. Standout track: 'Farewell American Primitive.'

  • 35. TNGHT - TNGHT: Producers Hudson Mohawke and Lunice have offered up a record of oddball bassline brilliance. It may only hold five tracks and last 16 minutes, but each beat is as addictive as the one that came before it. Heavily instrumental hip-hip that has stood up to be counted this year. Standout track: 'Bugg'n'

  • 34. The Shins - Port of Morrow: Five years after their last album, The Shins return - and Port of Morrow shows that they've only got better with age. Despite losing some of the rawness of previous releases, the polished sound doesn't detract from what The Shins do best; beautiful, joyful indie rock. James Mercer took those years to experiment with side project Broken Bells and honed his craft in order to bring us Port of Morrow; this is Mercer at the top of his game. Let's just hope we don't have to wait another five years for the next one. Standout track: 'Fall of '82.'

  • 33. Grizzly Bear - Shields: Psychedelic reverb met with an ethereal glaze that can only be attributed to Grizzly Bear. The band's second album was more conflicted, more beautifully wrought and more nuanced than the band have ever sounded. A far more immediate album than their debut, Shields is pure artistic craft. Shields is a weird kind of testament to how a band so tight and together can create an album that so perfectly represents conflict and uncertainty. Stand out track: 'Yet Again'

  • 32. Kindness - World, You Need A Change Of Mind: Hipster funk wasn't a sound we thought our lives was missing but that was before the Kindness album. An dark, offbeat collection of soul-influenced tracks packed with trumpets, brass and the delightful introspection of main-man Adam Bainbridge. World, You Need A Change Of Mind follow no pattern - jumping from a cover of 'Anyone Can Fall In Love' to a funky brass-blast 'It's Alright' and it was this schizophrenic sound that made the album such an essential release in 2012. Standout track: 'Swinging Party'

  • Jessie Ware - Devotion: Making pop cool again, Jessie Ware resurrects the spirit of 80s pop/soul, when the recording artist was still at the centre of the record with their personality pulsating through every song. Despite having to settle for only a nomination at this year's Mercury Prize, Devotion is one of the albums, if not the album, that will define British soul music in 2012 for years to come. An extremely likeable album made by a tremendously likeable woman. Standout Track: 'Still Love Me'