The first few weeks of each new year are usually spent discovering all of the great albums that came out during the previous year that I almost missed entirely.
The first great album of 2012 (that actually came out in early 2011) is Son Lux’s sophomore album, We Are Rising.
Son Lux’s debut album, At War With Walls and Mazes is a chamberpop record along the lines of Sufjan Stevens or Owen Pallett (aka Final Fantasy). We Are Rising further develops this sound with added layers of psychedelia and, of all strange things, dubstep.
Pop enough to be listenable, artsy enough to be challenging.