You know that holiday season/beginning-of-the-year lull in new music everyone always talks about? Well, forget about it. The world of world music has been busy the last couple months, churning out a ton of new releases that are both high profile and highly interesting. We've got some stragglers who snuck out in late 2011 and ended up being some of the year's best releases, like Sia Tolno's vibrant Afropop effort and the Hawaiian folk-drenched soundtrack to George Clooney's Oscar-nominated film The Descendants. We also stretched back a bit further into 2011 to pinpoint some things you might have missed, like Buraka Som Sistema's über-hip global club cuts and Sevara Nazarkhan's intimate neo-traditionalism.
But we didn't even need to look backward: 2012 has already been offering up a wealth of riches, from flamenco punks Rodrigo y Gabriela's excursion into Cuban big band to Novalima's sleekly innovative reworkings of Afro-Peruvian traditional music. If you've got the winter blues, we've got the cure for what ails you right here. Dig in!