Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ten Songs from 2012

I'm not a real critic so my list skews softer than most -- though the hard song at number one was undeniable. Titles mostly link to videos.

1. Japandroids, "The House That Heaven Built"
Tell them all to go to hell.

Just a rock anthem. Maybe the best rock anthem.

2. Ted Leo, "Do Anything You Wanna Do"
(Eddie and the Hot Rods cover)
Why don't you ask them what they expect from you?

Ted Leo is such a sweet earnest punk, and he's telling the kids what they need to hear. The YouTube clips of this one are no good, but there's a great version if you click to the 50-minute-mark.

3. Heems, "Womyn"
Me? I know like seven women.

A comedy song I don't get tired of. By the end of it you feel sorry for the guy.

4. Kimbra, Mark Foster, and A-Trak, "Warrior"
My hands are tired but my eyes are open.

Some hitmakers here to get us pumped up.

5. AlunaGeorge, "Your Drums, Your Love"
I've been treading water for your love.

A duet, sort of. The chorus comes in really big.

6. Ben Folds Five, "Do It Anyway"
You might put your love and trust on the line.

I like the image of someone pounding away on a piano, bouncing their hands up and down. I think song is about just going for it, and the band goes for it.

7. Miguel, "Adorn"
These lips can't wait to taste your skin.

Other sites keep comparing this to Marvin Gaye. The beat flutters and slithers, but Miguel sings plain and clear.

8. Aimee Mann, "Disappeared"
That Irish goodbye you do.

A lot of critics want something fresher, but Aimee Mann will never stop making nice ones. This was the saddest song on the new album.

9. Teen, "Electric"
Everyone's disposable.

This song keeps surprising. A battle with the machines.

10. Zebra Katz ft. Njena Reddd Foxxx, "Ima Read"
I'm'a make an outline to the point you'll get.

Badass. They give this song so much space to breathe.


I made a giant list of honourable mentions this year. I can't speak for the lyrics but I really liked the sound of all these. Here they are, roughly in order of slowest/softest to hardest/fastest.

The National, "Thanksgiving Song"
The xx, "Angels"
Sera Cahoone, "Deer Creek Canyon"
Way Yes, "Important"
Just Friends, "Avalanche"
Eric Church, "Springsteen"
Free Energy, "Dance All Night"
Lord Huron, "Time To Run"
Matthew Dear, "Ahead of Myself"
A.C. Newman, "Not Talking"
Taylor Swift with The Civil Wars, "Safe & Sound"
Franz Nicolay, "Did Your Broken Heart Make You Who You Are?"
Fiona Apple, "Werewolf"
Chairlift - "I Belong In Your Arms"
Craig Finn, "Apollo Bay"
Andy Stott, "Numb"
The Magnetic Fields, "Quick"
Of Monsters and Men, "Little Talks"
Jai Paul, "Jasmine"
Grizzly Bear, "A Simple Answer"
Saint Etienne, "Tonight"
Kitty Pryde, "Okay Cupid"
Jessie Ware - "Wildest Moments"
Young Galaxy, "Youth Is Wasted On The Young"
Passion Pit, "Cry Like A Ghost"
Clams Casino, "I'm God"
Ane Brun, "These Days"
Hot Chip, "Flutes"
Dean Blunt ft. Inga Copeland, "The Narcissist"
Karmin, "Brokenhearted"
Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen, "Good Time"
Alt-J, "Tesselate"
Plants and Animals, "The End of That"
Frank Ocean, "Pyramids"
Io Echo, "When The Lilies Die"
Maroon 5, "One More Night"
Nicki Minaj, "Beez In The Trap"
Justin Bieber - "Boyfriend"
Divine Fits - "My Love Is Real"
Earl Sweatshirt, "Chum"
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, "Walk Like A Giant"
Cat Power, "Cherokee"
Kirko Bangz, "Drank In My Cup"
Kay ft. Pusha T, "Stranger"
Future, "Turn On The Lights"
Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools"
Sharon Van Etten, "Serpents"
Purity Ring, "Fineshrine"
Corin Tucker Band, "Neskowin"
Cloud Nothings - "No Future No Past"
Icona Pop ft. Charlie XCX, "I Love It"
Gaslight Anthem, "45"
Screaming Females, "It All Means Nothing"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Claire's Diary, "Girl Next Door"
The Gaslamp Killer, "Flange Face"
The Mouthbreathers, "Birthdays"
Killer Mike ft. Bun B, T.I., and Trouble, "Big Beast"
Kanye West ft. 2 Chainz, Pusha T, and Big Sean, "Clique"
Brianna Perry - "Marilyn Monroe"
Ty Segall, "Thank God For Sinners"
Chelsea Peretti - "Coffee Crankin' Through My Sys"
Dan Deacon, "Lots"
Death Grips, "I've Seen Footage"
Swans, "The Apostate" (ten-minute version)

Some citations:
During the year, I mostly hear new music through the All Songs Considered podcast, NPR First Listen, The Singles Jukebox, and Stereogum. In December, I listened to a lot from best-of-year lists on Said the Gramophone, Pitchfork, and Gorilla vs. Bear. Most of the songs listed were discovered through some mix of those sources.

Brendan posts a top ten songs on Christmas Day every year. 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.

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