Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 Songs: 21-40

2012 Songs: 21-40 by David Scott on Grooveshark

40. "Demons" by Sleigh Bells (from Reign of Terror)
"I'm gonna answer to no one else but me"

While our favorite song from their debut charted higher ("Rill Rill", #8 in 2010), Reign of Terror is probably the better album.  Great cover art, too. 

39. "I've Seen Footage" by Death Grips (from The Money Store)
"Hand held dream / shot in hell"

This is the final rap song to appear, the weakest performance by the top song since we started doing the list in 2005.  Clearly more Wu Tang mashups are required. 

38. "No Future" by Craig Finn (from Clear Heart Full Eyes)
"Best advice that I've ever gotten / was from good old Johnny Rotten"

The first solo album from Craig Finn is unsurprisingly quite similar to his work with The Hold Steady, if only a bit less anthemic. Not on Grooveshark, so listen here

37. "Don't Save Me" by Haim (single)
Never thought I would grow so old of seeing the gold"

The three Haim sisters released a number of extremely catchy singles in 2012, hopefully in advance of a full album in 2013. This track would be right at home over the closing credits on Can't Buy Me Love or Mannequin (but not the much more thematically complex Mannequin Two: On the Move).

36. "Traveling Light" by Bright Moments (from Natives)
Is there a chance you wouldn't get it right?"

Kelly Pratt is an instrumentalist that has appeared with Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem, but it his work with Beirut that appears to have had the most influence on his debut. 

35. "The Keepers" by Santigold (from Master of My Make-Believe)
We are gone / on the heels of all we have done"

At this point, Santi White wouldn't be able to do much worse than the actual keepers we have here in America.

34. "New York City" by Among Savages (from Wanderings of an Illustrative Mind)
"...where all your girls are pretty"

Gone from NYC for nine years, still feel its pull...

33. "California" by Delta Spirit (from Delta Spirit)
I want you to find somebody new for yourself / if not for me"

.... but definitely happier here.

32. "Old Friend" by Sea Wolf (from Old World Romance)
"I know you / don't believe me when I believe in you"

Of the similarly named artists, Alex Brown Church's Sea Wolf (#11 song of 2007) beats Seabear (#10 of 2007) and Cee-Lo (#7 of 2010) to a second top 40 appearance on this list.

31. "Get Free" by Major Lazer (single)
"Wave won't break until the tide comes in"

The Dirty Projectors put out a full-length album and an EP this year, but the vocals provided by Amber Coffman for Diplo's Major Lazer project is their 2012 highlight.

30. "Alex The Great" by Kayln Rock (from passenger*)
"I'm only looking for someone I know I'll catch naming clouds from the back of a plane"

Not a song we've spent a lot of time thinking about since it first appeared in January, just one we've constantly enjoyed listening to.

29. "Andrew in Drag" by The Magnetic Fields (from Love at the Bottom of the Sea)
"A pity she does not exits / a shame he's not a ***"

Only Stephen Merritt could create this tragicomic story of a straight man who falls hard for his friend in a dress.

28. "Brothers" by Tanlines (from Mixed Emotions)
"I'm just the same as I've ever been / but I'm the only one that doesn't notice it"

Every time we listen to a new track, this is what we most hope to find: something immediate and catchy, even if it doesn't ultimately have the depth or pedigree of other songs on the list. 

27. "Like Ice Cream" by Divine Fits (from A Thing Called Divine Fits)
"I could have took all summer"

Teaming up with Brit Daniel certainly takes the sting out of facing the end of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs.  While Divine Fits' debut could have been more successful in delivering on the promise of mashing together Spoon and Wolf/Furs within individual tracks (rather than alternating between them), its simple existence was perhaps the best musical surprise of the year.

26. "The Hours" by Beach House (from Bloom)
"Frightened eyes / looking back at me / change your mind / don't leave without me"

With so many bands seeking to continually re-invent themselves (to mixed results), Beach House instead has found success simply refining the gorgeous niche they had already carved out for themselves. 

25. "1904" by Tallest Man on Earth (from There's No Leaving Now)
"And some may say it's not even healthy / but body is young / and mind is sure"

A mainstay of the list, appearing in 4 of the last 5 years.

24. "Animal Life" by Shearwater  (from Animal Joy)
"I held your name inside my mouth through all the days of wandering"

Jonathan Meibuirg's  theatrical singing voice always seemed a better compliment to Will Sheff in Okkervil River than as a standalone act, a sense reinforced by Shearwater's pretty-but-dull discography to date.  Animal Life, however, represented a major step forward.

23. "Dark Star" by POLIÇA (from Give You the Ghost)
"What's mine, what is all mine? / not my child"

All of the time that was allocated to writing something pithy about this excellent Minnesota-based band was instead spent trying to get Blogger to recognize the cedilla under the "C" in the band's name.

22. "I'm Not Talking" by A.C. Newman (from Shut Down the Streets)
"No / I've never been close / I've never been close / But I've never been far away"

Only the second-best solo showing by a member of the New Pornographers this year (see #7).

21. "Museum of Flight" by Damien Jurado (from Maraqopa)
"Don't let go / I need you to hang around"

As wonderful as the song is, the falsetto singing feels a little too Bon Iver-ish for someone that has already been recording great music for more than a decade.

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