Posted on January 10th, 2013 in Music,Year End

Top 30 Songs of 2012

#30 (tie). M.I.A. – Attention
Everyone was lolling at this, but it’s SO GOOD. So absolutely weird and strange on so many levels…and somehow this is one of my favorite M.I.A. songs. Just give it a chance and let the weirdness destroy you.

#30 (tie). Rihanna – Diamonds

I have never really gotten into Rihanna before, but “Diamonds” is just incredible. It’s the first time in a long time that I have heard a truly good pop song. The irony factor in liking this is 0 by the way. It’s just fantastic.

#29. Bob Dylan – Scarlet Town

Don’t listen to all the people who are saying this is Dylan’s best album since Blood On The Tracks or whatever. That is total bullshit. Those idiots probably haven’t even listened to half of his albums. This record is not that good. BUT there are some pretty decent tracks although even those are basically just new versions of old songs. Includes typically hilariously bad album cover.

#28. Ty Segall – Inside Your Heart

I’ve been pretty hard on Ty Segall (sorry @JonSchober), but this song is legit to the max. “Inside Your Heart” is just straight-up good old fashioned fucking rock ‘n’ roll. Hott. Lester Bangs would fucking love this shit.

#27. Thee Oh Sees – Wax Face

I kind of love how this song is basically one giant breakdown. And why not? It’s an amazing breakdown. Plus it lasts for like four awesome minutes. I wish it lasted longer. Also a giant wtf at this terrible album cover. Is that Will Oldham? This from a band that had one of the best album covers ever last year.

#26. Cat Power – Ruin

Aww Cat Power. Adorbs. Cat Power is a weirdo, but songs like this are the reason we love her. It’s sad and cute. I just want her to be happy! I wonder what it would sound like if Cat Power covered a Stabbing Westward song.

#25. Scott Walker – Corps De Blah

This song is batshit insane.

#24. Xiu Xiu – Hi

Sometimes I wish Jamie Stewart would just chill out…he seems so fucking angry all the time. The keyboards sound like that Nintendo game Jackal and Jamie’s vocals are typically Xiu Xiu. The album art is hopefully a real tattoo. If you stare at the fist it looks like a face.

#23. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

It’s still weird listening to some 20-year old Swedish babes singing Americana on Saddle Creek, but whatevvvs they just keep getting better. What do we even call this? It’s so Swedishly pretty.

#22. Sharon Van Etten – Give Out

I don’t know why, but Sharon Van Etten always reminds me of a gen-x Patti Smith. Maybe it’s just bc the album portrait reminds me of Patti on the Horses cover. Sharon’s music is hopeless and snowy and “Give Out” is actually maybe the saddest song on this list.

#21. Perfume Genius – Take Me Home

Unlike the first album there is hope here. It’s still drenched in Bummer though (he definitely did not suddenly turn into some Monkees-sounding dude or whatever, do not even fret). I’m not sure if I should feel sorry for Mike’s life, or like, feel bad or what exactly. His music is so haunting and genuine :/

#20. Metric – Breathing Underwater

Breathing Underwater” could make even the saddest, most emotionless bro feel true happiness. I always turn it louder. This song is just fucking ecstatic dopamine-pumping anthemic orgasmic everything. There is a duet with Lou Reed on this album. Emily Haines.

#19. Grimes – Skin

Most people seem to prefer the poppier side of Grimes, but I lovex3 these suicidal sounding songs. Bonus points for one of my favorite album covers ever. More bonus points for floating down the Mississippi in a homemade houseboat.

#18. Animal Collective – Today’s Supernatural

At this point AnCo are pretty much separated from the folklore that surrounds them, but I am okay with that. These vocals are so rad, and in general I don’t feel like I need to eat a sheet of acid to turn the volume up.

#17. The Soft Moon – Want

The Chernobyl Nightmare Urban Decay Dripping Iron Oxide Abandoned City Bomb Shelter Warehouses Post-Apocalyptic Rotting Rust Factory Industrial Ruins.

#16. Killing Joke – Rapture

I’m pretty sure Jaz Coleman just reads and re-reads the Book of Revelation before he writes every song. No one else makes such deathly poppy music. I don’t even understand how it’s possible.

#15. Cloud Nothings – Wasted Days

For a long time I have been excited and curious to see how the 90s would be appropriated by today’s indie rock bands. Cloud Nothings is the first band that truly nailed it. It’s a perfect blend of Nirvana and Things After Nirvana. And yet here it defiantly lives in 2012.

#14. Mount Eerie – Lone Bell

This is the first Phil Elvrum song in a long time that comes from the same spirit world as The Glow, Pt. 2. It sort of appears from nowhere and unfolds soooooooslowly, envelopes you, and then kind of fades off into the dark with your soul, which you no longer have btw. How very Phil Elvrum.

#13. Lee Ranaldo – Xtina As I Knew Her

Xtina As I Knew Her” is weirdly paced, hypnotic, slow, frenetic, and completely chill. Also I’m so into the velvety sexiness of Lee’s voice. I always loved his songs on Sonic Youth’s albums, and this song is kind of like those. Plus what an awesome title.

#12. Pinback – Sediment

Maybe most Pinback songs sound the same, but there is something about those arpeggios and harmonies and descending scales that I can never tire of listening to. Rob Crow sounds like a pretty bummed out brad here.

#11. Leonard Cohen – Different Sides

This is the most “Waiting For The Miracle” song since “Waiting For The Miracle.” Grab a Valium and listen to this song a few times in a row and you’re Mickey and Mallory. Leonard has been raped by Hallelujah, but he’s still Leonard, dammit, and this song is why.

#10. Poliça – Dark Star

I have been listening to this record for like a year and a half so it doesn’t really seem like a 2012 album to me, but here we are. Probably my favorite thing about Poliça are the basslines (listen to them!). The best thing is to listen to this during a Minneapolis blizzard.

#9. Liars – No. 1 Against The Rush

Liars are what Radiohead should sound like by now. These dudes are so unafraid to get weird and I love them. I wanted to write that Liars make music that exists outside of time and space, but that sounds so cliché. But it’s true so fuck it.

#8. Baroness – Cocainium

I wrote last year that it’s weird listening to beautiful punk. Baroness is maybe more metal than punk but it’s still true. “Cocainium” is beautiful as hell (that keyboard!) but not in a pretentious way. It’s just honest and pretty. And metal.

#7. Minus The Bear – Lonely Gun

Honestly I was afraid to listen to this album after the straight fucking embarrassment of OMNI, but omg, “Lonely Gun.” It has everything! amazing wah-wah, totes guitar solo that makes me drive 100mph, fucking SAXOPHONE. Dude.

#6. Mac DeMarco – Freaking Out The Neighborhood

Niels van Poecke and others have called many of the dudes and babes from the freak folk movement the posterchildren for Metamodernism—a sort of oscillating pendulum of modernist sincerity and postmodern detachment. Dudes like Mac DeMarco (and Kurt Vile) take that even further. DeMarco is so damn genuine. But he is also so so so fucking cool. And he knows it. Just such a lovable dude. <3

#5. Sleigh Bells – D.O.A.

I absolutely love the dark and murderous direction Sleigh Bells took on the last half of Reign of Terror. “D.O.A.” in particular is fucking MOODY. Also I hate the album art. So pretentious. Come on Sleigh Bells you can’t be serious.

#4. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Driftwood

He’s still channeling Zappa, but the last two Ariel albums have turned the 70s funk quotient to 11, and also, he’s kind of less weird now (is that a good thing I don’t know). That means the albums don’t have the insane out-of-nowhere wtf-is-this tracks, but also that they don’t have the insane out-of-nowhere wtf-this-is-awesome tracks. More predictable but still good. It’s kind of like taking an SSRI I guess.

#3. Lotus Plaza – Black Buzz

Lockett Pundt is kind of analogous to Lee Ranaldo I think: less weird and less recognizable and more poppy than the Thurstons and Brandon Coxes of the world, but so wonderful in different, wonderful ways. “Black Buzz” was my song of the year for bummer nights and boozy nostalgia.

#2. Health – The Girl

I really had no idea what to expect before listening to a video game soundtrack from my favorite working band. The artwork is video-gamey dumb and do I really want to listen to a soundtrack for god’s sake. Those worries were unfounded though; this album is fantastic. “The Girl” is so apocalyptically sad.

#1. Crystal Castles – Wrath of God

This song is when I was 15 and woke up in the middle of the night floating in the air while looking down at myself, who was sleeping. Both of us were forever trapped in a frozen limbo between life and death and it was pretty beautiful, actually.

2 Responses to 'Top 30 Songs of 2012'

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    on January 10th, 2013 at 10:43 pm

  1. pal said,

    pretty sure the crystal castles artwork has become my fav of theirs

  2. on January 8th, 2019 at 11:46 pm

  3. Tiff said,

    Come back and do 2018. I miss you. <3

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