Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 12 Tracks of 2012 (Plus One Because LEAVE ME BE)

It has come down to this. My favorite 12 (or so) songs from 2012. This was a difficult year to sort out, because I discovered many new performers this year, and they had to fight it out with new albums from some of my old favorites. Even since typing out this post, I have made additions and subtractions at least four times. So here we go. It's time to share some feelings.

13. Diamond Rugs - "Hightail"

Comprising of a mishmash of members from Deer Tick, The Black Lips, Dead Confederate and Los Lobos, Diamond Rugs came out with their first album this spring and it did not disappoint. While I would normally be fawning over a track that has John McCauley on vocals, there is something about his distinctive drawl popping up from the ether on the chorus that makes this song one of my favorites. I couldn't not mention it.

12. Delta Spirit - "California"

This makes for one fantastic break-up song, and it got a ton of play around these parts because my kids love it, too. We watched the live stream of Delta Spirit performing at Lollapalooza this year, and OH MY. Matt Vasquez Appreciation Life.

11. Alabama Shakes - "Hold On"

Brittany Howard consistently blows me away. Her presence is something to behold, and she had a pretty fantastic year playing the summer festival circuit, and also, you know, earning 6 Grammy nominations (!!!). This was their quintessential track of the year, and with good reason.

10. The Front Bottoms - "Maps"

I had a brief flail over The Front Bottoms this year when they replied to me on Twitter. I first heard this song on our local NPR station, and I freaked. It's fantastic. It feels very 1996, and as always, I mean that in the best possible way.

9. Haim - "Forever"

I was surprised that there was little buzz in the US coming out of SXSW for Haim this year, because THEY ARE AMAZING. I heard about them through my soulmate band Yellow Ostrich on Twitter. They loved Haim, and so I listened to them, and then I LOVED HAIM. That's how these things seem to work, you know? Listen to this trio of sisters and you can love them, too.

8. Andrew Bird - "Eyeoneye"

First of all, GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH. Second of all, DOSH ON DRUMS! I have so many feelings about Andrew Bird. He is just a beautiful person, and to watch him play live has been one of the greatest joys of my life. This new album is fantastic, and I just love this song in particular.

7. Larry & His Flask - "Hobo's Lament"

I randomly picked up a 7" from this band while out with The Husband on my birthday this year. Because it was wrapped in a paper bag. Then I listened to it, and the rest is history. Larry & His Flask put out a new EP this year called Hobo's Lament, and this live version of the title track is so enjoyable that I've watched it at least a dozen times.

6. Fiona Apple - "Werewolf"

This was one of my most anticipated albums of the year. It's been a long time, Fiona. And wow, what an album. She still has the ability to make me swoon, and this track right here is a perfect example of why.

5. Keaton Henson - "Small Hands"

During a mix tape experiment, The Husband unearthed this complete life ruiner. After I heard it I sobbed for about 4 days. This is a broken man singing the song of a broken man. I'm kind of obsessed with the sadness. #SherlockFeelings

4. Sea of Bees - "Willis" (Live at The Hangar)

Without a doubt, Sea of Bees was my favorite discovery of 2012, and the way that I discovered her was through an offer for a free download of an EP called Live at The Hangar. It was 5 tracks from a show recorded in 2011, and I played it obsessively for months. It's no longer available for free online, and so I had a hard time finding the specific recording that I love, so here is a similar version recorded a couple of years ago. I'm drowning in feelings.

3. Shovels & Rope - "Birmingham"

If these two don't blow up completely in 2013, I'll eat my hat. Their album "O' Be Joyful" came out this summer, and it's full of JOY OKAY THAT IS NOT FALSE ADVERTISING. I cannot wait to see them again as soon as possible. They spend a lot of time playing in the south, so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

2. Sharon Van Etten - "All I Can"

Oh, Sharon. What is there to say. If Yellow Ostrich is my soul in band form, than you are certainly my soul in songstress form. I'll say it again - to have seen Sharon perform twice this year was more than lucky. Her songs all resonate with me, and this one from her February release Tramp just makes my life complete. BLESSINGS.

1. Yellow Ostrich - "Marathon Runner"

Welps. For the second year in a row, Yellow Ostrich gives me the gift of my favorite song of the year. I don't even know you guys. They just get me. 

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff. But how did Thrift Shop not make this list?!