The 100 Best Songs of 2012: Vol. 2
As we bring you our second slew of our Best Songs of 2012, keep in mind that as the numbers get closer to 1, our decisions were just that much more gut-wrenching. All of the songs on this list were inspired from either past years, artists of the past or just new sounds with influences outside of likenss of anything we’ve ever heard.
75. Coastal Cities – The Voyage
This UK group sounded a bit like a bunch of French-pop bands we also dig: The Penelopes and The Blakes. We’re just hoping they make the trip across the pond to visit the States soon.
74. Whales In Cubicles – Nowhere Flag
Perhaps one of the most unique sounds on this list, Whales In Cubicles remind us of Flickerstick meets Collective Soul in a mild 90’s alternative flashback sort-of-way.
73. Warships – Sleeper Hold
It was a sad year without any Minus The Bear, but luckily the Warships follows the California comparison with some West Coast styled summertime vibes. After touring with Plants and Animals and their success with “Sleeper Hold”, surely they’re a band to watch.
72. Nameless – Angelina
This pop rock track arrived with a few other stellar tracks through Kitsune‘s compilation, and on arrival it shook with a dancing vigor. While Nameless arrives from Paris, it isn’t French pop, rather reminds me of New York’s The Virgins.
71. Blackbird Blackbird – Happy With You
Beach music, lush with whispered words and guitar plucking, is what Blackbird Blackbird drew up sweetly here and it has it’s place in any warm location.
70. Mothlight – American Spirit
The feature track off of the San Diego trio’s EP from the Spring harnesses a space-out vibe with an almost teenage youth about it.
69. Among Savages – Terrified
One of a few bands on this list to be compared to the likenesses of our UK favorite from years’ past, Aqualung, Among Savages brings melody and swooning melodies in orchestrated fashion. “Terrified” has all of the likenesses and much class of a song sure to be rotating in our library for years to come.
68. Access Royale – Hide
This trio from DC pushed this single through in January and hardly any track has been able to match its melancholic dilemma. City Of Paradigm released shortly thereafter and the fairly new group has been gaining ground outside the continent as well, thanks in part to the step outside punk attitude, a fine-tuned and controlled instrumental backdrop and really just a unique sound you think you’ve heard but you haven’t.
67. Wildlife Control – Lose
If anyone had a banner year, it’s Wildlife Control. Landing anywhere on the Billboard charts is a feat for any indie artist, but landing their name on the Next Big 25 Chart certainly helps things. From early success with “Analog or Digital”, we had to pick “Lose” because of the steel drums and just overall loving feeling in this track.
66. Terraplane Sun – Ya Never Know
Not only did Terraplane Sun support one of our favorite bands this year, Alabama Shakes, but the likeness to Citizen Cope harnesses the slack-jawed approach to a laid back track as this one.
65. RAC – Hollywood (featuring Penguin Prison)
Although this track may be short-lived here in 2012, there were plenty of music blogs who support RAC for all its worth. And what is it worth? The success of RAC shows how a success from so many wonderful remixes can launch a career, and feature its own video and perform alongside Penguin Prison. This track has some warm West Coast vibes written all over it.
As one of the groups whose music aptly fits their name, Cemeteries has a melancholy overtone to most of their songs, but done in a perfect fashion that up until now we’ve only witness to be successful by Beach House or The XX. In a sub-genre of genres, Cemeteries resounding ghostly echoes expertly capture everything there is to capture in their psychedelic, B-side 80’s horror motif.
63. Gemini Club – By Surprise
This Chicago-based electronica trio released this single back in February and wowed the music world and us as well. With over 100k plays on Soundcloud, it’s a pleasant surprise to see this club-friendly group remain so down to earth.
The Royal Bangs dropped a similar sound when we went over our favorite songs a year or two ago. The synthesizer bass makes for a fantastic match to what we like to refer to as the “dream guitar”. Combine these two elements and the boisterous mood of this track is unwieldy and inventively captivating.
61. Emily Jane White – Black Silk
Soft spoken vocals are almost whisked away by the sadness that envelopes Emily Jane White’s track, “Black Silk”. While the silk may be the only endearing item to refer to in this song, only Tresspassers William could make a sadly drawing song so likable as this one.
60. Yeasayer – Henrietta
Sure, Yeasayer is a bit weird. They don’t duplicate a thing. With “Henrietta” they combined two songs (hooray!), but more importantly they’ve added another stellar track to their freakin awesome repertoire.
59. Two Door Cinema Club – Handshake
Distinguishing the top track from Beacon is a feat. The album, while played out by radio stations (boo), still carries an indie charm. Just so we are on the same page, check out their Live at Brixton Academy set.
58. Sleeper – Big Sur
As a sleep fanatic, as odd as it may sound, many times band names are a first impression. However, the implied reaction of the band Sleeper does not put you to sleep. Rather, sleeper’s track “Big Sur” lends itself like a harp-laden musical journey through heaven.
57. Fossil Collective – Let It Go
With lyrics such as “the longest night I’ve ever known” keyed with an acoustic guitar, violins and a piano, this has the recipe for a heartbreaking country song. Fortunately, “Let It Go” places a touch of piano to bring back the semblance of a solid, folksy tune to smooth out any potential twangs that slip into the background.
56. The Chevin – Champion
Coyle Girelli, lead vocalist for The Chevin can make or break any track delivered to him. Stack him up with a band who performs UK rock so well that it landed the band on late night shows such as Conan, Letterman and many others and you’ve got a “champion” yourself. The band has expanded Girelli’s previous works and we’re looking forward to seeing this project grow infinitely.
55. Chapel Club – Sleep Alone
As a top candidate last year, Chapel Club pulled a fast one on us. With a hip-hop beat in 90’s east coast rap fashion, I could have sworn Mobb Deep was going to jump in on this track. But given the talents from these UK lads, they can apparently do anything; and did just that with their self-title Sleep Alone EP, which is chock full of inventive rhythms and vocals like this one.
54. Benjamin Gibbard – Bigger Than Love
If there were one track to pull out of Gibbard’s retrospective album Former Lives, it’s his work on “Bigger Than Love”, a hopeful track full of life and vigor but full of the complexities he’s passed through in his life.
53. Jethro Fox – Blinding Light
Sure, we dropped Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” as our top song a few years back, and Jethro Fox’s song brings in many of the same tools to construct “Blinding Light”. The track shares nuances found in many of our indie rock favorites, and while this one may share the likenesses of those, we’re set for an exciting journey with one of this year’s blossoming newbies.
52. Civil Twilight – River
Holy Weather contains a slew of favorites, but “River” created imagery that landed it on numerous playlists and at occasions. For anyone looking for a group to see live, check these guys out as they sound just like the album and their showmanship should place a smile across your face.
51. Walk The Moon – Tightrope
There’s this charisma that embodies itself in Walk The Moon, whose entire self-titled album is worth listening. “Tightrope” is quick, catchy and reminds us a lot of one of our favorite annuals, The Maccabees.