Inspired by Go Periscope’s Top 10 Songs of 2012 and a subsequent conversation with my housemate, Jeff, I put together my own top 10 songs of 2012*. I’ve grouped them loosely by genre, and they’re in no particular order. Title links go to YouTube.
Carousel – Go Periscope (Wasted Youth)
I dig the drops on this one – it’s a little bassier than Go Periscope’s usual fare without going full dubstep. It’s by far my favorite track from Wasted Youth, which I’ve enjoyed but am not crazy about.
Somewhere to Hide – Shiny Toy Guns (III)
Bringing back Carah Faye Charnow has done wonders for Shiny Toy Guns – a lot of III is kind of weird and it took me a few listens to enjoy it, but it’s much stronger than Season of Poison. Somewhere to Hide opens the album, taking cues from the best parts of both We Are Pilots and Season of Poison.
Riot – Dragonette (Bodyparts)
Dragonette is really hit or miss for me. I didn’t particularly like most of Bodyparts, but Riot is fun, poppy, and not so vapid that I grind my teeth listening to it.
All That Matters (The Beautiful Life) – Ke$ha (Warrior)
Pure guilty pleasure. I have no defense or justification, but I really enjoyed Warrior. Runners up from the album include Die Young and Crazy Kids (mainly for the chorus).
Superhuman – Sarah Solovay (Superhuman EP)
Technically, this song came out in 2011, but the EP wasn’t released until 2012. Sarah Solovay is a young, talented singer-songwriter from New York who’s doing what she can to save the “girl with a guitar” genre from manufactured stars like Taylor Swift.
Shock – Ana Tijoux (La Bala)
Another “but the album dropped in 2012″. It’s got a catchy beat, Tijoux has a good flow (and can sing, as those who saw her at Bumbershoot can confirm), and it’s probably the only song in the list that would pass a “meaningful lyrics” radar (it’s a political rant in support of the Chilean student protests). I don’t like all of La Bala, but Sacar La Voz, La Bala, and Desclasificado are standouts as well.
Eighteen Cool – Hoodie Allen (All American)
Who doesn’t love youthful enthusiasm with a hint of schadenfreude? All American is fun, catchy rap that’s heavy on melody and light on misogyny.
I Told You So – Karmin (Hello)
The lyrics are only semi-sensical. Karmin does a lot better with pop-rap fusion than full-on ballads, and this is a great example of the former.
Speed the Collapse – Metric (Synthetica)
I’m still not entirely sure what this song is about, but it’s dark, edgy, and fairly melodic. Or maybe I just like that she’s not singing in a falsetto the whole song.
G# – Kitten (Cut It Out EP)
I really like this EP, and this particular song always gets me. 17 year old lead singer Chloe Chaidez is already being lauded as the new “it girl” of Los Angeles rock, for good reason. Cut It Out is a close-but-not-too-close runner up. The band’s first EP, Sunday School, has some great tracks as well (particularly Kill the Light and Chinatown).
* Admittedly, I spent most of 2012 listening to songs from 2010 and 2011