BEST SONGS OF 2012: #1-10
10. St. Lucia – “We Got It Wrong”
St. Lucia embodied the 2012 Indie Dance sound more than any other group. This year they released an EP and a few singles that blew me away. The mixture of electro-pop and indie rock has grown dramatically this year, and I thought this was the best example of how great that sound can be. It’s already in the mainstream, so St. Lucia isn’t reinventing the wheel or anything, they just have the flyest rims on the block.
9. Friends – “I’m His Girl”
This band kept growing on me all year. I first took notice with their single “Friend Crush” and then I heard this gem. Dancey, funky, and a message I think most guys can get behind. Apparently the sexy lead singer of Friends will let you run around and sleep with other chicks as long as you come back to her eventually, and let everyone know that she’s “your girl”.
8. Viceroy – “Sunny Daze”
Viceroy takes a dope Evelyn Champagne King sample from the 80’s and couples it with doper production. The SF producer really started to make a name for himself in 2012. I started to see him travelling all over the country spreading that growing Frisco Disco sound.
7. Future Islands – “Balance”
This song sounds like something that came straight out of the 80’s. This New Wave-lite track reminds me of, dare I say, Mr. Bowie. But there’s also remnants of other 80’s greats like Talking Heads, A-ha and even Rod Stewart. I didn’t hear much buzz this year surrounding this band with one of the wildest, strangest lead singers I’ve ever seen. But this track is beautiful and I hope to hear more of this Nu-Wave hit the radio on 2013.
6. Niki & The Dove – “The Fox”
Niki & The Dove were one of my favorite discoveries this year. You may all know about my intense love of female singers and dope electronic beats, something I call Slow Girl. Well, what more could I have asked for? In a genre where the prototype is Portishead, a lot of wanna-be’s are making a name for themselves and expanding the genre greatly. Like Phantogram being on Big Boi’s new album for instance. Their quality production and terrific lead singer lead me to believe that Niki & The Dove have a lot more up their sleeve to wow us with.
5. Beach House – Myth
After only seeing 20 minutes of their set at Coachella in 2010 and hearing “Myth” earlier this year, they became the only band to make my must-see list this year. You can see the photos and read my review of their September show at the Wiltern HERE. Lead singer Victoria Legrand has a voice so sexy and haunting that I can’t really compare it to anyone else. Its more of a mixture of some contradicting styles like Hope Sandoval meets Beth Gibbons. “Myth” is just another great track from Beach House, whose music all sounds pretty much the same, but the arrangement and lyrics on this track makes it a standout.
4. Yuna – “Live Your Life”
The last couple of years I’ve had a handful of folk tracks on my countdown. But this year there was definitely a lack of folk to emerge, with the exception of Fiona Apple’s baroque-esque release. The closing thing to folk rock on my list is this Pharrell produced track from Yuna. The Malaysian singer had a solid year getting a lot of love from KCRW, MTV and playing a slew of shows in LA. Her album slipped when the production wasn’t tight, so here’s to hoping Pharrell decides to produce her entire next album.
3. AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”
AlunaGeorge produced a sound so good I had to create a word to describe it. I landed on Boom-Snap. A way to describe that beautiful mixture of R&B and Electronica that sounds like Aaliyah and Diplo are making love in my eardrum. The UK is leading this revolution right now, but LA’s own J*Davey may have been the creators. I thought Miguel released the only good, true commercial R&B track this year, but if R&B begins to sound more like this, I’m definitely not complaining.
2. Major Lazer ft. Amber Coffman – “Get Free”
Speaking of Diplo, the producer was oh so close to pulling off the hat trick and producing the #1 track on my countdown for 3 years in a row (Major Lazer, Chris Brown). What can I say, the man makes magic, and is quietly running the pop and indie scene harder than anyone else in the world. Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors provides a voice so beautiful that I will be demanding a solo record from her in the new year.
1. Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
This may have been the most played out song of the year, and there’s good reason for that. It was the best. Kanye has firmly planted himself as THE guy. Not just the best rapper, not just the best producer, but THE BEST. He is the Madonna, the MJ, the Elvis of the 10’s. Everyone complains about his ego, but when you are legitimately the best can we even call it an “ego” anymore? Another great thing about this track was each of the guest spots. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz; all member of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. music, all had huge 2012’s. But as I said earlier, this was Pusha T’s year. Not 2 Chainz as I’ve been reading everywhere. Pusha T combines experience, an impressive flow, great produced tracks, and now, commercial success better than anyone else, and he’s only beginning to shine.