Saturday, December 08, 2012

2012: Song(s) of the Year

6 years of doing this and this is the first time my Song list is more important than my Album list. It's so odd.  I've said it from the beginning that I just want to track my musical direction, but this is my first full year where I can totally say that fitness has overtaken my life. and last year, i've had this huge struggle with my musical taste because getting fitter and stronger made me reset my entire way of thinking. I won't get too personal, but in terms of my love for music, I'm no longer seeking to immerse myself in the music, I just want something to sing to. These are my favorite songs of 2012.

Honorable mention: PSY - Gangnam Style
fuck this song

50. Exitmusic - Passage
I didn't bother listening to the rest of the album, this opener makes me want to extend my hands. somebody's really depressed.
"just stop this conversation"

49. La Sera - I'm Alone
Very breezy. Very alone. Very blue in color.
"from the start"

48. Sharon Van Etten - Give Out
how does she stay so quiet? She totally wants to cry, but she holds it in. and i know it's a recording, but i'm sitting in my chair just listening to her sing this private moment. =/
"you're the reason why"

47. Solange - Losing You
oh, this is a break up song? Why do i tend to move my shoulders in and out. I feel good with all of its bubbly undertones. I wish i knew an adjective for groovy.
"am i losing you for good"

46. Kishi Bashi - Manchester
This guy's music sounds like it belongs in a children's television show. but there's something about the last minute of this song where everything just boils over with sound. I guess he really loves being in love.
"I read the signs, i haven't been this in love in a long time"

45. Flo Rida - Wild Ones (ft Sia)
Say what you want about Flo Rida, but Sia freaken killed it in this guest spot. How can anybody diss her?
"hey i heard you were a wild one"

44. Passion Pit - Take A Walk
I know the song is a bit deeper about the struggling economy, but i just like running to this song.
"i'm just too much a coward to admit when i'm in need"

43. The Lumineers - Ho Hey
"Ho Hey" is probably the universal "i can leave the radio station to this song," song of the year. Nothing ground breaking, but those interjection of "hey! Ho!" throughout the song makes you want to bounce along to the melodies.
"i belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart"

42. fun. - Carry On
I miss the format. But it's neat to see Nate receiving success. He's doing what he wants.
"if you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, carry on"

42. Maroon 5 - Payphone
Why is Wiz Khalifa here! fuck that shit. Although it does seem like it came out of a top 40's factory, it's so catchy. And catchy songs have a place for me.
"yeah, i"

41. Usher - Scream
I know the popular "indie-guy" answer would be "Climax," but honestly, "Scream" is such a good cardio song, i rather listen to that then to have usher usher'd me.
"so magnetic, magnetic"

39. Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
the song of the summer! I can't believe this song was a hit. but when a song like this reaches global proportions, it's easier to accept it. And you know something, it's pretty catchy.
"i miss you so, so bad."

38. Katy Perry - Part of Me
boo hoo, she had her heart broken, and i can't say this song relates to me, but i do feel a bit of female empowerment in this song, the same way kelly clarkson or p!nk does it for me. so in a way, hearing this track makes me hold my head higher and throw my phone away.
"that was then and this is now. now look at me"

37. Mumford & Sons - Whispers in the Dark
I'm not a fan of them, but this song is fun to listen to. It's not "the cave," but it's a nice song to push forward to. And the banjo at the end makes me laugh.
"while we are youngggggggggg"

36. Jessie Ware - Taking in Water
what a ballad. It slowly consumes you. I had this mental note of what my favorite 3-4 songs from this album were, but i started to hear "taking in water" in my head randomly. and it kept lingering. The way her voice sync with the music really tugs at my heart.
"if you want to escape you don't need to"

35. Hammock - Frailty (For The Dearly Departed)
Instrumental music (that isn't from a music score) was a big phase in my life, so finding a song now takes me back a few years. I miss the feeling of having the world stand still. This song does it for me. The title is so appropriated. It makes me reflect, cherish, and plan ahead. It's never ideal to think about the end, but this song makes me confront that idea."
[no lyrics]

34. Haim - Go Slow
reminds me so much of the 80s. it has that smokey feel to it and these girls know how to harmonies very well.
"well was it something that i said"

33. Elite Gymnastics - Andreja 4-Ever
I think of ice, frost, and winter. It's an electronic song, but i imagine if they used normal insutrments, nobody would give a fuck. but the mood it creates is so breezy and that harmonica part makes me melt everything i hear it.
"when i was young, they told me girls were born to hurt, and that men were put on Earth so we can hurt them"

32. First Aid Kit - To a Poet
ahhhhh, i love these girls. I'm suppose to be out of my "folk" phase of '08, but these girls don't half ass a song and call it sentimental. My favorite is "To A Poet" because the melody always surprises me. or maybe it's because of their accent.
"i ask where are you now just when i needed you"

31. One Direction - One Thing
the best boy band since backstreet boys? It's pretty awesome. The fusion of pop and rap pretty much killed the genre. as well as the shitty music, but after a long break from it all, these boys came and know their place. I want the hooks. I want superficial love. I want cheesy lyrics girls can quote. "One Thing" delivers.
"get up get up get out of my mind."

30. Dirty Projectors - Unto Caesar
This song makes me laugh because of the background chatter, but it has the harmonies that made me love this band.
"when should we invest in the harmonies?"

29. Allo Darlin' - The Letter
It's pop for the mid 20s folk. I like their entire album, but if i had to choose one song, "the letter" is it because the way it ends just seemed very confessional and i love songs that long for someone else.
"and if i told you i was never cool and all i wanted was just to have you"

28. Taylor Swift - The Lucky One
This track sounds like a throwaway, but that irregular drumbeat, the playful swings and effortless delivery makes me come back to it. it's not too deep, but it makes you wonder who really is "the lucky one." is she hinting something?
"i think you got it right"

27. Japandroids - Evil's Sway
this song helps me run.
"oh yeah! oh right!"

26. Swedish House Mafia - Don't You Worry Child
do you feel that momentum? i know i've heard a song like this before, same type of singer, same message in the lyrics and of course the same highs and lows. but the energy man.
"there was a time..."

25. Balmorhea - Masollan
This band is still going strong. There are one of the few that seems to keep staying engaging with each album. Is it a good song or am i just trying to have something constant in my life?
[no lyrics]

24. Tame Impala - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
those opening notes. wow. the rest of the song took a while to grow on me, but once it did, it's hard to escape that Beatles vibe. This is a terrible reason for liking a song, but i keep coming back to it because i don't know why i keep coming back!
"backwards baby"

23. Woods - It Ain't Easy
Easy on the ears. easy lyrics to hold on to. It's just a guy and his guitar, but it sounds very rich.
"it ain't hard to say it ain't easy"

22. Frank Ocean - Pyramids
what the hell is John Mayer doing here! but in all seriousness, clearly this is the centerpiece of Channel Orange, but i don't see anything that game changing about the lyrics. It's on my list because i love that electro drop during the first 4 minutes of the song. Such a good buzz.

21. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Mladic
total badass song. I never heard of it so hearing it for the first time was amazing. i pretty much said "holy fuck" at the many crescendos.
[no lyrics]

20. Grizzly Bear - A Simple Answer
What a playful song, then they just switch it up during the last 2 minutes. At first i didn't like it, but i'm getting more rewards with repeated listens. It's my favorite because i still enjoy hearing the first 4 as it blends into the last 2's colorless world.
"oh goodness, mercy mine"

19. Animal Collective - Applesauce
It's Animal Collective being Animal Collective. They are one of my top 5 favorite bands.  The melodies come after repeated listens.
"honey can roll"

18. Twin Shadow - Five Seconds
another song i run to? kind of. He sings in that joy division style, but when it happens, his (slightly louder tone) sounds reliving.
"i don't believe in you, you don't believe in me"

17. The Gaslight Anthem - Biloxi Parish
It was suppose to be "Handwritten" because it seemed that song was made for me, but i think i was trying too hard to find a song that represented my year. but Biloxi Parish was the song i kept skipping forward to and i'm not sure what the song is about, but i can't get those lines of "who else can say that about you baby" out of my head because it made me remember all those times i thought i was doing everything right, yet i was pushed aside.  If i wasn't your favorite, who else could it be?  who else can tell a story about you?  who else can say the things that i say?  and that line just stuck with me.  because seriously, nobody in your circle can.
"who else can say that about you"

16. Seo In Guk & Eunji - All For You
I actually got teary eyed the first time i heard this song. so cute. this song made me believe in love. plus, the girl can smile.
"nan neoegeman ije yaksokhalge" [now i will promise only to you]

15. Sufjan Stevens - Christmas Unicorn
You don't understand. Sufjan can do whatever he wants. but oh my god, the joy division integration was done brilliantly. I totally didn't expect a christmas album box set this year, but it's crazy to think that he never stopped making music during the gaps of his albums. I assume this was recorded in 2010, but it's new to most of the world. This track is 12 minutes long, but the progression til the end is amazing.
"it's all right i love you"

14. Japandroids - Fire's Highway
holy shit let's go fuck shit up! what a bro song man. I'm not kidding. all i want to do is bang shit together and scream oh oh oh ohhhhhhh. and even the bridge helps build climax to something we already know what would sound like. YEAH. fist pump!
"one night to have and to hold"

13. Chairlift - I Belong In Yours Arms
honestly, it's just fun.
"i belong in your arms"

12. Beach House - The Hours
Beach House held my soty spot in 2010 and here they are again.  Seriously, her voice is so dreamy.  i love the melody of this track as well as the lyrics.
"it's deeper than you and me"

11. Mass Effect 3 - Leaving Earth/An End, Once And For All
When I grew out of playing video games, the last game i played that i truly loved was Star Wars's KOTOR. and mass effect was on my radar because it was made by bioware. so i bought both games when it was on sale on steam and it was amazing. so the anticipation for mass effect 3 was so high. These two songs are basically the same theme, but they stand out because they represent my goodbyes to the world of mass effect as well as my goodbyes to the game and characters. A big part of my life just ended.  I can always replay it, but it's not the same. You only experience something the first time once.
[no lyrics]

10. Driver Friendly - You're A Legend, Sir [note: the album version isn't on youtube :/]
My inspirational song. Last year, i had two gym buddies, but after some changes, I was solo. and that gave me more time to listen to music and driver friendly was one of those bands. this song in particular use words like "crawl" and "carry" and had phases like "won't let" and "above this." Is this an example of me searching for something to sing to? maybe. But for me, this song is about being you're own legend. Everybody has haters. Weather they exist on the outside or only in your mind, you still got oxygen in your chest.
"don't, don't ever look down"

09. Bat For Lashes - Laura
Could she do it? I wouldn't mind seeing other people list this as their soty. It almost became mine, but it's hard to listen to it over and over when i'm trying to run. Of course people will say that it's so raw and vulnerable, but it's also a reminder of what friends go through when they know they can't help. Who is Laura? that's not important. The way Natasha sings it is heartbreaking and hauntingly beautiful.
"you're more than a superstar"

08. Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments
It's funny how i turned my back on Adele simply because she was no longer my secret weapon. Yet, Jessie Ware sort of reminds me of her, probably because they have that British accent. But it's hard to not get floored during that last set of chorus when the song seems to be at its loudest. I said this about her other song, but when the music and vocals are in sync, it doesn't matter if it's predicable, when it hits you, it hits you.
"we could be the greatest, we could be the greatest"

07. Sistar - Loving U
I'm not concern about the translation, but i'm betting it's a song about love. And the song is full of hooks. I like it because it full of happy times. and yeah, the girls are cute. But that's the thing, i don't need to know anything about this group or the song. It's a burst of UUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

06. Dirty Projectors - Impregnable Question
Not too weird. drum claps. steady piano chords. harmonies. oh yes, the harmonies.  The way the female comes and goes to accompany the male vocals, what the hell man.  Why does it sound so good?  And as simple as it may be, this song stands out because it literally made me miss someone.  not anyone in particular  but it made me miss someone.
"but i need you and you're always on my mind"

05. Grimes - Genesis
I honestly don't know what she's singing about, but she makes me want to dance like no one is watching. I can sort of group her with a certain genre, but she really does sound like she's her own category.
"i am the one in love"

04. The Shins - Simple Song
I kind of gave up on this band. Nothing could beat Chutes Too Narrow, and the funny thing is, on Chutes, my favorite songs happen to be the quieter, acoustic sets. So I actually dismissed Simple Song at first, but it wasn't until i watched the music video where it started to click. This song does sound simple, but it's done so well. Once the song gets past the first "bang," the guitars really drive the riff's home.
"love's such a delicate thing that we do"

03. Driver Friendly - Harsh, Harsh, Harsh
I forever associate alt-pop/punk with the so-so class of '04. I mean, i enjoyed it too, but that's because i was friends with them. So part of the reason i'm so connected to this song is because it reminds me of who i was, but it's not an nostalgic thing, this is one of those songs i belt out at the gym. it gives me anger, passion, and motivation to keep going. and because of the memories, this song is important because it fits right in to my current self. It starts soft and gets louder and louder and i love the callback to an earlier track on the album, "Ghost." I felt that everything came together perfectly and it's the best sounding track from the album as well as the one that unleashes the most aggressive out of me.
"let our anthem scar the skies"

02. Twin Shadow - I Don't Care
I thought for sure this was going to be my soty. It reminds me a bit of One
Republic's Apologies which is funny because i know girls love that shit. but maybe that familiarity gave that extra attention so when it goes for that final push during the 2nd half of the song, it's some powerful shit. And i'm not sure if i completely get it. But it reminds me of what i want and what i desire.
"before the night is through i'll say three words. i'll probably mean the first two and regret the third"

01. Taylor Swift - All Too Well
Way to go Taylor. my goodness. Every year, it's the same principle. It doesn't matter how "diverse" or "indie" my year end list looks, if my list was one song long, what song do i want crown as my champion? And with each passing year, there becomes less of a competition at the top. Songs come and go and the ones on top are the ones i simply kept around. But what makes "All Too Well" my song, the song, my favorite song of the year is simply because it's not mine at all. This is Taylor telling her story the way it is and it blows my mind how she's able to paint that imagery for me. Sure it's another "Back To December" or "Dear John," but at 5 and a half minutes, she makes every second count. I love the reoccurring scarf. It makes me wonder what else she has to say. I've read interviews where she said that this was the most difficult song to write and it's understandably as to why. Somebody fucked up and hurt her bad and affected her for a long time. and I'm not a songwriter, but like a lot of people, I think a lot. And sometimes i feel like it'll be easier if people could just read my thoughts because sometimes, i fear i come off looking weak or a complainer. "All Too Well" is not a story told for others, it's just her's. She's not playing the victim, she's thinking it out, haunted by the details... remembering it all too well.
"and you call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest"

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