2012 has been a brilliant year for music, and I found it very hard to pick my top 20 tracks of the year. But, here they are: some have been mentioned on the blog before, others are taken from albums or E.P’s that were released throughout the year.
20: Teenage Icon – The Vaccines A fast-paced, wonderfully catchy tune from The Vaccines 2nd album. It’s so difficult not to sing along.
19: Friday Night, Don’t Ever Let It End – Spector I was gutted when I missed the chance to see Spector playing near to where I live. This song is still circling round my head even now – its the kind of song that just begs to be sung along to.
18. Friend Crush – Friends The Brooklyn five-piece made a great record this year, Manifest!, and Friend Crush is simple, drum-filled, electronic heaven.
17: Bones – Young Guns I heard this earlier this year and it’s clearly the best off the London boys’ debut album. Expect to see them headlining many a festival stage in years to come.
16: Flaws – Bastille Under the shadow of Little Talks, Flaws takes the runner-up prize for “biggest-alternative/indie-record-that’s-become-mainstream” after it peaked at number 21 in the November charts. That said, it’s a cracking song, and the band do some good acoustic versions, too.
15: Another Love – Tom Odell For once, the Brit’s Critics Choice award winner isn’t too bad. Another Love is a magnificent, swelling song and I shall be looking forward to seeing more from Tom in the coming year.
14: Dissolve Me – Alt-J If you haven’t yet checked out this year’s Mercury Prize winner, then do. This is my favourite off the Cambridge quartet’s album, probably only because of the intro.
13: Pelican – The Maccabees The was the principle release off The Maccabee’s wonderful 3rd album and it was the song that made me buy Given To The Wild. Again, another great album to add to your collection.
12: Teenage Daughter – Dog Is Dead This song is worth a listen simply for the harmonic, up-lifting chorus that contrast really well with the quieter verses. Another song that stuck in my head for days.
11: Gun-shy – Grizzly Bear A smooth, chilled, melancholy track from the Bear’s critically acclaimed, if slightly strange, album, Shields.
10: Reckless – You Me At Six Although primarily released on YMAS’s 2011 album, Sinners Never Sleep, this song got a lot of promotion as a single a few months back and I personally think it’s one of the best that the band has done to date, and definitely one of the standouts from the album.
9: Orelia – Ryan Keen No matter how many times I watch the video, Ryan’s guitar playing still manages to astound me. Orelia is a beautiful and heart-felt song, carried along by his smooth vocals.
8: Golden Revolver – San Cisco Another Aussie group, San Cisco released their first U.K. E.P, Beach, in October, from which Golden Revolver is taken. The interlocking guitars and the mocking, shouty chorus make it a fantastic tune.
7: The John Wayne – Little Green Cars I found this song quite late, only a few weeks ago actually, and so it might be surprising that it’s so high up the list – however, it’s such a good song that one listen will justify its place here. The Irish quintet will have a great 2013, especially being on the long list for the BBC’S Sound of 2013.
6: Call Me In The Afternoon – Half Moon Run I’ve been obsessed with this song ever since I took a chance and downloaded it after hearing a few other songs from the Montreal trio. Their album is one of the best of the year, although I must admit that I’m more impressed with the fact that Dylan Phillips is able to drum with one hand and play keyboards with the other!
5: California Daze – PEACE Another band of the Sound of 2013 Poll, the indie-rockers from Birmingham released their first E.P. this year to many nodding heads. It’s hard to say exactly what they sound like, as each song of theirs is completely different, but this song (conveniently free from their Facebook Page) is breezy, blissful and really clever.
4: Don’t Save Me – Haim The Haim sisters have had a good year, to say the least. Although their track Forever received more acclaim, Don’t Save Me is, in my opinion, a much nicer song. The bass is strong, the little guitar fills are easy on the ear, and the chorus synths just top it all off.
3: Sun – Two Door Cinema Club Beacon didn’t perhaps get the best reviews, but under the shadow of the first single Sleep Alone, Sun is a brilliant track and rivals any from the Irish boys first album.
2. Bible Belt – Dry the River I’ve raved before about how amazing DtR’s debut album is, but I think it can be mentioned again. Bible Belt is the best track on Shallow Bed, and one of the most beautiful songs lyrically and melodically that I’ve ever heard. The band have also recently released an acoustic version of their album and this song, translated onto a piano, is still the best off the record.
1: Grew Up At Midnight – The Maccabees
Without a shadow of a doubt, Grew Up At Midnight is one of the best songs I have ever heard. It’s the perfect album-finisher – it starts so quiet, Orlando Week little more than whispering above the plaintive guitar picking, and yet it grows into an epic crescendo of guitars and keyboards and chorus vocals that drown you like a musical tsunami. It’s huge, it’s thoughtful, it’s the perfect chord progression – it’s amazing. This may seem over the top, but it is simply an INCREDIBLE track, and definitely my favourite track of the year.
And so there we have it! Please remember that this is only my opinion, and that I’ve only heard a fraction of all the wonderful music that is out there in the world.