Below is a list of my favorite ten songs of 2012. They are in no particular order - unless my subconscious was at work again without me knowing it. I wouldn’t be surprised. My subconscious can be a real sneaky bastard.
So without further ado... let’s ado this!
Oh My Rockness’ Top Ten Songs of 2012
DIIV :: (Druun)
This here is just a really pretty instrumental guitar song. Why don’t more bands just try to make pretty songs like this? Is it because it’s hard to make pretty songs? Yeah. That’s probably it. This song should be used in a movie montage - preferably when the flawed main character (he’s damaged, sure, but he has a good heart), finds that almost in spite of himself he’s having a really nice day with someone he never expected to have a nice day with. I can totally hear “(Druun)” when that montage happens. Oh wait, maybe I’m just describing my next screenplay. Hey DIIV, can I use (Druun) when I make that movie? Shhh. Say no more. That’s a deal.
College :: A Real Hero (featuring Electric Youth)
Ok. Fine. Fine. Technically, this song was featured prominently in the film “Drive” which came out at the end of 2011. And even more technically, the song was a few years old before it was even in that movie. But I’m including it on this list because 1.) Rules were made to be broken, 2.) I saw “Drive” for the first time in 2012 and 3.) THIS IS MY MUSIC BLOB SO LEAVE ME AND BRITNEY ALONE!!! (That reference is nowhere even close to being from 2012.) So this must be one helluva song to find all those loopholes, yes? Yes. It’s one helluva song. You’ve got your classic College bass-y synth sound that takes my soul to strangely intoxicating places under the subtly beautiful vocals of Elecric Youth’s Brownyn Griffin. It’s a song that takes you somewhere better. And perhaps more impressively, it left me leaving “Drive” thinking it was a better movie than it actually was (so... what Michael Mann perfected in the ‘80s....yeah?).
Poindexter :: Helpless
I consider this to be the definitive jam of my summer. It’s the perfect summer song. Seriously. Blast it right now and you’ll know what we mean. Go ahead. Blast it. We’ll wait. Are you blasting it? Good. Now doesn’t it make you want to go surfing or lick a cone or cruise in a convertible or make out under the bleachers or get stoned or whatever it is the kids do these days in summer? It doesn't even matter that the guy is singing about, you know, being helpless...and falling to pieces...and having his heart stolen...and broken. But moving on, when I first heard this song, I thought “Helpless” was going to be HUGE. But a few months after its release, I’m still not even sure who this Poindexter guy is. I guess he’s from Portland? And his name might be Andrew? Um... that’s all I got. Thanks a lot! You guys have been great! Louie CK is up next! But first, lemme see you put your hands together for “Hhhhhhhelppppless!”
Chad Valley :: Younger Hunger
Oh, Chad. I mean, Hugo. You know you’ll always make any top ten list that I do (unless you don’t put anything out for a year... or, if you do, all the songs completely blow... but that will never happen with you, Chad... I mean, Hugo). “Younger Hunger” is the best song from Chad Valley’s newest album. That album is called.... wait for it.... "Younger Hunger." So even Chad (I mean, Hugo) knows this is his best jam. Go ahead and give this a spin (that’s an old disc jockey, aka “DJ” term - you see music wasn’t always streamed - I know! - there was a time when songs were played on wax that “spun” around and around). I bet this song will make you feel a little bit better about your day. And I hope it gives you hope that your night has a chance to be transcendent. You can thank Chad for that. I mean.... Hugo.
Fang Island :: Victorinian
This is quite possibly the most optimistic song I have heard. Not this year. OF ALL TIME. You calling me hyperbolic? You calling me hyperbolic? Well I’m the only one here. Who the f.... well, never mind about all that. So I get how these guys can be polarizing. Because no matter what happens - there will always be people who shit on hope and enthusiasm. And Fang Island have plenty of both, it seems. But I don’t hate those people who hate enthusiasm. Cuz that’s just hate spinning (not to be confused with the DJ term) it’s hateful wheels, you know? Yeah. You know. I encourage anti-enthusiastic people to listen to “Victorinian.” See if the listen plants a tiny seed of hope in your heart. Then hopefully you’ll want to listen to this hopeful JAM a few dozen more times. And perhaps that tiny seed of hope will sprout into a tiny sapling of happiness. I’m not saying it’s going to happen. I’m just saying it could. As for me, I now have a big old tree of hope in my heart. That’s how many times I’ve listened to this song in 2012. I call that tree Old Hopeful.... for now. I’m open to other suggestions.... for the name of my tree... in my heart.
Japandroids :: Younger Us
Speaking of hope.... hmmm, I’m sensing a theme emerging with these ten songs (damn you, you sneaky subconcious!) Japandroids are one optimistic, happy, fun band. And “Younger Us” is a song that’ll make your eyes well up with pride for humanity and the fragile, beautiful world in which we all exist in and enjoy together. Or, you know, it’ll just make you want to rock out really hard. Yeah. That’s probably it. There are very few better “rock out” bands right now than these two dudes. So Hallelujah (!) for Japandroids and here’s to being young FOREVER.... even if we’re all already the oldest we’ve ever been :(
Royal Headache :: Never Again
It was hard to pick just one Royal Headache song as a top ten song of 2012 because, honestly, all of their songs kind of sound the same. But it’s a really good sound these Australians consistently rock. So I don’t hold the uniformity against them. To me, it just means they do awesome over and over and over again. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing. But “Never Again” is as good of a place as any to get introduced to these guys. I recommended listening to this song after a night of heavy drinking. Because this will make you want to jump around and sweat out some of those poisonous toxins before going to bed. And because you found that second wind to jump around to Royal Headache, the next morning will be slightly easier to embrace. However, depending on how much you went for it, you still might wake up with one royal..... oh nevermind. (PS I didn't know Tom Jones was the singer of this band)
Ricki-Lee :: Do It Like That (Fred Falke remix)
I still don’t really know who Ricki-Lee is. She’s probably pretty famous. But I know who Fred Falke is. You can bet I know that. He’s one of the best dance jam remixers in the game. And when I stumbled across this mix he did, I gave it a listen. I’ll listen to anything that guy remixes. So I think this is the kind of song they play “at the club.” And maybe Ricki-Lee is really huge “at the club.” But I don’t go to those clubs. I can get bottle service on my couch, thank you very much. But dammit if this isn’t a BIG TIME JAM (and I make my CAPS LOCK count - so you know things are getting serious). Maybe it borders on being the kind of song they played at the terrible roller rink I used to hang out in 7th grade where everyone skated around in tight-rolled stonewashed jeans... but I don’t care. This is a JAM. And you know what? I’m just realizing right now that I’ve never even heard the Ricki-Lee’s original version. Maybe it rules as much as this? I doubt it though. Fred Falke makes this jam a JAM. I just know it.
Fort Romeau :: Jack Rollin’
Another dance JAM - but not necessarily one they would “spin” “at the club.” I don’t know - I guess it depends how cool the club is. But if the club’s bathroom is illuminated in black light and has an attendant handing you paper towels and also trying to sell you random shit like candy and hair gel - no chance that club is playing “Jack Rollin’.” This song, while stellar throughout, really gets good around the 2:40 mark when it does that “check-uh-check-uh-check-uh-check” thing or whatever it is that machine-made robot man is saying. That part gets me revved up and ready to rage (or at least get off my aforementioned couch and hunt for my remote with more zeal). So be sure to stick around for that part. The best part.
Sky Ferreira :: Everything is Embarrassing
Am I slightly embarrassed that this made my top ten songs of 2012 list? Perhaps, guys..... perhaps. But hey, it’s not my fault that the former family friend of the late great Michael Jackson, who was born in 1992 and has a Twitter profile that just says “like, whatever” and whose career seems manufactured by someone or something, made a big time JAM in 2012. It’s not my fault. I just sorta work here.
So those are my top ten songs (i.e. JAMS) of the year. Tah-dah! Hope you enjoy them. Hope your 2012 was good. Hope your 2013 is better.