Singles of 2012

Here it is, something I try to do every year, but don’t always achieve it. I’d say my top 10 leans towards poppy dancing songs, but I have thrown a few indie and hip hop tunes in there as well to mix it up.

1. M.I.A. – Bad Girls

Rihanna, imma let you finish, but M.I.A had the best video of the year in my mind (suck on that MTV). Sitting on moving cars (instead of sitting in the bathtub), men skiing along the road holding on to cars (instead of riding on skateboards) and incredible outfits should have meant that she won, but whatever. The song is amazing on it’s own – putting middle eastern beats and sounds in to pop music is something M.I.A has been doing for a long time and she does it well. This song is best played as a passenger in a car, loudly, dancing in your seat with a chain on your chest, a dashboard and a radio. Live fast die young!

2. Of Monsters and Men – Little Taks

First heard this in Malaysia on MTV. The video was engaging, but the “HEY” part makes it rollicking. It’s got all the factors of a good pub song – a call/answer male/female verse, an easy to remember chorus (HEY!) and the folky, drummy, horns section that just shouts good time. We had a lot of fun with it dancing in Langkawi and a lot of fun driving around home back in Australia as well.

3. Best Coast – The Only Place

I know it’s meant to be all about California, but I adopted it as my Sydney song since it pretty much applies there too. “We’ve got the ocean, got the babes, got the sun, we’ve got the waves”! It’s also got a very Australian guitar sound as well which backs up it’s case. It’s a simple song, doesn’t break any new ground or anything, but it very much suits me and my life right now.

4. Passion Pit – Take a walk

The singer had to cancel some tours this year due to mental illness, but gladly he is back and touring. This song didn’t enter my conscious until I found myself mumbling “take a walk” randomly while doing other stuff, like driving. It’s not an easy song to sing acapella as it kind of sounds like you are talking. It’s very much a post GFC tale about money loss and I love this song dearly – but I was disappointed by the video.

5. Twin Shadow – Golden Light

If you are going to sample a song from The Lost Boys then it’s likely I’m going to love it. If you also sound a bit like Peter Gabriel then I’m going to like it too. If your entire album is inspired by long motorcycle rides then I’m going to love it too. Slow burner but repeat plays reward.

6. Silversun Pickups – Skin Graph

I’m 37 years old, so it’s fair to say I’m a child of the grunge era. It’s been a while since I’ve put a lumberjack shirt on, but this record could convince me to put it on one more time. Like Smashing Pumpkins of the “Siamese Dream” era with the driving guitars, fast/slow/loud/quiet dynamic, Silversun Pickups release a single that could be teleported back to 1993 and no one would notice the difference. Plus it just has the killer line “Cause all I think about is why, the skin I’m in feels ordinary”.

7. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop

This is some fresh hip hop, yo. Instead of the usual “I have bought expensive champagne, have an expensive car and strippers hanging off me” style rapping, these guys deliver a song about shopping clothes shopping with 99 cents yet looking the business. It’s got a killer hook and a fantastic sense of humour. For the serious side of them listen to Same Love, but this song, well, it’s fucking awesome. 😉

8. Tegan and Sara – Closer

There were signs these girls were moving to dance when they teamed up with Tiesto for a song and now they deliver their own style of dance. It totally fits the Tegan and Sara style yet melds with the sounds of the time. If you were cynical you might think they were selling out, but I just think it’s the natural progression. It’s great to see them having a good time.

9. Madonna – Give Me All Your Lovin’ (Party Rock Remix)

This song should come with a warning that if you listen to it in a car, you may get pulled over for speeding (no it wasn’t me). Madonna may be getting on in age, but she still knows the current musical landscape and getting LMFAO and Nicki Minaj on her remix is just gold. I saw her perform the non remix version in Vegas this year with flying drummers and all it did was affirm my complete and utter love for her. I don’t even care if she is gristly.

10. Bruno Mars – Locked out of heaven

He only released this song 2 weeks ago, so I may just be in lust rather than love, but it’s an immediate emotion. As Claire says, it’s very Sting and The Police in regards to singing and guitar strumming, but with a Motown feel at the same time. It makes me want to play the air drums, air bass and dance like James Brown (ooh!). This guy writes hits one handed.

Special Mentions:

Surprised even myself that it made the list (but I will not be embarrassed by it):

I had a great listening year for singles thanks to a Spotify premium subscription, but I can’t write about the entire list here. You can however listen or subscribe to the entire Singles of 2012 Spotify playlist below. It’s free on your pc to stream.

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