M&T Best Songs of 2012

Here they are, our Top 30 Songs of 2012. Some you’ll recognize, some maybe not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen. Check out each individual track below (with a note on each song in the Top 10) and the full Spotify playlist of all 30 tracks here. Let us know what you think!

30. Kishi Bashi- “Bright Whites”

29Jake Hill & Deep Creek- “Talkin Fuckin Steve Earle Blues”

28. The Ballroom Thieves- “Loose Lips”

27. Patrick Watson- “Into Giants”

26. The Cribs- “Come On Be A No-One”

25. Chairlift- “I Belong In Your Arms”

24. Fantasy Rainbow- “Bread Biscuit”

23. Bobby Tank- “Afterburn”

22. Delta Spirit- “Tear It Up”

21. Hospitality- “Liberal Arts”

20. Alcoholic Faith Mission- “Running With Insanity”

19. Young Jesus- “Family and Friends”

18. Peter Peter- “Une version améliorée de la tristesse”

17. The Lumineers- “Ho Hey”

16. Two Gallants- “Halcyon Days”

15. Hop Along- “No Good Al Joad”

14. Tango In The Attic- “Swimming Pool”

13. Shovels & Rope- “Birmingham”

12. Wild Cub- “Thunder Clatter”

11. Freelance Whales- “Spitting Image”

10. Rah Rah- “Art & A Wife”

Our neighbors to the North produced some great music in 2012 including this perfect little piece of indie-pop which can be found on The Poet’s Dead by Saskatchewan’s Rah Rah. This sextet was one of our favorites at CMJ this year (especially the animatronic cats placed on top of their amps) and they will certainly be a band to watch at SXSW next spring.

9. Houndmouth- “Krampus”

We sang the praises of Houndmouth in our Top EPs of 2012 so it should come as no surprise that “Krampus” made its way into our Top Songs of 2012. Like we said before, the song is liberating, it’s powerful, it’s magical, and it’s just one of those songs where you want to turn it up to 11 and sing along to every word.

8. Sky Ferreira- “Everything Is Embarrassing”

Produced by Dev Hynes (aka Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange), former fashion model Sky Ferreira’s Ghost EP is as haunting as it is sexy. That may not make sense before you listen, but as soon as you turn on “Everything Is Embarrassing” you’ll know exactly what we mean.

7. Typhoon- “Common Sentiments”

Even though Typhoon’s LP White Lighter isn’t due out until 2013 we couldn’t resist putting the first single on this list. Released back in October, “Common Sentiments” is another great example of lead singer Kyle Morton’s masterful songwriting capabilities and the rest of the band’s ability to fill the space around his words with layers of vocal harmonies and horns. To say that we are excited for White Lighter would be a vast understatement and after listening to the track below and watching this trailer we think you will feel the same.

6. Jeff The Brotherhood- “Sixpack”

Brothers Jamin and Jake Orral returned in 2012 with the Dan Auerbach produced Hypnotic Nights. This LP is just as much, if not more, in-your-face and tongue-in-cheek than its predecessor We Are The Chanpions. Only the Orral brothers could turn a song about with a line like this into a serious hit– “It’s pretty hot out. It’s only 50 miles. I wanna cool out, and get wasted.” Same here boys, same here.

5. Alt-J- “Fitzpleasure”

Although these Brits may take the prize for most pretentious band name of 2012 (spelled ∆ but pronounced “Alt-J” for the keystrokes used to produce the symbol), they also made a damn good record in An Awesome Wave. Highlighted by lead singer Joe Newman’s distinctive vocals, “Fitzpleasure” is a three and a half minute sonic journey through layers of synth, distortion, and percussion. It’s no surprise that these guys came away with Britain’s Mercury Prize as they are another band that we expect big things from in 2013.

4. Night Moves- “Family Tongues”

This group from Minneapolis had an eventful 2012 which saw the release of their LP Colored Emotions along with a tour alongside fellow 2012 buzz band Lord Huron. “Family Tongues” is a window into Night Moves’ style, which Spin put quite perfectly when they called the band’s sound, “cosmically expansive and yet twangily intimate.”

3. First Aid Kit- “Emmylou”

An ode to their idols, First Aid Kit’s “Emmylou” is certainly one of the most beautiful songs to be released in 2012. From the slide guitar intro to the gorgeous harmonies of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, this one is sure to produce some goosebumps. Produced by Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis, The Lion’s Roar was a triumph for the Swedish duo that took them on a world tour including a stop at our beloved Newport Folk Festival. What makes these two so special is their ability to re-create these incredible harmonies in a live setting with such ease. Case in point.

2. Alabama Shakes- “Hold On”

In 2012 you would have been hard-pressed to go more than a day without hearing the impassioned vocals of Alabama Shakes leader singer Brittany Howard. “Hold On” was one of 2012’s most passionate, energetic, and raw songs with much thanks to the spirit and power of Ms. Howard. Not be to overlooked though is the prowess of guitarist Heath Fogg, whose smooth, intricate riff on “Hold On” lays the backbone for our No. 2 song of the year.

1. Father John Misty- “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”

Joshua Tillman aka J. Tillman aka Father John Misty had quite a year for himself in 2012. He gave up his seat behind the drums of Fleet Foxes, he got into a Twitter feud with Pitchfork, he released quite the peculiar YouTube video that I think may be poking fun at Justin Vernon, he danced erotically here in Boston, but most importantly, he ate a shitload of mushrooms and recorded an amazing album produced by Jonathan Wilson. And lucky for us, Fear Fun produced our favorite song of 2012. With its witty lyrics, simple guitar melodies and huge bass drum sound, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” is just what we needed in 2012– a song with no frills, lots of sass, and one weird dude behind the mic.

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2012

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