Monday, December 31, 2012

The 25 Best Singles of 2012 (5-1)

5. St. Vincent -- Cheerleader

Annie Clark -- known by the stage name St. Vincent -- regularly churns out fascinating music, but she really hit a new high with this track. Its frank declaration of independence is matched only by its lush, languid instrumentation.

4. Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra -- The Killing Type

The force of nature that is Amanda Palmer returned in 2012 with a record financed through a massive Kickstarter campaign. The result was everything fans could have hoped for: it was fierce, fiery, a true breath of fresh air in the pop music world. The first single from it showcased everything that makes Amanda Amanda.

3. Skrillex -- Bangarang

Nobody came into 2012 with more to prove than Skrillex. He had a lot of hype to live up to but he managed it in spades with this explosive track, one that slammed you in the chest with the monstrous beats he's famous for. With this, he proved handily that he's the king of dubstep and maybe of electronic dance in general.

2. Frank Ocean -- Thinking About You

Frank Ocean made headlines in 2012 when he admitted to having had feelings for a man. Is he gay? Is he bi? Is he just experimental? It hardly matters. The bottom line is that as a musician, few are his equal these days. Channel ORANGE was a benchmark in modern soul and hip-hop, and this song was an absolute knockout.

1. Dead Sara -- Weatherman

Dear God, does this song kick your ass all over the room. With the opening guitar crunch and the Joplin-esque howl of Emily Armstrong, Dead Sara ferociously declared themselves to be the new gods of rock. There simply aren't words to describe what a chill-inducing punch to the gut this song was the first time you heard it -- and I guarantee it hasn't relented every time you've heard it since. It was hands-down the best track of the year, single or otherwise.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Thanks for doing these lists, Chez. These kinds of posts are one of my favorite aspects of your blog. We share a lot of similar tastes in music, and you've also turned me on to some bands I might otherwise never have heard. Trespassers William is one specific example. Your post re: "Different Stars" was incredibly serendipitous for me at the time.

My personal list would have included Mimi Page's "Black Valentine" somewhere in the mix, but I really can't argue any of your selections. They're all excellent.

Gonna add two artists who had releases this year that you and/or others reading might like. I guess they'd be filed under dub/ambient techno? But there are so many damned genres and sub-genres and sub-sub genres now, I really can't be bothered to keep track. Let's just say it's really good electronic music...

Holy Other: Held

Andy Stott: Luxury Problems

Happy new year to you and everyone else out there!