TOP SONGS OF 2012: 20-11

Almost to the end of the songs, and then it’s videos, albums, and the 2013. Quite the rollercoaster ride over here.

If you missed 50-21, here’s a link.

A few initial observations on the lists I’ve put together so far:
1. Bands are making some really cool videos
2. Too many bands are breaking after an album, or even before putting out a debut
3. The sophomore releases this year were generally really good
4. There’s a lot of new bands to be really excited about

But onto the penultimate songs list…

20. My Tiger My Timing “The Gold Rush”
If Saint Etienne were germinating in the blog era, this could very well be them. A sophisticated, electronica that’s good for both the dancefloor and anti-social nights alone.

19. Mi Mye “Lament”
Divorces are awful, awful situations, but Mi Mye’s Jamie channeled much of his negative energy into the brilliant album The Time & The Lonelyness. “Lament” is the lead track, and although it’s no walk in the park, it’s a heartbreakingly honest assessment of the situation.

18. The Crookes “Maybe in the Dark”
“Maybe in the Dark” is a track for folks who enjoy nights of anonymity in northern clubs, an equal mix of soul and indie that wears its heart firmly on its sleeve.

17. Bruce Springsteen “We Take Care of Our Own”
Ever since The Rising, Bruce has enjoyed quite the late career renaissance. Wrecking Ball is another solid album from top to bottom, and while he’s never going to own the radio like in the good old days, tunes like this one make me proud to be an American.

16. This Many Boyfriends “Starling” (single version)
Not that the rerecorded version of this track from the band’s debut is a let down, but the single version has so much more immediacy and fits the band’s lo-fi aesthetic so much better. It’s the perfect track for a chilly autumn night.

15. The ABC Club “White Lies”
When a developing band starts to establish a consistent pattern of quality, and tops it off with a mesmerizing slice of melancholia-pop like “White Lies,” all you can think about is how amazing the album is going to be. It’s a shame that these guys called it quits, because we’ll never get to know that feeling.

14. Eagulls “Coffin”
This band truly, truly owns, and if “Council Flat Blues” was their greeting to the world, then “Coffin” is them drawing their line in the sand like an indie version of Risk. The lo-fi/garage saviors have taken over the north – next it’s the rest of England, and then hopefully the world.

13. Saint Etienne “Tonight”
Songs about growing older have never been so fun, but it’s easy to forget that the band’s new album and this song in particular is quite reflective, and at times, can be a little sad. But children and grey hair doesn’t mean you can enjoy gigs like you used to.

12. Honour Before Glory “Maisonette”
I’m still heartbroken over Forward, Russia’s hiatus, and maybe they’ll be back one day, but for now Honour Before Glory (basically just Whiskas and friends) has done an amazing job filling the void. “The Maisonette” is the band’s most assured moment, one that seems them run down the path of indie-gaze rather than anything remotely post-hardcore related.

11. Bleeding Rainbow “Pink Ruff”
I’m proud to say that these guys are from Philadelphia. The follow-up to their debut album, which was released as Reading Rainbow, is out next month, and this is one of the singles taken from it. Mixing the best parts of Sonic Youth, Dinosaur, Jr., and Husker Du, this fuzzed out jam is ripe for listening to over and over, especially on long drives when no one can see you drumming on your steering wheel.

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