After a week+ of putting this list together, I’ve finally reached the end. Not surprisingly, I’ve come across a few songs that should probably be included, but it’s impossible to be 100% thorough with these things. If you want to see the rest:


Next week I’ll work on the albums and my 2013 list, and maybe get around to some of the stuff I missed (but probably not).

Either way, this will be a good way to not think about how bad the Sixers are without Bynum and Jrue.

10. Everything Everything “Cough Cough”
At times when this quartet do the whole “art for art’s sake,” it can hinder the music, but on their debut you heard the potential for something great. Tunes like “MY KZ YR BF” and “Suffragette Suffragette” hinted at this, and with “Cough Cough” – the first single from their sophomore album, that potential has been fully realized. It’s an anthemic, percussion-heavy romp that shows the band at their darkest, but also most triumphant.

9. Runaround Kids “Blush”
There’s nothing minor about my obsession with this band any longer – it’s a full blown love that’s absolutely craving the next album. The smattering of singles and comp appearances from the band this year showed that the massive growth on Linked Arms was no joke – they were still looking above and beyond their current subject matter of “GIRLS DON’T LIKE ME DRINKING DRINKING DRINKING BAND BAND WAKEFIELD WAKEFIELD GIRLS.” With “Blush” – the sole new add-on to the Teeth Blue, Lips Red EP, we’re getting a potential sneak peak of 2013, a year that could very well feature this trio running things in West Yorkshire, London, and beyond.

8. Pulled Apart By Horses “Everything Dipped in Gold”
I gave up on most “heavy” music years ago – it just really wasn’t my thing any longer, but Pulled Apart By Horses are one of those rare, once-in-a-decade bands who are truly next level. What’s most important is that they know how to write songs – catchy as all fuck songs – that rarely leave your head and make their gigs truly memorable events. “Everything Dipped in Gold” is one of those moments that remind you that anyone can write a timeless song.

7. Pins “LuvU4Lyf”
Some bands are downright annoying with their marketing – like WU LYF, but others take a more understated approached, like Pins. And in reality all the band did was remain under the radar, release minimal information, and play utterly brilliant gigs – or at least that’s what I heard from scores of locals. The band’s first single stoked the flames a bit, but the release of their first EP, of which “LuvU4Lyf” is drawn from – lit a massive fire. Clocking in at just 2:30, it’s pulsating bass-led rhythm section and explosive chorus are accented by lead singer Faith Holgate’s proclamation, “I would die for you, and I love you for life.”

This is the type of song that makes a career.

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Everything Everything came into our world as a group who lacked contemporaries, playing music that was nearly impossible to classify. A mixture of pop, indie, electronic, and maybe a few others, they went about their songwriting much the same way the Borg went about their entire lives – the complete assimilating of everything in their paths.

And it wasn’t long until they were enveloped in a massive sea of buzz.

But this is where things generally get annoying. You hear the same song too much and every blogger is just posting a video and a link to a press release. This saturation point is often the tune out point as well.

Everything Everything was able to dodge a few bullets, take one or two steps back, and refine their art.

The follow-up to an excellent debut is the hardest thing for a band to pull off. Expectations are sky high, while fans and critics have already made their initial impressions. Furthermore, the band is on tour with Muse right now making the run-up to their new album, Arc (out in January), all the more daunting. If they deliver, it’s probably going to be their last time opening for Muse.

This summer’s release of first single “Cough Cough” showed that the band isn’t fucking around. It’s a pop song that’s going to sound futuristic in ten years, and it’s every bit as weird and fucked up as anything they’ve done to this point. Second single “Kemosabe,” the final preview before the second release, is another high note for the band. Might the best record of the year be released just a few weeks into 2013?