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Top 10 Songs from Spotify in 2012

Here are 10 songs I discovered on Spotify in 2012

Listen Now:  2012: Top 10 (NSFW: explicit lyrics)

This was the year of Spotify for me. The ability to legally listen to virtually any song for free was intoxicating. I used to use GrooveShark, but audio quality is all over the map and it’s annoying to find the right version of the song you are looking for. Youtube is great, but the ads are so intrusive, if you can find a non-live version. So Spotify it is!

In no particular order:

U R So F’d – Infected Mushroom

 Dubstep hit the mainstream two years ago or so. Love it or hate it, it’s still going strong. This is actually the first song that I heard that was released in 2013, and I just like the obnoxiousness.

Amanaemonesia – Chairlift

This song has actually been around for years. I think I saw a link to the youtube video years ago, but the song is officially released in 2012–whatever that means. Maybe that’s just when it showed up in Spotify. At any rate, a great example of pop music that still pushes the boundaries. Chairlift artfully takes the retro 80s keyboard thing, and then pushes the boundaries of pop music. Their songs are almost non-catchy, more a certain sound than a specific melody. And yet, they don’t quite go so deep into it, so that it’s still accessible. This is some well balanced pop.

Ashes in the Air – The Flaming Lips

Another dose of blatant lyrics, in an extremely lush, yet minimal, Flaming Lips package. It’s a beautiful example of that feeling that you’re listening to music beamed from a satellite in orbit around Mars. And the words are that compelling feeling that you’re hearing something autobiographical and relatable.

Esther – Grand Duchy

With Frank Black, it’s now all about his voice. No one sounds like him. And the sparse, digital background arpeggio is a contrast that brings out his low, hypnotic crooning even more.

Holy Barbarian – Melvins Lite

I like everything Trevor Dunn has ever contributed to. He’s the bassist that every drummer dreams of playing with. In this edition, he tosses in his bow into the Melvins mix to create something that sounds foreboding and epic and creepy all at once. I love it. I got to see them play live last year, and Trevor was a complete rock star. At some point he deftly dodged a stage diver, almost dropping his massive standup bass to the floor but not quite–and kept on rocking without any distraction. Another time he was so amped up that he literally swung the bass vertically up in the air and balanced it there for several seconds with one arm. Metal.

Sever – Iamamiwhoami

Another track that was released years ago on youtube, but finally made it onto Spotify. Seems like a common pattern now. Upload for free on youtube, then submit a batch to Spotify. Anyway, this band was a mystery for quite a long time, due to their ongoing series of videos that seemed to tell a story while revealing very little about the musicians involved. A slow and pretty track. I’m a sucker for this kind of song.

Pacific Coast Highway – The Beach Boys

I’m so glad they’re back! After a long spell of the mediocre, they return with solid songwriting. This song takes me back to my years in the Bay Area, driving down the Pacific Coast out on Highway 1. The setting sun. Deserted beaches. Lush forests. Rocky crags. The endless ocean. Solitude.

Myth – Beach House

More pretty, lush crooning! This band shows up on my list every year, mostly due to her unique and emotive voice that calls to me. They narrowly beat out many other bands from this expanding genre: Goldfrapp, Boy Friend, LadyHawke, etc.

Folk Hero Schtick – Yeasayer

They almost made it on the list last year, and this year they inched up to the top due to the badass beat that busts in after the first minute. I’m digging the 80s influences that some electro-pop bands are drawing from, and again they do it tastefully.

Born in Winter – Gojira

 There’s this whole thing that I just discovered early last year, where Black Metal is passing through a magic portal and coming out as some kind of brooding, grooving, beautiful emo post-rock. I don’t know what it’s called, but there are some great bands in this genre that I’ve come across lately, like Les Discrets, and Nachtmysium. It’s great when metal bands become more musical.

Check out all of my Spotify favorites from 2012:  2012: Great Music

Locally from the Northwest: My favorite releases last year were from local bands like Sandrider and Asva.

Here’s the list from 2011:  2011: Top 10

So… what did I miss?