I am extremely analytical—I’m always recording stats, taking lists, and overthinking almost everything as if it were arithmetic. The advent of websites like last.fm have taken my need to be analytical and mixed it one of my greatest loves in life—music. If you’ve never been on last.fm, basically you create an account and download a “scrobbler” app for your desktop that will record what you listen to. Last.fm then keeps a running record of who you listen to and how much you listen to them, to in turn spark conversation and to suggest new music for you. The website has a radio, an events calendar, group boards, and much, much more. If you love music, I really suggest you try it.
According to last.fm, on which I have over 25,000 tracks played since 2007, my favorite 15 tracks of the year 2012 are below. I have included the list along with some lyrics and a little description about how the song came into play this year. Hope you enjoy and get to listen to some of these gems!
Kat’s Top 15 of 2012
1)The Distillers –I Am a Revenant
“Another year has passed and I’m alright. I lick the salt from my wounds and run into the night.”
It’s funny that at this musical closing of the year, the first line of this Distillers’ song talks about how another year has passed, as if it’s been tough, and straining, but somehow she (singer and lyricist Brody Dalle)’s still there. I kind of feel like that this year and obviously I definitely felt like this last year, because this song was released in 2008; I was definitely listening to it in January 2012. While I could easily sit there discouraged that I’m realizing that not much has changed in a year, I still have hope that I will feel differently at the end 2013, and have more positive things to say about the year that has passed.
This song has beautiful words and is an honest portrayal of things that Brody Dalle has gone through. She was married to Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong and is now in the band Spinerette and married to Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.
If you like hard rock, especially punk rock, I really recommend this song full of rage and emotion. It’s kickass, and if you’ve never listened to Brody Dalle’s voice before, she will blow your mind.
2)Childish Gambino –Bonfire
“Rap stepfather, yeah you hate me, but you will respect.”
If you just listen to the beginning of this song, with an alarm blaring and soft chanting in the background, you know something is about to go off. Seconds later, Gambino’s voice is laid on the track, and an insane rap lesson ensues. It’s a party song, it’s a self-esteem song, it’s a song that I have used a lot this year to just chill to, to drink to, to forget about everything negative in the world and just enjoy myself and enjoy feeling like a badass. Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover (from the show Community), is an amazing lyricist and I’m not surprised that he has gained such notoriety lately.
“It’s sleep, life, and death
It’s speed, coke, and meth
It’s hay fever, pain relievers, oral sex, and smokers breath
It stretches for as far as the eye can see
It’s reality, f_____ it, it’s everything but me”
Disgusted would have to be the most specific feeling I have felt with the world this year. Of course, there are moments when I feel connected to the people around me, but a lot of the time I feel that my values and the things that I deem important in my life are so different from those around me. I guess I’m being judgmental, always worried about how I feel about what everyone else is doing, but I’m just so sick of the rude people I encounter and how unfair the world can be.
Atmosphere’s songs are raw; this duo commands you to listen. “Scapegoat” talks about many of the different things that people like to focus on as reasons for their unhappiness. Hardly ever do they look inward at themselves; nowadays, that’s almost taboo. If you listen to hip hop but have never listened to Atmosphere I do not know what you are doing with your musical life.
4)2Pac –Still Ballin (MiMOSA Remix)
“Now ever since a n______ was a seed, only thing promised to me was the penitentiary, still ballin”
I think this song has been appealing to me in 2012 because it’s the chill beat of 2Pac that has been beefed up by MiMOSA (Dubstep). I especially like when Dubstep DJs can take a great song like “Still Ballin” and make it into a masterpiece of weird yet inviting sounds. This song has been pure fun for me in 2012 and I recommend this song and MiMOSA to everyone interested in electronic and hip hop.
5)Green Day –She
“She, she screams in silence. A sullen riot penetrating through her mind.”
Not only do I absolutely love and connect to Green Day, mostly their earlier stuff, I have really identified with this song in 2012. Sometimes I feel that I’m trapped in my mind, unable to get out of the negatives and the sadness, and I just want to get out. I don’t want to make a big deal of it because I don’t want my family to waste money or be worried.
I love this song because it’s punk rock, yet it’s so emotional and realistic and such a great song for a young Billie Joe Armstrong to write. I bet it’s helped a lot of girls through tough moments, not only me.
6)Up All Night –Alex Clare
“And no, she don’t know what we do in our spare time, she don’t know that we’ve been up all night.”
This song just feels good. It reminds me of mania, and sometimes I listen to the song and think that Alex Clare is writing about mania in this song. Sex, drugs, and music oozes throughout “Up All Night”. It has been a song that has got me up in dancing in 2012 if you can believe it. The latin drum beat, guitars, and electronica throughout the song is like a delicious mix of everything I want on a track. Not to mention that Alex Clare’s voice is amazing. I first discovered Alex Clare on a Microsoft commercial in 2012, and now I’m exciting to see what else he’ll come up with. His type of music makes me feel free.
7)Lana Del Rey –Born to Die
“Keep making me laugh, let’s go get high. The road is long, we carry on, try to have fun in the meantime.’
This song is sexy, transparent, and full of heart. Lana Del Rey, who was my third most listened to artist of 2012, is a vixen with a beautiful voice from Lake Placid, New York. Her songs evoke Americana, the 60’s, with bits of hip hop and modern musical trends. This song is one of my favorites off of her debut album.
It’s dark and beautiful, and I love to listen to it in every mood. Lana Del Rey is a great symbol of what I consider the modern girl. She is already iconic in my eyes.
8)Nas –The Don
“Future not crystal clear yet, baccarat”
Hello bass. If you have never turned on “The Don” in your car, make sure you’re ready to cruise with some attitude. This 2012 release for Nas is just as masterful as any of Nas’ other hits. He’s still got it. I discovered it when perusing Rolling Stone, and I’m really glad I did. It’s a great song to listen to, as I said, when you are in the car at sunset, streaming down the highway.
9)Lana Del Rey –Radio
“Now my life is sweet like cinnamon, like a f__________ dream I’m living in”
I liked this song in 2012 because it features a sexy, feminine young woman saying the “f” word, and because like a rosy perfume, it just feels good. This is a relaxing song about Lana Del Rey’s successes and how now she’s out in LA, in paradise. This song brightens my mood.
10)The Strokes –Under Cover of Darkness
“Don’t go that way. I’ll wait for you.”
This song is so mod, with its angular guitars and the iconic, muffled voice of Julian Casablancas. And by the way, as always, the lyrics make the song absolutely perfect. I think it’s a catchy tune, another Strokes masterpiece, and every time I saw it on my playlist in 2012 I absolutely had to play it—no skipping. It’s easy to listen to during work or study, in the car—it fits everywhere. If you’ve never listened to The Strokes, I also recommend listening to their early albums, which are a bit more “beachy”.
11)Best Coast –Boyfriend
“I wish he was my boyfriend…I wish he was my boyfriend. I love him till the very end but instead he is just a friend, I wish he was my boyfriend.”
Speaking of beachy, Best Coast’s “Boyfriend” was one of the biggest guilty pleasure songs of 2012. No, I am not in a situation where I’m waiting around for a guy, wishing him to be my boyfriend—I’m already married. However, I love the story because it’s written by Best Coast who just seems to understand me. I could listen to this song on any play as well. Living in Florida, it’s a great accompaniment to our weather, and I think Best Coast’s 2012 release is one of the best of the year (sucks that I missed them live here in my town!).
12)Rihanna (feat. Calvin Harris)– We Found Love
“We found love in a hopeless place.”
I did indeed like this song in 2012—I even sang it at a big fancy karaoke bar with a full band and backup singers behind me. As I’ve told you earlier, I was fully in the electronic craze in 2012. I really like how Calvin Harris’ track fits so well with Rihanna’s voice. I don’t particularly like Rihanna, but this song is reminiscent of sunshine and glitter and rainbow cotton candy. Sometimes this year I would sing this song to my husband because I do believe that even though there’s a lot of shit around us, we are still beautiful together.
13)WZRD –Teleport 2 Me, Jamie
“I want you girl, and I need your body, right here, won’t you teleport to me?”
This is Kid Cudi’s brainchild, and this song off of their debut album is amazing. I can tell that the passion in Cudi’s voice on this song is real. He sounds great, and even though the song is pretty simple, he carries it all the way. I just think it is a beautiful and well-done song and one of the best of 2012 hands down.
14)Sublime –Right Back
“Sometimes I pray, waiting, waiting for some bright holiday. So I bought myself a gun. Now I’m right back, right back, where I’m from.”
If you know me, you know that there’s probably never going to be a year when Sublime doesn’t make my top 15 list. Sublime is my favorite band, and “Right Back” is one of my favorite songs in their arsenal. It’s depression with a reggae beat, something that has been so dear to my heart since I was 15 years old. Just listening to Bradley Nowell’s voice is enough to make any year nicer.
15)Lana Del Rey –National Anthem
“Money is the anthem of success, so before we go out, what’s your address? I’m your National Anthem, boy put your hands up.”
This song evokes sex and Americana and everything an American girl wants to be. It’s another one of Lana Del Rey’s fresh songs off of her debut in 2012 and the beginning of a new kind of music available for the listening ears of the youth. Lana was addictive in 2012 and this is just one of the many on her album that are fun to listen to.
What were your top tracks of 2012? Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will feature some of your faves! I believe in music share!
Here are my top artists for 2012:
3)Lana Del Rey
9)Florence + The Machine
13)Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Happy New Year!