Story Books, Simple Kids
The National, Don’t Swallow The Cap
The 1975, The City
Crystal Fighters, Wave
Leif Vollebekk, When The Subway Comes Above Ground
Tegan + Sara, Drove Me Wild
Smith Westerns, Varsity
South, A Place in Displacement
Two Door Cinema Club, Next Year (RAC mix)
Japandroids, Adrenaline Nightshift
Perfume Genius, Hood
Bombay Bicycle Club, Dust On The Ground
Empire of the Sun, Alive
Ben Hartley, Just Can’t Get Enough (Depeche Mode)
Phoenix, Armistice (RAC mix)
San Cisco, Fred Astaire
Rooney, I’m Shakin
Fleet Foxes, Dancing On My Own (Robyn)
Nicole Atkins, Kill The Headlights
The Hood Internet, Lump Sum of Paris (Bon Iver vs Friendly Fires vs Aeroplane)
Cayucas, East Coast Girl
Army Navy, Pickle
Cold War Kids, Hair Down
1. Lord Huron, Time to Run
It has taken me a week to write about what I believe to be the number one song of 2012. I’m not sure why but at the same time, I think it might have something to do with how I feel about this song. Like that music like this is why I decided to spend the rest of my life working with it, around it, as a part of it. This song, and the album that it’s on, were written about fate, about wandering, losing your way, running away, finding your path, falling in love, poetry, the timing, what comes out of the ruins, coming home. All the things that my life almost ended for, came back for, and revolves around. There are songs about not wanting to leave and wanting to leave on Lonesome Dreams and this is one about going. I have spent so much of the recent time not wanting to leave, but I’m at that point where it’s time to just go. And Time to Run makes you believe that it is okay to want to go home, to move to London, to move to San Francisco, to move to Los Angeles, Seattle, to move to the city, to be anywhere but here. And I want to tell everyone that my anthem lyric in this song is I’m gonna find me a life baby way out west but to be on the safe side, because there are a million different places I could be this time next year - I think it’s safer to say that my life is summed up in the hook: I will run but I know that I’ve decided my fate with my deeds. This is it.
2. Mumford and Sons, Whispers In The Dark
This summer, I worked for the man behind the keyboards and accordion in this band. For an entire summer I got to work for a record label that actually believes in the music and the people above the profit. If someone asks me what the highlight of 2012 was, it was working for Communion. I think I’m a ruined person. Anyway…. Babel came out a month after my internship ended and it symbolizes everything that makes me believe in the music industry. Whispers In the Dark, in particular, is joyous and makes you feel alive and like you have a purpose. Or maybe that’s just me. Marcus may yell most of his lyrics, and Ben gets a little too into his throwing his head back and forth, Ted just stands there, and Winston looks out of place but this song makes you realize that these four just know. About life, what it means to be a human being, what it means to be happy, what it means to find your place in life. Like they say - let’s live while we are young
3. Oberhofer, Cruising FDR
I remember the first time I heard Oberhofer sometime in 2010 (when I was having my for real come to jesus music moment) and his music his voice his whistling is so different than anyone else out there. Oberhofer is New York City music. And in honor of that, there’s no better choice than a song about the FDR Drive. I can’t even begin to wax poetic about this song’s lyrics because there are no words except his own: The sky’s a little bit gray but in a beautiful way. Seeing you in the passenger seat makes my heart explode. And then when he’s singing I can’t can’t can’t can’t can’t get enough of your love….. yes you can’t. This song makes me happy.
4. Japandroids, Fire’s Highway
Japandroids’ Celebration Rock is hands down one of my top three albums of 2012. But who wants to hear about my top albums of 2012? Songs are much more entertaining. Japandroids are loud and grungy and fuzzy and summery and summer in New Jersey. You would not expect two men in this grungy of a band to be able to write such poignant lyrics and even when they’re borderline screaming them, you know that this is the absolute truth. A northern soul in southern lands will always find his way to southern hands. She’ll kiss away your gypsy fears and turn some restless nights to restless years. And possibly my second favorite lyric of 2012: To let live, but never let go. If I ever find someone who shares that same philosophy, that will be it.
5. Dana Buoy, Call to Be
Before this summer, I never walked around listening to my iPod. Literally in all the years that I have had an iPod, I have never walked around a city, walked to class, etc. listening to my iPod. Call to Be was one of my top walking around the city jams during my internship. It’s not typical Goods music but it’s so summery so beachy and I feel alive when I listen to it. Around 2:50 it gets to the point where I start to think that I am here still to listen to this song. Surprising you and others - there is nothing better than the chance to surprise everyone and yourself, too.
6. The Lumineers, Dead Sea
Earlier this year, I was driving to the Hartford airport before the sun came up and I was blasting my music to stay awake and singing at the top of my lungs to this song. I don’t quite know what it means to be like the Dead Sea but I want songs like this. There’s something so comforting and so familiar and so universal about The Lumineers’ music. It’s timeless and permanent. If you’re in the presence of a fire pit or a bonfire or sitting in a circular motion, don’t miss out on the opportunity to sing this with your favorite people (hopefully they like The Lumineers).
7. Miner, Hey Love
This summer, I was having a moment where I was so bored with all of my music. Then I heard Hey Love and it turned everything around. I think we all have those moments when we’re bored with our music, our majors, our schools, our lives but then we have moments, or in this case songs, that make us believe again. I have a terrible voice yet I can’t help but want to sing along at the top of my lungs. And then at the end when you think it’s over and then you hear them yell 2-3-4 and it starts up again….. it’s louder than ever the second time around and that is life and this song is perfect.
8. Coin, It’s Okay
If any song on this countdown makes you want to dance, THIS IS IT. It’s electronic and jangly and makes you want to shake your shoulders. This is the type of music that I would listen to going out but unfortunately, most of Scranton does not agree. The falsetto of I’ll be fine, I’ll just wait makes my heart feel like it’s lifting out of my chest, like I feel it in my bones. These guys from Nashville will be somewhere this time next year, I guarantee it.
Side note: I may have tweeted that this song made me happier than any other this year and they replied back to me with the nicest, most life-affirming message. It makes me love the song even more.