Top Tracks of 2012

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100. Lil Ugly Mane – “Bitch I’m Lugubrious”
99. Feed Me – “Whiskers”
98. Matthew Dear – “Her Fantasy”
97. A Hero A Fake – “Mechanical Heart”
96. Taylor P. – “Pretty People”
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95. Japandroids – “The House that Heaven Built”
94. Spiritualized – “Hey Jane”
93. Lord Huron – “Time to Run”
92. Ryan Hemsworth – “Charly Wingate”
91. Flying Lotus – “See Thru U” (feat. Erykah Badu)
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90. Teen Suicide – “The Way We Were With People”
89. Odesza – “I Want You”
88. Mt. Wolf – “Life Sized Ghosts”
87. ANTHM – “God of Joy”
86. Poor Moon – “Birds”
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85. Graveyard – “Seven Seven”
84. John Talabot – “So Will Be Now…” (feat. Pional)
83. Grizzly Bear – “Gun-Shy”
82. Young Prisms – “Floating in Blue”
81. David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Who”
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80. Baauer – “Harlem Shake”
79. Arnej – “Pariah”
78. Netsky – “Cous Cous”
77. Frankie Rose – “Know Me”
76. Fresh Espresso – “Goodbye My Love”
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75. Schoolboy Q – “Hands on the Wheel” (feat. A$AP Rocky)
74. I Am War – “Hunting Me”
73. John Mulder Quintet – “Proclamation of the Unexpected”
72. 情報デスクVIRTUAL – “HB☯ PORN”
71. Icona Pop – “I Love It”
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70. Gathered Ghosts – “Mundo”
69. Gary Clark Jr. – “Bright Lights”
68. Sun Airway – “Close”
67. Mister Lies – “Cleam”
66. deadmau5 – “The Veldt” (Freeform Five Remix)
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65. Hundred Waters – “Caverns”
64. Blithe Field – “In the Moonlight”
63. Human Spirit – “Pelham Gardens”
62. Brother Ali – “My Beloved”
61. AlunaGeorge – “Your Drums, Your Love”
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60. Joey Bada$$ – “Survival Tactics”
59.  Bobby Broom – “D’s Blues”
58. Patrick Watson – “Quiet Crowd”
57. Whirr – “Flashback”
56. Sam Pannunzio Trio – “Another Time”
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55. How to Dress Well – “Running Back”
54. Parkway Drive – “Dream Run”
53. Kendrick Lamar – “Backseat Freestyle”
52. David Dallas – “Don’t Want the World”
51. Laurel Halo – “Thaw”

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50. Animal Collective – “Applesauce”
Animal Collective have built a career on a explosive transformation of sound. “Applesauce” successfully draws in all the enticing elements that make this group so wildly unique yet difficult to imitate.  Swirling tropical flavored electronics shimmering from one eardrum to another, a chaotic progression in tempo, and Dave Portner’s personality pouring into a frenzy of melodies allow each chorus to end in a gratifying engine-roaring explosion. (Brennan)

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49. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Your Love”
In an almost “not messing around” serious sense, T.E.E.D makes this absolutely phenomal house track one that is thoroughly infectious. (Nick)

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48. On an On – “The Hunter”
This trio has only shared a few tracks from their forthcoming full-length debut Give In (due early 2013), all of which reassure On An On as a promising indie rock outfit. But none of those tracks bring them more into the limelight than the aggressive energy found in “The Hunter.” Opening the track with euphoric vocals fed through synthesizers, it begs for an spacious arena atmosphere. The energy found in “The Hunter” not only fries your speakers but burst your eardrums in the most euphoric way. (Brennan)

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47. DIIV – “Doused”
Leave it up to one of the guys from Beach Fossils, the kings of hummable guitar riffs, to make one of the most memorable riffs of the year. DIIV songwriter Zachary Cole Smith admitted that for the first few months of playing “Doused” live he would just make up the lyrics on the spot or mumble into the microphone, but if you asked anyone in the crowd I’m sure they’d say they didn’t even notice because — that bassline! And the outro! Dude!! (Adam)

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46. Death Grips – “The Fever (Aye Aye)”
“The Fever (Aye Aye)” is a track that oozes undeniable energy. MC Ride raps (shouts) about murder, drugs and plague which is typical Death Grips at this point, and the beat is seriously dangerous with what sounds like a reversed/sped up sample of a jet engine slathered over some g funk kicks and claps. (Daniel)

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45. Beach Fossils – “Shallow”
I was super stoked when this song came out since I was so obsessed with their last album. The bass is simply hypnotic and the vocals just carry you back and forth. Solid. (Erin)

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44. Eighty4Fly – “Kush High”
This song in my opinion is almost before it’s time as you would say. With lots of….yeah I’ll say it… “wack” hip-hop coming out and to sort through, this song is real refreshing. (Bryce)

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43. Chairlift – “I Belong in Your Arms”
Caroline Polachek’s voice soars through with absolute finesse. It’s a bonus that the B-side is sung entirely in Japanese with an accompanying karaoke-style video. (Andi)

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42. Cat Power – “Cherokee”
“I never knew love like this!” It’s Cat power. You can’t go wrong with that breakbeat and soaring chorus. (Jasmine)

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41. KOAN Sound – “Introvert” (Blake)

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40. Gallows – “Victim Culture” (Ross)

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39. Marbert Rocel – My Bed (Nico Pusch Bootleg Remix)
One of the nominations for “happiest song of 2012” (see: ever), Nico Pusch also made 2012 his year, with remix, after remix, after remix, when he wasn’t making original material. It was his remix of “My Bed” that really showed his talent and skill with giving the track a totally laid back and happy feel, a base for all his future summer-themed minimal-house tracks that he released one after the other, every week over summer. (Nick)

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38. Beat Connection – “The Palace Garden, 4AM”
The guys of Beat Connection have come a long way in the past year since Surf Noir, adding a live drummer and Tom Eddy as their lead singer. This song showcases all their talents perfectly. (Nathan)

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37. Mount Eerie – “Pale Lights”
On his second LP of 2012, Phil Elverum wastes no time getting to the point. Where Clear Moon began with a wistfully plucked guitar, Ocean Roar opens with a droning keyboard note and sustains it for 10 minutes straight. Above all that, another 10 minutes of My Bloody Valentine-esqe noise, feedback, and howling. For a 1:30 in the middle of the track, the instrumentals drop down to a whisper and Phil does his Phil thing before adamantly declaring “A small yelp on the wind / and then more roaring”. And then proceeds to deliver exactly that. (Adam)

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36. DIIV – “Human”
This track in my opinion the dreamiest track off of Oshin. I don’t even feel like a human when I listen to this song which I find pretty ironic. Great bass line, great melody, great vocals that compliment the song so well. Great. (Erin)

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35. Bat for Lashes – “Laura”
So full of beauty and emotion. The way the chorus swells and builds behind her ascending voice makes this one of the most moving songs of the year. (Jasmine)

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34. Lord Huron – “Lonesome Dreams”
“Lonesome Dreams” is the title track to Lord Huron’s beautifully accessible debut album. This particular song encompasses many of the albums most captivating attributes. From the vibrant textures, milky reverb, tropical-inspired polyrhythms, to the majestic harmonizing, it welcomes the listeners ears into an heartening dream. (Brennan)

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33     Wilson Luxurious – “Party Bus” (feat. Ryan Campbell)
Word of advice: Don’t drink and drive. Drink and BUS. Creative song from a dope album from the 206 native. Smooth spitting Mr. Luxurious. (Bryce)

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32. Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
Tame Impala’s Lonerism isn’t nostalgic. 60’s psych-rock comparisons sell a song like “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” short because the music is only moving forward. Here the low end sounds as beautiful as Kevin Parker’s vocals, and the instruments and synths are layered in the mix to create an incredible full spectrum of melody.  (Daniel)

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31. Beach House – “Lazuli”
Built upon an 8-bit piano out of a NES game, Beach House took their signature dream pop sound into uncharted waters with this stunning single off their album Bloom. (Jasmine)

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30. Celsius – “This Way”
2012 was the year of undeground garage, and this track brought with a wall of sound with it, smashing it’s way with garage beats, house drums and hard hitting synths throughout. (Nick)

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29. Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”
Erie and grotesque seems typical for this duo, and this song isn’t an exception. But what does stand out is that both Megan James’ vocals and Corin Roddick’s beats don’t drown out each other letting both shine on this track. (Nathan)

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28. Emmure – “Protoman” (Ross)

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27. Widowspeak – “Ballad of the Golden Hour”
This newly released track off of Widowspeak’s upcoming album Almanac has a dark, folk-pop feel. With producer, Kevin McMahon behind this masterpiece , Widowspeak is showing full potential for the future. (Andi)

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26. P.O.S. – “Fuck Your Stuff”
Lazerbeak kills this production and P.O.S. spits out some hard rocking lyrics. Something to bob your head to and another crew anthem. (Bryce)

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25. Lotus Plaza – “Out of Touch”
Lockett Pundt’s solo project, Lotus Plaza, creates a foundation for subtle pop melodies to be smothered by layers of distorted guitar riffs, pounding bass-lines and thumping percussion. “Out of Touch” showcases Pundt’s ability to craft a sound that is as catchy as a mainstream pop song yet possessing a much harsher edge. (Brennan)

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24. Calyx & TeeBee – “Elevate This Sound”
Another track made phenomenal by it’s vocals. The fantastically crisp drums, and subtle behind-the-scenes-but-oh-so-prevelant bass intertwine amongst one another well, and result easily the best drum & bass track of the year, with a vibe that seems years ahead of everyone else. (Nick)

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23. xxxy – “I Know This (Can’t Be Love)”
A Cassie-sampling, all-killer-no-filler, house, garage, juke, mishmash of a dance track. If there was a more celebratory, joyous moment in 2012 music, I haven’t heard it. You know how the Powerpuff Girls were made from sugar, spice, and everything nice, plus a little dose of Chemical X? This is pure, uncut, mainlined Chemical X. (Adam)

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22. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Households Goods”
The slowness at the start with Orlando Higginbottom’s shy-ish vocals tied with a mellow beat draw you in but once the song really gets going you are hooked and all you want to do is dance. (Nathan)

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21. Laurel Halo – “Carcass”
On her debut album Quarantine, Laurel Halo paired challenging, sometimes beat-less songs with even more challenging monotone vocals. The interesting contrast tied together a conceptual theme of humans vs. machines, an album where the voice became the most robotic part of an otherwise completely electronic production. On “Carcass” however, her voice cracks and breaks like it’s being attacked by a computer virus. It’s the point roughly halfway through the record where you start to question really what sounds are being made by a person and which ones are coming from a computer. After a few hundred listens, I truthfully still don’t know. (Adam)

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20. Grimes – “Circumambient”
This track was one that grew on me the more I listened to it and eventually became one of my favorite off of Visions. It has sort of an earthy sound to it that she blends with electronic sound. Organic yet industrial. It’s one of the darker tracks on the album, but still even this puts me in an upbeat, happy mood. (Erin)

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19. Wild Nothing – “Paradise”
There couldn’t be a better fitting name for this track off of this Captured Tracks release Nocturne. To get the full dreamy effect check out the music video featuring actress Michelle Williams. (Andi)

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18. Wax & EOM – “Summer Breeze”
Summer Anthem. Fall Anthem. Winter Anthem. Spring Anthem. Hell this song is one of the most feel-good cuts I’ve ever heard and the jam for when you’re posted up with the homies chillin’. (Bryce)

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17. AU – “Get Alive”
How fun is this song? It’s full of bouncy energy, a perfect reflection of their album Both Lights. (Jasmine)

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16. Sam Lachow – “Nothings Gonna Change” (feat. B Skeez)
Probably the dopest chorus on a hiphop song ever. Sam wrote the hook and had the homie B Skeez “gangstertize” it. (Bryce)

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15. Burial – “Loner”
Different from his usual delayed 2-step progression, an almost house-like track takes you on a twisting journey filled with a variety of emotions expressed through music. (Nick)

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14. TNGHT – “Higher Ground”
Hudson Mohawke and Lunice’s TNGHT EP initially sounded pretty jarring due to its borderline obnoxiousness. However, about a minute into “Higher Ground” the repetitive vocal sample becomes a vital piece in a thumping and menacing anthem of bass and distorted brass horns, and everything starts to make perfect sense. TNGHT will make your trunk knock and “Higher Ground” is facemelting hip hop that feels like the beginning of a new era. (Daniel)

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13. Cloud Nothings – “Wasted Days”
It’s hard to properly explain how stunning this song is without bringing up this band’s past. Of their previous two albums, only one song clocked in at over 4 minutes in length, and all of those songs sounded like a bratty version of The Dead Milkmen. Not a bad thing at all, but when confronted with the complete 180 that “Wasted Days” is, it’s astonishing. A nine minute long, classic emo-infused, Steve Albini produced headbanger. Complete with a 4 minute instrumental build that culminates in frontman Dylan Baldi literally screaming “I thought! I would! Be more! Than this!” But truthfully, who knew he even had this in him? (Adam)

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12. Foxygen – “Shuggie”
This new single off of Foxygen’s upcoming release takes you straight back to the 70’s. Theor grooviness won’t be going away anytime soon. (Andi)

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11. Koffin Kats – “The Bottle Called”

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10. Killer Mike – “Reagan”
Killer Mike has a true talent for political rap that isn’t conspiracy-driven and annoyingly preachy (Immortal Technique). Instead Mike is relatable, smart and pissed off. He begins by breaking down problems within the African American community itself, but quickly his tale evolves into a full-on statement comparing the American prison system to institutionalized slavery. Mike sees American leaders as “actors/employees of the country’s real masters”. Clinton, Bush and Obama all tell “lies on teleprompters” and at the end of “Reagan” Mike feels more paranoid than Scarface when his mind was playing tricks on him. (Daniel)

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09. Alt-J – “Breezeblocks”
It’s tough picking one song from An Awesome Wave, but this is the song I gravitate to the most. I love the dum-dum-dum-dum repetition in the verse and the eclectic percussion. (Jasmine)

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08. Beach House – “Wishes”
Nothing from this band has ever been so refined and utterly beautiful as “Wishes.”   The vocal performance provided by Victoria Legrand is so smooth I wouldn’t be surprised if her vocals were coated with a layer of vaseline. But the real beauty in this track lies in the true emotion that it ignites. To me “Wishes” is more than just a song, its a powerful tool for tapping into ones emotion or spawning a distant memory from the past. (Brennan)

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07. Purity Ring – “Grandloves”
This slow jam is undeniably catchy and will grab your attention on the first listen. With its repetitive snaps and knocking sounds, this track is bound to get you tapping your feet along with it. The Young Magic sample fits perfectly in the song, giving it a real R&B feel. Meagan’s sweet vocals weaving in and out of the chopped up samples gives the song great contrast and dimension making it one of the best tracks off of Shrines. (Erin)

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06. Brother Ali – “Only Life I Know”
Seattle’s Jake-One and Twin Cities Brother Ali collaborate on their first record together, shining no more than in “Only Life I Know”. Ali reflects on the state of the US over a signature Jake beat to bring a refreshing sound that is quite hard to find in hip-hop today. (Bryce)

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05. Mount Eerie – “Through the Trees pt. 2″
An easy pick for my favorite Mount Eerie song from 2012, and there were quite a few to choose from. Also one of the more accessible songs of Phil’s career, it also serves as a kind of mission statement where he declares over a ping-pong echoed guitar: “I meant all my songs not as a picture of the woods / but just to remind myself / that I briefly live.”  As this song leads off the first of two albums he released this year, it’s a necessary contextual clarification as well as a stunningly beautiful mood-setter. (Adam)

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04. Grimes – “Genesis”
This has seriously got to be one of the catchiest songs of the year. When it comes to electronic pop, Claire Boucher has really hit the bullseye with this one. Her signature squeaky voice, heavily reverbed synths, and piano loops all blended together make for one hell of a dance track. (Erin)

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03. How to Dress Well – “Cold Nites”
If there was a book for musicians on how to give up lo-fi the right way, chapter 1 should damn well be called “Cold Nites”. The lurching beat that punctuates each falsetto line is crisp as it bounces from ear to ear, no tape hiss to be seen for miles. And just when you think Tom Krell is about to break it down near the end when the song drops to just his voice and a piano, the beat comes back even stronger. And really… when’s the last time you heard a mark tree used in an effective way? (Adam)

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02. Disclosure – “Latch” (feat. Sam Smith)
This song smashed it’s way to everyone’s ears, with such a wonderful voice accompanying some slick synths and bass. Fantastic UK garage/house vibe, and quite flawless in it’s execuation in making sure underground garage a serious thing in music right now, not just something you hear about once. (Nick)

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01. Jai Paul – “Jasmine”
For a man with only one “real” song officially released since he debuted back in 2010, you would better hope two years of work would result in something worthwhile. Thankfully, in April this frustratingly mysterious singer dropped “Jasmine”, a sexy, thumping demo track. It’s rough around the edges in all the right places, and Jai Paul is so phenomenally smooth with the falsetto-whispered verse that you forget about all the little production imperfections. By the time a dark synth line takes over the second half, complete with double-time hand claps, it’s like being transported to a different reality. Maybe an alternate universe where D’Angelo never disappeared, Prince never became a symbol, and Aaliyah lived long enough to make sure Ke$ha never happened. That’s the universe this song makes me want to live in. (Staff)

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