(All week, we’re counting down our favorite songs of 2012. If you missed any previous entries, you can catch up here. Enjoy the music).
A song that would top the pop charts in a perfect world, Jessie Ware’s “Wildest Moments” offers heartbreaking relationship laments over a hell of a booming beat, one that still allows the listener to hear piano chimes and synths in the background, a contrast that ultimately lends the confessional track a remarkable intimacy. -JM
SVE perfectly toes the fine line between seduction and desperation. -PTL
Guided by unconventional percussion, dissonant piano compliments the complex emotions in the lyrics, not to mention the fantastic imagery. It’s nostalgic without being immature, whimsical while remaining grounded. Best experienced live for a truly heart-wrenching experience. -AH
“I need time to stop moving / I need time to stay useless” wails Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi, establishing the difference between time as a concept and time as a personal entity while unifying all of us in the spirit of anthemic, fist-pumping punk. -JM
This is your brain on drugs. Any questions? -LVL
You’d think that five minutes of pure energy would ultimately lose steam, but Japandroids live by their mantra: “And if they try to slow you down / Tell them all to go to hell.” -JM
Fill red Solo cup with spirit of choice, crank this song, follow the instructions therein, and let Kendrick Lamar show you how to turn it up a notch. Repeat. -TH
Frank Ocean’s “Bad Religion” is a story that will go down in history as Ocean’s “coming-out letter,” and a song that looked to history to revive a simple, spontaneous, ultimately relatable type of storytelling that certainly brought us all to our knees. -JM
If the mark of a great song is that you hum it’s chorus for months after hearing it, then Tame Impala has a masterpiece on its hands. -LVL
When the stars align they are blinding, and “Gun Has No Trigger” is a track that shines almost too brightly – it is nothing if not a song of the year. When I think back to the first time I heard it, it’s hard to shake the image of staring down the barrel of a gun, into the unknown. Yet the single’s dark, climactic beauty is no less stirring for having pumped through my speakers, ear buds, and neurons dozens of times now. Out of all the listens, to all the songs, on all the days in an entire year, this is the one that still feels like a game-changer, and could hold the title for a while yet. -TH
And thus we conclude our countdown of the best songs of 2012. Enjoy (almost) all of the songs on the list with the Spotify playlist below.