Gloriana Can’t Shake You
Tim and Mike Gossin, a pair of smoldering brothers from Utica, New York, hit it big with a pair of girls from the South to form a band similar to Lady Antebellum but with banjo built, heavily strung with strings from violins and variety of guitars. The glam country pop genre is tough for some to swallow but the bittersweetness of “Can’t Shake You” makes it go down smooth. Well, if you like your wounds salted and drink out of regret regularly.
Fiona Apple Werewolf
Musicians are notorious for awkward endings when they are on stage and off. So when Fiona Apple and her customary eloquence and bitterness pound out brutal heartache on a piano, the world listens. Especially since she has been relatively quiet for over five years and she has a Grammy nomination for the Best Alternative album of 2012. Thinkers and sensitive types will feel every inch of the pull of Fiona’s steady plunk of the ivories and haunting lyrics stating “nothing wrong when a song ends in the minor key.”
Triangular vacillation or reference to mathematics? That is for you to decide after you lend your ear to the bluesy infectious indie rock of Joe Newman’s British band AltJ. The group takes a refreshing dip into the sea of love with a startling and tasteful glimpse at what remains after that love ends and you move on with someone else.
The Band Perry Better Dig Two
Morals, marriage, poor grammar, and every string instrument on the planet have little in common unless they’re strumming along for the latest diddy by Kimberly Perry and her band of brothers Neil and Reid. Complex in instrumentation and complete with dynamite, this one delivers hope in a domesticated hellcat-like way. For a family band, “Better Dig Two” is a powerful, dark sided declaration in a time when more than half of all marriages fall apart and most fail to make it to the death do us part. Which is good for people in crazy country.
The xx Our Song
English trio Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim, and Jamie xx realize the complexities in the comfort of knowing someone well enough to push past the darkness everyone possesses yet remain there for them despite. Simplistic, mesmerizing, and sturdy enough to tackle big issues of heartbreak, loneliness, and despair, this song shows that some bonds were built to last. Particularly the ones which weather the impossible.
Lana Del Rey Ride
Soulful, baroque, and grand in her own right, Lana Del Rey has crooned her career to a new level of genius with“Ride.” Raw emotion is powerful especially when the path to your dreams leads you to the seedier places of heartache, self indulgence, and sheer hopelessness. The sultry, bleeding, and somber infusion of stellar orchestration, evocative lyrics, and bluesy hypnotism raptures the hearts of listeners by razing all restraints to ultimate freedom. All is not lost though. They say you have to lose it all to find out what you’re really made of.
Chromatics Burn The Page
How would do you appropriately respond “And if you love me like you say, take this book and burn the page” if a chapter of your life was drawing to a rainy close? That’s what the Portland, Oregon based post punk electronica group Chromatics want to know in their time warpy execution of amazement. A rare blend of Flock of Seagulls meets Trent Reznor meets pure synchronicity to the sound of a synthesizer, the Chromatics offer an eargasm to those who listen with their heart.
Cat Power Nothing But Time
When Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) hops into her time machine, she reaches for help flying the craft from Iggy Pop. Despite significant personal problems, Cat’s adventure has only just begun and her album Sun is the absolute proof she needed to explore new territory. Two simple chords, steady beats, and synthsmithing add to the majestic wisdom packed into this David Bowie-esque song. Hang on through all 11 minutes and you’ll feel your faith in humanity be extended through the endlessness of the universe and freedom of your experiences.
Tame Impala Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Close your eyes. You’re on a beach in Perth, Australia (where Tame Impala hails from). Time temporarily doesn’t exist. And the line in the sand is the one you drew yourself and the only people who can cross are the ones who feel the same way as you do. Breathe. Open your eyes and plug in your headset for a fantastic journey through a psychedelic rock reality during which you spend the majority of your time convincing yourself that your feelings are reciprocated by your love interest. In hope we trust.
Imagine Dragons It’s Time
Alternative rockers Imagine Dragons insist you accept yourself through a hand clapping, a well plucked mandolin, and steady, feel good percussion. Like an infused blast of reassurance, the ultimate message and quality of “It’s Time” pushed the band straight to the top of music charts. Be yourself. Only you can.
The 50 Best Songs of 2012 was compiled by Musicristotle, the sharp shooting, wild boy wrangling, word girl whose feats and follies have long been best accomplished while feeding the innately eclectic appetite for sensational sound.