I’m not going to try and be pretentious or indie with this. I’m going to break what seems to be a mortal sin in the world of music blogging: I’m going to accept that some of the songs that have given us the most enjoyment over the past year have come from the POP genre. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the list.
20. Passion Pit – Take A Walk:
This song is a solid juxtaposition between an upbeat pop sound and rather negative lyrics about an immigrant struggling to keep up with life in the United States economy.
19. Django Django – Default:
Not the most powerful song in the world, but still excellent. Very much like a modern Kraftwerk, this track hits psychedelia to a tee.
18. Two Door Cinema Club – Handshake:
Although dangerously verging on the edge of POP, Two Door Cinema Club are one of the few remaining bands able to truly find that indie-pop sound and Handshake was a perfect example of this.
17. Imagine Dragons – Radioactive:
Taking a similar route to Alex Clare last year, powerful vocals have been mixed with that deep dubstep throb in this song to great effect.
16. Bombay Bicycle Club – How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?
This song has to be one of the most chilled songs of the year. It’s been my alarm since it’s release and is one of the few things that actually manages to convince me to get out of bed in the morning.
15. Knife Party – Bonfire:
Commercialising dubstep was obviously Skrillex’s feat. However, Bonfire by Knife Party continued the trend in a strong way, bringing ‘filthier’ beats into the mainstream further than ever before.
14. Rudimental – Feel The Love Ft. John Newman:
This song to date still gives most of us that tingle down their spine that you get before a good night out. The song builds excellently to become easily one of the best tracks of the year.
13. Carly Rae Jepson – Call Me Maybe:
Anyone who claims they don’t love this song either hates music that gets stuck in their heads or hasn’t seen the Miami Dolphins video for it. Neither of which is true for me, so I’m happy to accept that this song is a great laugh.
12. MUSE – Survival:
The official song of the London 2012 Olympics; and what an event it was. This song is epic and combined with the video, it epitomises everything that is good about the Olympics.
11. Frank Ocean – Pyramids:
Arguably the best track from his incredible album, Channel ORANGE, Pyramids is a great track, combining superb lyrics with a catchy beat; exactly what any hip-hop song needs.
10. Skrillex – Make It Bun Dem:
After a rather average EP in Bangarang, it looked like Skrillex may have been losing his touch. However, when he moved dubstep back towards it’s reggae roots and brought in Damian Marley to create Make It Bun Dem, that idea flew out the window. An excellent start to the year’s top 10 singles.
9. Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
Indie as a genre has been declining recently. It looked last year that The Vaccines may be able to sort things out, however their 2012 album, Come of Age, was pretty woeful. All I can say is I’m bloody happy the Arctic Monkeys are still going. R U Mine, despite a dodgy title, brags a superb guitar riff and Turner’s usual smart and well delivered vocals.
8. The XX – Angels:
This year it was more of the same from The XX. Many complained about this, but I didn’t care. They are continuing to make excellent music and that’s fine by me. Angels was their track of the year for me.
7. Mumford & Sons – Lover of the Light:
This song really does build better than any other this year. From verses with only vocals and a piano to a powerful chorus with multiple instruments at once, Mumford and Sons were able to create one of the best tracks of the year.
6. Madeon – Finale:
I still find Madeon incredible. Yet another young French DJ with bags of talent. ‘Finale’ was his debut single and what a start it was. Boasting one of the most powerful and catchy riffs of the year, ‘Finale’ is a masterpiece of electronic music.
5. Swedish House Mafia vs Knife Party – Antidote:
A song created by Swedish House Mafia and Knife Party was always going to have a lot of potential. And boy did ‘Antidote’ meet it’s potential. Epic has to be used to describe this. Oh, and it’s got a rather good video (though I should probably warn that it’s quite explicit).
4. The Weeknd – Valerie:
Abel Tesfaye is one of the greatest musical talents around. If Michael Jackson had been born into the same generation, this is what he would sound like. Music of the finest quality.
3. Walk Off The Earth – Somebody I Used To Know:
Whether I prefer this version to Gotye’s may simply be because I heard this version first. However, I’m pretty sure it’s actually because of the variation in voices and the musical talent to play on one guitar (which just happens to be the exact same guitar as mine). An excellent, excellent song.
2. Elbow – First Steps:
The official theme of the BBC’s Olympic coverage, ‘First Steps’ captures the spirit of the games and Team GB’s passion perfectly. An incredible orchestral piece.
1. Swedish House Mafia – Don’t You Worry Child:
We have our winner. This is what happens when a bunch of incredible DJs come together to make one final song. My song of 2012, ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ is sublime. Perfect for any time and any place. Motivational, dynamic and generally excellent. I’ll be listening to this one for a long, long time.
So that’s my opinion on the top 20 songs of what has been an incredible year of music. I’m genuinely interested to know your opinions on what I may have missed out or why you wouldn’t have picked some of the tracks in there; I’m sure there’s probably plenty of people ready to debate over my inclusion of ‘Call Me Maybe’! Thanks for reading.