Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Year in Songs

A year wouldn't be ending without the mandatory countdown/list of songs, books, people, etc. that have mattered during 2012, right? For one of my year enders I'll be writing about 12 songs I've discovered this year, arranged in no particular order. Some of them have been playing for years, some of them only released this year and after reviewing my ever trusty iTunes, I've listed down 12 of the most played songs in 2012.  This serves as a sort of soundtrack to my 2012 and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Gary Clark Jr. was one of the best new artists I've learned of online.
He sounds soulful and is also capable of sounding all gritty and rock n' roll.
Kind of our new Lenny Kravitz.
Things Are Changing is all cool and not one bit affected and it's a great song 
cause it's an honest yet classy way of saying "I want you, but not want you enough to keep you".
Meaning not to commit has never sounded this,well, lovable.

Still couldn't remember how I stumbled upon Mayer Hawthorne, but however it was I'm super happy I did.
Mayer Hawthorne's EP, Impressions covered some of the best old school songs and
You've Got The Makings of a Lover is possibly his catchiest cover.
From The Festivals, Hawthorne makes his cover sound smoother and in my ears, more like liquid, than
the original. It's just me. This one too has been around since May or June of 2011, but it still sounds golden today.

Frank Ocean was such a ground-breaking discovery that he managed to marry the hipsters and the mains into a happy marriage, which is quite impossible to achieve. We All Try is from Nostalgia, Ultra. 
The magic of this song for me is how it sounds. I remember downloading this the day I landed back in Manila after our summer US trip and having this as a cool-down after a run was perfect. It's Ocean's sweet voice, his accompaniment and that optimistic message it's all about that makes We All Try this feel-good, easy song. 

Whenever this comes on the radio, I can't help but sing along to it. Overcovered for sure, but it's cause
it's such a refreshing song. Rarely will you pay this much attention to a singer and a song and actually
want to keep on caring after the hype. Thinking About You is equal parts emotional and cool.
Plus this one really tugs at the heart.

By now it's obvious that I'm a fan. Forrest Gump is a tricky song. I like the song cause it's his most interesting one. While you wouldn't know exactly what it means, you know it's personal for him and the way he sings--detached yet sincere, is just catchy and impossible to get out of the head.

Cruiser has been accompanying my walks home since I discovered it two-three months ago. Credits go to Indiebon for introducing me to Cruiser. The Fritz is a, hands-down, feel good song. Sounds young, energetic but not overwhelming or in your face jumpy.

Another song from 2011, I found out about Friendly Fires' Hurting this year. Imagine heartbreak that sounds like a night out in some awesome club? Now that's the kind of heartbreak you'll kill to listen to over and over again.

My sister got me hooked on this one. Passion Pit comes back more sober, I believe and sounds deeper than they were before (for me at least). This song puts you in a dark room and you achieve this  kind of realization that'll wake you up into a new consciousness, better consciousness. All that, they sing about and make it sound like a quaint, drunken hit that you'll want to lose yourself into for days and days and days.

Of course, 2012 wouldn't be 2012 if it weren't for this song. Latch by Disclosure and Sam Smith is as addicting as any awesome song ought to be. The build-up, Sam Smith's smooth and powerful voice, that chorus, it's just like first love...You can't and won't ever get enough of this. Think of a club with all the best looking people in it, everyone gets a chance at some kind of romantic encounter and this plays full blast...You get the picture...

Bruno Mars, I'm starting to get all fan boy all over...Treasure from his latest album is truly a treasure to listen to. Kind of reminds of you Michael Jackson, I just don't know which song.. It's very groovy without the old days cheese...

I know a lot of people do not appreciate this song, but I tell you, give it a chance and don't think of it as that overplayed song on the radio and it's a genius track. I like the drama in it, how it's hard to pin down on the genre boards, but it, nonetheless, makes quite a catchy tune. Sugared with lots of great one-liners, patterend after some cool beat, it's a sure hit. Safe to say, one of Rihanna's best songs.

And my all time, favorite 2012 song is Up Dharma Down's Thinker. Thank you to Tj for buying me Capacities for Christmas. This strongly reminds me of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams. Both songs take you on a  3 minute road trip in your head, it's a sweeping view of an endless sky, stars, road and you're off to somewhere great...Who wouldn't love a song that gives you that?

- Gerard

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