06 January 2013

Best of 2012: 12 Singles

Though I like to consider myself an album kinda guy, I'm pretty sure the structure of the music industry as it is right now has seeped into the minds of musicians young and old, subconsciously nudging the faithful album creators into single territory (even if it's ever so slightly). I could be wrong, but I just wanted a valid excuse for why I'm not making a "best albums of 2012" list and why I've decided to dedicate a post to twelve songs from the past calendar year that left a significant mark on my life. I've already written about a song (Bat for Lashes' "Laura") and a music video (Grimes' "Oblivion"), and this will conclude the Best of 2012 music posts. Are these the twelve (er, fourteen) best songs of 2012? Probably not. They are, instead, an excellent sampler for the soundtrack of my past year... at least, in terms of new music. The tracks are not ordered, though if I had to pick the best of the lot (not counting "Laura"), I would probably opt for Light Asylum's "Shallow Tears." Off the Brooklyn-based duo of Shannon Funchess and Bruno Coviello's self-titled debut LP, "Shallow Tears" gives a new reference point to the moderately overused phrase, "hauntingly beautiful," with its hypnotic synth percussion and Funchess' exciting vocals, here sounding like a heavenly cross between Grace Jones, Q Lazzarus, and Alison Moyet of Yaz. On an even more exciting note, Funchess will be featured on my most hotly anticipated album of 2013, Shaking the Habitual from The Knife, due out in April.

Two additional notes about the songs listed below. Firstly, the Animal Collective track "New Town Burnout," off their LP Centipede Hz, perfectly transitions into the next song, "Monkey Riches," on the album, so maybe you could consider listening to it as part of the full album or via this live YouTube video of them performing the two songs in Vancouver. And finally, be sure to check out the unofficial video below for Róisín Murphy's "Simulation," directed by fellow San Franciscan Aron Kantor and featuring one of our fair city's finest drag artists, Ambrosia Salad. The video uses a four-minute edit of the eleven-minute song, which was the best dance track of 2012 that I heard. Enjoy.

Simulation - Roisin Murphy - ft. Ambrosia Salad from Dirtyglitter on Vimeo.

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