Hip-Hop Indie Indie Pop Lists

2012 Wrap-Up: Top Tracks of 2012 #40-31

You know my organizational skills can’t resist annual music lists. While you likely will know most of my top tracks of the year, hopefully you’ll find something you may have missed. Chime in with your lists in the comments. I’ll post mixtapes at the end or the list. Enjoy!

40. Big Sean, Kanye West, Jay-Z – Clique
When the beat drops on “Clique”, it’s in jawbreaking Hit-Boy fashion. The budding producer has essentially produced two of my favorite hip-hop tracks over the past two years in “Clique” and “N****s In Paris”. This time Jay & ‘Ye let Big Sean in on the bravado-filled fun and give the young Detroiter an even bigger year.

39. The Rubens-My Gun
The bluesy riffs by Aussie/NZ imports The Rubens echo the clever tale of heartbreak on “My Gun”. At least the metaphorical weapon allowed lead singer to be “stitched up”.

38. Tanlines-All of Me
The buzz of Tanlines finally paid off in the Brooklyn duo’s debut album Mixed Emotions. ‘80s inspired synth pop of “All of Me” is exactly what the Brooklyn duo excels at.

37. Purity Ring-Belispeak II ft Danny Brown
Purity Ring’s quirkiness was already well documented on the original, but you can’t out weird Danny Brown. The sequel somehow managed to be slightly more addictive and benefitted from an addictive drum kick.

36. Miguel-The Thrill
The reckless youth subject matter and strumming of the guitar give off an ‘80’s bad boy vibe. Either way, you could insert nearly any track from Kaleidoscope Dream in this position.

35. Yeasayer-Devil and the Deed
The addictive synth and percussion of Yeasayer’s further exploration into dance electronica is more than punctuated by Anand Wilder’s vocal exercise.

34. David Byrne & St. Vincent-Who
I think I actually imagined the output of a David Byrne & St. Vincent album to be much weirder. “Who”’s jazzy bounce paces a track entirely filled with questions while Annie Clark’s soothing vocals balance Byrne’s warbling tones.

33. POLICA-Amongster
I’ve given my fair amount of disdain for vocoder usage, but Channy Leaneagh’s pipes sound heavenly on the entirety of Polica’s Give You The Ghost. “Amongster” hums with moody synth and flittering drum which matches the pained subject matter.

32. Wildlife Control-Analog or Digital
A well crafted uptempo indie rock cut that makes me think of Summer everytime I put it on. The driving guitar and drum make for great workout music. Take note Nike music supervisors.

31. Norah Jones-Happy Pills
Jones & Danger Mouse’s collaboration on Little Broken Hearts was a welcome departure from her typical fare. “Happy Pills” allows Jones to play the villain but somehow turned into the breeziest song about a breakup in recent memory.

FYI: If you are wondering why Of Monsters Of Men “Little Talks”, Gotye “Somebody That I Used To Know”, Alabama Shakes “I Found You”, it’s because they were on my list last year. Catch up.