Here’s the completion of my top 20 songs of 2012. I know everyone will not agree with the tracks I’ve chosen. Music is largely personal taste. But it’s my hope that some of you will discover something you’ve never heard here. Be inspired. Listen and enjoy.
10) Jonathan Russell – “Chasing a Ghost (Ever Since)”
-I know that this is technically The Head and the Heart and the title is actually, “Ever Since.” But the version that I want to make my top 10 is the one included below, shot by Eratosthenes at the Fremont Abbey in Seattle. It’s Russell solo and it’s freaking amazing. So it made my list.
9) Kiersten Holine – “Faulty”
-Readers of our site are no stranger to Holine’s amazing work. I’ve been writing about her for a long while, it seems. “Faulty” was the best song off of her latest album Candescent, a 2012 release. It captures her soft acoustic style perfectly.
8) The Oh Hellos – “I Was Wrong”
-The Oh Hellos smacked me in the face with an incredible album. Start to finish it’s an incredible album. I found it difficult to settle on a “best” song from Through the Valley. But this song seems to embody the message of the album, and consequently some thoughts/beliefs/ideas I personally hold dear. I hope you will enjoy this song sonically, lyrically, and personally.
7) The Strumbellas – “Diane”
-I can’t believe that this song, which I just heard for the first time a few weeks ago, is so high on my list. But every time I listen to it, I find myself saying “this might be the song of the year.” Love the harmonies. Love the style. This is worth your time.
6) The Young Vanish – “Belljarred”
-I’m running out of ways to describe this music. The Young Vanish is an extremely talented acoustic guitarist that writes pointed, deep lyrics. Now, just listen and be transformed.
5) Good Old War – “Better Weather”
-This song reeks of optimism. It’s about relationships and life and real things. It’s also got the incredible harmonies of one of my favorite bands. What’s not to like?
4) St. Paul de Vence – “Hummingbird, Heron, and Honeybee”
-I was blown away by SPdV this year. The whole album is a conceptual breath of fresh air. Besides that, this song has a beautifully transcendent quality to it. I always feel like I’m soaring while I listen to it. Fitting… as all of the “title characters” can fly.
3) Pebaluna – “Baby What’s Wrong”
-I don’t know if I can explain why I love this song so much. I just do. It’s quaint. It’s fun. It’s quirky and beautiful and the harmonies make me happy. It’s also just super sweet.
2) The Spring Standards – “So Simple, So True”
-I’ve enjoyed all manner of songs from The Spring Standards, but their stripped-down soft harmony songs just seem to steal my heart. To give you an indication of my admiration for this song, it was, indeed, the first song I played for my daughter… Ever. She was one day old at the time.
1) Noah Gundersen – “Cigarettes”
-This song is amazing on a number of levels. It’s well written and deep and powerful. Perhaps most impressive, though, is this particular recording of it. You can feel Noah Gundersen pouring his soul into this performance. It’s the kind of thing we humans only experience every so often. There really aren’t words for art this beautiful.
*Well there you have it folks. If you skipped any of these top 10, I digitally smack you and send you back to the beginning. If you listened to them all, huzzah! I’d appreciate any comments. If you’re a member of one of these bands or a songwriter and would like to chat about it, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to do interviews and/or come chill with you at a show.