2012 is coming to a close. Musically, new acts made a name for themselves and pop veterans returned with a vengeance. The next 30 songs burned up radio, tore up the clubs, or blew up in the blogosphere this past year. It’s a mix of songs you’ve most likely heard with tracks you ought to know. The list continues with Beach House, Hoodie Allen, One Direction, Solange, and Tennis.
No. 20 Tennis – “Never to Part” / Young & Old
Indie pop band Tennis released its second album, Young & Old, earlier in the year. This time around, Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley’s breezy maritime sound from their debut was given a rougher edge by The Black Key’s Patrick Carney. He co-produced the album with the couple act. “Never to Part” perfectly exemplifies that new direction as Moore poetically sings about how a young virgin shouldn’t give herself up. Her comforting vocals float over the buoyant song’s rock-leaning production. Tennis find themselves on stranger tides, but make the most of that uncharted territory.
No. 19 Hoodie Allen featuring Jhameel – “No Faith in Brooklyn” / All American EP
New York-based rapper Hoodie Allen made a name for himself through sampling songs like Marina and the Diamond’s “You Are Not a Robot” on his jams before putting out this year’s All American EP. He delivered on his first release of all original material and his burgeoning fanbase took notice, shooting it to top 10 of Billboard’s 200 albums chart. On the midtempo piano number, “No Faith in Brooklyn,” Hoodie dishes out the truthful zingers left and right: “They wanna know, am I Jay Sean or Raekwon, Good sean, or Great Sean, Stay long or Kreayshawn.” The indie artist put up a seasoned front with his smooth flow and came out swinging in 2012.
No. 18 One Direction – “One Thing” / Up All Night
British-Irish boy band One Direction followed up the success of “What Makes You Beautiful” with the pop-rock “One Thing.” While the track strangely became a moderate success for 1D in the U.S., it was a welcomed returned to teen pop music that dominated the late ’90s and early ’00s. Specifically, it drew many comparisons to Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way,” but packed much more of a wallop. Members Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan all have a verse on the anthemic love song. Its music video made the single more memorable as the guys dress up in vintage-like outfits and ride around London, surrounded by fan girl pandemonium.
No. 17 Solange – “Losing You” / True EP
While Beyoncé went to bear the children this year with Blue Ivy, Solange went back to business. Bey’s hip little sister teamed up with indie producer Dev Hynes for the gloomy but gorgeous “Losing You.” The electronic tune previewed her R&B EP, True. On the dance ballad, Solange questions a faltering relationship, not wanting to face the impending end. “Tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good?” she sings over the track’s tribal production. Solange may have lost the boy, but she gained a new legion of fans with her exciting and fresh musical direction.
No. 16 Beach House – “On the Sea” / Bloom
Dream pop duo Beach House returned with even more emotive music on 2012’s Bloom. They tackle the touchy subject of death, but make it sound like an ethereal paradise with “On the Sea.” Singer Victoria Legrand vocally ascends with the song’s spectral production to the higher heavens. It opens gallantly with a piano before a gentle wave of guitar chords hits. An organ then flickers around Legrand as she puts the listener at a peace of mind while singing, “The world becomes and swallows me in.” It’s a beautiful ending to the grim finale in life.
Did your favorites make the cut? Stay tuned tomorrow as the 2012 countdown continues with Nos. 15-11!
Listen to Nos. 20-16 on Spotify here
Here’s the list for Nos. 5-1: link
Here’s the list for Nos. 10-6: link
Here’s the list for Nos. 15-11: link
Here’s the list for Nos. 25-21: link
Here’s the list for Nos. 30-26: link
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