Young Galaxy - We Have Everything (Adam & The Amethysts Remix)
This remix brings out the song’s epic expanse, where the primordial elements swirl and mingle in the space between every two people, intoning wisdom like some electro Desiderata.
Brothertiger - Lovers
An old favorite by a criminally under-recognized musician, this song marks the spot where chill wave peaked for me, smooth and slick like a bright yellow latex vest.
Erika Spring - Hidden
Her solo project is sometimes reminiscent of her main band, Au Revoir Simone, but this song comes from a heavier and dreamier place with understated shifts and razor sharp cymbals.
Friends - Home
Manifest!, Friends’ long awaited full length, unambiguously wins Best 2012 Summer Party Album. These highly varied, ultra-catchy songs expertly draw from the best girl pop of the past four decades, ranging in tone from bombastic and sexy to disarmingly intimate, with surprisingly insightful lyrics about relationships. Total crush inducing.
Alt-J - Something Good
A new arty band getting tons of attention with sinister, delicate, smart compositions and a creepy male voice. A not-so-urgently suicidal Xiu Xiu.
Kavinsky - Nightcall (Breakbot Remix)
Oh no you got your Breakbot in my Drive soundtrack!
Charli XCX - Valentine
One of my absolute favorite singles of 2012, it’s balls out teenybopper with a touch of sensible adult cynicism, though not quite enough to keep it out of ‘guilty pleasure’ categorization. Charli XCX is still relatively unknown but a first class pop diva in the making, normally delivering a mix between goth and radio pop.
Kool Music - Running Back To Everyone
A murky underwater dreamscape where you can warm up next to the crackling tape hiss.
Liars - No.1 Against The Rush
Brooding and mathy, somewhere between a grim dance party and an angry love letter, Wixiw, the new album by Liars, is solid and consistent, a rocky energy of men, guitars, and synthesizers.
Lianne La Havas - Forget
She’s normally a kind of jazz / folk singer-songwriter elevated far beyond appearances at your local Starbucks, but this song is straight R&B with some dark pop instrumentation that just now made me go listen to Amy Winehouse.
Tom Vek - Aroused
No sooner had I started spreading the legend of Tom Vek who opted not to put out his second album rather than have it fail to live up to the breathtaking standard set by 2005’s We Have Sound then he in fact released that second album, Leisure Seizure. Bold, angular tracks cut through by his decisive lyrics, an upending achievement of rhythm, invention, and humanity.
AWOLNATION - Sail
Look I know this is some Top 40 ultra emo shit, but it’s so fucking good I can’t even begin to fault it, so just pump your fists and cut your forearms and get into it.
Silver Swans - Secrets (Letting Up Despite Great Faults Remix)
Lush dead vocals sliding between the slats of coldly structured pop, a radio song from a frozen planet.
Collarbones - Missing
Goddamn I love this new post-Prince R&B stuff.