I already put out a list of the best albums of the year, but it felt like it fell short in some places. There was so much great music released this year, I could have made a much bigger list, and each day thought of more albums to add. Rather than continually update that list, I decided to break out some of the best songs I listened to this year. As a warning, this list contains earworms you’ll find difficult to forget.
10. “I Wonder Who She’s Kissing Now” TV Girl
This is a dreamy, bouncy pop tune I had on repeat most of the Summer. I hadn’t listened to it for a while (I’ve been drowning in Christmas music for the past couple of weeks), but as soon as I typed the title, the loop at the beginning began playing in my head. It’s a great, catchy song.
9. “Lord Knows” Dum Dum Girls
Dee Dee Penny sounds uncannily like Chrissie Hynde, and the rest of the Dum Dum Girls are a great mix of the Smiths and the Ronettes. This song from their End of Daze EP
is so rich and luscious, and deserves repeated plays.
8. “Bad Man” Cory Branan
is a great album, and this track in particular is loaded with great lines and a great riff drives it. I really love the line “You ain’t afraid of no alleyways/When you are the thing in the dark.” I can just see Tom Petty or Springsteen kicking themselves for not writing that one.
7. “Kill for Love” Chromatics
A beautiful, dark track that sounds like it’s from the soundtrack to a gritty eighties crime thriller.
6. “Don’t Save Me” Haim
Just a perfect, catchy pop song. Writing about their earlier single “Forever,” I said Haim is poised to have a big career, and I’m looking forward to seeing how big they get in 2013.
5. “I’m Still Free” Spain
Dark, smoky, and smooth, Josh Haden and Spain continue to impress me. Each time I listen to Spain, I feel like I should be in a dark bar, with a really nice bourbon, chatting with a certain beautiful redhead…
4. “Righteous, Ragged Songs” Lee Bains and the Glory Fires
This track uses the best Allman Brothers riff Gregg Allman never wrote to lay out Lee Bains’ “Tour-‘Til-You-Drop” mission statement, and it’s even more fun when he plays it live.
3. “Always Alright” Alabama Shakes
I couldn’t single out one track on Boys and Girls as better than any other so I’ll use this cut from the Silver Linings Playbook
soundtrack, mainly because each time they play this live, they crush it hard.
2.”Black Mold” Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has been around for about 20 years now, and it’s impressive they sound as fresh and fierce as they did when they debuted.
1. “The House That Heaven Built” Japandroids
Japandroids’ Celebration Rock
was a stunning burst of passion and energy, and this lead off single is unrelenting in it’s earnestness. It’s a massive, uplifting explosion, the best song I listened to this year.