I usually use the month of January to catch up on everything the previous year had to offer in music, mostly to discover (online or on radio) songs I never heard, or to listen again to ones I overlooked. So, around this time every year I take a good look at my (always growing) document of songs I wrote down during the year, and come up with what always turns out to be a pretty varied list of songs that perked my ears. Thus, the time has come to close the window on 2012 with this, my definitive list of favorite cuts from it (placed, as is custom for my lists, in alphabetical order, and with sparse commentary throughout).
Alabama Shakes "Hold On" (The band deservedly got nominated for "Best New Artist" at this year's Grammys, and vocalist Brittany Howard got to showcase her fiery Janis Joplin-esque vocal chops at the award show last Sunday night, in large part due to this killer Southern soul rock gem.)
Best Coast "The Only Place"
Black Keys "Gold on the Ceiling" (I dug this one so much that I even did my own version of it around this time last year at one of my solo electric/acoustic shows. It's a fun, jumpy and rockin' tune that sounds just as good played at a local bar as it does in a stadium.)
Cloud Nothings "Cut You" (There's something both catchy and somewhat alarming about the lyrics, "I miss you 'cause I like damage/I need something I can hurt," but this post-punk tune is so damn good that whatever meaning is behind them just gets easily overlooked by my eardrums every time.
Dum Dum Girls "Season In Hell"
Eluveitie “A Rose for Perona" (I discovered this powerful Celtic metal tune via fellow Blogcritics writer Scott Deitche's best of 2012 list and loved it so much that I added it to mine.)
Field Mouse "Glass" (This is one of my favorite dreampop tunes of last year.)