Fun fact! Superstars almost always release new music in the last quarter of the year, when everyone’s itching to buy holiday gifts. Before the onslaught, I’m counting down the best 25 songs of the year so far. If it’s on this list, it either came out in 2012 or rose to prominence this year.
#10. “I Feel Better” by Gotye
I could probably justify putting “Somebody That I Used to Know” in this countdown, but since I’ve already declared it one of my favorite songs of 2011, I wanted to give a different Gotye tune a chance. After all, I didn’t hear the rest of his album Making Mirrors until early 2012, and the rest of it is just as good as the big hit.
So let’s turn our attention to “I Feel Better,” a jumpy, mood-elevating love song that riffs on vintage soul music. It’s going to be Gotye’s next single in America, and it deserves to be a hit, too.
#9. “Next to Me” by Emeli Sande
It’s not just me. Everyone at NNN has been talking about Emeli Sande this year, and “Next to Me” makes it obvious why she deserves the attention. So what are you waiting for? Grab a tambourine and enjoy one of the best pop-soul songs in recent memory.
#8. “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia
Yes, lord! This is more than just a hit dance song. It’s a damn anthem, sweeping through your speakers with the grandeur of Sia’s voice and Guetta’s production. It’s always nice when a song this good becomes a top ten hit.
#7. “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men
A few months ago, I said this shimmering hit could help us through the Republican primaries. Now it needs to get us through the endless Republican campaign. I love it for its lush-yet-catchy music and for the thoughtful lyrics about estranged people trying to reconnect.
#6. “Give Me What You Got” by The Shondes
Oh, The Shondes! They’re one of my favorite discoveries of this entire year. They’re a queer Jewish punk band from Brooklyn, and their music is just so damn joyous. Try to sit still while you listen. I dare you. You CANNOT DO IT. If you haven’t heard their Go-Gos-meet-REM music, then start with “Give Me What You Got,” which is an ass-kicking kiss-off to people who refuse to see you as you are, but who insist on seeing you as they need to see you. But The Shondes aren’t having it. Don’t put them in a box! They are rocking the box!
Ahem. Also, check out my earlier post on them to hear some more of their songs.
Mark Blankenship tweets as @IAmBlankenship. He loves The Shondes for referencing Gargamel, the villain from the Smurfs.