Written By: Jacob Lorinc
1. Gangnam Style- PSY
Although you may never want to hear this song again, you must admit that Gangnam Style is easily the greatest song of 2012. Being the very first K-Pop song to receive wide recognition in western society, Gangnam Style has achieved over a billion views on YouTube, gave way to hundreds of parody versions of the song, and has led to thousands of kids bouncing down the street as if they were horseback riding. Call it what you will, but PSY’s jumbo-hit represents a whole generation of Pop Culture music. Oppa Gangnam Style!
2. Feel So Close-Calvin Harris
Coming in at close second, Calvin Harris’ Feel So Close is the feel-good Summer ’12 song. As it gained popularity throughout early 2012, the song had sold over 2 million copies by August. Although the lyrics are nothing terribly special (“I feel so close to you right now/it’s a force field”), the melody’s simplicity makes for very easy listening and a very satisfying song altogether.
3. Sixteen Saltines-Jack White
Releasing an album for the first time since 2010 with his previous band The Dead Weather, Jack White’s very first solo album Blunderbuss was an enormous success worldwide. Sixteen Saltines, the second single to be released from the album, is a gritty Rock ‘n’ Roll song that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for days. The song is a classic example of his unique style and his quirky yet humorous lyrics (“I’m hungry and the hunger will linger/I eat sixteen saltine crackers then I lick my fingers”), that leave you wondering why you can’t be as cool as Jack White.
4. Hands on the Wheel-Schoolboy Q
SchoolBoy Q’s second album Habits & Contradictions was released in the beginning of January 2012, leading people to forget that his breakout single Hands On The Wheel was actually released this year. Featuring the grill-bearing A$AP Rocky, Hands On The Wheel appealed to wider audiences with it’s sample of Kid Kudi’s famous song “Pursuit Of Happiness”. The song was a big success, and gave a nice kick-start to both of the artist’s careers.
5. Swimming Pools-Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar’s single off his latest album good kid, m.A.A.d city became a huge success in the popular music industry. Considerably better than The Recipe (Kendrick’s previous single featuring Dr. Dre), Kendrick talks about his unsteady relationship with alcohol and the peer pressure that influenced it, rhyming over an eerie, synth-driven beat.
6. Rock Bottom-King Krule
Unlike the others, this song never made it to popular recognition in the mainstream media. However, King Krule’s music has gained a steady cult following in the past few years throughout Canada, the U.K., and the United States. King Krule (also commonly reffered to as Zoo Kid), distinguishes his sound from others by playing diminished Jazz chords alongside light drums and bass, belting out his feelings of misery and despair in his heavy cockney accent. Yes, the song is a little heavyhearted, but a work of genius at that.
The liquidy beat from TNGHT’s debut album is a song of more importance than one would expect from such a simple riff as this. TNGHT, Canada’s latest EDM duo, specialize in making assortments of rhythmic patterns that make up the minimalistic genre now known as “Trap-Step”. The Montreal-based musicians will be recognized as some of the founding fathers of this genre, and if Trap music manages to survive in the music industry, then Bugg’n will be looked at as one of the very first of its kind.
8. Elephant-Tame Impala
The psychedelic rock group of Australians that make up Tame Impala could be identified as what The Beatles may have sounded like if they stuck around for this long. Filled with fuzzy bass recordings, off-beat rythms and John Lennon-esque vocals, Elephant is a very intricately woven rock and roll song that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head all day.
A list of top songs would not be complete without at least one raging, bass screeching, teeth gritting Dubstep song to go with it. Skrillex’s big summer hit, featuring the Nicki Minaj-like character “Sirah”, is a textbook example of a good pump-up song. The distorted guitar sounds and Sirah’s voice make up the verse of the song, and then the booming voice yelling “BASS!” that comes in to lead the song into its thunderous drop make up an all-around solid track.
10. Sun-Two Door Cinema Club
Coming from an album that could not even remotely compare to the excellence of their previous album, Two Door Cinema Club’s Sun was probably the only quality song off their new album Beacon. However, it just so happened to be a really good song, and offered the album some slight redemption. Alex Trimble, the lead vocalist, sings about losing touch with old friends due to the constant touring of the band and his inability to ever spend time at home. The song is very genuine and sincere, and has a heck of a good baseline as well.