I resisted doing this column for some time because I wanted to hear releases in the month of December, since usually so many people skip this month’s releases when making their lists. After hearing the tracks, I present to you part one of my list top tracks for 2012 in no particular numerical order. Stylistically, it’s all over the map (but you’d expect nothing less from me) I feel they are tracks you should not only hear, but legally purchase/download when cash is available. Support your artists, folks. Where their isn’t a streamable track online, I’ll post the video.
Cody Chesnutt “Chips Down (In No Landfill)” Landing on A Hundred
Throughout Landing on a Hundred, his study of soul music producers such as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Gamble & Huff is evident. The track, “Chips Down (In No Landfill)”, explores his intentional recovery from technological dependence (cell phones, TV, radio, etc.) in order to focus on himself and his family (“I threw my silicon chips down…so that I could heal”).
Jenny Lane “For Love” Life’s a Chox of Bogglets / Sonic Galore Sweet & Sour Valentine Compilation
Featured on Sweet & Sour project from Sonic Galore is the melancholy and stirring ballad, “For Love”, by Amsterdam, Holland-based vocalist, Jenny Lane. Jenny’s vocal sounds inspired by artists like Sia and I even hear traces of Whitney Houston’s styling. As the production reaches the dramatic vocal climax, it ends hopeful yet anxious.
Only The Sea Slugs “The Stolen Name” (single)
This Australian psych-rock outfit brings new melancholy pop with a chorus hook that will stick to you. From Sydney, here’s Only The Sea Slugs with, “The Stolen Name”.
Theesatisfaction “QueenS” Awe NaturalE
For their Sub Pop debut, Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons bring their brand of jazzed hip-hop soul into the hands of a better budget for production after several independent releases. The result makes for an even better sonic introduction to many more listeners for this Seattle-based, pro-black, pro-woman emcee/vocalist duo. Taking their advice from “QueenS”, you must “leave your face at the door, turn off your swag”. This isn’t about the money stacks or artificial music industry “beef”
Smoke Room “539A” Caramelism
Kyle Yerhot a.k.a. Smoke Room gave me new life this year with Caramelism. I’ve always appreciated Smoke Room for his affinity for dreamy and dubbed-out sounds with R&B samples laced through his productions. I could even call his music ‘minimal electronic R&B’–danceable grooves with a melancholic sense. The single, “539A” brings the BPMs up a bit and has been a personal dance workout for me this year.
New Cassettes “The Waxx” Winterhead
Much of the Internet love has been on their track, “Silent Guns”, the title of their EP released in November 2011. While I like that song, my TuneCrush is actually on the following song, “The Waxx”. It’s a fine pop/rock groove and has vocal reminiscent of Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) on the hook.
BARON “The Remedy” RadioHeart
Nominated for an OUTMUSIC award, I hear why. He brings could be a part 1 & 2 in a vinyl environment (especially starting at 2:58) as he presents himself as cure to bad love in “The Remedy”.
Light Asylum “Heart of Dust” Light Asylum
Singular synth lines with punchy electronic beats combined with heavy vocals capable of full contralto growls– that’s the sweaty, dark sound of Brooklyn-based, Light Asylum. Bruno Coviello creates a compelling sonic foundation of darkwave and industrial dance for vocalist Shannon Funchess that channels the drama and the groove of both Grace Jones and Nona Hendryx.
Musiex “Always By My Side” (demo)
As one-half of the Amsterdam-based group, Secret Rendezvous, the vocals of Sietske “Musiex” Morsch were not to be denied the definition of soulful pop music. While writing for the band, she’s also making demos for other artists. This track is a demo produced by A. Bar Pereg with Musiex on all vocals. A demo this funky needs to be a pop single on somebody’s radio station, people!
BSLADE™ “Sonshine2″ Deep Purple
This single from B. Slade™ is a summertime pop/90′s R&B blast of a good time. From the CD, Deep Purple on Suxxess Records, enjoy an extended video remix of “SONSHINE 2″ featuring Olana & Enxo.
More top tracks from 2012 right here.