I'm kind of cheating with my 'Top 10 of 2012' as I'm still struggling to place them in order of my appreciation. The only one that is concrete, and rightfully so, is Number 1. You'll also find that not all of these are from this year (in fact, most of them aren't), but these are the songs that have been my year's soundtrack; my walking, driving and - in general - living guardians. Desert Island Discs is something that I can aspire to but, for now, I've got you and this blog entry. Enjoy.
10. Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know (Feat. Kimbra)
I'll get an easy one out the way first. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I spent most of the summer humming this quirky piece. Not generally being a fan of the commercial charts, this one really stuck out. With the power of De Backer's voice against Kimbra's angelic, almost innocent response, both expressing such a bittersweet love story, it really made me - and I'm sure many others this year - really take a liking to it. This is not to say that the rest of the song's album 'Making Mirrors' isn't worth listening to; De Backer's voice carries nicely on to his other work. 'Smoke and Mirrors' is another personal favourite of mine.
09. Van Morrison - Coney Island
There's something so simple about this song that always gets me. Morrison talks of his memories of Coney Island. It's beautifully forward lyrics really brings that childhood back in yourself. My father, being a a huge fan of all of Morrison's work, was the one that introduced me to the artist and consequently this song. I suppose that's why it reminds me of him; but certain lyrics take me back to my childhood, of Sunday mornings with my Dad, newspapers and driving: when the "craic" really was good.
08. The Beautiful South - One God
"The world won’t end in darkness it’ll end in family fun, /With Coca-Cola clouds behind a Big-Mac sun". One of the best lines I've ever heard and, even having known this song nearly all of my life, I don't think it was until this year that I truly learnt to appreciate it and the band themselves.
07. The Police - Walking On The Moon
Definitely made this year's early months for me. I really found this a great soundtrack to the cold, bleak mornings. I'll definitely be listening to this at that time next year.
06. Sbtrkt - Trials Of The Past
Just a brilliant contemporary tune. My friend Chris introduced me to this guy. Pronounced 'Subtract', this Future Garage/Electronica producer really caught my ear. Sampha also has an incredible voice. Don't waste your time listening to this through poor speakers; as well as Sampha, the really chilled bass at a loud and crisp level makes this song.
05. Nic Dawson Kelly - The Musician
Probably the most underground of my choices. This guy deserves so much more credit than he has. His voice has a resemblance to Antony Hegarty (from Antony and the Johnsons), but Kelly is far from a copycat. Like Hegarty, his peculiar but special voice and singing style is catching, but the difference between the two artists comes with Kelly's great poppy-folk approach, combining his alternative voice with a happy and easy-going genre. It's definitely also worth checking out the song's video as well as I feel that it really brings London to life in it.
04.Fun Lovin' Criminals - I Can't Get With That
Such a great Hip-Hop/Rock band. I can't think of a song that combines such smooth rapping and also a howling guitar solo finale which I defy you to not nod your head to. This song just sums up the band to me. The whole album 'Come Find Yourself' is a cracking listen. Seek it out.
03. The Who - Eminence Front
This song has always been there throughout my life, but not until I heard it on the radio earlier this year did it really stick out to me. I remember it significantly when I watched the first ever episode of 'Entourage' a couple of years ago and it also quite prominently appeared on the soundtrack to the game 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas', something that I've loved and played for nearly a decade. It's like it's been following me knowing that one day it would strike me as one of my favourites.
02. Daft Punk - Something About Us
There's something so unique about Daft Punk. Their album 'Discovery' was released in 2001 with big chart hits such as 'One More Time', but the album's real gem in my opinion is this. Although essentially a simple love song, there's something I find so nice and easy about it's funky, jazzy feel. Such a melodic treat that can be listened to anywhere, anytime. Always fitting.
01. Pink Floyd - Shine On, You Crazy Diamond (1&2)
Twenty six minutes of delight. A good friend of mine calls it an "epic journey" and I couldn't agree more. I don't think there was a day this summer that I didn't listen to it in it's entirety. Like the whole album, it's beautifully structured. Quintessential Floyd at it's best. Although built around a sad time for the band, with Syd Barrett losing his way and leaving, this sadness made way for one of the best tribute albums of all time. Listen to 'Wish You Were Here' from start to finish. It will enrich your life.
So close; the ones that didn't quite make it:
Althea and Donna - Uptown Top Ranking
Men At Work - It's a Mistake
Eric Clapton - Anything For Your Love
Chinese Man - You Suck Me
Dachshund - Overdue (Original Mix)
Phaeleh - Should Be True
Peter Broderick - I Am Piano
The Cinematic Orchestra - Oregon