Favorite Songs of 2012, Part 1

“I played around with your heart, now I’m playing around in the dark.”

  • Losing You, Solange

Comparisons between Solange and her sister Beyonce were always going to be inevitable, just because they’re the easy way to go. Which is too bad since they’re actually nothing alike. The music on her True EP throws all wisdom about how to make and market modern pop/r&b music out the window, and the results are stunning. Longer than your typical EP, but at 7 songs not long enough to be considered an LP, True nevertheless feels just right. Is it pop music? R&B? Dance? Indie? Who cares when the music is this good. Great from start to finish, zero filler. Music that could have been released three decades ago, but feels just as fresh today. Perfect for radio, but unlike anything else that’s on it right now. Lead single Losing You might be the most instant song on the album, but cuts like Lovers in the Parking Lot and Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work are equally worthy of attention. Bonus points: great video, too! 

  • Emmylou, First Aid Kit

Swedish sisters playing tribute to Emmylou Harris and other country music legends? That’s enough to get me hooked,  but the harmonies on this sweet, simple love song also happen to be absolutely gorgeous. Bonus points for so uncannily channeling early Emmylou Harris.

  • Thinking About You, Frank Ocean

Frankly, I could have chosen any track from Channel Orange and it would have been just as worthy of making this list. In fact, I went back and forth between this and Pyramids for a long time and in the end the deciding factor might have been which youtube preview picture was more work appropriate. Just listen to the whole album, which in my opinion is easily the best of 2012.

  • Wicked Games, The Weeknd

Technically one of the best songs of 2011. Still, I thought it was worthy of being included since it’s just now getting commercial attention.

  • Take a Walk, Passion Pit

The closest thing to a happy song on this first part of my list (it’s not my fault artists apparently stopped making good, happy music in 2012). Until you shift your attention from the music to the lyrics, at least.

  • Say Goodbye, Norah Jones

Norah Jones might have been the biggest thing on this planet a decade ago, but it’s her willingness to stray from her comfort zone on her last two albums that have won me over as a fan. She might never reach the commercial heights of her early career, but as long as she continues to explore with different sounds and the results are this strong, I think she’ll be alright.

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