This is the second installment of my “countdown” of favorite songs from 2012. However, as I noted in Part 1, this is not a numerical countdown. Instead, I have selected a song representing each letter of the alphabet. In this post, I’ll be covering J through R.
The songs I selected represent some of my favorite musical memories of 2012. You can hear my 2012 A2Z playlist on Spotify.
J – Junk of the Heart (Happy) – The Kooks
This song’s infectious optimism demanded it become a sing-along favorite on road trips in 2012.
K – Knock Knock – Band of Horses
For our past two wedding anniversaries we’ve enjoyed a concert by Band of Horses. It just happened to work out that way. I still have no idea what genre they belong to, but I love the way these guys seem to have such genuine fun on stage while making great harmonies.
L – Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
This Icelandic group hit the American airwaves in a big way with this song and I was hooked on the sound and story right away. Maybe I’m a sucker for songs with ghosts as narrators.
M – Miss Atomic Bomb – The Killers
There is a fine tradition of nostalgia songs in the rock/pop genre, where the singer is allowed to reminisce about misspent youth, first loves and the rest. Miss Atomic Bomb is a perfectly fine addition to that worthy group.
N – Next to Me – Emeli Sande
It seems odd to me that some of the best R&B and soul should be coming from the ladies of Great Britain, but there you go.
O – Olas Y Arenas – Miguel Zenon
I had not heard Miguel Zenon’s album until I stumbled upon an NPR feature about the upcoming Latin Grammys as we drove through Atlanta while returning from a beach vacation. So, perhaps the mood was right. With just a few seconds of sampling from this nominee, I knew I was going to be looking for more songs from the album.
P – Palomino – Mates of State
This was also a song I may have first heard via a commercial. The husband-and-wife vocals fit in nicely with a personal trend toward enjoying songs this year with co-ed lead vocals such as Shovels and Rope, the xx, Of Monsters and Men, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and many others.
Q – Quick! – The Magnetic Fields
On one hand, this was pretty easy as there really weren’t that many Q songs to choose from. However, on the down side, it meant that if I was going to keep to my one song per artist rule, that a lot of other favorite songs from The Magnetic Fields would have to be excluded from consideration such as Andrew in Drag, God Wants Us to Wait, The Machine in Your Hand and most any other song from their Love at the Bottom of the Sea album. Fortunately, I was also a big fan of Quick!, too, possibly for the use of the lyric “like the mating call of sarcastic sharks” if for no other reason.
R – Rudeboy – The Very Best (w/Sonye)
The Very Best is a duo comprised of a singer/rapper from Malawi and a dj from Sweden. Ruth and I saw them perform together live on a stage in a city park near midnight in the middle of downtown Bristol, Virginia. That’s about as fair a description of the world we live in now as any I can hope to create. We were in Bristol for the Gentlemen of the Road festival featuring the music of Mumford & Sons, Dawes, and other artists. The Very Best were indeed saved for last and we joined in the exhilaration of dancing barefoot in the grass under the starlight along with the rest of the audience.
You can listen to the complete 27 song playlist of 2012 A2Z on Spotify.