Songs of the year

Will Straw's favourite songs of 2012.

Once again, my wife and I have self-indulgently imposed our favourite songs of the year on our friends. I’ve reproduced the selection below as a change from Left Foot Forward’s normal fare. As an added bonus this year, you can also listen to the selection on Spotify.

Happy listening and an even happier new year.

Disparate Youth‘ – Santigold. Beloved of producers compiling sports packages and featured in various adverts, this is by far the best hook of the year.

All of Me‘ – Tan lines. Catchy synth-pop with a weird video combines cynical lyrics and infectious hand claps.

Best of Friends‘ – Palma Violets. We knew nothing of this song until the band tore it up on Jools Holland. NME’s single of the year and you can see why (even if it is a bit derivative of early oasis or the strokes).

Forever‘ – Haim. On the right side of the irritatingly / infectiously catchy divide with excellent use of a cowbell. This year’s answer to The Go-Go’s.

Gun Has No Trigger‘ – Dirty Projectors. Indie favourites with the best harmonies of the year. The album’s a bit over-rated but this track is ace.

I Belong In Your Arms‘ – Chairlift. New Wave revival with a brilliant chorus fitting for a Molly Ringwald movie.

Genesis‘ – Grimes.¬†Pretty universally regarded as the breakthrough artist of the year. We could have picked any number of the songs from the Montrealer’s debut album.

Simple Song‘ – The Shins – Surprisingly upbeat for this band of indie moaners and a terrific singalong tune.

Yet Again‘ – Grizzly Bear. Perhaps the most musically accomplished band around at the moment. This is a great track from a great album.

1904‘ – Tallest Man on Earth. Sweden’s answer to Bob Dylan, now on his third album. Brilliant live.

Hold On‘ – Alabama Shakes. You won’t believe that the singer is a woman. This track kicks off the southern rock album of the year.

Please Forgive My Heart‘ – Bobby Womack. Is there no end to Damon Albarn’s talents? Here he does for Womack what Rick Rubin did for Johnny Cash. Womack’s duet with Lana Del Rey, ‘Dayglo Reflection‘, is also worth checking out.

Kill for Love‘ – Chromatics. Cinematic song with subtle vocals. This band cropped up on the soundtrack for the film ‘Drive’.

My Better Self‘ – Tennis. Absolutely gorgeous song which never gets tiresome. Her voice sounds like melted butter on a crumpet.

Fineshrine‘ – Purity Ring. Similar sounding to Grimes but even darker. Growling baseline which gets right up in your sternum, just like the lyric.

Feels Like We Only Go Backwards‘ – Tame Impala. Best album and best live act of 2012 IOHO. It’s unbelievable that this irresistible Lennon-esque LP was recorded by one guy in his bedroom.

Flutes‘ – Hot Chip. Like Michael Owen against Germany, Hot Chip just get better and better and better. This is the mature older brother of ‘Boy from School‘ which keeps changing and surprising as it progresses. Nauseating video, mind you.

Put Me to Sleep‘ – Porcelain Rafts. A sad, soaring song with which to end a party.

Anything Could Happen‘ – Ellie Goulding. Cheesy. But brilliant. Guilty pleasure of the year.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.