Class of 2012: The Soundtrack

I prefer to listen to albums in their entirety, so it’s always hard to put together a list of ‘best tracks’ at the end of each year.  This year was no exception.  Therefore, what follows is a massive soundtrack to the reality show known as 2012.  To say these songs represent the ‘best of the year’ would be a ridiculous statement — some are here because they are great songs, some are guilty pleasures, others were just inescapable this past year — you’ll have to be the judge of which is which.  This list is limited to one track per release (with a few exceptions) and includes everything except for extreme metal and hardcore.  It is presented alphabetically by artist, because trying to arrange these songs in an order of significance would have also been ridiculous.  So, without further ado, this is what 2012 sounded like…

* Click on each link for a video (if one exists)
Spotify playlist at bottom of post

Ab-Soul – Terrorist Threats (feat. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko)
Alabama Shakes – I Found You
Alice Smith – Cabaret
alt-J – Breezeblocks
Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra – Lost
Anaïs Mitchell – Young Man In America
Andy Stott – Numb
Animal Collective – Applesauce
Arliss Nancy – The Crease
Avicii – Silhouettes – Original Radio Edit
BADBADNOTGOOD – Bastard / Lemonade
Baroness – Take My Bones Away
Bat For Lashes – Laura
Beach House – Myth
Beth Orton – Something More Beautiful
Big K.R.I.T. – Boobie Miles
BLKHRTS – A Song For
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
Burial – Kindred
Burning Love – Superstitious Friend
Cadence Weapon – Conditioning
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
Cat Power – Ruin
Chad Valley – Fathering / Mothering (feat. Anne Lise Frøkedal)
Chelsea Wolfe – Flatlands
Chromatics – Kill For Love
Clams Casino – Angels [Mac Miller]
Cloud Nothings – Stay Useless
Cold Specks – Blank Maps
Craig Finn – Jackson
Dan Deacon – True Thrush
Daniel Rossen – Silent Song
Danny Brown – Grown Up
Daughn Gibson – In the Beginning
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who
Dawnbringer – I
Dawn Golden And Rosy Cross – White Sun – Arrange Remix
Dead Can Dance – Return Of The She-King
Death Grips – I’ve Seen Footage
Die Antwoord – Baby’s On Fire
Divine Fits – Civilian Stripes
Django Django – Life’s a Beach
Doe Paoro – Can’t Leave You
Dry the River – Lion’s Den
Earl Sweatshirt – Chum
El-P – The Full Retard
EMA – Take One Two
Emily Wells – Dirty Sneakers and Underwear
Empty Flowers – Call a Priest
Evian Christ – Fuck It None Of Ya’ll Don’t Rap
Father John Misty – Funtimes in Babylon
Fiona Apple – Every Single Night
First Aid Kit – Emmylou
Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You
Frankie Rose – Pair of Wings
Frightened Rabbit – State Hospital
Fun. – We Are Young – feat. Janelle Monáe
Gallows – Everybody Loves You (When You’re Dead)
The Gaslight Anthem – “45”
Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
Gorillaz – Do Ya Thing feat. Andre 3000 & James Murphy
Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
Grimes – Genesis
Grimes – Oblivion
Grizzly Bear – Sleeping Ute
How To Dress Well – Cold Nites
Iamamiwhoami – Play
Icona Pop – I Love It – feat. Charli XCX
Jack White – Sixteen Saltines
Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built
Jens Lekman – Become Someone Else’s
Jessica Pratt – Bushel Hyde
Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
Joe Pug – The Great Despiser
John Talabot – Destiny feat. Pional
Joyce Manor – If I Needed You There
Julia Holter – In the Same Room
Ka – No Downtime
Kacey Musgraves – Merry Go ‘Round
Kanye West – White Dress
Kanye West – Mercy
Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank) – Extended Version
Kendrick Lamar – Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst
Killer Mike – Big Beast – feat. Bun B, T.I., and Trouble
Kindness – Anyone Can Fall In Love
King Dude – You Can Break My Heart
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Lee Fields & The Expressions – Wish You Were Here
Leonard Cohen – Darkness
Loudon Wainwright III – In C
Low Density Matter – Questions
Lucero – I Can’t Stand to Leave You
The Lumineers – Ho Hey
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love – feat. Mary Lambert
The Magnetic Fields – Andrew in Drag
The Men – Open Your Heart
Menomena – Pique
The Menzingers – The Obituaries
Metric – Artificial Nocturne
Miguel – Adorn
Mirel Wagner – No Death
MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds
Moonface – Heartbreaking Bravery
Mount Eerie – I Walked Home Beholding
The Mountain Goats – Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
MS MR – Hurricane
The Mynabirds – Generals
Nas – Daughters
Nicki Minaj – Starships
Niki & The Dove – Tomorrow
o F F Love – Be Around U
Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
Pallbearer – Foreigner
Paradise Lost – Honesty In Death
Patterson Hood – Come Back Little Star
Patti Smith – April Fool
Paul McCartney featuring members of Nirvana – Cut Me Some Slack
Perfume Genius – Hood
Phèdre – IN DECAY
POLIÇA – Amongster
Pop. 1280 – Bodies in the Dunes
PS I Love You – Sentimental Dishes
Psy – Gangnam Style
Purity Ring – Fineshrine
Ramona Falls – Spore
Redd Kross – Stay Away from Downtown
Rhye – Open
Rihanna – Diamonds
Royal Headache – Girls
Santigold – The Keepers
Schoolboy Q – Hands On The Wheel (feat. A$ap Rocky)
Sharon Van Etten – Serpents
The Shins – Simple Song
Sigur Ros – Varúð
Silversun Pickups – Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)
Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid
Soap&Skin – Voyage Voyage
Spiritualized – Hey Jane
Stars – The Theory of Relativity
Sun Kil Moon – Sunshine In Chicago
Symmetry – Streets of Fire
The Tallest Man On Earth – Revelation Blues
Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Tanlines – All Of Me
Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
THEESatisfaction – QueenS
Tift Merritt – Traveling Alone
Titus Andronicus – Tried To Quit Smoking
TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke x Lunice) – Goooo
Torche – Kicking
Twin Shadow – Five Seconds
Ty Segall and White Fence – I Am Not a Game
Whirr – Junebouvier
Willis Earl Beal – Evening’s Kiss
Witchcraft – Deconstruction
Witch Mountain – Never Know
Woods of Ypres – Traveling Alone
Wymond Miles – Hidden Things Are Asking You To Find Them
Xiu Xiu – Hi
The xx – Angels
Y.n.RichKids – Hot Cheetos & Takis
Zambri – Hundred Hearts

2012 Soundtrack

Class of 2012: The Overachievers
Class of 2012: The Performers
Class of 2012: Children of the Damned